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Publié le 5 juillet 2022 Mis à jour le 5 juillet 2022

The Yield by Tara June Winch: a post-Mabo bildungsroman? Articulating a Wiradjuri ecopoetics in a postcolonising context

ASAL 2022
ASAL 2022 - Constellation by Gail Mabo. © Gail Mabo/Copyright Agency, 2021

Participation de Mylène Charon (chercheure associée à Héritages) au colloque annuel de l'ASAL "Coming to Terms, 30 Years On: the Mabo Legacy in Australian Writing", le 6 juillet 2022 en visioconférence

Coming to Terms, 30 Years On:
the Mabo Legacy in Australian Writing

The Annual Conference of The Association
for the Study of Australian Literature

University of Tasmania, nipaluna/Hobart
4–8 July, 2022
Program of the conference

Website about the conference

Intervention of Mylène Charon (à 8h45 heure française, en ligne)

Day 3: Wednesday 6 July, 2022
Session 6: Narrative After Mabo
Chair: Adelle Sefton-Rowston
Room HUM346
https://utas.zoom.us/s/89522716 809

The Yield by Tara June Winch: a post-Mabo bildungsroman?
Articulating a Wiradjuri ecopoetics in a postcolonising context
Partly centred on a young adult character, August Gondiwindi, as she returns home to the fictive city of Massacre Plains in Australia after years of expatriation in England, The Yield features traits of the bildungsroman. Indeed, upon her arrival, the main character is faced with the imminent expropriation of her grandmother by a tin mine and thus sets on a quest to save her ancestral land from ecological destruction. At first believing she can easily stop the mine by claiming a Native Title, she is rapidly disillusioned about the possibility to gather the evidence needed. Using a nuanced and rich set of Indigenous and non-Indigenous characters who, regardless of their identification, play towards August and her mission to overcome an almost irresistible obstacle the role of auxiliaries or opponents, The Yield elaborates a reflection on allyship. How does the novel, through the bildungsroman’s trope of illusion and disillusion, acknowledge the Mabo rule both as a historic opportunity for Indigenous peoples but also as a potentially demoralising constraint weighing unjustly on them? Drawing on Aileen MoretonRobinson’s critique of contemporary Australia’s regime of white sovereignty, the paper will explore the consequences of setting a plot in a “postcolonising” and post-Mabo context. Finally, the analysis of the denouement will suggest that the novel can be read through the lens of ecopoetics to the extent that it links land protection to language – in the form of the first written compilation of a Wiradjuri dictionary by August’s grandfather, which will eventually provide the proof of continuous Indigenous occupation and culture.

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  • Winch, Tara June. The Yield. Penguin Random House Australia, 2019.
Mylène Charon is a doctor in Comparative Literature from CY Cergy-Paris University, France, where she also teaches within the Modern Literature department at undergraduate level. She is an associate researcher at Héritage/s: Culture/s, Patrimoine/s, Création/s (CY Cergy-Paris University / CNRS / French Ministry of Culture).