CSI showcases diverse research at 'Looking Inland'

The Centre for the Study of the Inland held its first major event last Friday 2 December.

Looking Inland

Karen Twigg

‘Looking Inland’ was a one-day workshop for the University’s many scholars engaged in research and teaching on ‘Inland’ themes to showcase their work and an opportunity for researchers to create interdisciplinary collaborations.

Thirty staff members and Higher Degree Research Students from both Colleges and several campuses presented at the workshop, which everyone agreed was a huge success.

The breadth of the research presented highlighted the University’s many strengths and a willingness among researchers to work across disciplines and focus areas.

Highlights of the day

Highlights of the day included Dr Richard Cosgrove’s paper (Archaeology) on his recent fieldwork in the Kimberley. While looking for evidence of past Indigenous subsistence practices, Dr Cosgrove and his team uncovered several important Indigenous rock art sites.

Richard Cosgrove's Kimberley Rock Art Project

Dr Ruth Lawrence from Outdoor and Environmental Education presented three short papers on the health of the Murray River among other themes, pointing out potential fruitful links between the Centre and the Outdoor Education team.

A particularly strong session was Settlement and Mobilities, with papers from Dr Martina Boese, Dr Anthony Moran, Dr Mark Mallman and Dr Raelene Wilding (Social Inquiry), and Dr Claudia Haake and Dr Tim Minchin (History). All presenters were pleased to discover important similarities and links between their research projects, despite disciplinary differences. Speakers at Looking Inland

Dr Benjamin Mountford (History), one of the University’s new David Myers Fellows presented an intriguing paper ‘A global history of Australia Gold’ in the Resource Extraction session with Dr Clare Wright (History) and Dr Jillian Garvey (Archaeology).

The Centre was pleased to host some external researchers: Dr Graeme Newell (Arthur Rylah Institute) who chaired a very rigorous session on Climate and Environmental Change; Dr Nick Bond (Murray-Darling Basin Freshwater Research) who chaired the session on Water; and Dr Eva van Gorsel a soil scientist from the CSIRO who presented on carbon uptake and water use in southern Australia.

Speakers at Looking Inland

The day ended with a panel consisting of Acting-Director Professor Katie Holmes, Professor Susan Lawrence (Archaeology) and honorary staff members Dr Guy Fitzhardinge and renowned desert archaeologist Professor Mike Smith. Expertly chaired by Clare Wright the panel generated much engagement about the Centre’s future directions.

The Centre’s next event ‘Mapping the Inland’ will be held on the University’s City Campus on 14-15 February. Attendance is free, but tickets must be booked.

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