JCU Blue Humanities Lab

    The Blue Humanities Lab is a collaborative project, which emerged from the College of Arts, Society and Education at James Cook University (JCU) and expanded to include researchers and academics from other institutions.  Situated around the issues of climate change and the ‘blue’ spaces of our world – reefs, oceans, rivers, and inland bodies of water, we critically reflect on ways the humanities and social sciences can improve our knowledge of cultures, histories, publics and practices.  Founded in 2020, we explore and develop ‘blue’ approaches to interdisciplinary research and engagement in better understanding the human relationship with water or the absence of water. The Lab comprises members from disciplines including anthropology, history, literary studies, and political science.  

    Research Interests: 

    • Colonial place-making, cartography, and naming practices
    • Environmental politics, networks and policy 
    • Indigenous aesthetics, film, art and photography
    • Postcolonial literature, print culture, modernism/modernity and the Pacific
    • Shakespeare, ecocriticism, place-based theatre and education
    • The environmental history of northern Australia

    Upcoming events:

    Blue Humanities Lab public seminar - Visualizing the Reef: Creating a sense of planet through natural history television on the ABC, with Professor Gay Hawkins FAHA .Institute of Culture and Society, Western Sydney University. Thursday 17 November 2022. Download flyer here | Register here 

    Past events: 

    In 2020, the Lab presented at the ACHRC Humanities in the Regions Conference. View the presentation here. 

    Contact: 

    For all enquiries, please email us through bluehumanitieslab@jcu.edu.au 

    Here I am dancing at my father’s funeral, showing myself as Wurrumba with a shark liver in my mouth. The stars here are the glistening water, the same effect as the light that dapples and shines on the shark’s head from the water. If they need to fight then Galpu people call themselves Wurrumba. They show themselves as an angry shark. Becoming Wurrumba like that lifts you up to be a hero. It pumps you up. It makes you ferocious. Powerful. — Warren Balpatji

    The BP Magazine. Cover. 1 December 1936. Walter Jardine, Australia. Used with permission from the National Library of Australia

    red-haired woman facing the tempestuous water

    Nuove scoperte fatte nel 1765, 67, e 69 nel Mare del Sud, Antonio Zatta. From the collections of the State Library of New South Wales

    man resting on dead crocodile 1949 Australia

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