Sarah Galletly, ‘Aboriginal Mobilities and Colonial Serial Fiction’, Australian Literary Studies 36.1 (2021):
Abstract: This article combines Indigenous mobility studies with recent work on seriality and periodical form to examine how the structural necessities of serialised periodical fiction reinforced representations of settler and Aboriginal mobilities for Australian readers across the nineteenth century. It considers the limits or gaps in the project of Australian settlement that these serial texts highlight through an exploration of how settler authors formulated ideologically acceptable and more ‘suspect’ manifestations of Aboriginal mobilities and persistence. Building upon Katherine Bode’s work in World of Fiction (2018) on Aboriginal presence in nineteenth-century Australian periodical fiction, this article considers how the structure of the serial itself worked to reinforce – and occasionally disrupt – perceptions of Aboriginal-settler frontier violence and white supremacy. It also explores moments of settler discomfort and unsettlement in these serial texts that operate as counterpoints to the larger imperatives of this periodical fiction to support and reinforce the colonial project. By aligning the disruptive potential of these serial narratives and their representations of Aboriginal and settler mobilities, I argue we can uncover moments when these texts appear to resist the rhetoric of forward momentum and advancement traditionally associated with narratives of colonial modernity.