Nightmare on Shaw Street: Getting Lost in Shorty’s Private Collection

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Emily Bullock


This article discusses the semiotic and affective affordances of a regional museum on the west coast of Australia’s only island state, Tasmania. Shorty’s Private Collection is a small museum displaying items collected from around the region, with a focus on resuscitated mining materials. The owner also creates figures derived from popular culture from these items. The article uses the methodology of creative non-fiction in order to situate the museum within the marginal community that it engages with, and discusses the museum in terms of Bakhtin’s theory of the grotesque and its potential to both establish and challenge dominant conceptions of the local and the limits of semiotic representation.

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Author Biography

Emily Bullock

Emily Bullock is Associate Lecturer in the School of English, Journalism and European Languages at the University of Tasmania.