Cultural Histories and Geographies of Australian Rivers

June 2010
University of Wollongong

There are a number of researchers engaged in cultural research around Australian rivers from cultural geography, cultural history, and environmental history. However, there are few opportunities to discuss this research with other scholars that have expertise in this area in a focused and sustained way, limiting opportunities for collaboration on future research projects. This workshop thus fills a scholarly need as well as harnessing the clear interest in this area of research.

The one day intensive workshop will have a two-part structure that will provide a combination of presentations-feedback and open-floor discussion. In order that the benefit of this format is optimised, workshop numbers will be limited to 10 invited participants.

The workshop will be held at the University of Wollongong. This is the institution of the two organisers and the university will provide facilities for the workshop free of charge. Wollongong is also a convenient half-way point for participants who will mostly be travelling from Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne. This location further eases the costs to participants as there is a free bus from the place of accommodation to the university.

The workshop will begin with a presentation by each participant. Participants will be encouraged to present work-in-progress in order that they receive the full benefit of the groups’ feedback and that the group experiences the benefit of discussing cutting-edge research. Each presentation will be followed immediately by a work-shopping of the paper.

There will also be time scheduled for open discussion. This discussion will be led by one of the organisers and focus on issues stemming from individual and groups of presentations, research methodologies, the current state of research in this area, future research directions, and other topics raised by participants. One aim of this open discussion will be to identify key issues and future research topics in cultural research of rivers in order to aid participants with current research and facilitated future collaboration on research projects. The other related aim is to promote interdisciplinary dialogue around this topic that involves both ECRs and senior scholars.

The workshop will be co-convened by Chris Gibson and Emily O’Gorman.