Patrick Wolfe

Emma Battell Lowman, Adam Barker

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

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Patrick Wolfe is an Australian anthropologist and ethnographer whose work sparked a surge in studies of settler colonial societies. Wolfe used theories of colonialism and indigenous resistance to generate new and different ways of viewing Australia’s history that challenged the standard triumphal narrative of civilizing the frontier through pioneering individualism. Unlike most of his anthropologist contemporaries, however, Wolfe did not examine Australian Aboriginal communities, but rather Australian settler society. By making Australian settlement the object of his ethnographic research, Wolfe exposed the taken-for-granted logics of colonization and settlement and turned them on their head. Instead of a natural progression from empty wilderness, to pastoral homesteads, to modern civilized nationhood, Wolfe’s work showed Australian society as the product of a protracted “invasion” in the form of settler colonization.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationGlobal Social Theory
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


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