“Since , O Mazda from the beginning, Thou didst create soul and body, mental power and knowledge , and since Thou didst bestow to mankind the power to act , speak and guide , you wished that everyone should chose their own faith and path freely.”

Zaratostra - Yasna 31, Verse 11

One who always thinks of his own safety and profit, how can he love the joy-bringing Mother Earth? The righteous man that follows Asha's Law shall dwell in regions radiant with Thy Sun, the abode where wise ones dwell.”

Zaratostra Yasna, Verse 2

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Abstract for the Symposium by Associate Professor Peter Eckersall

Port B: ‘site as stage’—the audience runs amok in the archive

Since 2003, when Port B was founded by Takayama Akira, this Tokyo based company have made interdisciplinary art works at the borders of what we generally accept as theatre. These include experimental theatre productions, art installations and works called ‘tour performances.’ Documentary performance techniques are used; techniques that use documents, interviews and site research to create new information and uncover hidden aspects of the past. Documentary performance often dwells on the connections that people have to places and tells personal, in many cases, revelatory stories. 

This paper examines ‘The Complete Manual of Evacuation—Tokyo’ (Takayama, 2010) an artwork taking as its central image the 34.5 km Yamanote train line circling around Tokyo. At each of its 29 stations an evacuation zone was established. ‘Evacuation—Tokyo’ is described as:
A communicational system that enables the audiences to come into contact with communities that usually remain unseen in the shape of our present-day cities …. The dialogue starts via Internet and then spreads to several districts in Tokyo. (A venture with the aim of disrobing theatre.) A theatrical architecture, designing a new form of encounter.
Participants register on line and complete a questionnaire (still available at: http://hinan-manual.com/); depending on their answers, they would be directed to one of the 29 stations.  Once there, they could meet ‘communities’ such as homeless people and migrants and explore the buried histories and cartographies of each site.

In ‘Evacuation—Tokyo’ an interactive network of temporary ‘sites as stage’ is created and the role of the audience is cleverly transformed.  Who is an audience in these works?  There are paying ticket-holders, people who interact with them at evacuation sites, and even the people in the teeming city that surround them.  And how does ‘Evacuation—Tokyo’ narrate transcultural identity? Jacques Derrida writes in Archive Fever: ‘There is no political power without control of the archive, if not of memory.’[1]  He indicates that the stakes are high over the memorialisation and excavation of sites and people’s histories.  This paper will explore how ‘Evacuation—Tokyo’ might enable the countering of such a fulsome ideological contest where dominating powers put their singular claims on identity.  Participating in this carefully created ‘site as theatre’ enables the audience to run amok and see artefacts and people in different relationships to space and power.

Peter Eckersall is Associate Professor in Theatre Studies in the School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne.  Peter’s research interests include contemporary Japanese theatre, experimental performance and dramaturgy. His major publications include Theorizing the Angura Space: avant-garde performance and politics in Japan 1960-2000 (Brill Academic, 2006) and forthcoming Kawamura Takeshi’s Nippon Wars and Other Plays (Seagull Books, 2011).  He is dramaturg for Not Yet It’s Difficult whose performance and media works are well known in Australia, Asia and Europe.  Peter is presently a visiting fellow at the International Centre, Interweaving Performance Cultures at Freie University, Berlin. 

[1] Jacques Derrida Archive Fever, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), 4, note 1.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Abstract for the Symposium by Dr Mammad Aidani

We are sedimented: Perceptions and identity amongst the Iranian Diaspora

Centered on the idea of sedimentation this paper discusses the displaced narratives of Iranians in Australia and the ways in which they perceive and give meaning to the positive and negative emotions which they have
formed about themselves, their experiences of displacement, and cultural Otherness. 

The paper argues that these perceptions and the meanings attached to the experiences are the sedimentation of geography, culture,history and linguistics. This sedimentation has shaped the psyche, memory and emotions of Iranians living in the diaspora. I argue that the perceptions of the Iranian diaspora are not only rooted in a sedimented cultural identity but also in the body’s perceptions of phenomena.

Dr Mammad Aidani is an interdisciplinary scholar specializing in phenomenological philosophy and narrative existential psychology. He is based in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne.  He is also a playwright and theatre practitioner . His research examines the cultural meanings of suffering and the types of identities and modes of belonging that shape the local world of diaspora communities. He is the author of Welcoming the Stranger: Narratives of Identity and Belonging in an Iranian Diaspora (Common Ground 2010). His plays have been staged both in Australia and internationally.  His recent Journal articles have been published in the Journal of Intercultural Studies ( Routledge, 2010)   and The International Journal of the Arts in Society (Common Ground 2010).  His current research focuses on “ sedimentation, perception, consciousness and the body:  The ways of suffering amongst Iranian diaspora men.”

Abstract for the Symposium by Dr James Oliver

Ways of Seeing, Being and Becoming: identity as performance of place and belonging

This paper explores how people act on and do identity in contexts (or sites) of place-based belonging, with particular focus on contexts where colonial contact has informed a legacy of cultural (and territorial)  assimilation, appropriation, and alienation; including processes of population decline and migrations.

With a particular focus on embodied and spatial negotiations of place, this paper explores the ontology of ‘being in place’ as a modality of identity that informs and subverts the national imaginary, where sites of identity are a stage (as both platform and process) of understanding and informing identities.

The paper employs examples of identity, place and alienation in an ethnographic journey from the Scottish Hebrides to the Australian continent.

Dr. James Oliver, McCaughey Centre, School of Polulation Health, The University of Melbourne.

James is a Research Fellow in the School of Population Health at The University of Melbourne. He was awarded his PhD in 2003 at The University of Sheffield, where he was supervised by social anthropologists Sharon Macdonald and Richard Jenkins. The thesis explored the identity negotiations of young people in relation to the Gaelic language, culture and place, in Scotland. This work was funded by UK’s Economic and Social Research Council, as was his subsequent postdoctoral fellowship at The University of Edinburgh. Subsequent to this he has worked across a range of projects and practices broadly relating to place, culture and identity; including, amongst homeless people in Glasgow, in arts development for the Scottish Arts Council, and more recently amongst marginalized communities in Melbourne. His work is developing with increasing reference to arts practice and research, with continuing relevance to the social relations and productions of culture, place and identity.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Abstract for the Symposium by Dr Dvir Abramovich

Aussie Sabras: The Israeli migrant community in Melbourne

While the state of Israel was established to allow Jews to end their perennial narrative of wandering and persecution in the Diaspora, since its founding in 1948 more than one million Israelis have chosen to go abroad and settle there.  Given that Israel was built on the pillars of immigration, Israeli emigrants encompass within their midst a complex and variegated array of identities, as well as multivalent links to social groups within and outside Israel. The latest figures from the Israeli Interior Ministry report that there are about 20,000 Israelis living in Australia and it is this group that forms the centre of this presentation.
 It is lamentable that there are almost no local studies of the Israeli emigrant population, perhaps owing to the thorny and controversial nature surrounding the subject matter of Israelis leaving their homeland. As such, a broad spectrum of themes and issues associated with this community has not been scrutinized by the academic community.

The focus of this paper will be to examine the small sized, highly westernized Israeli migrant population in Melbourne, which at present constitutes the largest community of Israelis in Australia. Analysed and dissected will be issues such as: reasons for emigration, models of economic adaptation, the relationship between the Israeli community and the local Jewish community, the durable connections to the country of origins, patterns of communal organization and ethnic and religious identity. Based on ethnographic materials, the paper weaves together theories from the extensive field of migration and Diaspora studies.

Dr. Dvir Abramovich is the Jan Randa Senior Lecturer in Hebrew & Jewish studies and Director of The University of Melbourne Centre for Jewish History and Culture. He was president of the Australian Association of Jewish Studies for 5 years and editor of the Australian Journal of Jewish Studies, the only peer-reviewed journal in Australia devoted to the field of Judaic studies for eight years. A regular contributor to national media, he is co- editor of the book Testifying to the Holocaust (2008) and author of the book Back to the FutureIsraeli Litearture of the 1980s and 1990s published in 2010.

Abstract for the Symposium by Associate Professor Gocha Tsetskhladze

'Colonial Encounters': Ancient Greeks Overland

Contacts between Greeks and locals come in different shapes and sizes and
were transmitted in a variety of ways - objects, ideas, practices,
lifestyles, etc. - and different societies showed different ways of
accepting and displaying new ideas. What they accepted, they did so
deliberately because the new had to complement something already existing
within the receiving/accepting society. The question is always that of who
initiated the process. I shall explore the situation in the Mediterranean
and the Black Sea, focusing on prestige objects in local societies as well
as Greek features in the architecture of local settlements, sculpture.

Gocha Tsetskhladze is a Classical Archaeologist with two doctorates
(Moscow and Oxford). He is a specialist in the archaeology of the
Mediterranean, Anatolia and the Black Sea in the Archaic and Classical
periods, Greek colonisation, the relationship between Greeks and locals,
etc. He has published over 250 articles, chapters and books. He is founder
and editor-in-chief of the journal Ancient West & East and its monograph
supplement, Colloquia Antiqua. He has excavated extensively around the
Black Sea and is now Director of the University of Melbourne Excavations
at Pessinus in Central Anatolia.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A few observations about Carlton Housing Estates's Harmony Day

 On 17 March 2011, the Research Network participated in Harmony Day Ceremonies at the Carlton Housing Estates at the Suggestion of one of our members, Dr. Sara Wills. The Carlton Housing Estates is a planned development to supply housing to the disadvantaged, located in the middle of a neighbourhood surrounded by Melbourne University and gentrified upscale housing. Harmony Day, celebrates diversity in Australia.

Research Network Members Mammad Aidani, James Oliver, and Louise Hitchcock enjoy the festivities

The day featured various cultural events such as African drumming and a dance troupe from the Vietnamese community, Kurdish and Turkish residents, Somalian women groups and many others. There were very lively activities on the Housing Estate Centres Around the Childrens' Playground

Adam Bandt, the Green Pary Federal MP for Melbourne spoke of the changing ethnic landscape in Melbourne, which has more recent migrants than any Australian city. We were struck by the point that he stayed around to speak with the community long after the soundbite moment and photo op ended.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Photos From Harmony Day in Carlton

Harmony Day on Thursday 17 March at the Carlton Residence,  the following is a short report written by Louise and I am sending it before attaching the images that follow.

Hi Mammad,

Here are a few more photos with short captions for the blog - Louise

There were a number of marquee's at Harmony Day and this textile tent occupies the space where a shipping container once served as a site of community theatre  that Mammad worked with the Carlton residents to create a play in last year's community arts project called Light House.

Colourful dancers from the Vietnamese community were a vibrant presence at the festivities

Community residents and children participating in face painting line up for sausages.

A representative of the Wurundjuri community welcomed us to country

School of Historical and Philosophical Studies Research Day

SHAPS Research Day 22 Oct 2010

Session 3. Research Networks: (27 people present)
Prof. Andy May: These schemes will continue to be funded by Faculty
1. Multi-Disciplinary (Australian Studies, Classics and Archaeology, Theater Studies, Anthropology, Jewish Studies, Art History) The Site is a Stage/The Stage is a Site: Archaeology and the Narration of Transcultural Identities: Preliminary Report on a Cross-Disciplinary Research Network
Dr. Mammad Aidani: conversational: presented  his background and discussed how collaboration came about. He mentioned that his evolved in cultural theory and hermeneutic philosophy and psychology, also a playwright involved with various migrant and minority communities in Victoria and overseas.  He highlighted that his activities have been embraced in Australia. Mammad said that his plays have been written in Persian along with 8 in English.
In his presentations he addressed that his is interested in how the City engages the other for example the Middle Eastern communities here and abroad both in the past and present. He emphasized that there  are many aspects of our narratives that are both visible and invisible when we tell them to others. He disused the importance of knowing how the stories appear and  are performed in the context of the city, particularly with regard to suffering and trauma. He said we mostly  focus on the refugee, but not on everyday experience of being in exile. He said he want us to think of  Melbourne as an exilic city as well which is not the case in most of our approached to studying refugees and migrants.  He said that many people live with the view of  themselves of being invisible and of feeling of being excluded:  He quoted Middle Eastern  and Iranians refugees saying that "They don't know where I come from and who I am." "I feel that they think we who are from Iran and the middle eastern-countries are barbarians and fanatics."  He said  that we need to pay more attention on the Language of narrators and the mythological reference the bring into their conversations when we study them. For example he said that there is a constant reference amongst Iranians that Cyrus the Great's cylinder of 580-529 BCE was the first human rights charter in order to let us know that they have a deep culture that knows what human right is and wish to defy the stigma that some people attached to them that Iranians never understand concept of human rights. He said that today's migrants go back to the past in order to find out who they are and as result resisting distress and social alienation. He said that symbols and signs have a huge impact on the way we need to imagine communities and the future. “Migrants have seen the monuments that form a great part of the history of their homeland. People refer to them whether or not they have seen them. Dead places still have profound meanings and evoke meaning. This is becoming more pronounced in the age of fundamentalism. There is a lot of references to the past in reference to the present” Mammad Said.
Prof. Peter Eckersall: English and Theatre program: speaking on behalf of himself and James Oliver in Anthropology. Theatre is a site to investigate things, not just stories, but embodied practices give us a way to investigate things with regard to specific practices, performance studies, esp. Shanks and Pearson Theatre/Archaeology: the re-articulating of fragments of the past as a real time event. The layers of the past being available to the present through the power of imagination, a process brought by Benjamin. Using Verbatim or Documentary or Political Theatre: reviving the world as a place to draw on through experience of place. Through a Japanese group called Port B where sites of the Tokyo Olympics were visited to create a perspective of the past by bringing it into the present. Elaborate performances that take place on a site, using the distribution mechanisms of a city through the experience of the truck driver. Field site for digging. Performing future memories with James Oliver and Sara Wills: Performance Cosmologies: Testament from the future and the past, through capturing stories from the past to create an archive of future memory in a way that isn't sentimental and romantic. Data taken out of the individual experience becomes a representational framework.

Dr. Felicity Harley-McGowan: Late Antique Ivories: Sites of Cross Cultural Referentialism. Hopes the group will assist her in thinking about her own work. A lot of attention in the last 10-20 years about breaking down the barriers that made this a traditional discipline, and getting away from particular types of material being within the domain of certain scholars, so it gets separated into categories and into different disciplines, which bring different questions and biases to the study of the Late Antique where we want to embrace all of that material and bring it into a more broad and fluid context. Felicity works with material of the pagan classes in Rome. Hinged ivory diptychs may have celebrated or recorded a significant event. Representation of pagan sacrifice is depicted on an elite object when pagan beliefs were under attack from Christianity. Christian elites are creating their own versions of these objects on elite goods and using a narrative language that pagan viewers would understand, but where there is a new context. Role of similar symbols plays a role within contemporary ancient audiences but with different ritual, religious, and cultural beliefs. Suicide depictions don't survive in Greco-Roman art, so look at the cringe issues regarding suicide in society at this time to develop an new visual vocabulary where models don't exist. Ivory workshops are responding to commissions regardless of the religion of the patron, which affects its meaning

Dr. Louise Hitchcock: Mammad is a muse for developing this project with his work on identity, trauma, ethnicity, and diaspora. I started the group to have the kind of conversations I had as a grad student. It is organized very loosely using the concept of the network metaphorically. It is not a system, using the term also metaphorically, coordination, with no centre.  Mammad and others are looking to the past to interpret the present. I'm looking to the present, to migrant, indigenous and traditional communities to understand the process of identity formation in the past, theorize diaspora, to give the voice to trauma in prehistory, to re-invigorate the study of the past and the evocation of memory. We are looking at new ways to interpret and view identity. We are open to having new participants. 

Joy-lyn Bell Ogilby is investigating the role of environment in the orientation of Mediterranean identity. How did trade negotiations result in relationships between traders and indigenous communities.  Movement in the ancient Mediterranean is not so different to the movement of layers of identities today with the amalgamation of culture. Is there a transportability of culture? Different priorities and currencies in occur in different circumstances. Different identities emerge depending on the context of family and community. Trade is a viable enterprise. Repression is a deterrent, trade is an exchange of culture and politics is the creation of hegemony. Food is the most fundamental marker of identity for structuring social relations and fostering communal identity. How is food prepared and maintained. Materiality is a leveler of ancient society. Time, space, and movement: each generation’s identity is defined by transportability and adaptability. Layers in interpretation pervade most discussion of archaeological remains. Clay is used by an archaeologist to identify time, place, culture: plastic may take this place today. Time has many layers

Marcia Nugent is examining the relationship between botanic motifs and Identity. Belief, Ritual and Trade: Move from form to botanic remains as having a structuring function in the construction of identity. For example, Spanish Vetchling: uniquely found at Akroitiri on a breasted jug that was ritual. Spanish vetchling exported to Tell Nami in Israel as a marker of identity, and evocative of memory and it's role in identity; smell, taste, and intoxication as evocative of identity, social connection, and identity.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Abstract for the Symposium by Professor Aren Maeir

Title: "The Other, the Neighbor, or the Relative: Negotiating proximity in
the biblical world - the Israelites and Philistines as a case study"

The ongoing interaction between the neighboring cultures of the
Philistines and the Israelites during the Iron Age is portrayed through
various lenses. In the multi-layered biblical texts, a complex set of
relationships is seen, ranging from outright hostility (e.g. David and
Goliath), collaboration (David and Achish) to intermarriage (Samson and
Delilah). While the dominant motif in the biblical text is a negative image
of the Philistines (carried in to modern perspectives), it is clear that a
much more complicated interaction is indicated. Archaeological evidence from
the last decades, and in particular from the recent excavations at Tell
es-Safi/Gath (biblical Gath of the Philistines), have revealed evidence of
bi-directional and multi-faceted character of the interaction(s) between the
Philistine and Israelite cultures, adding depth, and deeper understanding,
to the "on the ground" reality hiding behind the biblical texts.

Aren M. Maeir is an associate professor of archaeology at the Martiz (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel. He directs the Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project and co-directs the joint Bar-Ilan University/Weizmann Institute of Science Program in Archaeological Science.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dear All,

The event 'Carlton Harmony Day' is taking place on Thursday 17 March at the Carlton Housing Estate. It starts from 3:30 pm and  goes till  8.00pm. Please be aware that it is a cultural event and there will be a lot  of activities going on so we won't have the usual opportunity for meeting over dinner. Sara says she hasn't got the full program yet, but will send it to me as soon as she can. She has also made a very good suggestion that we could arrive to the event as we like as long along as we can be there by 5.00-5.30 if possible. This is the  special time of the Indigenous welcome. After this we could perhaps go for dinner somewhere nearby maybe around 7.30 on Lygon Street.
It will be a great event and we hope you all could make it.
Kind Regards,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Abstract for the conference by Caroline Tully
Researching the Past, is a Foreign Country:  Cognitive Dissonance as a response by practitioner Pagans to academic research on the history of Pagan religions.        
Neo-Paganism is an umbrella term for an increasingly popular cluster of new religions whose adherents are to be found primarily in the UK, USA and Australia. A movement that consciously looks to the past and claims to revive the ancient religious practices of pre-Christian Europe, Neo-Paganism has always been dependent upon academic scholarship—particularly history, archaeology and anthropology—in its project of self-fashioning. Dependant primarily upon late nineteenth and early twentieth century scholarship, Neo-Pagans vociferously reject more recent research, especially when it contradicts earlier findings, perceiving it as threatening to their structure of beliefs and sense of identity. Not only do the results of such scholarship traumatise Neo-Pagans—however unwittingly on the scholars’ part—in some cases it rebounds upon the researchers themselves when Neo-Pagans seek to traumatise the scholars, the “bearers of bad news”, in return. This paper will present case studies which display the contested nature of the past by highlighting the combative interaction between Neo-Pagans and academic researchers at three types of site-as-stage: the archaeological excavation, the museum and the text, and explain how the performers fail to communicate as a result of speaking different “languages”. It will also discuss the infusion into Neo-Paganism of hybrid vigour through the activities of the Pagan Studies scholar, a researcher in the role of participant-observer, who functions as a “go-between”, easing the sense of resentment by Neo-Pagans toward the perceived 
colonisation of their religion by “hackademics”.

Caroline Tully is a PhD student working on a thesis about sacred trees in
the prehistoric Aegean, Cyprus and Israel, under the supervision of
Associate Professor Louise Hitchcock. Caroline comes to academia from over
twenty years prior involvement in contemporary Pagan religions. Her
Postgraduate Diploma thesis, 'Spiritual Egyptomania: The Hermetic Order of
the Golden Dawn', was an attempt to critique and subsequently purge this
relationship from her psyche. Nevertheless, Caroline cannot resist the
lure of academic Pagan Studies and also continues to publish on aspects
Neo-Paganism for a popular audience.

 A message from Caroline recommending a book. Thanks Caroline

Hi Mammad, 

You can post this book recommendation to the BLOG site too, if
you like. I just thought I'd suggest a book for the 'The Site is a Stage' group. I
beleve Louise did mention it at the first meeting.

It is 'Theatre/Archaeology' by Mike Pearson and Michael Shanks and is
available as a free download from Michael Shanks' website here:

He has lots of his books available there.

OK, back to working on my abstract now.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Abstract for the Symposium by Associate Professor Louise A. Hitchcock

Archaeology and Sedimented Identities:
Trauma, Migration, and Performativity in the Late Bronze Age Mediterranean
While we tend to think practically of distance as something that can be measured in time and space, distance can also be conceptual in terms of the time and obstacles actually encountered in transcending it, and it can be cultural through the confrontation with ‘Otherness.’ I plan to explore conceptual and cultural distance in the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1700-1180 BCE), in terms of how identity was acted out through performativity, as well as how identity was affected by violence, migration, and diaspora. Although this period is frequently treated as a seamless progression, it was punctuated by moments of violence and destruction, both natural and cultural. Little work has been done on the human toll taken by these events, which are frequently treated as stylistic categories of art that signal the passage of time.  Thus, such events have not been adequately explored as moments or sites of human trauma and identity formation.  As a preliminary exploration of these issues, I will consider destructions caused by the volcanic eruption of Thera (ca. 1614 BCE), and the violent destructions of the Minoan (ca. 1470/1450 BCE. Crete) and the Mycenaean civilisations (ca. 1180 BCE, Greece). In this pilot study, I will engage with modern ethnohistory and ethnography as an analog for raising questions about how ancient events affected individuals who can only speak to us through the material and spatial residues of their culture.

Louise Hitchcock is Associate Professor of Aegean Bronze Age Archaeology and Chair of the Classics and Archaeology Program at the University of Melbourne. Louise also has a minor in social theory and she has written many books and articles exploring the relationship between archaeology and theory. Her current research deals with Aegean, Cypriot, and Levantine connections, particularly Philistine identity and its Aegean connections. The Australian Research Council funds her excavations at the Philistine site of Tell es-Safi/Gath.

> I'm just taking notes for my Abstract for 'The Site is a Stage'
> conference, which I hope to have finished and sent to you either Monday or
> Tuesday this week, and I'm reading through the blog from the beginning.
> Seeing as there are excursions planned to places around Melbourne, I
> thought I would recomend the Chinese "See Yup Temple" in South Melbourne.
> It is situated right near where I worked for 14 years at the Australian
> Tapestry Workshop and many people do not know about it. It is very
> interesting though. Here is some info.
> See Yup Temple, South Melbourne (Victoria) (1856 - )
> http://www.chia.chinesemuseum.com.au/biogs/CH00027b.htm
> From 1856
> Details
> The Chinese temple in South Melbourne (then called Emerald Hill) was built
> in 1856 by the See Yup Society. In 1866 it was rebuilt and enlarged. The
> temple cost over four thousand pounds to construct and was funded by
> compulsory donations from Society members. The names of more than a
> thousand donors are inscribed on two stone tablets at the Temple. As the
> Society is legally a non-entity the six titles covering the temple land
> are held in the names of six individual trustees. The remainder of the
> donated money was invested in two properties in Little Bourke Street.
> Still standing today, it was built as a meeting place for members but also
> includes two altars for worship and three memorial halls. The memorial
> halls hold over 13,000 tablets in commemoration of members who died and
> are buried somewhere in Victoria between 1850 to the present day. The
> Society held at least eight major religious services with offerings each
> year and the temple was open for all to visit or worship at all times.
> Although a temple it was not granted any rate exemptions for being a place
> of worship despite attempts in 1860 and 1912 until the early 1960s.
> The financial organisation of the See Yup temples in Ballarat, Bendigo,
> Castlemaine, Beechworth and a number of other country towns were modelled
> on the South Melbourne temple. Each local See Yup society bought land
> whose title was held under the name of one or more trustees and built the
> temple.
> ~Caroline.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Notes from Joy - Lyn

Dear Mammad,

Thank you for the email and reading. I have been through it with interest
as I am familiar with the area involved and knew it well before it became
'gentrified'. It is interesting not only from the indigenous perspective
but also from the white observations and involvement. The areas
surrounding Fitzroy,that comprise of Victoria Park, Clifton Hill,East
Melbourne, Carlton and Brunswick were classified and defined by certain
streets, and it was these streets that defined the socio-economic profile
of the residents.It should also be pointed out that within the heartland
of these areas was a large factory area producing shoes and cigarettes, an
industrial part,townhouses for country gentry and city professionals.
Running through the centre, Gertrude street that formed the centrepiece of
a man called Wren's betting and gambling places. Reviled by some and
embraced by others, the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic church, Dr.Daniel
Mannix of Raheen fame was one who apparently was endowed from some of the
proceeds! The court case involving Wren's sons lingers on after the book
written by Frank Hardy about the exploits was deemed to be defamatory.
The gardens at the exhibition building site at the end of Gertrude Street
was home to the methylated spirits drinkers, and Nicholoson Street had
many Chinese herbalists as well as rooming houses for people of limited
means.Smith Street had the major department stores and catered for all
means levels.
The community housing has gone from poor whites to aboriginals to
Vietnamese to Russians over the decades, and the left leaning were the
trade unionists who were not part of the Carlton intelligentsia.
So you can see that the area has a rich  and varied history.
I do not think that I will be able to come to the dinner as I have my
confirmation meeting for transfer to PhD papers to be delivered on Monday,
and I have had my head down.
Let me know if you want any further information and all the best for the
dinner, if I can make it I will, otherwise give my apologies.

Best regards, Joy-lyn

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dr Sara Wills' Proposal for the Conference

The Vague Terrains of Our Otherness: Hostels as Sites (or Stages?) of Migrant Memory in Australia

This paper is about migrant hostels: about the accommodation, training, reception and holding centres set up by the government in the post-war years in Australia as a crucial feature of the post-war migration program.  Intended to provide temporary accommodation during an acute housing shortage, hostels provided a first home in Australia for hundreds of thousands of displaced persons, migrants and refugees in over 30 hostels and centres around the nation.  More particularly, however, this is a paper about ways of remembering migrant hostels and how some in particular have become sites of fascination, holding centres themselves of all sorts of displaced migrant memories, and sites that can perhaps put us in touch with repressed cultures of migrant memory in Australia - the ‘vague terrains of our otherness’.  Abandoned hostel sites in particular 'stage' migrant memories in Australia; this paper examines how we might explore some of these as 'waste site stories'.

Sara Wills obtained her PhD from the University of Melbourne and is currently the Associate Dean of Advancement in the Faculty of Arts and a senior lecturer in the Australian Studies program.  Sara's research specialties include migration and multicultural studies, with a particular interest in aspects of social memory as they relate to refugee issues and the meaning of hospitality and cosmopolitanism in an Australian context. Sara has received research support from the Australian Research Council and has published many journal articles related to her research.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Very interesting books for reading suggested by Joy-Lyn

Joy- Lyn thinks  that the following books.  "Have many interesting aspects
in relation to migration, colonisation,the diaspora and immigrants.
Attitudes,loss of cultural links and political correctness. In particular
the lack of communication and fostering of prejudices by 'interest groups'
with agendas which are often at best misinformed and at worst uninformed."

Martha C.Nussbaum. Not for Profit-why democracy needs the humanities. 2010
Princeton University Press.
Tony Judt. Ill fares the Land. 2010 Allen Lane, London and new York.
Sven Lindquist. Terra Nullius, a journey through no-one's land. 2007 The
New Press. New York and London.
Donald Horne. How I came to write 'The Lucky Country'. 2006 Melbourne
University Press.
Donald Horne. The Lucky Country. 2005.6th. ed. Penguin Books. Australia.

Abstract for the Symposium by Marcia Nugent

Sensing the difference:  memory of identity through symbol in the ancient world by Marcia Nugent
Senses are an integral part of memory formation and recall.  What we see, taste, smell, touch and the repetitive acts we perform are powerful embodied memories of who we are and our place in the world.   Memory can transcend time and space through the use of symbols – the most common being the transmission of meaning through written language.  Seeking to understand the identity of prehistoric cultures for which we have no translated record of individual or group memories is a greater challenge.  This paper examines the role of the botanic motif in the Bronze Age to reveal the identity of the peoples of the Cycladic Islands of the Aegean Sea.

Marcia is a PhD candidate in the Centre for Classics and Archaeology, researching a thesis entitled “Botanic Motifs of the Bronze Age Cycladic Islands: Identity, Belief, Ritual and Trade”.  Marcia has been a recipient of the Norman MacGeorge scholarship and published on her thesis topic in local and international publications.  Her interest in contextual interpretation of prehistoric iconography to reveal the living experiences of the peoples of the Cyclades has drawn her into the transcultural identities research network, contemplating the markers and symbols of identity that link to embodied memory and its transmission across time and space.