Publication and Talk (2018-2024)

The Anthropolog of Ambiguity (2024)

Ambiguity has long captivated scholars concerned with knowledge and its production. From the classical fields of mathematics, philosophy and logic to the natural, behavioural and social sciences, each grappled with it as a puzzle to solve or a tool to wield. But what if ambiguity is not a problem to be solved, but rather a fundamental aspect of human existence? In this ambitious collection, ambiguity takes centre stage as a lens through which to explore the depths of what it means to be human.Spanning thirteen ethnographic contexts, the book delves into the rich tapestry of ambiguity’s manifestations, from moments of crisis to the complexities of everyday life. Through vivid case studies encompassing natural disasters, political unrest, public health challenges, and personal identity, ambiguity emerges as a dynamic force, driving innovation and shaping collective meaning-making. Drawing on existentialist philosophy and the insights of sociocultural anthropology, particularly the legacy of The Manchester School and the philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir, this volume offers a fresh perspective on sitting and being with ambiguity. The book focuses on ambiguity’s power as a constituent force of openness, timelessness and plasticity, and as the source of dynamism across binary notions of knowledge and experience, certainty and uncertainty, and ontology and non-ontology. It celebrates ambiguity as a conduit for social analysis and for doing and writing anthropology.

This jointly authored article is a study of Indigenous data sovereignty and return of Native Title research materials to the Traditional Owner communities. A group of two historians and two anthropologists who have variously worked with the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations, First Nations Legal and Research Services and the Native Title Unit, Department of Justice and Community Safety wrote the paper. The article appeared in an special issue on Critical Archives, in the Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, Johns Hopkins University Press.

Other Publications:

  • Analytical reflections on provision of anthropological evidence in Native Title compensation claims (in progress):

This publication project was supported and funded by Centre for Native Title Anthropology (CNTA), Guided Research and writing Placement (2018-2019). The paper explore the concepts of solatium and cultural loss in Native Title compensation claims. In general terms, systematic description and analysis of affective experience is one of the key principles to provide expert opinion and evidence for the loss of solace in compensation claims. Nonetheless this requires to be legally framed in direct consequential relation with  extinguishment or impairment of landed rights and interests and cultural loss. The experts who were involved in compensation claims are all agreed on methodological and analytical challenges of  associated research. In this paper, I aim to address this issue by applying a holistic approach to personal, societal and social experience. Influenced by my ongoing research interest in lived experience, I discuss that compensation research should record evidance beyond verbal expressions of affect, emotions and narration of loss.

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