Lagging behind interest in the exploration of central Africa and Australia, the interior of New Guinea scarcely featured in the imaginary of colonial exploration until the 1840s. If the exploration of coastlines was founded on the ability to chart their material presence, interiors invited acts of imagination, projective leaps beyond the visible. Johannes Fabian has identified the quality of the anticipated interior as that of â€˜a political vacuum, nothing but â€œgeographyâ€â€™; but the unfolding history of interior exploration witnesses an inexorable shift from geography to ethnography and then politics, from a concern for surveying the landscape accurately, to engaging its inhabitants and plotting their distribution and disposition, and then seeking to control them.
|Title of host publication||Brokers and boundaries : colonial exploration in indigenous territory|
|Editors||Tiffany Shellam. Maria Nugent, Shino Konishi and Allison Cadzow|
|Place of Publication||Canberra|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|