Desmond Manderson is Director of the Centre for Law Arts and the Humanities at Australia National University College of Law and College of Arts & Social Sciences.
He is the author of several books including From Mr Sin to Mr Big: A history of Australian drug laws (Oxford University Press, 1993) and Kangaroo Courts and the Rule of Law: The legacy of modernism (Routledge, 2012). His most recent books focus on the intersection of art, law, and politics: Law and the Visual: Representations, Technologies and Critique (Toronto, 2018) and Danse Macabre: Temporalities of Law in the Visual Arts (Cambridge University Press, 2019).
Bennett chose to excavate representations of colonial history. Old paintings, drawings, stamps, newspapers and textbooks – the kit and caboodle of scenes, images, stories and tropes that, in sum, form something like Australia’s visual common sense. It is just this assemblage that Gordon Bennett sought to unsettle in Possession Island.
Looking at the big picture
EssayTHEY WRITE MUSICALS about it in the US; swear by it in Canada; swear about it in Australia; and use as it as a weapon in Sri Lanka. Constitutions matter. But right now they seem troublingly fragile. Governments impose...
EssayFOR TEN YEARS I lived and worked in Canada. It's a funny feeling, coming home. After years of living overseas the ex-expat (to coin a phrase) notices not the things that have changed, like the cafés, but the things...