How do you build a (hybrid) institution? Indigenous People and the Governance of Resource Projects in Australia and Papua New Guinea

Description

Indigenous people in Australia and Papua New Guinea are keenly aware of the importance of governance in achieving their goals in relation to large-scale resource projects, but building appropriate governance institutions constitutes a formidable challenge. Powerful and resilient governance institutions exist in contemporary Indigenous societies in both countries, but they face problems in dealing with large extractive projects, for instance because they operate on a scale considerably smaller than the ‘footprint’ of such projects, and because the cultural values and practices they represent are often not recognised or regarded as legitimate by developers and state authorities. Against this background a number of attempts have been and are being made to create ‘hybrid’ institutions that draw on both Indigenous and western modes of governance.

This seminar discusses two such attempts. The first involves a proposed Liquefied Natural Gas Precinct in Western Australia, where Aboriginal traditional owners and their regional organisation, the Kimberley Land Council, sought to incorporate Aboriginal cultural values into a governance mechanism to oversee selection of a suitable site for the Precinct. The second focuses on plans to reopen the Panguna copper mine in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. Panguna was closed by an armed rebellion and civil war in 1989. In contemplating a revival of mining on Bougainville, all parties must consider how to devise institutions that can avoid repetition of a conflict that lasted over a decade and cost many lives. In both cases similar themes emerge – the need to reconcile project timelines with the time required to establish and entrench new institutions; incommensurability of scales between projects and local institutions; the need of developers for ‘finality’ and ‘closure’ before major investment decisions are made, which stands in opposition to the open-ended nature of negotiation and decision-making in many Indigenous societies; and the entrenched values and ‘ways of doing’ that characterise major resource corporations and the state authorities that support them.

When
Wednesday, 8 October 2014, 5:30 pm

Where
Cecil Scutt Collaborative Teaching Space , (Rm 227), Old Arts Building

Posted in Events, Social and Political Sciences

Art and Ethnography in the Post-Western Museum

Description

There are two principal avenues through which the material creations of non-Western peoples have gained recognition and value in the cultural centers of Europe and North America. One avenue can be called “culture,” the other “art.” Much has been written to criticize this sorting mechanism, and in practice a variety of hybrid museum spaces are opening up. Yet despite the decentering pressures of decolonization and globalization, long-established categories change unevenly: the “two museums” persist.

This talk explores shifting institutional relations between art and ethnography in contemporary metropolitan contexts. The relative vitality and prestige of the two traditions is assessed with examples drawn from museological innovations in Vancouver, Berlin, and Paris. What is gained and lost in the increasing pressure to represent “global arts and cultures?” What prospects for serious cross-cultural translation can be found in the emerging forms of collecting, programming, and marketing diversity?

James Clifford is Distinguished Professor in the Humanities and Emeritus Professor in the History of Consciousness Department, University of California, Santa Cruz. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a recent Guggenheim recipient and an External Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center. Over the years, Clifford’s research and teaching has combined perspectives from history, literary analysis, anthropology and cultural studies, as well as drawing on contemporary poetics and museum studies. Clifford’s initial work contributed to the intellectual history of anthropology, with an emphasis on Western notions of culture, art, and the exotic as these were related to changing colonial and postcolonial situations.

His first book, Person and Myth: Maurice Leenhardt in the Melanesian World (1982) explored the limits and possibilities of cross-cultural understanding in the violent historical context of French New Caledonia. His next two books developed a critique of anthropological knowledge and research practices: Writing Culture; the Poetics and Politics of Ethnography, co-edited with George Marcus (1986), and The Predicament of Culture: 20th Century Ethnography, Literature and Art (1988). The former has enjoyed a continuing succès de scandale in anthropology and a broad influence across many fields of cultural analysis and artistic production. The Predicament of Culture has been widely read and translated. It was followed, in 1997, by a sequel: Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late 20th Century. These two works combine close, analytic readings with critical and poetic experimentation, expanding the forms and rhetorics of the scholarly essay.

He is a historian of ideas, theories, and representational practices, but with a sharpened awareness of the traveling, translated, situated nature of his objects and tools. He attributes this shift in emphasis to the important, still unfinished decolonization of anthropology and of the academic milieux in which he has worked. Clifford’s work has both problematized and championed ethnographic perspectives especially when combined with culturally sensitive historical analysis. His most recent book, Returns: Becoming Indigenous in the 21st Century (2013), flows from its predecessors, Predicament and Routes and is the completion of a trilogy.

Clifford continues to work on issues related to indigeneity, globalization, museum studies, literary and visual studies - all in cross-cultural translation. He is in Melbourne on a MacGeorge Fellowship hosted in partnership with the School of Social and Political Sciences.

When
Wednesday, 1 October 2014, 6:00 pm

Where
Theatre 230, 234 Queensberry Street, Carlton

Booking
Posted in Events, Social and Political Sciences

Country Musics or, The Indigenizing Imagination

Description

James begins with the observation that North American country songs, performance and instrumental styles are very popular in communities we call, variously, tribal, native, First Nations, Aboriginal. He suggests why this is so, exploring the dynamics of transmission, reception, and localization that are at work. “Indigenous” and “country”—the words name complex structures of feeling, responses to often violent social and economic change. The two discourses overlap but are not identical. James argues that they form an articulated cluster of vernacular imaginings, an expressive site that belongs to no group or region. Country musics have been globalizing--spreading, translating and commodifying—at least since the dissemination of radios and guitars in the early 20th Century. They invite serious cross-cultural and historical study.

When
Wednesday, 24 September 2014, 5:30 pm

Where
Cecil Scutt Collaborative Teaching Space , (Rm 227), Old Arts Building

Posted in Events, Social and Political Sciences

Embodied Othering: Unsensing as a Concept and Methodological Tool

Description

Understanding othering as a social practice, Yasmine puts forward that analyses of it tend to emphasize cognitive and representational aspects, and that this goes hand in hand with a concurrent neglect of its embodied dimensions. These she attends to in this seminar to by focusing on one feature of embodiment, the engagement of the senses in quotidian practices of othering. More particularly, Yasmine explores how instances of not engaging the senses constitute an integral and habitual element of practices of othering.

She does so by adopting novelist China Miéville’s concept of unseeing (and unsensing) to data from her long-term fieldwork at Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal town in central Australia. She illustrate the analytical power of the concept through case studies of unseeing, unhearing, untouching, and the more complicated process of unsmelling. These exemplify some of the embodied dimensions of the social rift at Yuendumu, where the population cleaves into those Indigenous (locally called Yapa) and those non-Indigenous (locally called Kardiya). Through examining the ways in which Yapa and Kardiya maintain distance between them despite the close proximity in which they live, interact, and work, Yasmine illuminates some of the habitual and unexamined qualities of othering as a social practice. In conclusion, she proposes that unsensing is of conceptual and methodological merit beyond her locally specific research.

When
Wednesday, 22 October 2014, 5:30 pm

Where
Cecil Scutt Collaborative Teaching Space , (Rm 227), Old Arts Building

Posted in Events, Social and Political Sciences

The Multiple Temporalitiesof Memory: The Contested Memory of the Spanish Civil War in Contemporary Spain

Description

Miegunyah Public Lecture

The talk will give an overview of the often acrimonious debates on the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939 and its repressive aftermath under the Franco Dictatorship that have occupied the media in Spain since the start of the 21st century. It will stress the international context – in Europe and Latin America – in which these debates have taken place. It will also run through key aspects of the theorization of memory, in order to explain some of the misunderstandings that have arisen in Spain about what memory does or does not do. In particular, the talk will stress the many ways in which memory, rather than “recovering” the past, involves a complex movement between different temporalities. It will also engage in critical discussion of some of the historical and ethical problems involved in these debates, which have implications that go beyond Spain and the Spanish-speaking world.

Jo Labanyi is a Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at New York University. She joined NYU's Department of Spanish and Portuguese in 2006, after a career in the UK where, among other things, she directed the Institute of Romance Studies, University of London. A founding editor of the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies and Fellow of the British Academy, she also currently holds the position of Director of the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Centre at NYU. Her widely published research focuses on 19th- and 20th-century Spanish literature, painting, film, and photography, and has particular research interests in gender studies, popular culture, and memory.

When
Thursday, 9 October 2014, 6:00 pm

Where
Harold Woodruff Theatre, Microbiology Building

Booking
Posted in Events, Languages and Linguistics

History, Heritage and the Re-urbanisation of Asian Cities

Description

Powered by globalising capital and rapid economic growth, Asia has been urbanising at an unprecedented speed and scale. Many Asian cities are not just expanding territorially, but are also re-urbanising - redeveloping old city areas to create greater density and value. In this context, future-oriented re-urbanisation, driven by aspirations to become global cities, comes into conflict with the deep histories of the city streets burned into the consciousness and memory of citizens.

The production of heritage space becomes a critical political practice, as officials and planners seek to appropriate the histories for their developmental projects, civil society groups claim stakes in the writing of histories, and communities seek to defend their collective memories. Based on years of research, Daniel Goh will discuss the production of heritage space and its politics in Hong Kong, Penang and Singapore, three former British colonial port-cities re-urbanising intensively in the past decades. Singapore is a study in state-led production of heritage space and global city making, while Penang is a study in heritage making led by civil society, with belated participation by communities in the latter and the continued lack of the same in the former. He argues that Hong Kong presents us with the ideal, in which communities, civil society and the state have come to balance and reinforce each other to institute effective and democratic processes of heritage space and global city making. The Hong Kong model promises convivial re-urbanisation that empowers communities, promotes collective ownership and access to the city, and advances vibrant cultural lifeworlds.

Daniel P.S. Goh is Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore. He is also the Convenor of the Cultural Studies Minor and Cultural Studies in Asia PhD Programmes at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. He is a comparative historical sociologist by training and a cultural and urban studies specialist by adoption.

His research interests include state formation, multiculturalism, heritage politics, religious change in the Chinese diaspora, and lately, casino urbanism. He has co-edited Race and Multiculturalism in Malaysia and Singapore (Routledge, 2009) and edited Worlding Multiculturalisms (Routledge, 2014, forthcoming). His latest journal publications are found in Space and Culture, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Urban Studies, Inter-Asian Cultural Studies, and positions: east asian cultures critique.

When
Wednesday, 22 October 2014, 6:30 pm

Where
Theatre D, Old Arts Building

Booking
Posted in Culture and Communication, Events

Crafting Democracies: From Authoritarian Rule to Democratic Governance

Description

Many countries have launched transitions from authoritarianism to democracy over the past twenty-five years. While some have succeeded in building relatively strong democracies with shared prosperity, others have stumbled. As a wave of change continues to unfold across the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia, policy-relevant insights that can be gleaned from recent transitions are more salient than ever.

Recent events across the globe make clear the complexities of the politics of “democratization” and the importance of understanding these complexities. In Eurasia, “Color Revolutions” have given way to democratic disappointments and “authoritarian regimes.” In North Africa, an unanticipated upsurge of democratic movements has felled autocrats in Tunisia and Egypt, but the success of these “transitions” is currently very much in doubt.

Professor Lowenthal will share first hand insights gained from interviews with 13 transitional leaders from 9 countries: Spain, Poland, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, South Africa, Ghana, Indonesia and Philippines These insights will highlight the pitfalls and potential policy recommendations for success in the transitional process.

Professor Abraham F Lowenthal is Professor Emeritus of the University of Southern California, President Emeritus of the Pacific Council on International Policy, a non-resident senior fellow of the Brookings Institution. He was founding director of the both the Inter-American Dialogue and the Woodrow Wilson Centre’s Latin American Program.

When
Tuesday, 9 September 2014, 5:15 pm

Where
Terrace Lounge, Walter Boas Building

Booking
Posted in Events, Government

Master the Modern Languages

Do you have a keen interest in language? Perhaps you have considered studying linguistics in the past, but couldn’t quite find the specialisation you were after. Well, the wait is over…

The Faculty of Arts is thrilled to announce that the Master of Applied Linguistics now has a Modern Languages stream. Designed for language aficionados, teachers of language, and for people who just love foreign language and culture, this is the perfect program if you would like to develop your language skills and extend your knowledge of culture.

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The program includes a range of subjects that focus specifically on developing language skills and cultural competency in modern languages at the graduate level. Languages include French, German, Italian, Spanish, Indonesian, Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic!

Languages can be studied at beginners, intermediate or advanced levels, with a placement test taken prior to commencement to ensure you will receive the appropriate level of instruction.

This exciting new addition to an innovative program welcomes professionals working with modern languages in education, translating, trade relations, diplomacy, the public service, international public relations and related areas.

Applications are now open for February 2015 intake, so enquire now about this exciting opportunity to study Modern Languages, whether you plan to refresh or extending your an existing language, or pick up a new language altogether! Visit the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences website for more information.

Posted in Uncategorized

Cultural materials conservation: China and Australia programs

Description

The Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation (CCMC) together with the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, Henan Provincial Administration of Cultural Heritage and the School of History at Zhengzhou University, China will present their internationally significant research on cultural materials excavation, research and conservation in China.

The three organisations are internationally recognised institutes located in China’s material culture heartland and have investigated over 30,000 archaeological sites, including the tomb of the First Emperor of China and his terracotta army, the mausolea of Han and Tang emperors, as well as palace sites, Buddhist temples, kiln and bronze sites, and excavations from the neolithic period.

This one day event will include professorial papers from the three institutions and CCMC's cultural materials conservation projects in archaeological ceramics and metallurgy. CCMC has recently partnered with the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, Henan Provincial Administration of Cultural Heritage and the School of History at Zhengzhou University, and this event will be a celebration of future plans. Come and hear these experts:

Professor Zhang Jianlin, Deputy Director, Shaanxi Province Institute of Archaeology, Tang Dynasty -Emperors’ tombs and their wall paintings

Dr Anding Shao , Vice-head of the Conservation Department, Shaanxi Province Institute of Archaeology , Qin Dynasty – the First Emperor’s bronze birds

Professor Ma Xiaolin, Deputy Director, Henan Provincial Administration of Cultural Heritage, China’s largest zooarchaeological laboratory

Professor Han Guohe, Zhengzhou University: Dean, School of History, Director of Research Centre of Historical and Cultural Heritage Preservation, Eastern Han imperial tombs – preservation solutions in 21st century China

When
Friday, 12 September 2014, 9:00 am

Where
Yasuka Hiraoka Myer Room, First Floor, Sidney Myer Asia Centre, Swanston Street, Parkville

Booking
Posted in Events, Historical and Philosophical Studies

Sustainability and environmental standards for cultural collections

Description

This one day event will be based on a conversation between the Council of Australasian Museum Directors (CAMD) and the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material (AICCM) on the recently issued AICCM Interim Guidelines for environmental conditions in museums and galleries, with contributions from the Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation (CCMC), University of Melbourne, and representatives from Southeast Asian museums.

The aim is to evaluate best practice for museum environments and the diversity of their collections whilst balancing the care of cultural materials in the face of sustainability. Will there be any discussion with the audience?

Four sessions will cover the following, three based around a dialogue between two protagonists:

  • International standards and local needs – the current situation

  • Building envelope and sustainability – exploring the environmental drivers and the current reality

  • Diverse collections, environments and research evidence - speakers from national collecting organisations in Southeast Asia will provide brief presentations on the issues within their own countries’ contexts, followed by University of Melbourne research findings.

  • A better framework for discussion and exchange - how to draw in professions across the museum sector

When
Sunday, 14 September 2014, 10:00 am

Where
Yasuka Hiraoka Myer Room, First Floor, Sidney Myer Asia Centre, Swanston Street, Parkville

Booking
Posted in Events, Historical and Philosophical Studies