Continuing the Center’s collaboration with The Long Now Foundation, CASBS research affiliates Frances Morphy and Howard Morphy gave a talk at the Long Now’s salon series held at The Interval in San Francisco on November 3. The Interval is a bar, café, museum, and social hub intended “to help make long-term thinking more instinctive, rather than difficult and rare.”
Frances and Howard are world renowned anthropologists, having spent decades studying and working with Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory of Australia. Their salon talk – In the Footsteps of the Ancestors: The Dreamtime in the Politics of the Present – focused on the Blue Mud Bay case in which Aboriginal people there gained legal recognition of their rights over the coastal waters adjoining their land. Together Frances and Howard explained how the ancestral events that occurred in the Dreamtime (Wangarr) formed the basis for an enduring spiritual relationship with the land and sea, providing the motivation for the legal case. They showed how the ancestral presence in the land and sea can be mapped in detail to become evidence cross-examined in court.
CASBS is pleased to feature its fellows and affiliates at The Interval’s salon talks. Earlier in 2015 now-former CASBS fellows Fox Harrell, Valentina Bosetti, and Maryanne Wolf separately delivered salon talks there. More salon talks by CASBS fellows are in development for 2016.
While at CASBS Frances and Howard are exploring the possibilities for, and limits of, developing metacategories for cross-disciplinary theorization and cross-cultural understanding. They are both based at the Australian National University. Learn more about them here.