Flatlands and Identity Politics: Broadening the Ontology of Relating

Flatlands and Identity Politics: Broadening the Ontology of Relating
Yanyuwa Saltwater Country, SW Gulf of Carpentaria

This seminar is based on a larger project, entitled, ‘Keeping Company: An anthropology of being in relation’. This project aims to anthropologise the praxis of relating, that is, expand the horizon over which understandings of the self and non-self/other in relation are engaged. The drive is to seek out relational lifeworlds of distinction (that is cross-cultural examples), which support and enrich the field of potentials for new ways of thinking through identity politics, cross cultural relating, and being with difference. This is treated as an exercise in multi-dimensionalising being in relation.

In this seminar I will ask, how might there be a return to appreciating the human in relation? I am drawn to the tools of anthropology and ethnography to examine the human habit of relating to self and non-self. Reflecting on decades of ethnography with Yanyuwa families in the south west Gulf of Carpentaria, attention will be given to the praxis of ‘keeping company’, a fine tuned and multi-dimensional art of connection that links people to one another, to ancestors, to places and non-human species. Broadening ontologies of relating may prompt more expansive approaches to interculturalism and support a praxis of being better in relation.


Zoom Link


Meeting ID: 937 9210 4939 

Passcode: 800615

Date & time

Mon 21 Sep 2020, 3–4pm


Online FREE and open to all


Amanda Kearney, Flinders University


Yasmine Musharbash


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