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Human Ecology Review: Volume 24, Number 2 »

Special Issue: Addressing the Great Indoors — A Transdisciplinary Conversation

Publication date: December 2018
Human Ecology Review is a semi-annual journal that publishes peer-reviewed interdisciplinary research on all aspects of human–environment interactions (Research in Human Ecology). The journal also publishes essays, discussion papers, dialogue, and commentary on special topics relevant to human ecology (Human Ecology Forum), book reviews (Contemporary Human Ecology), and letters, announcements, and other items of interest (Human Ecology Bulletin). Human Ecology Review also publishes an occasional paper series in the Philosophy of Human Ecology and Social–Environmental Sustainability.

Human Ecology Review: Volume 24, Number 1 »

Publication date: September 2018
Human Ecology Review is a semi-annual journal that publishes peer-reviewed interdisciplinary research on all aspects of human–environment interactions (Research in Human Ecology). The journal also publishes essays, discussion papers, dialogue, and commentary on special topics relevant to human ecology (Human Ecology Forum), book reviews (Contemporary Human Ecology), and letters, announcements, and other items of interest (Human Ecology Bulletin). Human Ecology Review also publishes an occasional paper series in the Philosophy of Human Ecology and Social–Environmental Sustainability.

The Contest for Aboriginal Souls »

European missionary agendas in Australia

Authored by: Regina Ganter
Publication date: May 2018
This book covers the missionary activity in Australia conducted by non-English speaking missionaries from Catholic and Protestant mission societies from its beginnings to the end of the mission era. It looks through the eyes of the missionaries and their helpers, as well as incorporating Indigenous perspectives and offering a balanced assessment of missionary endeavour in Australia, attuned to the controversies that surround mission history. It means neither to condemn nor praise, but rather to understand the various responses of Indigenous communities, the intentions of missionaries, the agendas of the mission societies and the many tensions besetting the mission endeavour. It explores a common commitment to the supernatural and the role of intermediaries like local diplomats and evangelists from the Pacific Islands and Philippines, and emphasises the strong role played by non-English speakers in the transcultural Australian mission effort. This book is a companion to the website German Missionaries in Australia – A web-directory of intercultural encounters. The web-directory provides detailed accounts of Australian missions staffed with German speakers. The book reads laterally across the different missions and produces a completely different type of knowledge about missions. The book and its accompanying website are based on a decade of research ranging across mission archives with foreign-language sources that have not previously been accessed for a historiography of Australian missions. ‘A remarkable intellectual achievement, compelling reading.’ — Dr Niel Gunson ‘The range of knowledge on display here is very impressive indeed.’ — Professor Peter Monteath

Focality and Extension in Kinship »

Essays in Memory of Harold W. Scheffler

Edited by: Warren Shapiro
Publication date: April 2018
When we think of kinship, we usually think of ties between people based upon blood or marriage. But we also have other ways—nowadays called ‘performative’—of establishing kinship, or hinting at kinship: many Christians have, in addition to parents, godparents; members of a trade union may refer to each other as ‘brother’ or ‘sister’. Similar performative ties are even more common among the so-called ‘tribal’ peoples that anthropologists have studied and, especially in recent years, they have received considerable attention from scholars in this field. However, these scholars tend to argue that performative kinship in the Tribal World is semantically on a par with kinship established through procreation and marriage. Harold Scheffler, long-time Professor of Anthropology at Yale University, has argued, by contrast, that procreative ties are everywhere semantically central, i.e. focal, that they provide bases from which other kinship ties are extended. Most of the essays in this volume illustrate the validity of Scheffler’s position, though two contest it, and one exemplifies the soundness of a similarly universalistic stance in gender behaviour. This book will be of interest to everyone concerned with current controversy in kinship and gender studies, as well as those who would know what anthropologists have to say about human nature. “The study of kinship once ruled the discipline of anthropology, and Hal Scheffler was one of its magisterial figures. This volumes reminds us why. Scheffler’s powerful analyses of kinship systems often conflicted with the views of his more relativist contemporaries. He cut through the fog of theory to emphasise the human essentials, namely the importance of the social bonds rooted in motherhood and fatherhood. Anthropology in its decades-long retreat from the serious study of kinship has lost a great deal. This volume points the way to a restoration.” — Peter Wood, National Association of Scholars

Human Ecology Review: Volume 23, Number 2 »

Special Issue: Human Ecology—A Gathering of Perspectives: Portraits from the Past—Prospects for the Future

Publication date: December 2017
Human Ecology Review is a semi-annual journal that publishes peer-reviewed interdisciplinary research on all aspects of human–environment interactions (Research in Human Ecology). The journal also publishes essays, discussion papers, dialogue, and commentary on special topics relevant to human ecology (Human Ecology Forum), book reviews (Contemporary Human Ecology), and letters, announcements, and other items of interest (Human Ecology Bulletin). Human Ecology Review also publishes an occasional paper series in the Philosophy of Human Ecology and Social–Environmental Sustainability.

German Ethnography in Australia »

Publication date: September 2017
The contribution of German ethnography to Australian anthropological scholarship on Aboriginal societies and cultures has been limited, primarily because few people working in the field read German. But it has also been neglected because its humanistic concerns with language, religion and mythology contrasted with the mainstream British social anthropological tradition that prevailed in Australia until the late 1960s. The advent of native title claims, which require drawing on the earliest ethnography for any area, together with an increase in research on rock art of the Kimberley region, has stimulated interest in this German ethnography, as have some recent book translations. Even so, several major bodies of ethnography, such as the 13 volumes on the cultures of northeastern South Australia and the seven volumes on the Aranda of the Alice Springs region, remain inaccessible, along with many ethnographically rich articles and reports in mission archives. In 18 chapters, this book introduces and reviews the significance of this neglected work, much of it by missionaries who first wrote on Australian Aboriginal cultures in the 1840s. Almost all of these German speakers, in particular the missionaries, learnt an Aboriginal language in order to be able to document religious beliefs, mythology and songs as a first step to conversion. As a result, they produced an enormously valuable body of work that will greatly enrich regional ethnographies.

Human Ecology Review: Volume 23, Number 1 »

Publication date: September 2017
Human Ecology Review is a semi-annual journal that publishes peer-reviewed interdisciplinary research on all aspects of human–environment interactions (Research in Human Ecology). The journal also publishes essays, discussion papers, dialogue, and commentary on special topics relevant to human ecology (Human Ecology Forum), book reviews (Contemporary Human Ecology), and letters, announcements, and other items of interest (Human Ecology Bulletin). Human Ecology Review also publishes an occasional paper series in the Philosophy of Human Ecology and Social–Environmental Sustainability.

Dilthey’s Dream »

Essays on human nature and culture

Authored by: Derek Freeman
Publication date: April 2017
With great eloquence, Derek Freeman takes the reader on an intellectual journey through the complexities of philosophical anthropology. Even while the controversial Nature–Nurture debate raged, Freeman contended that the crucial fact that humans had the capacity to make choices was ‘both intrinsic to our biology and basic to the very formation of cultures’. Thus the scene was set for his widely publicised criticism of Margaret Mead’s book Coming of Age in Samoa. Publishing her research in 1926, Mead concluded that all human behaviour was the result of social conditioning. Freeman refuted this assumption in 1983, urging closer interactions between the biological sciences and cultural studies to bridge the ever-widening chasm threatening all studies of humankind. Dilthey’s Dream is an engagingly powerful set of essays depicting the depth of one man’s thinking on issues, which consumed a lifetime.

An Archaeology of Early Christianity in Vanuatu »

Kastom and Religious Change on Tanna and Erromango, 1839–1920

Authored by: James L. Flexner
Publication date: December 2016
Religious change is at its core a material as much as a spiritual process. Beliefs related to intangible spirits, ghosts, or gods were enacted through material relationships between people, places, and objects. The archaeology of mission sites from Tanna and Erromango islands, southern Vanuatu (formerly the New Hebrides), offer an informative case study for understanding the material dimensions of religious change. One of the primary ways that cultural difference was thrown into relief in the Presbyterian New Hebrides missions was in the realm of objects. Christian Protestant missionaries believed that religious conversion had to be accompanied by changes in the material conditions of everyday life. Results of field archaeology and museum research on Tanna and Erromango, southern Vanuatu, show that the process of material transformation was not unidirectional. Just as Melanesian people changed religious beliefs and integrated some imported objects into everyday life, missionaries integrated local elements into their daily lives. Attempts to produce ‘civilised Christian natives’, or to change some elements of native life relating purely to ‘religion’ but not others, resulted instead in a proliferation of ‘hybrid’ forms. This is visible in the continuity of a variety of traditional practices subsumed under the umbrella term ‘kastom’ through to the present alongside Christianity. Melanesians didn’t become Christian, Christianity became Melanesian. The material basis of religious change was integral to this process.

East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 8, Number 4, 2016 »

Publication date: November 2016
East Asia Forum Quarterly grew out of East Asia Forum (EAF) online, which has developed a reputation for providing a platform for the best in Asian analysis, research and policy comment on the Asia Pacific region in world affairs. EAFQ aims to provide a further window onto research in the leading research institutes in Asia and to provide expert comment on current developments within the region. The East Asia Forum Quarterly, like East Asia Forum online, is an initiative of the East Asia Forum (EAF) and its host organisation, the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research (EABER) in the Crawford School of Economics and Government in the College of Asia & the Pacific at The Australian National University.
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