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SEMINAR: ANTHROPOLOGY / SOCIOLOGY SEMINAR SERIES

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Today's date is Thursday, February 25, 2021
ANTHROPOLOGY / SOCIOLOGY SEMINAR SERIES : Pre-fieldwork PhD Seminars Other events...
2.30pm Marnie Tonkin, PhD Candidate, Anthropology & Sociology, UWA Title: Payinjala Pinpala Yurlu (strike camp) Aboriginal architecture in the Pilbara: an investigation of transformation and identity creation through the architectural forms of the 1946 pastoral workers strike

Abstract: This research project will investigate the question: what are the architectural forms produced by the Pilbara Aboriginal pastoral workers' social movement, and how did these forms support their aims of self-determination and economic, political, and cultural security? The research will examine the structures of the Pilbara pastoral workers strike movement to analyse the types of buildings the strikers built for the purposes of shelter and income generation after walking off the pastoral stations where they had lived and worked as a low cost labour force for the settlers. In addition to recording the architectural forms of the strike period (the strike itself is recorded as lasting 1946-49, however I will focus on the work camp period 1946-1961), the research will examine the way the identity of the strikers was perceived internally and by 'others' through the architecture they built. Architectural anthropology is the study of the way in which the built environment incorporates the multiplicities of influences that are present in the lives of those who inhabit such spaces and structures. The buildings people create for themselves reflect primary concerns of shelter and protection from the elements and from 'others' but these structures also provide information about the social systems that underpin a community, their cosmological beliefs and political relationships. Through a cross-disciplinary analysis, I will also explore aspects such as building techniques, materiality, aesthetics and site. Authority and power relationships are reflected within the built form both consciously and unintentionally, as are the values and aspirations of the people who use them. In the study of material objects the domestic house and public buildings are essential sites for analysis of the society. I consider an empirical investigation of the strike camp architecture will reveal the underlying values behind the decisions to formalise certain relationships through architecture.

3.00pm Azim Zahir, PhD Candidate, Anthropology & Sociology, UWA Title: Secularism, Religion and Democratisation in the Maldives

Abstract: In terms of the position of Islam to the political system in the Maldives, some academics (including Kuru [2009, 259] and Cesari [2014, 8-12]) would put the Maldives in the same category as Saudi Arabia. This chapter contests such categorisation, and argues the postion of Islam is neither neatly "secular" nor "religious". It traces how and why Islam attained this complex position. The paper argues neither religious interpretations nor religious practices were the main reasons for Islam's contemporary political configurations. As the political position of religion is not due to a religiously based group of political actors based on religious interpretations or beliefs, the political position of religion cries out for an explanation. I argue the reasons for the contemporary political position are mainly to do with a particular social imaginary based on "Islamo-nationalist" discourses. The main element of this discourse is a national identity based on the motif of sattain satta muslim qaum or "100% Muslim nation", which excludes the possibility for religious freedom or non-Islamic identities. Secondly, the chapter argues that while Islam-based laws/policies exist, how they are enacted in contemporary Maldives shows that, at a more substantive level, global secular modernity, democratic processes and non-religious discourses have in complex ways entered the political, institutional processes that resulted in these laws.
Speaker(s) Marnie Tonkin, PhD Candidate, Anthropology & Sociology, UWA and Azim Zahir, PhD Candidate, Anthropology & Sociology, UWA
Location Social Sciences Building Room 2.204
Contact Karen Eichorn <[email protected]>
Start Fri, 16 Oct 2015 14:30
End Fri, 16 Oct 2015 15:30
Submitted by Karen Eichorn <[email protected]>
Last Updated Wed, 14 Oct 2015 12:56
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