Beyond the Bounds: John Kinsella’s Poetics of International Regionalism

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For John Kinsella place and space, with all their historical, cultural, political, geographical, epistemic and environmental dimensions, are explicitly constitutive of his writing. But the ruling imaginary of this writing is “displacement,” the problems and paradoxes of home, country, travel, knowledge, ecology, activism that characterise his critical and poetic engagements. From multiple angles Kinsella’s writing anatomises the unsettledness of Australian history and consciousness, but it also conceives of these national dimensions in inter- and transnational terms. Kinsella is always concerned to show place, belonging and “international regionalism” alive in negotiations with the writing of any location, of all social and biological environments. Further his work reflects an activist politics of knowledge, with its recognition that a broad knowledge of locality needs to critique “Place” studies and discourses from privileged institutions of learning that fail to acknowledge the place-knowledge of communities that do not have access to means of articulating what makes their “local” knowledge relevant, dynamic and essential to themselves as well as to the wider world. At the same time, this critical discourse is shadowed by the affective realities of displacement, of never being able to be at home.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-15
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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