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Environment, Space, Place

Volume 5, Issue 1, Spring 2013

James Hatley
Pages 171-200

Wild Seasons and the Justice of Country: Dreaming the Weathers Anew in Hebraic Midrash

Employing the rabbinical practice of midrashic reading in order to unfold a passage from The Song of Songs, the manner in which a European/colonial affirmation of the seasons, particularly the season of spring, might become a mode of injustice in a non-temperate climate is explored. The wilding of seasons imposed by colonial usurpation of country finds a particular case study in the invasion of Arrente lands in Australia by buffel grass even as the effects of climate change are being felt. In conclusion, an argument is made for recasting the practice of midrashic reading in order to render the seasons as they are found in The Song of Songs vulnerable to unanticipated intonations of the seasons as they emerge in Arrente country.

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