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Pacific Exposures »

Photography and the Australia–Japan Relationship

Publication date: December 2018
Photography has been a key means by which Australians have sought to define their relationships with Japan. From the fascination with all things Japanese in the late nineteenth century, through the era of ‘White Australia’, the bitter enmity of the Pacific War, the path to reconciliation in the post-war period and the culturally complicated bilateralism of today, Australians have used their cameras to express a divided sense of conflict and kinship with a country that has by turns fascinated and infuriated. The remarkable photographs collected and discussed here for the first time shed new light on the history of Australia’s engagement with its most important regional partner. Pacific Exposures argues that photographs tell an important story of cultural production, response and reaction—not only about how Australians have pictured Japan over the decades, but how they see their own place in the Asia-Pacific. ‘Pacific Exposures presents the first study of the photographic exchanges between Australia and Japan—its photographers, personalities, motivations, anxieties and tensions—based on a diverse range of archival materials, interviews, and well-chosen photographs.’ — Dr Luke Gartlan, University of St Andrews ‘[Pacific Exposures] will become a key text on Australia’s interactions with Japan, and the way that photographs can inform cross-cultural relations through their production, consumption and circulation.’ — Prof. Kate Darian-Smith, University of Tasmania In the media Listen to the ABC Radio interview: Japan in Focus (from 13:06).

Global Debates, Local Dilemmas »

Sex-selective Abortion in Contemporary Viet Nam

Authored by: Tran Minh Hang
Publication date: December 2018
The practice of sex-selective abortion is on the rise globally, stirring debates about gender inequality, medical ethics and reproductive autonomy. This book is the first ethnography to document practices of sex selection in Viet Nam. It shows how and why abortions are used to select the sex of children and how Vietnamese individuals and health professionals are implicated in this illicit and controversial practice. Telling the stories of women who have undergone sex-selective abortions, it traces their passage through sex determination and abortion decision-making phases, and investigates their experiences during and after their sex-selective abortions. It describes the turmoil experienced by individuals who undergo such abortions and explores their interactions with the spectrum of social actors and health institutions that facilitate practices of sex selection. As the first ethnographic study on sex-selective abortions in Viet Nam, this book delves into socially sensitive terrain and sheds light on personally fraught individual experiences of reproductive agency. It documents societal responses to sex-selective abortions in Viet Nam and identifies gaps in the state’s capacity to regulate reproductive desire in a marketised economy. A resource for researchers, it contributes to ongoing debates on sex selection and provides a framework for developing relevant social policies, interventions and support services. ‘This pioneering study offers a nuanced and sensitive account of sex-selective abortion as human experience. Through thought provoking case studies, the book provides rare ethnographic documentation of the complex quandaries that arise as selective reproductive technologies are routinised across the globe.’ — Tine M. Gammeltoft, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen

Aboriginal History Journal: Volume 42 »

Edited by: Ingereth Macfarlane
Publication date: December 2018
In this volume, Peter Sutton provides a survey of the articles published by linguist Dr Luise Hercus (1926–2018) in Aboriginal History, honouring the contribution she has made to the journal since its inception. The seven articles this year highlight the wealth of sources that feed into historical research of Indigenous Australia. The role of performance in the events organised by the National Aborigines Day Observance Committee (NADOC) in 1957–67 in Sydney shows up the contest between state assimilationist goals and Indigenous participants’ insistence on distinction, continuity and survival (Jonathon Bollen and Anne Brewster). The then radical agenda – in a protectionist policy regime – of the advocacy group, the Aborigines’ Protection League in South Australia in the 1920s–30s, is examined in a detailed study of the group’s campaigns and campaigners (Rob Foster). A picture of colonial reception of Aboriginal performance and the public assertion of local Aboriginal cultural priorities in 1893 Darwin is developed in the historical contextualisation of a collection of Aboriginal artefacts found in the Marischal Museum, Aberdeen (Gaye Sculthorpe). A nuanced analysis of the relationship between the Catholic Benedictine Mission at New Norcia and the Western Australian Native Welfare Department draws on the correspondence between the Abbot of New Norcia and A.O. Neville (Elicia Taylor). A large body of reader responses to a recent online article on the deep history of Aboriginal Australia provides a way to map the strengths and weaknesses in the general Australian public’s apprehension of that long history (Lynette Russell and Billy Griffiths). A spatial history argues against the concept of ‘fringe camps’ and for a pattern of demonstrable continuities between precolonial, colonial and recent Aboriginal people’s favoured camp places and the locations of urban contemporary park spaces in Brisbane and townships in south-eastern Queensland (Ray Kerkhove). In the format of an interview, the themes concerning the writing of Aboriginal history and contemporary political debates that are developed in Tim Rowse’s recent book Indigenous and Other Australians since 1901 (2017) are explored (Miranda Johnson and Tim Rowse). Aboriginal History Inc. is a publishing organisation based in the Australian Centre for Indigenous History, Research School of Social Sciences, The Australian National University, Canberra. For more information on Aboriginal History Inc. please visit aboriginalhistory.org.au.

The Promise of Prosperity  »

Visions of the Future in Timor-Leste

Edited by: Judith Bovensiepen
Publication date: December 2018
For the people of Timor-Leste, independence promised a fundamental transformation from foreign occupation to self-rule, from brutality to respect for basic rights, and from poverty to prosperity. In the eyes of the country’s political leaders, revenue from the country’s oil and gas reserves is the means by which that transformation could be effected. Over the past decade, they have formulated ambitious plans for state-led development projects and rapid economic growth. Paradoxically, these modernist visions are simultaneously informed by and contradict ideas stemming from custom, religion, accountability and responsibility to future generations. This book explores how the promise of prosperity informs policy and how policy debates shape expectations about the future in one of the world’s newest and poorest nation-states.

Indigenous Efflorescence »

Beyond Revitalisation in Sapmi and Ainu Mosir

Publication date: December 2018
Indigenous efflorescence refers to the surprising economic prosperity, demographic increase and cultural renaissance currently found amongst many Indigenous communities around the world. This book moves beyond a more familiar focus on ‘revitalisation’ to situate these developments within their broader political and economic contexts. The materials in this volume also examine the everyday practices and subjectivities of Indigenous efflorescence and how these exist in tension with ongoing colonisation of Indigenous lands, and the destabilising impacts of global neoliberal capitalism. Contributions to this volume include both research articles and shorter case studies, and are drawn from amongst the Ainu and Sami (Saami/Sámi) peoples (in Ainu Mosir in northern Japan, and Sapmi in northern Europe, respectively). This volume will be of use to scholars working on contemporary Indigenous issues, as well as to Indigenous peoples engaged in linguistic and cultural revitalisation, and other aspects of Indigenous efflorescence.

Introduction to the Tibetan Language »

An eTextbook for spoken and literary Tibetan

Publication date: December 2018
This textbook includes twelve multi-media introductory lessons for Tibetan learners. There are sections that explain how to write and read the Tibetan alphabet, how to write and read Tibetan words, and easy colloquial and literary sentences. Each section includes a dialogue that is performed in videos and written down, written explanations of different aspects of the language, videos that demonstrate how to write, read and pronounce Tibetan, and exercises that will help solidify what you have learned. The book also includes links to online sources, including flashcards to aid vocabulary building. Part 1 is an introduction to reading and writing Tibetan. Part 2 builds on these skills and helps Tibetan learners develop conversational skills. Part 3 introduces literary Tibetan by building on the commonalities between it and conversational Tibetan. Here is everything you need to learn the world's highest language.
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Australian Journal of Biography and History: No. 1, 2018 »

Publication date: December 2018
In this first issue, a diverse range of essays primarily relates to questions of individuals and the contexts in which they functioned, the ‘middle ground’ between a life and the times. Four of them concern Australian women who operated and negotiated various fields of endeavour, only one of which—the role of headmistress of a girls’ school—was unambiguously a woman’s domain. The profile of Miss Annie Hughston (1859–1943) shows how a strong figure could have a disproportionate influence on women entering male bastions. Similarly, Nancy Atkinson, a pioneering bacteriologist at the University of Adelaide, was not only a scientific researcher of note but a teacher of generations of graduate students. Yet when the chair in her field finally became available, she was overlooked in favour of a male English import, despite having acted in the role for many years. She was valued it seems more for her teaching than her research, a classic tendency to ascribe to women in scientific circles a nurturing rather than a knowledge-creating function. Jean Andruana Jimmy (1912–1991), a Yupngayth woman from Mapoon in north Queensland, also became prominent in community leadership and land rights activism, areas that had been assumed to be male spheres. Yet leading her community was by no means as revolutionary as was often assumed by outside European observers, for Andruana saw herself resuming a role that was entirely consistent with women’s responsibilities. Sophie Scott-Brown’s portrait of the playwright and director Eunice Hangar examines the nature of reading as ‘a simultaneously social and individualistic activity’ and its implications for understanding the way Australians have read English writers. The article on the nineteenth-century journalist and gold commissioner Fredrick Dalton explores the potential of nineteenth-century mobilities in the formation of identity. Karen Fox explores how family history, in this case the Stephen and Street ‘legal dynasty’, can illuminate an understanding of legal and power relations in a geographic setting. The article on André Kostermans, a renowned Dutch Indonesian botanist, is also on one level a story of shifting identity. Born in the Dutch East Indies, and trained in botany in Holland, Kostermans was interned by the Japanese during World War II, and used his skills to supplement the diet of his fellow prisoners of war, and to develop a ‘bush’ procedure for producing surgical-grade alcohol, actions that undoubtedly saved the lives of many. After the war, his career was almost ruined by the Indonesian government’s response to his homosexuality. In the final essay, the University of Xian scholar Tiping Su discusses the problem of the ‘missing’ Chinese in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, explaining the various issues in identifying and historicising the many Chinese who sojourned in Australia, as well as those who stayed.

Atlas of Butterflies and Diurnal Moths in the Monsoon Tropics of Northern Australia »

Publication date: December 2018
Northern Australia is one of few tropical places left on Earth in which biodiversity—and the ecological processes underpinning that biodiversity—is still relatively intact. However, scientific knowledge of that biodiversity is still in its infancy and the region remains a frontier for biological discovery. The butterfly and diurnal moth assemblages of the area, and their intimate associations with vascular plants (and sometimes ants), exemplify these points. However, the opportunity to fill knowledge gaps is quickly closing: proposals for substantial development and exploitation of Australia’s north will inevitably repeat the ecological devastation that has occurred in temperate southern Australia—loss of species, loss of ecological communities, fragmentation of populations, disruption of healthy ecosystem function and so on—all of which will diminish the value of the natural heritage of the region before it is fully understood and appreciated. Written by several experts in the field, the main purpose of this atlas is to compile a comprehensive inventory of the butterflies and diurnal moths of northern Australia to form the scientific baseline against which the extent and direction of change can be assessed in the future. Such information will also assist in identifying the region’s biological assets, to inform policy and management agencies and to set priorities for biodiversity conservation. In the media Read the IFL Science article: Incredible Butterfly And Moth Diversity Hotspot Discovered In Northern Australia. Read the Fairfax article: Butterfly 'detective' solves 120-year-old north Australian mystery.

The Lives of Stories »

Three Aboriginal-Settler Friendships

Authored by: Emma Dortins
Publication date: December 2018
The Lives of Stories traces three stories of Aboriginal–settler friendships that intersect with the ways in which Australians remember founding national stories, build narratives for cultural revival, and work on reconciliation and self-determination. These three stories, which are still being told with creativity and commitment by storytellers today, are the story of James Morrill’s adoption by Birri-Gubba people and re-adoption 17 years later into the new colony of Queensland, the story of Bennelong and his relationship with Governor Phillip and the Sydney colonists, and the story of friendship between Wiradjuri leader Windradyne and the Suttor family. Each is an intimate story about people involved in relationships of goodwill, care, adoptive kinship and mutual learning across cultures, and the strains of maintaining or relinquishing these bonds as they took part in the larger events that signified the colonisation of Aboriginal lands by the British. Each is a story in which cross-cultural understanding and misunderstanding are deeply embedded, and in which the act of storytelling itself has always been an engagement in cross-cultural relations. The Lives of Stories reflects on the nature of story as part of our cultural inheritance, and seeks to engage the reader in becoming more conscious of our own effect as history-makers as we retell old stories with new meanings in the present, and pass them on to new generations.

The Archaeology of Sulawesi »

Current Research on the Pleistocene to the Historic Period

Publication date: November 2018
The central Indonesian island of Sulawesi has recently been hitting headlines with respect to its archaeology. It contains some of the oldest directly dated rock art in the world, and some of the oldest evidence for a hominin presence beyond the southeastern limits of the Ice Age Asian continent. In this volume, scholars from Indonesia and Australia come together to present their research findings and views on a broad range of topics. From early periods, these include observations on Ice Age climate, life in caves and open sites, rock art, and the animals that humans exploited and lived alongside. The archaeology presented from later periods covers the rise of the Bugis kingdom, Chinese trade ceramics, and a range of site-based and regional topics from the Neolithic through to the arrival of Islam. This carefully edited volume is the first to be devoted entirely to the archaeology of the island of Sulawesi, and it lays down a baseline for significant future research. Peter Bellwood Emeritus Professor The Australian National University