Spun Dry: Indigenous Urbanisation and the Politics of Care

Wednesday, 10/11/17
494 Wurster Hall

“Spun Dry: Indigenous Urbanisation and the Politics of Care”
Daniel Fisher
Associate Professor, Anthropology, UC Berkeley
Wednesday, October 11, 12:00-1:30pm
Cal Design Lab, Wurster 494, Wurster Hall

Daniel Fisher’s research in Aboriginal Northern Australia proceeds in two, related domains that bring together his interests in music, media, and the close ethnography of an urbanising Northern Territory. The first looks to the tremendous successes of Aboriginal media production in order to understand its ramifications across Australia’s north. In privileging music and sound in this work, Fisher seeks to analyze the power of audio media as an everyday presence in Aboriginal lives and to relate this to both enduring and historically emergent understandings of relatedness and of mediation itself. His research thus explores Indigenous filmic and audio media making as a political practice while seeking to keep in sight the broader ontological entailments of media forms and music technologies in the everyday lives of my interlocutors. These closely knit endeavors provide the focus for Fisher’s first monograph, The Voice and its Doubles: Music and Media in Northern Australia (Duke University Press, 2016), and continue to animate his ongoing research and writing.

Fisher’s newest ethnographic research interests focus on the amplification of indigenous urbanization in the Northern Territory. Attuned to the novel forms of intra-Indigenous relationship this has entailed and to related aspects of urban fire regimes and Indigenous mobility, the project uses photography, film, and sound recording to produce a shared anthropology of urban Darwin. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation's Cultural Anthropology Program.