Articles by: Bruce Buchan

Author Biography:

Bruce Buchan is an Associate Professor of History in the School of Humanities, Languages, and Social Sciences at Griffith University.

Anthropocene Time

We humans have always understood ourselves as creatures in time—carriers of meaning from the past, and imaginers of futures pieced together, as a palimpsest, from memories, legacies and echoes.

Informit: What must humanity be or become when we are out of time?: Time in the Anthropocene

Humanity is both a collective noun and a moral aspiration. Tenuously subsisting between these meanings lies our shared fate in the Anthropocene, the era named for the indelible traces humanity has now inscribed into the archaic record of geological time. Humans, along with the many species and ecosystems on which their futures also depend, are rapidly running out of time.

‘Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair!’, by Bruce Buchan

On the ruins of Western civilisation

Informit: Terrible security: Bifocal visions of horror

How do we see security? Is it seen in images of peace and safety, or is it perceived in the depiction of the horrors of violence and suffering? The question is not an obvious one, for security is not typically thought to be a quality of vision, or of the other senses. Rather, security is typically thought to pertain to the experience of physical, bodily integrity. The conventional view of security is that it subsists…

Australia: What’s in a Name?, by Bruce Buchan

Treaty—cause for optimism and opportunity

Informit: Australia: What’s in a name?

As he lay dying on 19 July 1814, the last of the epic labours of his all-too-short lifetime only just completed, Captain Matthew Flinders received but never saw the publication that had consumed the last years of his life: the 'Voyage to Terra Australis'. This was the polished journal of his epic circumnavigation of Australia between 1801 and 1803. Long overshadowed by illustrious contemporaries, Flinders deserves a special purchase on our national consciousness, if for…

Informit: Political springtime of the cartoon conservative

There are few political spectacles more mournful than the posturing of the cartoon conservative. The cartoon conservative subsists in the media limelight of confected grievance. They are self-promoted mouthpieces in dedicated service to entitled narcissism. Theirs is the rhetoric of disaffection, the oratory of resentment. Their political aspiration is to carve a constituency of neurotic aggravation. This is their political springtime, when it pays to be so fashionably unfashionable.

Our Golden Age of Corruption, by Bruce Buchan

The wealthy and privileged are opting out of society and social responsibility.

Informit: Our golden age of corruption

In 1842 the prominent colonial barrister Richard Windeyer wrote inaccurately, but with greater prescience than he knew, of the 'grand fundamental law' among a people he abused with the epithet 'savages': '...that those should take who have the power and those should keep who can'. Windeyer's mendacious rhetoric is a prime example of the perversity of the colonial imagination. The 'grand fundamental law' he ascribed to the 'savages' was in fact an apposite description of…

Informit: ‘Aboriginal welfare’ and the denial of Indigenous sovereignty: [This article was written with Helliwell, Christine and Hindess, Barry as part of a collaborative project entitled ‘Government, Social Science and the Concept of Soceity’,

Informit: The delusions of security

There is no political value more corrosively deployed in democratic politics today than security. The allure of security, both global and domestic, has paved the way to war with no end in sight. Under its blandishments, we have entertained torture and rendition. In quest of its mercies, we incarcerate the innocent and victimise the vulnerable in regimes of detention that are deliberately hidden from public scrutiny. In its name, we have acquiesced in the transformation…