Gender and Cultural Studies seminar: Colonialism and Collecting
Last year, we used the affordances of Zoom to cast our net wide. This semester, we are staying local.
Colonialism and Collecting
Scientific Collecting in a time of Mourning: WJ Macleay’s 1875 visit to Erub, Torres Strait
The 1875 Chevert expedition was a scientific collecting voyage which travelled north along the eastern Australia coastline into the Torres Strait and New Guinea. The expedition was funded and led by William John Macleay, who later established the Macleay Museum at the University of Sydney. With the explicit aim of collecting and documenting the natural environment, expedition members collected vast amounts of animal and plant material as well as valuable Torres Strait cultural material. During his two-week stay on Erub, in the eastern Torres Strait, Macleay also acquired ancestral remains.
In this presentation I tease out the intricacies and tensions in this collection and consider how situating Macleay’s collecting practices in the broader context of colonialism and Christianity on Erub in 1875 might help to find answers for the question Erubam le continue to ask 145 years later, “Why did they take our old people?”
Bio Dr Leah Lui-Chivizhe | Postdoctoral Fellow, History
A historian and curator, Leah is Meriam le with enduring connections to the Mer, Erub, Badu and Mabuiag islands of the Torres Strait. She currently holds a postdoctoral fellowship in History at Sydney. With a broad geographic focus on Oceania and the Torres Strait more specifically, she is interested in histories of settler colonialism and indigenous resistance, the decolonisation of museum collections and practices and Islander histories of human and other-than-human entanglements
When | 30 April / 2:30pm – 4:00pm
Where | Hybrid event – in person and zoom
Location | Social Sciences Building (A02) – Room 650
- TO ATTEND IN PERSON: Register here – staff and students only, via Eventbrite. Places are limited.
- TO ATTEND VIA ZOOM: Make sure you’re on the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies Seminar list to receive the Zoom invitation.