Leakage as resistance along Cooks River

Judith, Kate ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2021-9830 (2021) Leakage as resistance along Cooks River. In: 2021 American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting: Leaky Ontologies, 8-11 April 2021, United States.


The human urge for fluvial efficiency is a desire that partners dreams of human mastery, of colonial resource stripping, of entitlement. Leakage is becoming a tragic euphemism for the meagre seepages that escape the various forms of infrastructural, legal and political plumbing that channel the wealth and goodness of the planet along the same routes as global economic wealth. Increasingly, leakage is what is available for all the rest of life on Earth. When leakage is assumed as a problem to plug, it is important to question whom it is assumed these flows should be directed towards. Once this channelling is probematised, leakage can be repositioned as a site of resistance against assumptions of human exceptionalism. The Cooks River in Sydney, named after Captain James Cook, who identified the low-lying swampy country of the Wangal, Gadigal and Gameygal people as ideal for British colonial settlement, was dammed, dredged, and edged in hard embankments through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The floristically rich swamp became simplified into a drain for removing waste and riverbanks that could be developed into urban land uses. This paper will follow the story of Cooks River drainage that diverted the abundance of the region into narrow channels flowing towards capital. It will explore leakage along the river as resistance and consider how these leakages are assisting decolonising efforts.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Lecture)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Virtual conference.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - USQ College (8 Jun 2020 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - USQ College (8 Jun 2020 -)
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2021 05:59
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2021 06:07
Uncontrolled Keywords: postcolonial, Sydney, Cooks River, mangroves, leakage
Fields of Research (2008): 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220319 Social Philosophy
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220303 Environmental Philosophy
16 Studies in Human Society > 1604 Human Geography > 160403 Social and Cultural Geography
Fields of Research (2020): 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4702 Cultural studies > 470213 Postcolonial studies
50 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 5003 Philosophy > 500321 Social and political philosophy
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4404 Development studies > 440404 Political economy and social change
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950407 Social Ethics
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950403 Environmental Ethics
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280123 Expanding knowledge in human society
13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1303 Ethics > 130303 Environmental ethics
13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130703 Understanding Australia’s past
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/42116

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