Walking to Work: Community and Contact

Main Article Content

Jan Idle


The settler community must negotiate the difference of the stranger and the melancholy and violence of a past haunted by colonization and death. Through writing the details of everyday contact in a walk across the city this essay explores notions of community. It owes much to the writing of Linnell Secomb who writes of the haunted nature of the settler community in the Australian context. Secomb writes of community through the ideas of Jean Luc Nancy where community is a process of negotiation of difference, a listening to the unfamiliar other in conflict and acceptance. The work of Alphonso Lingis and Richard Sennett has informed my ideas of the stranger and the city while Kim Scott’s “Benang” has influenced how I think and write about the echo of the past in the present. These theoretical interruptions punctuate this writing of negotiating community.

Article Details

New Writing (Peer Reviewed)
Author Biography

Jan Idle, University of Technology, Sydney

Jan Idle completed an MA Cultural Studies (UTS) in 2007 writing about community and walking. She works as project officer for the Listening Project (ARC, CRN) a collaborative project between Justine Lloyd (MQ), Tanja Dreher (UTS), Penny O’Donnell and Cate Thill (ND).