IPEd Conference 2021: Editing on the Edges

Margaret McDonell

Margaret McDonell
Margaret McDonell has been an editor for more than 25 years. Her interest in the editing of Indigenous voices began during her Graduate Diploma of Publishing and Editing in the late 1990s. She became aware of the barriers to Indigenous voices being heard and the gatekeeper role of the editor: this led her to research the topic.

Since then, much of her work has been as a freelance editor and indexer, for publishers including Aboriginal Studies Press, University of Queensland Press and Institute for Aboriginal Development Press. She also worked in-house for IAD Press, as coordinating editor. It was there that she developed her interest in Indigenous languages and an appreciation of the terrible loss that is the death of a language.

On the edge of extinction: editing Australian languages

There are very few Indigenous Australian editors, and even fewer who are fluent in an Australian Indigenous language. Many if not most of these languages are in danger of extinction as elders die and younger people are not able to learn their mother tongue. Editing (and publishing) language texts, such as dictionaries and grammars, then falls to non-Indigenous editors. How are they to approach this task? What do they need to bring to the role? And how can they work to ensure that they help stop the seemingly inevitable slide of languages over the edge of oblivion?
<Back to Program
Online, 28 to 30 June 2021
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram