Wednesday 15 March 2017, 2-4pm
Anthropology Museum, Level 1 Michie Building (9)


Indigenous Design Place is a new UQ innovation catalysed from within the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre and drawing together a pool of researchers from the faculties of HASS, EAIT and Science as well as the AIBN and ISSR

View PDF programme here

Michael Aird: From illustration to evidence in native title: the potential of photographs 

Michael Aird is a Research Fellow from the School of Social Science, leading an ARC Indigenous Discovery Grant. He specializes on the visual anthropology of Aboriginal Australia from an Indigenous perspective. 

Michael Aird will discuss his ARC Research Fellowship and how this project will address an under-examined body of data in research on native title claims. The aim is to test whether historical photographs can become substantial evidence of Indigenous connections with land and place. When subjected to thorough archival study and contextualized with the testimony of claimants and expert researchers, photographs would then serve as more than illustrations of particular individuals' images. The study promises to throw light on how photographs may reveal significant information about historical continuities and changes, regional patterns of mobility and connections to country over time. 

Diana Young: Ngura Wiru; art, ecology, politics. Homelands and three Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara artists 

Diana Young has carried out anthropological research in central Australia since 1996. She works on contemporary and historical material and visual culture, mainly with people who identify as Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara. Her recent ARC Discovery research concerned the impact of cash earnings from the art market on well being among central Australian artists. 

I discuss three paintings, by individual Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara artists. Each work shows a different homeland. These range in date from the 1980s to the present and are intimately concerned with portraying particular ecologies in central Australia. I discuss the politics and poetics in each painting. 

Erich Round: Inferring Australia's deep past: the role of ancient languages 

Dr Erich Round is an ARC DEC RA Senior Research Fellow and Director of the UQ Ancient Language Lab in the School of Languages and Cultures, UO. Previously he was an NSF Postdoctoral Associate at Yale University, where he also received his PhD in Linguistics based on a study of the Kayardild language in the Gulf of Carpentaria. 

The past, like the present, is a complex place, and reachable by many routes. One such route is through language. I discuss recent and emerging work at UQ's Ancient Language Lab which seeks to understand the deep past of Australia's indigenous language landscapes, and give a flavour of our approaches. It is a fascinating time for research. The science of historical linguistics has existed for over 200 years but is now undergoing rapid advances and methodological convergence with other fields, enabling more than ever the scaffolding of results across multiple disciplines, including anthropology, archaeology and genetics. Within this, I address some of the unique contributions that language can make. 

Jonathan Richards: Exploring St Lucia's 'wild' past 

Jonathan Richards is a Research Fellow (Historian) affiliated with the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre and engaged on an ARC Linkage Project studying the Wild Australia Show of 1892-3. 

In November 1892, a news item 'Queensland Press Club Picnic' appeared in Brisbane newspapers. A riverboat left the city, and at St Lucia took on board 'half a dozen of the aboriginals whom Messrs A Meston and BH Purcell have brought from northern and northwestern Queensland'. These were some of a larger group that Meston and Purcell planned to take on a tour of Australia and abroad, displaying their expertise at boomerang and spear throwing, and other 'entertainments'. The exact location of the party's rehearsal camp, at St Lucia (then known as lndooroopilly Pocket), is still unclear because no first-hand accounts have been found so far. Research has however revealed much about the area, and further careful investigation may yet reveal the site (or sites) where these performers rehearsed the 'Wild Australia Show'. This short presentation describes work to date, and future research. 

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