PhD Scholarship based in PARADISEC

A doctoral stipend of $27,222 pa for up to three years has been created by the ARC Discovery Project ‘Intercultural inquiry in a trans-national context: Exploring the legacy of the 1948 American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land’ (DP1096897). The grant is the initiative of Dr Martin Thomas (ARC Future Fellow, School of History, ANU and Hon. Assoc. Professor, PARADISEC, USyd), Assoc. Professor Linda Barwick (Director of PARADISEC, USyd) and Professor Allan Marett (Emeritus Professor of Musicology, USyd). The project involves investigation of the enduring legacy of the historic 1948 Arnhem Land Expedition which resulted in substantial collections of still photography, film, sound recordings, visual art and material culture, now held in museums, art galleries and libraries in Australia and the United States. A major component of the research is to repatriate digital copies of these data to community-based digital knowledge centres in Arnhem Land where they will become readily available to Traditional Owners for educational and other purposes. The Doctoral Student will study the contemporary impacts of repatriating historic archival data to Aboriginal communities in west Arnhem Land. S/he will be hosted by Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation in the town of Jabiru in Kakadu National Park, which is approximately 40 minutes drive from Gunbalanya (aka Oenpelli), the third and final base of the Arnhem Land Expedition. The Student will be expected to spend substantial periods of time in Jabiru where a new digital knowledge centre is being established. Travel to northern Australia and substantial support for the fieldwork will be covered by the ARC funding.

The digital knowledge repository will be a major case study for the project. The Doctoral Student will directly contribute to the centre and from this position develop contacts within the Aboriginal communities of west Arnhem Land and Kakadu National Park. They will study the relationships between Western media and the traditional cultures of the area. This will advance one of the core objectives of the project: to better understand ‘the meaning and value of repatriation by analysing how data are received, interpreted and deployed’.

The project is interdisciplinary in scope and we hope that applicants from a range of fields in the humanities and social sciences will be interested in this opportunity. Scholars from musicology, history, performance studies, linguistics, anthropology, media and cultural studies are welcome to apply. This list is suggestive, not prescriptive. The choice of Supervisor and Associate Supervisor will depend upon the disciplinary background of the successful applicant. A readiness to work collaboratively with Aboriginal communities and with other members of the research team is a basic requirement. A high level of computer literacy is also essential. Applications close on 15 June 2010.

See the Scholarship details

The approved applicant will be required to meet the normal requirements for enrolment in a postgraduate research degree in the relevant department of the Faculty of Arts, University of Sydney. For further information on application procedures see the Faculty’s Postgraduate Research pages , or contact arts.postgraduate@sydney.edu.au. The Arts Postgraduate Handbook contains details about the application process and requirements.

Inquiries about the scholarship should be directed in the first instance to Linda Barwick (Linda.Barwick@sydney.edu.au) and Martin Thomas (m.thomas@anu.edu.au).

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