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Visualizing Global Encounters: Virtual Landscapes & Digital Histories
March 27 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm CDT
On Monday, March 27th, from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM at POB 2.404a, the Edward A. Clark Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies will host Visualizing Global Encounters: Virtual Landscapes & Digital Histories. Australian history has overwhelmingly focused on British ‘discovery’, exploration, and settler colonialism, despite the visitations by European and Asian agents of imperial and commercial interests over many centuries previously. The Global Encounters & First Nations Peoples: 1000 Years of Australian History project aims to radically shift Australia’s historical awareness by concentrating on the dynamic history of encounters between First Nations peoples and ‘outsiders’ over the millennium.
Following an introduction to the Global Encounters project by Professor Lynette Russell AM, Dr. Tom Chandler will overview what it means to move beyond digital maps and into virtual ones. What would it be like to go ‘inside’ a historical map? What evidence could we examine to glean the space of the encounter, and what would we hear? Virtual Reality, distinct from other computational tools, renders such experiments possible. In reconceptualizing the space of the map, virtual reality presents new ways to apprehend the space of history.
Tom Chandler is a senior lecturer in Games & Immersive Media in the Faculty of IT at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia). His research explores the interdisciplinary applications of virtual world-building, with project collaborations ranging from archaeology and zoology through to industrial design and landscape ecology. His primary research endeavor, the Visualising Angkor Project, examines the evidence-based virtual reconstruction of Cambodia’s medieval capital in the year 1300. Tom’s university teaching resource www.virtualangkor.com was awarded the Innovation in Digital History prize by the American Historical Association in 2018, and the Digital Humanities and Multimedia Studies Prize by the Medieval Academy of America in 2021.
This event will also feature two prominent Australian academics, Lynette Russel and Ian McNiven.
Professor Lynette Russell’s focus is on developing an anthropological approach to the story of the past. While her historical interests are far-ranging – across the 16th to the 20th centuries, from Aboriginal people in the maritime industry, the Gunditjmara and Wurundjeri people of Victoria to the last 1000 years of encounter history. She is currently examining Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, and Makassan encounters and contacts.
Anthropological archeologist Professor Ian McNiven is digging in support of Australian Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, and Papua New Guinean communities – with international ramifications. His work is changing understandings of First Nations societies and what it was like before and after the European arrival/invasion. Fundamental to Ian’s approach to research is Indigenous community engagement and involvement and ensuring that all of his research projects are collaborative projects where Indigenous communities are central to research development, implementation, analysis, interpretation, and outreach and outputs. One of Ian’s largest undertakings has been in far north Queensland, where he has helped Torres Strait Islanders with the world’s largest native title claim over the sea.
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