Outside-Domestication: Towards an anthropology of the spaces of negotiated being
Chief investigator: Professor Ghassan Hage
In opposition to the modern mode of inhabiting the world where the domination and the domestication of otherness prevails, a long tradition of thought, often dismissed as utopian or romantic, hints at the existence of spaces marked by non-domineering relations to our human and natural surroundings. This research takes the existence of these spaces seriously. We call them spaces of negotiated being. We see them as a continuing, though minor, dimension of inter-cultural and human-natural relations, even where domination prevails. We aim to examine them ethnographically and show that they constitute a resource for a more innovative inter-cultural politics.
Australian Research Council Discovery-Project Grant
An assessment of social ecological resilience in the context of marine reef management in Melanesia
Chief investigator: Assoc. Professor Martha Macintyre
Associate Professor Martha Macintyre is currently engaged in a joint research project (with Dr. Simon Foale at James Cook University) funded by the ARC, which is exploring the role of local environmental knowledge in marine resource management and governance in Melanesia and to test materials that explain scientific interventions in secondary school curricula.
The aim of the project is understand the complex social-ecological processes that have resulted in the collapse of several important fisheries in Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. The main driver of overfishing is the expansion of Chinese commodity markets, which are exerting unprecedented pressure on marine resources. Traditional governance institutions appear to be largely unable to manage commoditised fisheries. This research will assess the role of environmental knowledge in fisher decision-making, and trial ways of incorporating scientific knowledge of reef fishery dynamics into school curricula. The primary output is urgently needed, socially-informed policy.
Australian Research Council Discovery-Project Grant (joint with James Cook University)
Treading carefully: Sociopolitical implications of genetic research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
Chief Investigator: Dr Emma Kowal
Human genetic research promises to deliver a range of health benefits to the population. Where this research involves Indigenous communities, many sensitive issues are raised. Indigenous peoples have expressed concern about a lack of benefit to their communities; a diversion of attention from non-genetic causes of health disparities; a reinforcement of 'victim-blaming'; and possible misuse of tissue samples. This postdoctoral research program will facilitate an interdisciplinary collaboration between a medical/cultural anthropologist and genetic epidemiologists from the earliest stages of an Indigenous genetic research initiative with the aim of identifying and addressing social, cultural and philosophical issues raised by this research.
National Health and Medical Research Council Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Training Fellowship