Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, Anthropology, University of California / Berkeley

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2002
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, New York University (NYU)
Aboriginal Radio: A Political Economy of Speech and Sound in Indigenous Australia

This project will explore the social and linguistic practices by which Aboriginal communities utilize radio in the context of Austalia’s particularly charged multicultural politics. This research ethnographically centers Aboriginal radio, speech, and music, as empirical sites at which to inquire into three related problems: First; why have indigenous media and art achieved such critical successes within Aboriginal communities while other, better funded social programs (such as various pastoral enterprise development, community health awareness, and state-funded social welfare projects) are widely assessed as failures and as exacerbating the dire material and social conditions facing many Aboriginal communities? Second; how are new relationships to the past and to place mediated through speech and music on the radio, and how do such relationships vary across diverse Aboriginal communities and across different generations within these communities? And third; how are the particular linguistic, poetic, and aesthetic strategies such communities engage through these media related to the political economic contours of Australian multiculturalism, and to more general, global changes in the value of indigenous cultural production? To address such questions, this project will inquire into the practices by which memory, heritage, and belonging are articulated in the sounds of radios, the Aboriginal English of indigenous communities, and the social networks of indigenous media producers.