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The Shipwreck of the Stirling Castle
in 1836 off the south-east coast of Queensland and several fates of Eliza
Fraser have generated archives of reports, documents, fictions, films, ballads
and mythology. The roots of Fraser myth crossed its antipodean localities and
took transnational/global routes to England, America and other colonies of the
Empire. Routes, to think in terms of Friedman’s game of homonyms, are in a
sense ‘roots on the move’ and most importantly approximate a sense of
dislocation, which is conductive to the production of cultural meanings. Eliza
Fraser narrative got engaged in complicated transnational geo-political
realities at several junctures of history-in England with the rhetorics of
emancipation and liberation of the working-class, women and in US with slavery
and land expansion. In America, Eliza entered into a productive dialogue with
Rachel Plummer narrative and created cultural synergies. As the story began to
flow across continents, it got impinged on other identical narratives, albeit
in a more sensationalized and melodramatic fashion, to satiate the generic
expectations of captivity narratives and a transnational/global readership (and
of course, press production). Both materialist and culturalist drives enabled
an open-ended, rhizomatic global flows of the story. Eliza Fraser myth turns
out to be a site of multifaceted rhizomes of different genesis and a mosaic of
disparate cultural meanings. The proposed conference paper will try to explore
the global reframing of the Fraser myth and its implications within the broader
spectrum of colonization, imperialism, decolonization and postcolonial
discourses.

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