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In 2007, the Australian government seized by compulsory acquisition seventy-three remote Aboriginal communities and townships to “stabilize and normalize” what was constructed as a national emergency humanitarian crisis. Chapter 1 models the so-called crisis of remote Aboriginal communities and the humanitarian imperialism of the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) as based on “affective facts” (Massumi) and a new body politic of “feeling political together” (Berlant). It tracks how literacy has become a major humanitarian target and a national campaign to redress (purported) Aboriginal illiteracy is driving the cessation of bilingual education and the rights of Aboriginal children to learn and...

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