Colonial Voices: A Cultural History of English in Australia, 1840-1940 (Cambridge Social and Cultural Histories) (Paperback)
Colonial Voices explores the role of language in the greater 'civilising' project of the British Empire through the dissemination and reception of, and challenge to, British English in Australia during the period from the 1840s to the 1940s. This was a period in which the art of oratory, eloquence and elocution was of great importance in the empire and Joy Damousi offers an innovative study of the relationship between language and empire. She shows the ways in which this relationship moved from dependency to independence and how, during that transition, definitions of the meaning and place of oratory, eloquence and elocution shifted. Her findings reveal the central role of voice and pronunciation in informing and defining both individual and collective identity, as well as wider cultural views of class, race, nation and gender. The result is a pioneering contribution to cultural history and the history of English within the British Empire.