2017 Megaw Lecture

Flinders University Art Museum with the Department of Archaeology present:

Braiding Strands of Wellness:
Archaeology, Art and Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Learning

How can the study of archaeology, rock art and Indigenous heritage sites contribute to healing and community well-being? I explore this question by drawing on several recent archaeology and heritage-related projects carried out in partnership with Native American and Turkish communities. Through this wide range of community-based research projects, I consider ways that archaeological work can contribute to community health and well-being in Indigenous communities by connecting to efforts to reclaim knowledge of land-based heritage and language. Research related to the protection and management of the rock art site known as ezhibiigaadek asin (Sanilac Petroglyphs) will be highlighted, as well as several new partnerships with Native American Nations in which I’m combining graphic novels, animation, and other visual arts with archaeology and heritage research. The talk will also present examples of how I use Indigenous pedagogy to weave together aspects of art, archaeology, and land-based knowledge in my teaching.

Associate Professor Dr Sonya Atalay
Department of Anthropology
University of Massachusetts Amherst

University Massachusetts Amherst Associate and Honors Professor of Anthropology, Dr Sonya Atalay, has a passion for community-based research with Indigenous communities. As a native woman herself, one of Atalay’s main objectives is to perform research in partnership with communities rather than on them. Atalay’s work examines the methods, theories, ethics and on-the-ground practices of decolonising archaeology and heritage work. She explores ways of incorporating Indigenous knowledge frameworks into fieldwork and research, and has a long-standing commitment to incorporate Indigenous pedagogies into higher education learning environments. In 2012 Dr Atalay published Community-Based Archaeology: Research With, By and for Indigenous and Local Communities in which she drew on five collaborative archaeology research partnerships with Native Nations, highlighting the benefits, challenges and perils of carrying out community-based scholarship. In 2014-2016, with funds from a Mellon New Directions Grant, Dr Atalay began working on Indigenous language reclamation (working toward fluency in Anishinabemowin-Ojibwe) while exploring the connections of land-based knowledge of sacred places, rock art, earthworks and star knowledge. These new projects bring archaeology and cultural heritage into conversation with public health and community well-being, using engaging visual and performative methods to produce graphic novels, animations, community theater, Indigenous storymaps and digital stories. She has also carried out extensive repatriation work and recently completed a 6-year term on the National Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee.

Research relating to the protection and management of the rock art site ezhibiigaadek asin (Sanilac Petroglyphs), photograph courtesy Dr Sonya Atalay

Image: Research relating to the protection and management of the rock art site ezhibiigaadek asin (Sanilac Petroglyphs), photograph courtesy Dr Sonya Atalay

Thursday 4 May 2017

Flinders University Victoria Square
Room 1 | Level 1
182 Victoria Square | Adelaide

The Ruth and Vincent Megaw Annual lecture in Archaeology and Art was established in 2014 to honour the commitment and contributions of Emeritus Professor Vincent Megaw and his late wife Dr M Ruth Megaw to the Flinders University Archaeology department and the Flinders University Art Museum. The lecture is supported by the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, the Faculty of Education, Humanities and Law and the School of Humanities and Creative Arts, Flinders University.

2018 Megaw Lecture – Professor Thomas Stöllner

2017 Megaw Lecture – Associate Professor Dr. Sonya Atalay

2016 Megaw Lecture – Professor Howard Morphy

2015 Megaw Lecture – Dr. Danie Mellor

2014 Megaw Lecture – Emeritus Professor Dr. Brian Fagan