Garbled voices from the archives: Restoring Aboriginal words and meanings in historical sources

Date & time

9am 15 April – 4pm 16 April 2014

Contacts

Piers Kelly
02 6125 8203

A workshop presented by the AustKin project.

How do we make sense of Aboriginal words recorded in early sources when the language cannot be identified? What if the language is known, but no speakers remain?

Our workshop seeks to bring together scholars who routinely work with old sources on Australia’s indigenous cultures, from Aboriginal people investigating their heritage, to linguists, archivists, anthropologists and historians. The standing challenge of working with historical documents is that individual scribes applied their own personal spelling conventions, and may not have heard the sounds accurately to begin with. As a result, many of the most important ethnographic, linguistic and historical materials are accessible only to specialist scholars who have knowledge of Aboriginal sound systems and long experience working with archival sources.

Over two days, the workshop will hear presentations from a range of practitioners who will describe informative case studies and offer practical interpretive techniques. Plenty of time is given for discussion between each session. Feel free to bring your own archival conundrums for analysis by the group.

Download the latest version of the workshop program here (128KB).

No registration is required but please RSVP to Piers Kelly (Piers.Kelly@anu.edu.au) for catering purposes.

Updated:  6 November 2013/Responsible Officer:  CASS Marketing and Communications/Page Contact:  Development Officer, CASS