Historian Frederick Jackson Turner argued in 1893 that democracy in the US was formed by the advancing western frontier. The process of forging and reforging the frontier line had an impact, not only on the pioneers of the time but on the way in which contemporary society operates. While Australia’s history is less well documented in popular culture, there was a similar process with explorers, but more often drovers and settlers, continually re-establishing the border between the known and the unknown.
This is why I teach. Every new semester with a group of fellow explorers, drovers and settlers I re-work the boundaries between the known and the unknown. As Cathy Davidson said in the connected courses hangout this week, the process provides “intellectual and emotional nourishment” for me, and my fellow travelers.