Articles by: Dan Tout

Author Biography:

Dan Tout is a lecturer in history and sociology at Federation University and an Arena Publications Editor. His research focuses on settler colonialism and nationalism in Australia and their impacts on and implications for First Nations peoples. Dan was Arena Journal’s managing editor and is part of the editorial team behind Arena Online.

Destruction and erasure: Juukan Gorge and the contemporary settler-colonial imagination

…the post-1967 period, in which settlers have been no longer able to deny Indigenous existence, has been marked by the development of new strategies that seek to submerge, subsume, or to otherwise evade the implications of Indigenous sovereignties…

Informit: Belonging [Book Review]

Review(s) of: Deep time dreaming: Uncovering ancient Australia, by Billy Griffiths, (Black Inc., 2018).

Informit: Confronting a new leviathan

Editorial – Issue 47/48. ‘Confronting a New Leviathan’, by Dan Tout

This issue of Arena Journal, as many before it have been, is concerned with both specific and more general processes of transformation and crisis. While, considered together, the contents of this issue paint a bleak picture about the contemporary situation and future prospects, they also point towards more hopeful, if provisional and conditional futures.

Informit: Why didn’t we listen?

'Invasion is a structure, not an event.' Through his oft-quoted refrain, Patrick Wolfe aimed to emphasise the persistence of the structures and effects of settler colonialism from the past into the present. He sought to reorient our (settlers') understandings of settler colonialism away from a retrospective view of invasion as an event that had occurred in the past and, one way or another, been resolved (even if its legacies might still warrant some form of…

Informit: The Janus faces of indigenous politics

At the 2013 conference of the Australian Historical Association, Tim Rowse brandished a recent copy of Arena Journal in its book form as 'Stolen Lands, Broken Cultures: The Settler-colonial Present', and railed against what he characterized as a 'festschrift' to Patrick Wolfe's self-fulfilling project of the homogenization of Indigenous histories and experiences. He accused Arena of projecting the overarching singular narrative provided by Wolfe's 'elimination paradigm'. The session was tense. Rowse was himself subsequently excoriated…

Informit: Settler recognition?

In December 2015, Megan Davis opened her article for The Monthly, 'Gesture Politics', with the following words: 'Despair. In a word, this is the universal sentiment of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders I have spoken to about the state of Aboriginal policy in Australia'. More recently, Jon Altman has written in The Guardian and on the 'Arena' blog on the Coalition government's 2016 Budget and its damaging disregard for Indigenous affairs, alongside the…

Informit: Unsettling conceptions of wilderness and nature

Prior to the currently emerging popular awareness of anthropogenic climate change, there existed little impetus for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians to engage regarding the sustainability of land - no way, that is, that inherently affected, concerned or was crucial to the survival of both peoples equally. There was no issue in which both had similar amounts at stake. This is in spite of the fact that land has always been and continues to be of…

Informit: Whose genocide? Whose stain? [Book Review]

Review(s) of: The last man: A British genocide in Australia, by Tom Lawson, I. B. Taurus, 2014

Informit: Settler colonial closures

Western Australian premier Colin Barnett has announced plans for the forced 'closure' of 'at least 100 or more' of the 274 remote Aboriginal communities across the state. It seems that South Australia may soon follow suit, with sixty locations in that state also earmarked for 'closure'. As with the Howard government's Northern Territory Emergency Response (the Intervention) and its extension under the Gillard government's perversely named Stronger Futures legislation, we are seeing what Patrick Wolfe…

Informit: Stabilise, normalise eliminate

The Northern Territory Intervention as a strategy of settler colonialismThe Northern Territory Intervention and its continuation in the form of the perversely misnamed Stronger Futures legislation (which at the time of writing is set to pass the Senate in a rare instance of bipartisan cooperation) has already been subjected to critical analysis from a wide range of perspectives. Yet five years after the Intervention's announcement and on the eve of its ten-year extension, this radical…