Paradise lost - Utopia reclaimed (2004-2006)

Writing the wrongs of French exploration in the Antipodes

Assoc. Professor Jacqueline Dutton
ARC Discovery Project DP0451385

When France's attempts to claim regions of Australia failed, the dream of an Antipodean paradise was lost. In its breach rose a new utopian frontier. Paradoxically, this anticipatory perspective revives a form of utopianism previously established in classical French-Australian writings. Whether framing an ideal France australe or criticising a non-utopian British reality, the ongoing role of utopianism in French-Australian (post)colonial discourse may be analysed as a case study for cross-cultural encounters. The findings, published in English and French monographs, opened up new methods for understanding Australia's past, present and future relations with one of its major cultural influences.