Cross-cultural Editing and Critique: Confronting White Estrangement from Indigenous Texts

By Robin Ann Freeman.

Published by The International Journal of Diverse Identities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

While it is evident that the work of the book editor and the literary critic are different, they share important synergies around the publication of the literary text. An editor’s role is one of critical friend to the manuscript and its writer during the processes of publication. Commensurate with this are budgetary, scheduling and marketing concerns owed to the publisher. The critic’s job is to interpret, to contextualize, and to critique the published text within both public sphere and university. The critic’s responsibility is to current and following generations of writers, editors, and readers, as well as to the market for literature. As Indigenous writing enlarges its niche status within mainstream settler society publishing, the questions of cross-cultural editing and criticism have become increasingly significant discourses within the academy and the industry. Indigenous writers, as indeed do all writers, require competent and conscientious editing in order, as Emma LaRocque has observed, to advance their skills. Their books too, require perceptive critique in order to improve publishing standards and to sustain and increase markets for Indigenous works. This paper considers the symbiotic role of cross-cultural editors and critics in the development of the publication of Indigenous authors in Australia and Canada, seeking to elucidate changes since the late 20th century when critics and writers like Judith Wright, Stephen Muecke, Penny van Toorn and Emma LaRocque began to critique the nature of the dominant white society’s relationship with Indigenous texts.

Keywords: Cross-cultural Editing, Cross-cultural Critique, Indigenous Writing, Indigenous Publication, Aboriginal Writing, Aboriginal Publication

International Journal of Diverse Identities, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp.13-21. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 427.233KB).

Ms Robin Ann Freeman

Senior Lecturer, School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Robin Freeman teaches creative writing in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University in Melbourne. She has worked in the Australian publishing industry as both a publisher and a book editor, and is currently undertaking PhD research in the area of ethical approaches to the editing and publication of Indigenous writing.