Limina: A Journal of Historical and Cultural Studies

Introduction: Budrikis

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Amy Budrikis

The University of Western Australia 

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Volume 24.2 of Limina is a themed edition, featuring articles presented at our 13th annual conference held on the 26-27 July, 2018. The theme of the conference, ‘Home: Belonging and Displacement’, emerged from the desire to understand what ‘home’ means to the local, interstate, and international researchers who regularly attend our conferences–many of whom were born in one place and grew up in another, whose family live in a third place, and whose research takes them to still further possibilities of home. The theme also lent itself well to Limina’s undertaking to bring people
together across discipline boundaries, and the conference included presentations on belonging and displacement from the viewpoints of literature, colonisation studies, the media, displacement, science fiction, Indigenous identity, and art.

In ‘Driven to Insanity: Marital Cruelty and the Female Patients at the Fremantle Lunatic Asylum, 1858-1908’, Alexandra Wallis begins the exploration of home from the perspective of nineteenth-century women in Fremantle, Western Australia. By examining the case studies of nine women who were admitted to the Fremantle Lunatic Asylum, Wallis details the role of marital and domestic violence on women’s mental states in their own homes.

In ‘Looking for Home: A Study of Banishment and Exile of Jews in Mauritius During the Second World War’, Neelam Pirbhai-Jetha shifts the focus across the Indian Ocean towards Mauritius, where 1600 Jewish refugees were forced into exile during the Second World War. Through Pirbhai-Jetha’s reading of Geneviève Pitot’s Le Shekel Mauricien – l’histoire des détenusjuifs à l’île Maurice, she discusses what it means to lose, create, and re-create home both in terms of the barriers to feeling at home as exiled people, as well as the resilience of the Jewish refugees to forging a new sense of home.

Zeena Price addresses the concept of home in association with social housing estates in our last paper ‘Resisting the Stigmas of Social Housing: Site-Specific Photography and the Visual Politics of Regeneration’. Price explores the role of visual projects in associating the positive associations of home with often negatively portrayed housing estates. Her analysis discusses visual portrayals of space, communication, and identity that engage with our spatial understanding of ‘home’.

This edition also features reviews of Coastal Works (eds. Allen, Groom, and Smith) by Dr Laura Ferguson; Women of a Certain Age (eds. Moffat, Scoda, and Sullivan), reviewed by Dr Wendy M. Gough; Settlers, War, and Empire in the Press: Unsettling News in Australia and Britain, 1863-1902 by Sam Hutchinson, reviewed by Dr. Carolyn Holbrook; a review of Denise George’s Mary Lee: The Life and Times of a ‘Turbulent Anarchist’ and her Battle for Women’s Rights by Deb Lee-Talbot; and a review of Meg Caddy’s Devil’s Ballast by Dr Ruth Starke.

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