The great scramble to explore

The great scramble to explore

The Last Blank Spaces: Exploring Africa and Australia

by Dane Kennedy

Harvard University Press (Inbooks), $49.95 hb, 373 pp, 9780674048478

Norman Etherington

Norman Etherington

Norman Etherington was educated at Yale University and came to Australia as a lecturer in history at the University of Adelaide in

...

Dane Kennedy reminds us that not so long ago exploring held an honoured place among recognised professions. Today, though, the job is extinct. For about a century and a half, the business of exploration was most vigorously pursued in Africa and Australia, yet among the thousands of volumes devoted to exploring expeditions on each continent, this is the first to take a comparative approach. My own edited book, Mapping Colonial Conquest: Australia and Southern Africa (2007), concentrated on surveying and cartography rather than on exploring per se. Considering Australia and Africa together enables Kennedy to dispel the fog of romance that still envelops the figure of the explorer and to make some cogent observations on imperialism, the organisation of knowledge, nationalism, and the role of indigenous people in facilitating exploration.

Read the rest of this article by purchasing a subscription to ABR Online, or subscribe to the print edition to receive access to ABR Online free of charge.

If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.

If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.

Published in June 2013 no. 352

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to comments@australianbookreview.com.au. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.