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‘A Robinson Crusoe in Arnhem Land …’: Howell Walker, National Geographic, and the 1948 Arnhem Land Expedition

Mark Jenkins, writer, editor and historian

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 17 November 2009

Mark Jenkins explores the role played by the Expedition’s primary American sponsor – National Geographic – and its intrepid representative, Howell Walker.

exploration, indigenous, photography, place, science

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‘Bastard barks’: A gift from the 1948 Arnhem Land expedition

Adjunct Professor Margo Neale, National Museum of Australia

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 17 November 2009

Margo Neale explores Charles Mountford’s collection of works on paper, locating them as a useful starting point for reassessing Mountford’s reputation as a collector of Aboriginal art and stories.

art, indigenous

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The responsibilities of leadership: The records of Charles P Mountford

Suzy Russell (paper co-authored by Denise Chapman), State Library of South Australia

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 17 November 2009

Suzy Russell describes the Mountford–Sheard collection at the State Library of South Australia, shares insights recorded by Bessie Mountford in a journal she kept during the Expedition, and considers some Expedition controversies.

collection, indigenous

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Inside Mountford’s tent: paint, politics and paperwork

Dr Philip Jones, South Australian Museum

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 17 November 2009

Charles Mountford lacked formal credentials as an anthropologist or scientist, yet he led the largest and most complex scientific expedition to remote Australia. Dr Philip Jones explores Mountford’s contribution and the controversy around his leadership.

art, collection, indigenous, politics, science

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A history of the 1948 expedition

Dr Sally K May, Australian National University

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 17 November 2009

Sally K May provides a historical overview of the Expedition, its planning and execution.

collection, indigenous, politics

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Terra incognito no more – reflecting on change

Robyn Williams, science journalist, presenter and author

Barks, Birds and Billabongs symposium, 16 November 2009

At the time of this ‘last great expedition’, many plants, animals, aspects of human culture were unknown to science. Robyn Williams launches the symposium Barks, Birds and Billabongs with a broad-ranging talk on science since 1948.

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collection, indigenous, politics

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Wrap-up and discussion

Ian Keen, anthropologist

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 10 November 2009

Ian Keen provides a brief, broad view of the discussions over the two-day conference, its themes and its significance, covering hybrid models, empirical studies and the links between research and practice.

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economy, indigenous

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From barter to award wages: Aboriginal labour and Methodist missions in Arnhem Land

Gwenda Baker, Monash University

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 10 November 2009

Gwenda Baker traces the history of Aboriginal labour on Methodist missions in Arnhem Land, where award wages led to fewer jobs. While resenting the low wages, some Aborigines see their work on the missions as a highlight of enterprise and achievement.

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economy, indigenous, work

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Animal spirits in the Dreaming and the market: The economic development of caring for country

Geoff Buchanan, Australian National University

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 10 November 2009

Are the Dreaming and the Market mutually exclusive? In economics as in anthropology, ‘animal spirits’ are understood to influence outcomes. Geoff Buchanan explores the hybrid economy (customary, market and state) in the context of caring for country.

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economy, indigenous, spirituality

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Workfare, welfare and the hybrid economy: The Western Arrernte in Central Australia

Diane Austin-Broos, University of Sydney

Indigenous Participation in Australian Economies conference, 10 November 2009

A self-proclaimed ‘hybrid economy skeptic’, Diane Austin-Broos offers some reasons why the Western Arrernte’s Community Development Employment Project became ‘welfare’ rather than ‘workfare.’

economy, indigenous, work

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