Published in Overland Issue 245 Summer 2021 · Editorial statement Editorial Evelyn Araluen and Jonathan Dunk Last December in an article for Crikey, correspondent-at-large Guy Rundle trenchantly diagnosed the Coalition’s catastrophic miss-management of the universities as a betrayal of the very ‘western values’ they claim to revere. However, he also assigned a mysterious share of the situation’s blame to nefarious left-wing thinkers with their impenetrable queer theory and scandalous intolerance of intolerance. He singled out the linguist and NTEU branch president Dr Nick Riemer (writing in your very own humble radical literary journal) for describing Captain Cook’s observation of the Transit of Venus as a ‘pretext’ rather than a disinterested scientific inquiry. That Cook also had covert orders from the Admiralty to be opened on arrival in Tahiti is not historically disputed, of course, but that’s not the real problem with this kind of argument. Even if the motives of the expedition had been purely scientific, it would nonetheless be absurdly petty to make them a sticking point in an argument about the ethical stakes of Australian history. In the context of the tertiary sector this kind of pointless quibbling amounts a debate over a toothpick in a burning forest. More recently, in The Australian two writers have published yet another tired screed arguing that their individual experiences of being criticised on twitter symptomise the death of art. This, while the already terminal condition of federal arts funding receives yet another critical blow. The deep-set problems in both sectors require collective, organised, and determined action to redress. These issues are not primarily philosophical, but if the discourse does have an obvious problem with a straightforward discursive solution, it’s the amount of ink being taken up by disingenuous fuckwits bloviating about middle-class discomforts while thousands of artists and academics face untenable working conditions. As we approach another fraught election, let us hope for a more productive use for our collective pens. Bugalwan, solidarity, Evelyn Araluen and Jonathan Dunk Evelyn Araluen Evelyn Araluen is a Goorie and Koori poet, researcher, and co-editor of Overland Literary Journal. Her Stella-prize-winning poetry collection DROPBEAR was published by UQP in 2021. She lectures in Literature and Creative Writing at Deakin University. More by Evelyn Araluen › Jonathan Dunk Jonathan Dunk is the co-editor of Overland and a widely published poet and scholar. He lives on Wurundjeri country. More by Jonathan Dunk › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays 21 First published in Overland Issue 228 9 November 202311 November 2023 · Editorial statement To let suffering speak: a response to our critics Jonathan Dunk Since the attacks committed by Hamas on the seventh of last month, we have received considerable criticism, offered in good faith and otherwise, for publishing a number of collective statements in solidarity with the Palestinian people, and for our staff-members' presence at marches in protest of Israel’s ongoing war-crimes. Given the sclerotic condition of Australian political discourse, this isn’t surprising. But I have been shocked by the doggedly misdirective persistence of these arguments as the bombs continued to fall. 16 First published in Overland Issue 228 17 November 202021 January 2021 · literary culture Blind judging and authenticity: an editorial statement Editorial team In truth, we expected little engagement with the question itself, but hoped it might encourage writers to think actively about their proximity to the stories they tell. Our process cannot reverse circumstances of exploitation, appropriation, silencing or other mistreatments of the literatures and experiences of the oppressed and marginalised, nor do we feel it conflates these with all other acts of literary imagination.