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Uncovering Oceanic Encounters

A workshop on the interpretation, translation, and ‘repatriation’ of historical sources


11-12 July 2011

Australian National University (College of Asia and Pacific) and
National Museum of Australia (Centre for Historical Research)


Presenters include:

Bronwen Douglas • Elena Govor •  Stuart Bedford •  Michelle Hetherington • Chantal Kwast-Greff •  Ewan Maidment  • Jenny Newell • Michael Pickering • Dame Professor Anne Salmond • Vanessa Smith • Rebecca Richards • Serge Tcherkezoff • Paul Turnbull • Senator Richard Ariihau Tuheiava

Many of us working in anthropology, archaeology, history and linguistics have been involved identifying, retrieving, and translating texts and other sources, and creating on-line access to the data. All this provides some basis for studying and debating fundamental questions surrounding the reconstruction of early encounters between Oceanic/Pacific Peoples and Europeans, finding indigenous voices, and issues surrounding ‘repatriating’ knowledge to indigenous communities.        

Presenting work to date and discussing methodological questions, this workshop provides a rare opportunity to pool knowledge across institutions and share ideas for on-going programs. One of the expected results of the workshop will be the formulation of research projects to specific funding bodies, and the development of the Oceanic/Pacific Encounters research project. (For information on this project see


Uncovering Oceanic Encounters: Program

A workshop on the interpretation, translation, and ‘repatriation’ of historical sources

11-12 July 2011

Australian National University (College of Asia and Pacific) and
National Museum of Australia (Centre for Historical Research)




Monday 11 July                       9.30am – 4.30pm
Room 44, 4th floor, 1/10 Building, Baldessin Precinct, ANU

9.00– 9.30

Coffee and tea available


Welcome and round table introductions


Morning tea (provided)


Session 1: Theorising encounter


Dame Professor Anne Salmond:  'Ontological quarrels'


Vanessa Smith: ‘Encountering Friendship’


Michelle Hetherington: ‘Listening to Omai’


Lunch (can be purchased at nearby café)


Session 2:  Uncovering encounters: 18th century and beyond


Jenny Newell:  ‘Islanders teaching Europeans: views through voyager journals and collections’


Elena Govor: 'Nuku-Hiva 1804: the multiple voices of Russian encounter'


Chantal Kwast-Greff: On encounters in Australia (art and literature)


Afternoon tea (provided)


Session 3: Archives of encounter/ Translating texts


Ewan Maidment: On archives of Oceanic encounter


Dame Anne Salmond, Senator Richard Ariihau Tuheiava, Serge Tcherkezoff : Short discussion: translations - why and how and in which language? The cases of Samoa, Tahiti and beyond.


Workshop dinner.






Tuesday 12 July                        9.15– 4.30pm
Bunyip Room, ground floor, National Museum of Australia (ask for directions at info desk)


Session 1: Beyond texts


Bronwen Douglas: 'Using Art and Maps as Ethnohistorical Texts'


Rebecca Richards: Indigenous Australian oral histories surrounding Smithsonian bark paintings


Matthew Prebble: ‘Fossil records of first encounters in the Pacific’


Morning tea (provided)


Session 2: ‘Repatriating’ knowledge


Michael Pickering:  'One size does not fit all: Repatriation in culturally diverse regions.’


Paul Turnbull: On histories of the theft and repatriation of Indigenous Australian cultural property and issues in the creation of digital surrogates


Stuart Bedford (and Marcellin Abong in absentia) –
Discussing two projects: ‘Caught on glass: French photographers in Vanuatu’ and ‘European and ni-Vanuatu contact from 1774 to 1915’


Lunch (can be purchased at museum café)


Session 3:  The Oceanic/Pacific Encounters research project


Programmes achieved or in progress (Samoa, Tahiti, Maori); Ceremonial handing over of Tahitian documents (CD) to Senator R. Tuheiva .  Discussion led by Serge Tcherkezoff


Session 4: Developing grants and future directions


Discussion led by Serge Tcherkezoff


Paul Turnbull: South Seas 0.2


Future programs on Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Micronesia, Australia.
Possibilities for publication.


Afternoon tea (provided) and wrap up




Katherine Aigner (NMA)
Stuart Bedford (ANU)
Carol Cooper (NMA)
Andrew Connelly (ANU)
Bronwen Douglas (ANU)
Elena Govor (ANU)
Michelle Hetherington (NMA)
Crispin Howarth (NGA)
Margaret Jolly (ANU)  -Tuesday
Karolina Kilian (NMA)
Chantal Kwast-Greff (U. New Caledonia)
Latu Latai (ANU)
Angharad Lodwick (ANU)
Jenny Newell (NMA)
Ewan Maidment (PAMBU, ANU)
Kylie Moloney (PAMBU, ANU)
Michael Pickering (NMA)
Matthew Prebble (ANU)
Zach Puas (ANU)
Christian Robert (Au Vent des Iles, Papeete)
Rebecca Richards (NMA/Oxford)
Anne Salmond (UAuck)
Vanessa Smith (USyd)
Karina Taylor (ANU)
Serge Tcherkezoff (ANU)
Richard Ariihau Tuheiava (Tahiti)
Paul Turnbull (UQ)



Jenny Newell
Research fellow, Centre for Historical Research
National Museum of Australia ACT 2601
ph: (02) 6208 5144 (w)   mobile:  0405561581


Serge Tcherkezoff
EHESS-Canberra at the ANU –
Visiting Professor ANU, College of Asia and Pacific (CAP)
School of Culture, History and Language (CHL), Coombs building
The Australian National University
Canberra, ACT 0200, AUSTRALIA
mobile: +61 (0)4 24 721 726


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