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 116 7 WHITE VULNERABILITY AND THE POLITICS OF REPRODUCTION IN TOP OF THE LAKE: CHINA GIRL Jo ha n na G ond ouin, Suruc hi Thapar- ​Björ k ert a nd I ngr id  Ry berg T  op of The Lake: China Girl (Australia, Jane Campion, 2017) is the sequel to Jane Campion and Gerard Lee’s crime series Top of the Lake from 2013, directed by Campion and Ariel Kleiman. After four years of absence, Inspector Robin Griffin (Elisabeth Moss) returns to the Sydney Police Force and comes to lead the murder case of an unidentified young Asian woman, found in a suitcase at Bondi Beach

in The power of vulnerability
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The adolescent girl and the nation

microcosm. They have dramatised her negotiated bid for selfhood and status within what might be called the national house, that is, within the inherited and correlated structures of both family and nation-state. This chapter will address how three very different postcolonial women writers, each one a ‘daughter’, if lost or prodigal, to one or other nation, have written themselves into the national family script, or redrafted the daughter’s relationship to the national father. The novels in question are: the expatriate Australian Christina Stead’s The Man Who Loved Children

in Stories of women
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Ecopoetics, enjoyment and ecstatic hospitality

others and our earthly environs, and I explore the potential contribution of literature to this cultural work of ‘deep sustainability’. The ‘transdisciplinary’ research programme advocated by Fischer et al. is modelled by the article itself, which arose from a multi-perspectival workshop on sustainability hosted by the Australian National University’s Fenner School of Environment and Society. Its seventeen co-authors include physicists and ecologists, geographers and engineers, agricultural scientists and conservation biologists, along with the co-founders of Australia’s

in Literature and sustainability
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Ben Okri, Chenjerai Hove, Dambudzo Marechera

exile, they use the critical distance of narrative to denaturalise or ‘de-doxify’ the neocolonial system of truth (where ‘doxa’ represents received public opinion).20 In this regard the practice of the African and South Asian writers discussed in this book departs interestingly from that of contemporary novelists in, for example, postcolonial Australia. As in Peter Carey’s Illywhacker (1985) or Murray Bail’s Eucalyptus (1998), national signifiers, no matter how self-reflexive and postmodernly arch, are deployed in sizeable numbers not merely to signify but effectively to

in Stories of women

). Transpositions: On Nomadic Ethics. Cambridge: Polity. Lorde, A. (1978). Black Unicorn. New York: W. W. Norton. Lorde, A. (1984). Zami:  A New Spelling of My Name. London:  Sheba Feminist Publishers. Tyler, I. (2007). ‘The selfish feminist’, Australian Feminist Studies, 22:53, pp. 173–​90. Williams, R. (1977). Marxism and Literature. Oxford: Oxford Paperbacks.  68

in The power of vulnerability

/​07/​regarding-​generation-​wars-​some.html (accessed 14 January 2018). Shildrick, M. (2002). Embodying the Monster: Encounters with the Vulnerable Self. London: Sage. Souza, V. M. (2014). ‘Triggernometry’, It’s Complicated blog (21 May), http://​ valeriamsouza.wordpress.com/​2014/​05/​21/​triggernometry (accessed 1 June 2015). Tyler, I. (2007). ‘The selfish feminist: Public images of women’s liberation’, Australian Feminist Studies, 22:53, pp. 173–​90. Valk, A. M. (2008). Radical Sisters: Second Wave Feminism and Black Liberation in Washington, D.C. Chicago: University of

in The power of vulnerability
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these elite-generated narratives, Jameson’s thesis is almost a necessary hypothesis, as Neil Lazarus has argued; or, at least, a self-fulfilling prophecy.36 Yet these metaphors and allegories are, I would say, discernible in most novels that collude with and condone processes of nationalist self-determination – such is the insight of Jameson’s hypothesis. Take only such examples as Peter Carey’s rewriting of Rushdie for Australia in Illywhacker (1985), Don de Lillo’s Underworld (1997), which charts a ‘halfcentury’ in the ‘soul’ of American culture, and Ian McEwan

in Stories of women
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Debatable lands and passable boundaries

, slotting into a historical place in modernist Scottish writing but also representing new and exciting work in the freshness of readers’ responses. But they also provide a warning. The disappearance and reappearance of women in history and in writing – the surges of activity in the last two hundred years, the reinvention of commitment and analysis of women’s position, is echoed in the writing of women, each generation forgetting and losing the work of the generation before last. Might this cycle recur in Scotland and elsewhere (in Australia, Canada, Ireland or the US, for

in Across the margins

representing vulnerable trans lives. Gondouin et  al.’s chapter on the TV series Top of the Lake:  China Girl (Australia, Jane Campion, 2017)  sheds light on the conflicting discourses of reproductive rights and reproductive justice, and how white and non-​white vulnerabilities carry different affective weights in popular narratives about transnational commercial surrogacy. In addition to the human rights discourse on vulnerability as an issue of structural differences between groups and exposure to risks, the proliferation of the language of vulnerability is also evident in

in The power of vulnerability

of unclear recording. The builders kindly donated the objects to the local heritage centre but details were not collected at the time. 24 A date for the shoes was kindly provided by staff at the Boot and Shoe Collection at Northampton Central Museum and Art Gallery. 25 My gratitude must be extended to Alan Massey for permission to use his unpublished research here. 26 Merrifield, Archaeology, p. 182. Many witches from the US, Australia, Europe and England have informed me via email that they use witch-bottles. The contents in some cases are identical to early witch

in Beyond the witch trials