'Indigenous knowledges are critical to a more sustainable and stable world. Indigenous frameworks - particularly those related to Indigenous storytelling traditions - are critical to unlocking these knowledges in ways that protect and empower Indigenous communities.'

Photo by Ahmed Sabra
Photo by Tiffany Garvie, courtesy of ILBIJERRI Theatre Company

The spark

'I have always loved books and reading since I was a child and was pretty privileged to grow up in a family in which Indigenous literature, books and writing were in my life from an early age. As an Aboriginal woman I have seen how Indigenous stories, narratives and perspectives have been ignored and silenced in Australian society. I want to contribute to making the inherent value of Indigenous knowledges visible to all.'

Research aim

'By using Indigenous-centred approaches to reading Indigenous literature, I argue for a shift in power from the majority non-Indigenous Australian literary sector to Indigenous writers and their communities. This shift in power means that Indigenous peoples can increase the advancement, protection and valuing of Indigenous literatures, storytelling traditions and knowledges.

'I'm excited to formally bring Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing together with Indigenous literary culture. It has always been this way among Indigenous communities and so much of my research is just about shining a light on our knowledges - I hope to be able to share my research with my community outside the academy.'

Photo by Leah Jing McIntosh
Photo by Tiffany Garvie, courtesy of ILBIJERRI Theatre Company

Real-world implications

'Indigenous knowledges are vulnerable to exploitation as non-Indigenous interest in them increases to solve current global crises such as climate change, poverty, social exclusion and more. It is important that Indigenous storytelling modes are reclaimed as Indigenous knowledge systems to support the protection and valuing of Indigenous peoples and knowledges.'

The challenge

'Reclamation of Indigenous storytelling modes and Indigenous knowledges for Indigenous peoples would support our communities and their existing strengths and capabilities. The add-on effect is that Indigenous ways of being, knowing and doing can have a positive impact for all people.'

Photo by Leah Jing McIntosh

Hope for the future

'I would like to see radical change from the current systems that are creating global crises such as poverty, conflict and climate change. The ways to create this radical change exist within Indigenous knowledges - we just need to recognise this and ensure that Indigenous peoples are leading for the future.'

Key publications

  • Flynn, Eugenia (2022) An Indigenous Grand Narrative Voice: Alexis Wright's Carpentaria as Indigenous Epistemology. Commonwealth Essays and STudies, 44(44.2). https://journals.openedition.org/ces/11139
  • Flynn, Eugenia (2022) Reading our way: An Indigenous-centered model for engaging with Australian Indigenous literature. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology. https://eprints.qut.edu.au/227811/
  • Flynn, Eugenia (2021) Aboriginal Literary History Through Self-Determination and Self-Definition. In Castro-Koshy, E., Barrett, S. and Singeot, L., Agregation anglais 2022. Alex Wright, Carpentaria: The Law of the Land, 27-37. Belin Education.  https://books.google.com.au/books?id=afBJEAAAQBAJ
  • Flynn, Eugenia (2019) This Place. In Kon Yu, N., Nieman, C., Sved, M. ad Scott, M., #MeToo: Stories from the Australian Movement, 17-27. Picador Australia.https://www.panmacmillan.com.au/9781760786175/

Contact

Connect with Eugenia Flynn on social media.