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Australian Museums, Aboriginal Skeletal Remains, and the Imagining of Human Evolutionary History


Turnbull, PG, Australian Museums, Aboriginal Skeletal Remains, and the Imagining of Human Evolutionary History, Museum and Society, 13, (1) pp. 72-87. ISSN 1479-8360 (2015) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2015 Paul Turnbull

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Much has been written about how progress to nationhood in British colonial settler societies was imagined to depend on safeguarding the biological integrity of an evolutionarily advanced citizenry. There is also a growing body of scholarship on how the collecting and exhibition of indigenous ethnological material and bodily remains by colonial museums underscored the evolutionary distance between and indigenes and settlers, and thereby served as resources for settler self-awareness that social and moral progress necessitated personal care and cultivation of their biological capacity for self-enlightenment. This article explores in contextual detail how in the Australian context between 1860 and 1914, the collecting interpretation and exhibition of the Aboriginal Australian bodily dead by museums and associated scientists served materially and discursively as resources for the governance of the self.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:museum, collecting, human remains, Australia, Aboriginal, science, evolution
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:History and philosophy of specific fields
Research Field:History and philosophy of science
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Turnbull, PG (Professor Paul Turnbull)
ID Code:94610
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:School of Humanities
Deposited On:2014-09-12
Last Modified:2017-11-03

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