Disappearing Nation: Loss and Engagement in Australia's Encounter with Asia
The intellectual foundation of the case for Australia to engage Asia was laid in the 1930s when it became increasingly apparent that the nation's future would be influenced, perhaps determined, by events in the Asia-Pacific region. This paper examines the faltering history of engagement from the 1930s and the resistance to Australia becoming 'part of Asia'. Critics of engagement maintained that the more Australia became part of Asia the less 'Australian' it became. The paper will examine the competing claims of 'Asia' and 'Australia' and the anxieties associated with the alleged loss or disappearance of the nation.
Keywords: Nationalism and History, Australian Studies, National Identity, History and its Futures
Prof David Walker
Professor, Professor of Australian Studies