Creating a fairer, safer and more inclusive future


A new research handbook, edited by four Macquarie University scholars from the Department of Indigenous Studies, offers a powerful insight into the complexities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life and identity, and outlines opportunities to develop and support Indigenous resilience and solidarity for a more just future.

The Routledge Handbook of Australian Indigenous Peoples and Futures explores emergent and topical research in the field of global Indigenous studies. It is an international reference work written solely by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors, and edited by Professor Bronwyn Carlson, Madi Day, Professor Sandy O’Sullivan and Honorary Professor Tristan Kennedy from the Department of Indigenous Studies.

The book is divided into three themes, ‘Future Worlds’, ‘Intimacies’, and ‘Digital Futures’, which are also the focus of the Centre for Global Indigenous Futures (CGIF) at Macquarie. Across 30 chapters, the book explores the complexities of Indigenous life, ingenuity and identity to imagine futures in which Indigenous people are thriving.

‘Future Worlds’ looks at how systems, structures and institutions can be transformed to enable a just future. It explores: what a sustainable future might look like; Country and climate change; the possible future of work, housing, home, health and wellbeing; social life, sovereignty and justice; and the future of global Indigenous networks.

‘Intimacies’ examines the complexities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island lives and identities, and how this might change in the future. This theme also includes relations of care, reciprocity, obligation and responsibility, and queer identities and cultures.

‘Digital Futures’ explores the many and varied ways Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples use technology and how it is transforming their lives. This includes the opportunities of digital life for global community, connections and redistribution of power, and challenges including surveillance, hate speech and violence.

Across the three sections, the book provides a comprehensive understanding of what it means to be Indigenous while exploring the possibilities of what it could mean in the future. It documents a turning point in global Indigenous histories – the disintermediation of Indigenous voices and promotion of opportunities for Indigenous people to map their own futures, opportunities and possibilities.

“Historically the academic work of who we are and what we care about was written by non-Indigenous scholars, but imagining the possibilities of our future worlds, intimacies and digital futures should be written by us as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholars,” says Professor O’Sullivan.

Professor Carlson says: “The collection pays homage to the ‘Big Playas’, as we call them – those who have come before us – and it is their intellectual contributions that we build on. I am excited to see this book published as it includes the work of many early-career researchers and PhD students. It really highlights that the future of Indigenous research and scholarship looks very promising.”

The Routledge Handbook of Australian Indigenous Peoples and Futures is published by Routledge. An online version is available in the Macquarie University Library.





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