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Jon Altman and Stephen Muecke: Extraction economics and Indigenous transformations

Seminar Series,  18 May, 2012
2pm-4pm
Hosted by the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies

Stephen Muecke
With the prospect of new industries, starting with a major gas plant, the Indigenous population of Broome finds itself under pressure and internally divided. I have started working again with Goolarabooloo, who are opposed to mining on their Dreaming. Their struggle has had the effect of reviving forms of culture, that take contemporary shapes (protest camps, activist tourism, social media, rock concerts), but are always strongly linked to the traditional culture. With national and international attention focused on Goolarabooloo, my study will analyse the transformation of this confederacy of language groups in the context of industrialisation (starting with pearling in the 19th century) and tourism.

Stephen Muecke is Professor of Writing at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. He worked with Paddy Roe to write the award-winning Reading the Country (1984) and Gularabulu (1983).

Jon Altman
There are increasingly dominant political and bureaucratic views dialectically echoing corporate perspectives and public discourse that the economic future of remote Indigenous people lies in the mainstream. Industrial mining is regarded as the prime site for Indigenous employment and business engagement in part because there are few other opportunities, in part because Indigenous land owners have some leverage in this production realm, and late capitalist logic dictates it must be exercised for individual and community gain. Drawing on David Graeber’s distinction in Debt: The First 5,000 Years between market (or commercial) and human economies, in this seminar I explore some of the reasons for low Indigenous participation in mining and consider an alternate form of hybrid economy that might deliver sustainable livelihood outcomes.

Jon Altman is professor in economic anthropology at the Australian National University.  In 2009 he co-edited Culture, Power, Economy: Indigenous Australians and Mining (available in toto and gratis: Download here). His chapter ‘Indigenous rights, mining corporations and the Australian state’ is included in The Politics of Resource Extraction: Indigenous Peoples, Multinational Corporations and the State edited by Suzana Sawyer and Terence Gomes (Palgraves Macmillan 2012).

Location: The Refectory, Quadrangle A14

Contact: Assoc Prof Tess Lea
Phone: 61 2 9351 6777
Email: tess.lea@sydney.edu.au

Rethinking Invasion Ecologies: Natures, Cultures and Societies in the age of the Anthropocene

From 18 June, 2012 to 19 June, 2012

A conference hosted by the Environmental Humanities Group
Convenors
: Iain McCalman & Jodi Frawley

Charles Elton’s 1958 classic The Ecology of Invasions by Plants and Animals signaled a shift in the understanding of the global movement of biological species during the Anthropocene. Over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, new plants, animals and humans migrated to settler colonies, at the same time that biological material and ideas about nature transited to other parts of the world. Some species became threats to local environments across the globe. By the 1950s, acclimatisation and naturalization gave way to managing the ramifications of changes to ecologies, landscapes and environments. These changes had enduring impacts, some adverse, some beneficial, that are dynamic, unpredictable and often oscillating. This conference explores environmental thought about invasion ecologies for the Anthropocene and asks: How will biological and cultural invasions of the past impact on the futures of climate changing places? How should we think about the more-than-human roles of camels and carp; or willows and baobabs? What of the plants, animals, people and ideas that travelled and re-made other global places?

Click here for conference website

Location: Sydney Law School Foyer

Contact:  Katherine Anderson
Phone:  61 2 9036 5347
Email: katherine.anderson@sydney.edu.au

Richard Miles reviews Tom Holland’s In the Shadow of the Sword

Richard Miles has reviewed best-seller Tom Holland’s new book, In the Shadow of the Sword: The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World, for the Financial Times. The author of Rubicon (2004) and Persian Fire (2006) has released another non-fiction workthis time on what Miles calls the ‘thorny issue of the origins of Islam’. Miles writes of the book:

It is difficult not to be bedazzled by a cast that includes ulcerated Christian holy men, Zoroastrian priests obsessed with dental hygiene, demonic emperors, barbarians with self-inflicted cranial deformities, perfumed Persian monarchs and Arab ambassadors stinking of camel.

Read Richard’s full Financial Times review, ‘Faith that moved mountains

Animal Death Symposium

HARN: Human Animal Research Network at the University of Sydney

June 12th and 13th, 2012,
Woolley Building, University of Sydney,

KEYNOTE:
Professor Deborah Bird Rose,
Macquarie University

HARN Lecture:
Associate Professor Annie Potts,
NZ Centre for Human Animal Studies, University of Canterbury

This symposium brings together cross-disciplinary voices on the topic of Animal Death. Over two days we will explore how animal and human death are conceptualised; how they diverge, differ and also connect in profound ways. The conference will be exploring the following themes:

  • Ontologies of Death and sacrifice
  • Species extinction and climate change
  • Euthanasia: perspectives from veterinary science
  • The hunter and the Hunted
  • Sacrifice and expendability
  • Animal art
  • Road Kill’
  • Wild Life and Rescue
  • Mourning, grief and denial
  • Rituals of Slaughter
  • Vivisection
  • Who and who isn’t attributed a ‘soul’
  • post-death belief systems
  • Animal death and contemporary film

Check HARN website for full details and registration

Archaeology and the Bible in Jordan: Sanctuary of Lot

Dr Konstantinos Politis
Part of the NEAF 2012 Public Lecture Series

The Monastery of Aghios Lot is located at the south-eastern end of the Dead Sea on a steep mountain slope overlooking the modern town of Safi (biblicalZoara) in Jordan. As revealed by the excavations, the Monastery of Aghios Lot consisted of an early Byzantine monastic complex with a number of hermits’ cells above it. The focal point was a triple-apsed basilica church built around a natural cave that early Christians believed was where Lot and his daughters took refuge after the destruction of Sodom (Genesis 19). It is flaned to the south by a large reservoir and to the north by a refectory with an oven, a communal burial chamber and a pilgrim’s hostel. The church is adorned by fie mosaic floor pvements inscribed in Byzantine-period Greek and dated to A.D. 572/3, April 605/7 A.D. and May 691 A.D. Three other Greek inscriptions on stone which invoke Aghios Lot, confirm theChristian identifiction of the site as Lot’s Sanctuary.

Konstantinos D. Politis is an archaeologist educated in Greece, the United States, Belgium and Britain. His early fieldork was in Greece and Liechtenstein. Since 1988, he has been based at the British Museum which has been the principal sponsor of his excavations in Jordan and Oman. He specialises in the Early Byzantine/Christian and Early Islamic periods. Dr Politis’ most important work was the discovery and subsequent excavation of the Sanctuary of Lot on the south-eastern shores of the Dead Sea, publishing a major report on that project with the British Museum (2012) and the more popular “Holy Footprints across the Jordan. A Journey to the Ancient and Religious Sites on the Eastern Side of the Jordan Rift Valley” (2010).

Tuesday 15 May 2012
6.30-7:30pm
followed by a light supper.
Women’s College
University of Sydney
Bookings are essential for this event.
We prefer prepayment. All prepaid tickets will be available at the door.
Prices
NEAF Members: $25
Non Members $35
Student Members of NEAF $10.00
Please pay by 16th April 2012

Download details and payment form here
ENQUIRES AND RSVP:
P +61 2 9351 4151
F +61 2 9114 0921
E Click here to email

Did God have a Wife? Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel

Professor William Dever
Part of the NEAF 2012 Public Lecture Series

The Hebrew Bible portrays the religion of ancient Israel as monotheistic, the worship of a single male deity named Yahweh. Yet the archaeological data recently accumulated shows that this may have been the ideal, but the reality was quite different. We have hundreds of nude female figurines that represent the old Canaanite Mother Goddess ‘Asherah’. We even have 8th century BCE Hebrew inscriptions naming her as the consort of Yahweh in the context of blessing. This illustrated lecture will show how monotheism developed slowy and with great difficulty in ancient Israel.

William G. Dever is an American archaeologist, specialising in the history of Israel and the Near East in Biblical times, receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1966. He was Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Arizona in Tucson from 1975 to 2002. He was Director of the Harvard Semitic Museum-Hebrew Union College Excavations at Gezer from 1966-71, 1984 and 1990; Director, Khirbet el-Kôm & Jebel Qacaqir (West Bank) 1967-71; Principal Investigator, Tell el-Hayyat (Jordan) 1981-85, Assistant Director, University of Arizona Expedition Idalion (Cyprus) 1991. Professor Dever joined the faculty at Lycoming College, Pennsylvania, in autumn 2008 where he was appointed Distinguished Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology.

Tuesday 24th April 2012
6.30-7:30pm
followed by a light supper.
Women’s College
University of Sydney
Bookings are essential for this event.
We prefer prepayment. All prepaid tickets will be available at the door.
Prices
NEAF Members: $25
Non Members $35
Student Members of NEAF $10.00
Please pay by 16th April 2012

Download details and payment form here

ENQUIRES AND RSVP:
P +61 2 9351 4151
F +61 2 9114 0921
E Click here to email

Accommodation available June – Aug 2012

Terrace for rent in inner city Sydney. From June 10 to Aug 1, 2012. Recently renovated 2 bedroom terrace next to Redfern Park & within close walking distance to the University of Sydney, UTS, Central Station, and the city. Our beautifully furnished house has two balconies and a back deck garden with flowers and herbs, and is between two nearby large parks – one with a heated outdoor swimming pool and tennis courts. We are on a small and quiet street, and our house offers privacy as well as the option of entertaining in the light filled open plan downstairs- the kitchen has everything for the chef. Redfern has several new bars, cafes and restaurants and Surry Hills is nearby.

To see photos pls go to: http://www.sabbaticalhomes.com/OfferedDetails.aspx?id=27233
Contact: Elspeth Probyn elspeth.probyn at sydney dot edu dot au or m: 0412 548 762


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