Constitutions of Site and Visitor at the Swarbrick Wilderness Discovery Site


  • Kylie Ann Crane University of Mainz (Germersheim)


Postcolonial Ecocriticism, Post-Settler Belonging, Fictocriticism, Landscape Architecture, Wilderness


Located just off the North Walpole Road, the Swarbrick Wilderness Discovery Site can be seen as a node of several different historical trajectories which are – to different extents – documented in the artworks which frame, or decorate, the site. My account draws on my own biography and probes the investments I have in my various post-settler entanglements with the area. I critique, in particular, the idea of ‘wilderness’ as one formative to post-settler narrations and myths at the same time that it places indigenous practices of belonging under erasure. For, most recently, Swarbrick stood metonymically for the campaign to preserve ‘old growth forests’, culminating at the end of the 1990s, and yet it is and has been also a site of logging, agriculture, Noongar belonging, that is, of pre-colonial and settler colonial spatial practices. In this article, I explore the different ways the Swarbrick Wilderness Discovery site positions itself, and, critically, its visitor within frameworks provided by ecocritical and environmental discourse and post-settler theories.

Author Biography

Kylie Ann Crane, University of Mainz (Germersheim)

Kylie Crane is Juniorprofessor for Anglophone Studies at the University of Mainz (Germersheim). Her book Myths of Wilderness in Contemporary Narratives: Environmental Postcolonialism in Australia and Canada was published with Palgrave in October 2012. She has further publications on Australian Studies, Critical Animal Studies, Postcolonial Ecocriticism and Travel Writing, her current research investigates Material Culture and Sustainability, and a co-edited volume Visualising Australia is forthcoming.