The HRC and the Stanford Humanities Centre have entered into a collaboration to host workshops and facilitate scholarly exchange in 2011-2012.
These workshops will help advance research in comparative histories of western desert art, landscape and environment. The first of these workshops will be held in Stanford on 7 June, 2011 on the theme, ‘Trails of Fire: Signatures of Cultural and Environmental Transformations on the American and Australian Frontiers”. The conveners are Doug Bird from Stanford and Peter Veth from ANU, as well as Richard White and Jon Christensen from Stanford’s Bill Lane Centre of the American West which is co-sponsoring the event.
The workshop will focus on the cultural and environmental dynamics at the margins of indigenous and colonial interaction in the Australian and American Wests. One premise of the workshop is that any understanding of the processes of rapid environmental change requires a transnational comparative exploration of social and economic transformations inherent in the spreading interaction of indigenous communities and settler colonialism. As a starting point for discussion, the workshop participants investigate the emergent material patterns – fire regime and habitat modification, indigenous resource use, the construction of landscapes, and artistic and other representations of these transformations – along the tentacles of invading agro-pastoral capitalism in Australia and North America. They will explore the continued salience of these transformations, especially along corridors of movement, where trails and roads create new interactions and boundaries, as well as ongoing issues of managing their associated heritage and natural resources.
The workshop will include scholars and researchers as well as indigenous people from Australia and the western United States. ANU participants include, Peter Veth, Kylie Message and John Carty.