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A Bridge Between »

Spanish Benedictine Missionary Women in Australia

Authored by: Katharine Massam
Publication date: 2020
This sensitive account of Spanish Benedictine women at an Aboriginal mission in Western Australia is poignant and disturbing. Notable for its ecumenical spirit, depth of research and deep engagement with the subject, A Bridge Between is a model of how religious history, in its broader bearings, can be written. — Graeme Davison, Monash University With great insight and care, A Bridge Between presents a sympathetic but not uncritical history of the lives of individuals who have often been invisible. The story of the nuns at New Norcia is a timely contribution to Australia’s religious history. Given the findings of the Royal Commission, it will be widely read both within and beyond the academy. History is, here, a spiritual discipline, and an exercise in hope and reconciliation. — Laura Rademaker, The Australian National University A Bridge Between is the first account of the Benedictine women who worked at New Norcia and the first book-length exploration of twentieth-century life in the Western Australian mission town. From the founding of a grand school intended for ‘nativas’, through links to Mexico and Paraguay then Ireland, India and Belgium, as well as to their house in the Kimberley, and a network of villages near Burgos in the north of Spain, this is a complex international history. A Bridge Between gathers a powerful, fragmented story from the margins of the archive, recalling the Aboriginal women who joined the community in the 1950s and the compelling reunion of missionaries and former students in 2001. By tracing the all-but-forgotten story of the community of Benedictine women who were central to the experience of the mission for many Aboriginal families in the twentieth century, this book lays a foundation for further work.

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The Bugis Chronicle of Bone »

Publication date: April 2020
The Bugis Chronicle of Bone is a masterwork in the historiographical tradition of South Sulawesi in Indonesia. Written in the late seventeenth century for a very specific political purpose, it describes the steady growth of the kingdom of Bone from the fourteenth century onwards. The local conquests of the fifteenth century, closely linked to agricultural expansion, give way to the long conflict with the Makasar state of Gowa in the sixteenth century. Forced Islamisation in 1611 is dealt with in detail, leading finally to first contact with the Dutch East India Company in 1667. This edition presents a diplomatic version of the best Bugis text, together with the first full English translation and an extensive introduction covering the philological approach to the edition, as well as the historical and cultural significance of the work. A structure based on the reigns of successive rulers allows for stories about the circumstances of each ruler and, particularly, the often dramatic processes and politics of succession. The chronicle is a rich source for historians and anthropologists seeking to understand societies beyond Europe. It provides a window on to this Austronesian-speaking society before the impact of significant external influences. This is history from within, covering more than three centuries.

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.