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About the Author

Samia Khatun is a writer, filmmaker and cultural historian. She was born in Dhaka, educated in Sydney and has held research fellowships in Berlin, Dunedin, New York and Melbourne. She is soon to develop a history programme at the University of Liberal Arts, Bangladesh.


'Epic in scale, Khatun's history is a note-perfect composition of imagination and deep research. [She] breathes new life into the "dead object" anthropological view of colonised people, most electrifyingly in her exposition of the links between South Asian migrants and Indigenous Australians.... In this book, Khatun has given us a scaffold to build a hopeful future.' -- The Saturday Paper
'At its heart is a manifesto against the structures that silence and objectify colonised people, the myths of 'blank space' and the prevalent belief in the superiority of European thought. . . . an exciting addition to Australian postcolonial history.' * History Today *
'This is a compelling book, not only because of its lucid prose and deep research, but because of the intensely personal story threaded through its pages ... Writing with luminous prose, Khatun undertakes an innovative, carefully researched and critically analysed exploration of [the] South Asian experience.' -- History Australia
'Khatun's virtuosity and sheer genius in tracking down ... records and reports, both in official as well as community archives, is a feat of scholarship that deserves to become a model of historical work everywhere'. -- Sydney Review of Books
'['Australianama' is] exquisitely written ... an extension of, and a timely contribution to, Australian history and the narrative of South Asian migration in Australia.' -- The Journal of Asian Studies
'Every now and again a book comes along that shifts how we understand the history of this country. Samia Khatun's history of South Asians in Australia is one of them.' -- The Sydney Morning Herald
'Every page of this iridescent books shimmers with insight. Khatun makes the world anew, drawing Australia into Indian Ocean networks, languages, stories and intellectual traditions. Exquisitely written and ingeniously crafted by a superb scholar-storyteller, Australianama will become a classic.' -- Isabel Hofmeyr, Global Distinguished Professor, NYU and Professor of African Literature, University of the Witwatersrand
'By delving deep into the Australian interior, Khatun has brought forth a brilliant postcolonial history for our times. Australianama eschews the conventional migrant narrative in favour of a startlingly original perspective on settler colonialism.' -- Marilyn Lake, Professional Fellow in History, University of Melbourne
'Khatun's wonderful work gives us very new ways to understand 'Australia', challenging the simplistic binaries of colonial histories. It threads us all--women and men--into stories telling different histories and so offering hopes of new futures.' -- Heather Goodall, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Technology Sydney
'A tour de force. Khatun weaves together an extraordinary range of powerful South Asian and Aboriginal narratives from across Australia, showing how stories in colonised tongues can transform our understandings of past and present, and point the way to a more hopeful future.' -- Catherine Hall, Emerita Professor of Modern British Social and Cultural History, University College London
'A riveting and timely intervention in Global feminist and migration histories, Australianama is a pioneering excavation of an Australian Aboriginal archive of memory, revealing tales of Muslim prophets, "Afghan" camel-drivers and other non-white working groups and their dreamworlds.' -- Indrani Chatterjee, Professor of History, University of Texas at Austin

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