News

Hage wins Premier's award


15 June 2004

Sydney University anthropologist Ghassan Hage has won a NSW Premier's Literary Award.

Associate Professor Hage received $15,000 in prize money for his book Against Paranoid Nationalism: Searching for Hope in a Shrinking Society, which won the Community Relations Commission Award.

The book was described by its nominees as "an intelligent, passionate and timely discussion on the notion of caring and of society as a mechanism for the distribution of hope".

Professor Hage's book was chosen ahead of four others in the category, including David Marr and Marian Wilkinson's account of the Tampa crisis, Dark Victory: Tampa and the Politics of Victory.

Against Paranoid Nationalism: Searching for Hope in a Shrinking Society continues some of the themes of race and ethnic relations raised by Professor Hage in his earlier book White Nation: Fantasies of White Supremacy in a Multicultural society, which was taken up by many, including second generation migrants, as an alternative reading of race relations.

"Against Paranoid Nationalism emphasises the importance of seeing Australia 'triangularly' as a set of relations between white settlers, migrants and indigenous people," said Professor Hage. "It is also affected by the Howard years and sees them as a project aimed at restoring white cultural power at the expense of the gains made by indigenous and non-white Australians in previous years."

"With both this book and White Nation I have made a special effort to be accessible without dumbing down the theoretical and academic content of my work," he added. "This actually requires a considerable amount of effort in the sense that it makes ideas much harder to write. So I am pleased to get a more popular type of recognition as a reward."
Against Paranoid Nationalism: Searching for Hope in a Shrinking Society is published by Pluto Press Australia and sells for $19.95.