I’m a PhD candidate in anthropology—the study of societies and cultures—at the University of Queensland.
Stories, bodies, and environments in Outback Australia
My doctoral research explores the ways people in rural Australia communicate stories about place. In particular, I am interested how people narrate their own experiences in place, and how stories of place are communicated through the body and made knowable through embodied interaction with the environment. I explore how people from various cultural heritage groups (Indigenous people, Settler-descendants, Muslim cameleer descendants, Chinese descendants) in North-West Queensland relate to and express their relationship with place. I pay attention to concepts of temporality and material presence or absence.
In particular, I explore:
(1) How places become invested with stories or memories.
(2) How rural Australians define, interpret, respond to, and communicate environmental fluctuation or climatic events, particularly drought and flood.
(3) How people communicate sense of place or incorporate narratives of place and identity through everyday embodied activities and commemorative practices.
Through this exploration, I delve into questions of wayfaring, memory, expression, and identity.
Past research projects
Honours thesis, Queensland University of Technology.
This practice-led creative writing research project explored memory, embodiment, multiple-temporalities, and focalisation in literature. I examined how literary fiction can employ techniques of focalisation to narrate traumatic experiences. Furthermore, it aimed to do this in a way that acknowledges a dialectic of meaning between multiple memories, without situating any one memory (and associated focalisation) as a more valid representation of events than another.