Friday Seminar Series

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The ethos of SymbioticA is that ideas are discussed and shared openly and the Friday Seminar Series is designed to allow an open forum to disseminate artistic, scientific, ethical and philosophical research and practice of resident researchers, visiting artists and scholars. Our Friday Seminar Series are held salon style, in our studio space and commence at 3:00pm on Fridays. All are welcome. 

If you have an idea for a SymbioticA seminar in 2017 get in touch:

Hunting, Gender and the Boundaries of the Human

Date: 13 October 2017
Time: 3:00pm
Location: SymbioticA
Speaker: Dr Catie Gressier, School of Social and Political Sciences, The University of Melbourne

Hunters and foragers across the globe valorise nature as a practical and ethical guide for living. In southern Africa’s Okavango Delta, white Batswana safari hunters justify their practice through attributing traits to animals normatively associated with humanity, on the one hand, while emphasising their own animality, on the other. In Australia’s southeast, animal ontologies are similarly invoked within self-provisioning hunters’ attempts to create sustainable, emplaced lifestyles and diets that circumvent the industrial food system. Based on long-term ethnographic research within these communities, in this presentation I detail hunters’ constructions of the embodied human as predator, and potentially prey, within their local ecosystems. I argue that this celebration of animality represents a distinct shift away from historical Western depictions of nature as base and inferior, with interesting implications for gender roles and relationships.

Catie Gressier is a cultural anthropologist specialising in settler societies, their ecological engagements, and the anthropology of food. Her first book, At Home in the Okavango, explores emplacement and senses of belonging among the white citizens working in the safari industry in northwest Botswana. In her current role as McArthur Research Fellow at The University of Melbourne, she is examining the changing cultural attitudes to the production and consumption of meat in urban and rural Australia. Her second book, Illness, Identity and Taboo among Australian Paleo Dieters, will be released in late 2017. She is an Editorial Board Member of Anthropological Forum.