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Australianama: The South Asian Odyssey in Australia
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Australianama: The South Asian Odyssey in Australia

Author: Samia Khatun



Australian deserts remain dotted with the ruins of old mosques.Beginning with a Bengali poetry collection discovered in a nineteenth-centurymosque in the town of Broken Hill, Samia Khatun weavestogether the stories of various peoples colonised by the British Empire tochart a history of South Asian diaspora.

 

Australianama (The Book of Australia) composes a history ofMuslims in Australia through Sufi poetry, Urdu travel tales, Persian dream textsand Arabic concepts, as well as Wangkangurru song-poetry, Arabunna women’sstories and Kuyani histories, leading readers through the rich worlds ofnon-white peoples that are missing from historical records.

 

Khatun challenges a central idea thatpowerfully shapes history books across the Anglophone world: that Europeanknowledge traditions are superior to the epistemologies of the colonised.Arguing that Aboriginal and South Asian language sources are keys to the vast,complex libraries that belie colonised geographies, Australianama showsthat stories in colonised tongues can transform the very ground from which weview past, present and future.



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