On ‘utopian proposals’, ‘imperial erotics’, ‘proposals for future places’, and ‘aestheticized invasion’: Paul Carter, ‘Australindia: the geography of imperial desire’, Postcolonial Studies, 2015
Abstract: A tradition of imperial geographical fantasy fuses India and Australia. This paper discusses the strategic role these utopian proposals played in imperial erotics, in aiding the foundational ambition of empire, which is to connect. The proponents of these geographical hybrids (T.J. Maslen, W. Pickering and Thomas Livingston Mitchell) occupied very different positions in Greater Britain’s colonial administration and the minority knowledges represented by their speculative overlays of India onto Australia circulated in very different cultural circles. The insider/outsider status of these ex-army, turned surveyors suggests a more complex ecology of alternative discourses circulating in the imperial imaginary: as proposals for future places, the schemes discussed in this article were fictions that aestheticized invasion, making it a metaphor for ultimate unity.
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