This article considers how medievalism, particularly in its academic form of medieval studies, might contribute to decolonization through exploration of how the Western “cultural archive” (Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies) draws on the teleological temporality embedded in the idea of the “medieval” to rationalize “white possessive logics” (Moreton-Robinson, White Possessive). It explores medievalisms in legal, mainstream, and academic contexts that focus on Indigenous land rights and law in the Australian settler-colonial state. It examines the High Court of Australia’s ruling in Mabo and Others v. Queensland (2) (1992), a landmark case that challenged the legal doctrine of terra nullius, on which claims to British sovereignty were founded, and on comparisons of Anglo-Saxon and Indigenous law in the post-Mabo era.

You do not currently have access to this content.