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Ethnography & the Production of Anthropological Knowledge: Essays in honour of Nicolas Peterson


Harry Allen

Harry Allen is an Australian-trained archaeologist who has taught for many years in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, where he is currently Associate Professor of Archaeology. He has carried out archaeological fieldwork in southern and northern Australia and New Zealand with a particular emphasis on the manner in which history, material culture, archaeology and Indigenous knowledge can be combined to produce a unique understanding of the past. His studies of Australian Aboriginal material culture are centred on the Donald Thomson collection at the Melbourne Museum, a branch of Museum Victoria, where he is an Honorary Associate. He is also a Research Associate in the Archaeology Program, School of Historical and European Studies, at La Trobe University.

Jon Altman

Jon Altman is a New Zealand-trained economist who turned to anthropology in 1978 after meeting Nic Peterson in 1977. He completed a PhD in Anthropology in 1982, working with Kuninjku people in western Arnhem Land, with Nic as his primary supervisor; and has been at The Australian National University ever since—first as a research fellow and then, from 1990 to 2010, as inaugural Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR). In 2008, Professor Altman was awarded an Australian Research Council Australian Professorial Fellowship and he is now a research professor at CAEPR focusing his work on Aboriginal hybrid economies and development futures in remote Australia. His books include Hunter-Gatherers Today and Observing the Economy (with C. Gregory, Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, 1997), and he has recently co-edited Coercive Reconciliation—Stabilise, Normalise, Exit Aboriginal Australia (Arena, 2007) and Culture Crisis: Anthropology and Politics in Aboriginal Australia with Melinda Hinkson (UNSW Press, 2010).

Diane Austin-Broos

Diane Austin-Broos is Professor Emeritus at Sydney University. She worked in the Caribbean for 18 years prior to beginning research in central Australia in 1989. She retains a keen interest in both fields, has published widely, and contributes regularly to invited sessions of the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association. Recent publications include Arrernte Present, Arrernte Past: Invasion, Violence and Imagination in Indigenous Central Australia (University of Chicago Press, 2009) and ‘Quarantining violence: how anthropology does it’ in J. Altman and M. Hinkson (eds) Culture Crisis: Anthropology and Politics in Aboriginal Australia (UNSW Press, 2010). A forthcoming book discusses the politics of debate about remote Aboriginal Australia.

Marcus Barber

Marcus Barber studied marine biology and the history and philosophy of science before commencing a PhD in Anthropology at The Australian National University. Nicolas Peterson was his primary supervisor, and Marcus Barber’s doctoral research focused on Indigenous relationships to water and the marine environment in remote Arnhem Land. He assisted with the conduct of the Blue Mud Bay case, which led to changes in the sea tenure regime in the Northern Territory. Following his PhD, Marcus Barber lectured in anthropology at James Cook University in Townsville until the end of 2009, and he remains an Associate Lecturer of that department. He is now based in Darwin and works for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), undertaking research to facilitate Indigenous involvement in water planning across Northern Australia.

Georgia Curran

Georgia Curran received her BA (Honours) Degree in Anthropology from the University of Queensland and her PhD in Anthropology from The Australian National University. She lived in Yuendumu, central Australia, from 2005 to 2007, undertaking research as part of the Australian Research Council Linkage Project entitled ‘The Warlpiri Songlines Project’ (Reference #LP0560567), which was instigated by Nicolas Peterson. As part of this project, she recorded, transcribed and translated many songlines of varying genres in collaboration with Warlpiri people. Her recently completed doctoral thesis, entitled ‘Contemporary Ritual Practice in an Aboriginal Settlement: The Warlpiri Kurdiji Ceremony’, examines the place of songs and ceremonies over the period in which she lived in Yuendumu, throwing light on the role of ‘traditional’ ceremony in the contemporary Warlpiri world. Her interests include anthropological linguistics, performance studies and continuity and change in Aboriginal societies.

Alberto G. Gomes

Alberto G. Gomes is Professor at La Trobe University (Australia), where he has taught anthropology since 1990. He received his PhD from The Australian National University, with Professor Nicolas Peterson as his supervisor. Drawing from his research on the Orang Asli (Malaysian aborigines) spanning more than 30 years, he has published numerous articles and three books: Malaysia and the Original People (with R. Dentan, K. Endicott and M. B. Hooker, Allyn and Bacon, 1997), Looking for Money (COAC and Trans Pacific Press, 2004) and Modernity and Malaysia: Settling the Menraq Forest Nomads (Routledge, 2007). He has recently edited (with L. T. Ghee and A. Rahman) a volume titled Multiethnic Malaysia: Past, Present and the Future (SIRD, 2009). He is currently working on two projects: 1) the role of civility in the maintenance of peaceful intercultural relations in Malaysia and Goa (India); and 2) the nexus between equality, sustainability and peace.

Ian Keen

After training and working in the visual arts, Ian Keen gained a BSc in Anthropology at University College London (1973) and a PhD in Anthropology at The Australian National University (1979). He has conducted anthropological fieldwork in northeast Arnhem Land, the Alligator Rivers region, and McLaren Creek in the Northern Territory, and in Gippsland, Victoria. He is the author of Knowledge and Secrecy in an Aboriginal Religion (Clarendon Press, 1994) and Aboriginal Economy and Society (Oxford, 2004) as well as many articles in journals and edited books, and he edited Being Black: Aboriginal Cultures in ‘Settled’ Australia (Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, 1998) and other collections of essays. His research interests have included Yolngu kinship and religion, Aboriginal land rights, Aboriginal economy, and language and culture. His current research includes the diversity and typology of Australian Aboriginal kinship systems as part of the Austkin project, and the language of property. He has lectured and supervised postgraduate students at the University of Queensland and The Australian National University, where he is now a Visiting Fellow.

Sachiko Kubota

Sachiko Kubota is Professor in Cultural Anthropology at the Graduate School of Intercultural Studies, Kobe University, Japan. Since 1986, she has been undertaking research among Yolngu people in northeast Arnhem Land on social change, gender, social organisation, and arts and crafts production. Her recent interests include the relationship between state policy and Indigenous people, taken up in her direction of a comparative research project on Indigenous reaction to and negotiation with national and international policy. She has published a number of book chapters, journal articles and volumes, including, recently, ‘Anthropology and art in the post-modern era’ (2008, in People and Culture in Oceania), Gender Studies on Aboriginal Society—Indigenous People, Women and Social Change (Sekai-Shiso-sha, 2005), and Who is Indigenous? (Sekai-Shiso-sha, 2009).

Natalie Kwok

Natalie Kwok completed a PhD in Anthropology at The Australian National University in 2005. Her fieldwork was undertaken with the Jerrinja Aboriginal Community on the NSW South Coast and she has since maintained a strong interest in the anthropology of ‘settled’ Australia. Since 1994, she has been employed as an anthropological consultant, primarily conducting research in respect of native title claims. This work has provided her with opportunities to work with a diverse range of Aboriginal communities across the country, from the Torres Strait, through Queensland to the Northern Territory, New South Wales and South Australia.

David Martin

David Martin is a consultant anthropologist and also a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) at The Australian National University. Originally graduating and working as a chemical engineer, he took a radical change in direction and ended up spending some eight years in grassroots community development in Aurukun, western Cape York, before completing a Masters in Anthropology at the London School of Economics. He was then recruited by Nicolas Peterson, who supervised his PhD in Anthropology at The Australian National University. David has more than 30 years’ involvement with Aboriginal issues and, along with his experience in Aurukun, has worked in government, academic research and writing, and consultancy. His research and applied interests have covered such diverse areas as community and economic development, welfare reform, alcohol issues, native title and land rights, and Aboriginal governance.

John Morton

John Morton did his PhD in Anthropology at The Australian National University in the early 1980s under the supervision of Nic Peterson. He is currently half-time Senior Lecturer in Anthropology in the School of Social Sciences at La Trobe University’s Melbourne Campus (Bundoora). He has worked in Aboriginal Studies for some 30 years and has worked mainly with Arrernte communities in central Australia. He has published a number of papers on central Australian Aboriginal religion and jointly edited (with W. Muensterberger) Géza Róheim’s Children of the Desert II: Myths and Dreams of the Central Australian Aborigines (Oceania Ethnographies, 1988) and (with P. Batty and L. Allen) The Photographs of Baldwin Spencer (Miegunyah Press, 2005). He has also published more widely in anthropology and has authored many reports relating to Aboriginal land rights, native title and other matters.

Yasmine Musharbash

Yasmine Musharbash has been undertaking research with Warlpiri people at Yuendumu and in wider central Australia since the mid-1990s. She has an MA from Freie Universität Berlin (1997) and a PhD (2003) from The Australian National University, where she was supervised by Nicolas Peterson. From 2004 to 2008, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Western Australia and now is employed as a lecturer in the Anthropology Department at the University of Sydney. She is the author of Yuendumu Everyday. Contemporary Life in Remote Aboriginal Australia (Aboriginal Studies Press, 2008) and co-editor of Mortality, Mourning, and Mortuary Practices in Indigenous Australia (with K. Glaskin, M. Tonkinson and V. Burbank, Ashgate, 2008) and You’ve Got to be Joking! Anthropological Perspectives on Humour and Laughter (with J. Carty, Anthropological Forum Special Issue, 2008).

Fred Myers

Fred Myers is the Silver Professor of Anthropology at New York University, where he has taught since 1982. Myers has been involved in research with and writing about Western Desert Aboriginal people since 1973, working in a range of communities in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. He has written frequently on questions of people and place and more generally about culture, objects and identity within Indigenous communities and the circulation of culture across and through different regimes of value. His books include Pintupi Country, Pintupi Self: Sentiment, Place and Politics among Western Desert Aborigines (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1986), Painting Culture: The Making of an Aboriginal High Art (Duke University Press, 2002), and edited volumes Dangerous Words: Language and Politics in the Pacific (with D. Brenneis, New York University Press, 1984), The Traffic in Culture: Refiguring Anthropology and Art (with G. Marcus, University of California Press, 1995), and The Empire of Things (SAR Press, 2001).

Akiko Ono

Akiko Ono studied anthropology, pedagogy and philosophy at Kyoto University in Japan, where she obtained her BA and MA degrees. From 2001 to 2007, she completed a PhD supervised by Nicolas Peterson through the School of Archaeology and Anthropology at The Australian National University. Her PhD research focused on Aboriginal Christianity in rural Australia, including vernacular forms of moral order, kin-relatedness and self-representations of Aboriginality, particularly with respect to the rejection of traditional Aboriginal culture. She is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka, Japan.

Eirik Saethre

Eirik Saethre is currently an Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. He completed his PhD at The Australian National University in 2004 under the supervision of Nicolas Peterson. Dr Saethre’s work explores local responses to disease, treatment and medical service provision in culturally diverse and economically disadvantaged settings. To understand the complex meanings of health, sickness and healing in remote Aboriginal communities, Dr Saethre has spent more than a decade conducting research in the Northern Territory. Since 2005, he has worked in South Africa, examining the motivations, experiences and perceptions of township residents towards international clinical trials.

Toon van Meijl

Toon van Meijl graduated with a PhD (1991) in Social Anthropology from The Australian National University, where he was supervised by Nicolas Peterson. Currently, he is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Development Studies at the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands. He has conducted fieldwork in Maori communities in New Zealand since 1982 and has published extensively on issues of cultural identity and the self, and on socio-political questions emerging from the debate about the property rights of Indigenous peoples. Major publications include the co-edited volumes Property Rights and Economic Development: Land and Natural Resources in Southeast Asia and Oceania (Kegan Paul International, 1999) and Shifting Images of Identity in the Pacific (with J. Miedema, Kitlv Press, 2004). In 2009, he was guest editor of the International Journal of Cultural Property for a special issue on Pacific discourses about the protection of cultural heritage.

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