Journal of the European Association for Studies of Australia (JEASA), Vol.7 No.2, 2016.
Australian Colonial Society and Its Ethnic Diversity in Polish Diggers’ Memoirs
Abstract: This paper examines three memoirs written by Polish gold diggers Seweryn Korzeliński, Bolesław Dolański and Sygurd Wiśniowski with the aim of showing how each of them portrayed East Australian colonial societies and their ethnic composition in the 1850s and 1860s. The authors' reading and explanation of Antipodean social realities are strongly anchored in their earlier experiences, particularly their political and cultural formation in the historical context of their partitioned homeland, their participation in the military struggle for its independence and contribution to European national uprisings and movements. This, as well as the fact that they addressed their observations and opinions to their countrymen, and tailored them accordingly, make them interesting and point to the importance of this outsiders' representation of colonial Australia. Therefore, the article brings into focus this particular perspective, with an emphasis on its presentation of ethnic diversity and reflection of early Polish-Australian intercultural encounters.
Keywords: Seweryn Korzeliński, Bolesław Dolański, Sygurd Wiśniowski, Polish people in Australia, gold miners, colonial Australia
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