Cultural Precinct

Conversation Series: Roundtable with Dr Maureen Fuary

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For more information contact the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery:

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Photograph of anthropologist Maureen Fuary

The Cultural Precinct and the Institute of Advanced Studies at The University of Western Australia are pleased to invite you to a roundtable with anthropologist Dr Maureen Fuary.

  • When: Wednesday 9 April 2014, 4pm - 6pm.
  • Where: The Dr Harold Schenberg Study Centre, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, UWA
  • Cost: FREE. Seats are limited and RSVP is essential
  • RSVP: Send an email to [email protected] Registrations close 2 April 2014 or until places are filled

Nostalgia and the Call of Things

In the period when we are turning away from objects as mere signs, it is becoming commonplace for anthropological conferences to address the materiality of objects - their substance, their power, their enchantment and most recently, the emotions involved in curation.

All these themes engage with the tangibility and active qualities of objects/things, and specifically on the relationships between people and objects, and objects and objects.

In line with these recent developments Maureen Fuary will consider the ontology and lively qualities of objects/things - their substance and effects. By focusing on object-thing transformations and on the effects they may have on human beings, she deploys the concept of nostalgia as a positive modality through which to think about the ‘call of things’ to other times, people and places.

About the speaker

Maureen Fuary is an anthropologist with over three decades of association with Torres Strait and Cape York people. She has just completed a stint as Senior Research Fellow in the ARC Discovery Project: Objects of Possession: Artefact Transactions in the Wet Tropics of North Queensland, 1870-2013.

In this role she has written about the collecting proclivities of Protectors of Aborigines, the collection of artefacts from the rainforests of North Queensland, and the nature of objects and things. That project allowed her to further her interests in Indigenous responses to museum collections, and the role of emotion in knowledge practices.

Her enduring interest in identity, emotion and the role of story, place and things is currently focused on the narrative traditions connecting Western Province and Torres Strait. She continues to experiment with styles of writing and her delight in the relationships between people and things is being developed in a paper on auctions, and explored in the fourth genre of non-fiction novels/short stories.


The Cultural Precinct’s Conversations Series has been developed in conjunction with the Institute of Advanced Studies to bring current issues across the Arts before a wider audience and to the forefront of discussion and debate.