• Call for papers: Conference Nature and Environment in Australia, University of Cologne, 28 Sept. - 1 Oct. 2016

    Founded in 1989, the Association for Australian Studies (GASt) is a politically independent, interdisciplinary organisation devoted to furthering scholarship concerned in the broadest way with Australia and to promoting Australian studies, both in teaching and research, in German-speaking countries.

    In line with this interdisciplinary approach to Australian Studies, GASt invites panels and papers that address nature and environment in Australia.

    Debates around Australia often explore the attachment to place as well as the intrinsic qualities of landscape. Australia’s famously unique nature on the one hand and heated discussions around environmental justice and activism on the other provide a forum for fostering scholarly and creative work that explores the relationship between human culture, natural history and global ecologies.

    This conference is concerned both with notions of indigenous environmental knowledge, and ideas about how a diverse Australia is responding to global climate change, resource exploitation, land degradation, urban sprawl and loss of biodiversity.

    Please send proposals for papers in English or German (250-300 words) to:

    Professor Beate Neumeier (Department of English, or
    Professor Boris Braun (Institute of Geography,

    by 31 January 2016.

    Poster Proposals are also welcome.

    More information: flyer.


  • New book by CPAS staff member Edwin de Jong

    DE JONG, EDWIN. 2013 (July 11). Making a Living between Crises and Ceremonies in Tana Toraja: The Practice of Everyday Life of a South Sulawesi Highland Community in Indonesia. Leiden: Brill. xiv, 332 pages. ISBN: 978-9004252400 (hb). €89.00; $116.00.

    The practice of everyday life in Tana Toraja (South Sulawesi, Indonesia) is structured by a series of public events, of which funerals are the most important. Even after Indonesia was hit by an economic crisis in the late 1990s, thousands of extravagant funeral ceremonies, requiring huge expenditures, were still organized each year. To understand the paradoxes and complexities of Torajan livelihoods, Edwin de Jong develops an approach that goes beyond existing economically biased perspectives on livelihoods by including both the cultural and the economic realm, positioned in the socio-political world with a transnational perspective, placed against a historical background, while not losing sight of diversity and individual creativity. It also advances the ethnography of Tana Toraja and the comparative study between numerous similar societies.

  • New book by CPAS staff member Anke Tonnaer

    Summer 2011 CPAS Staff member Anke Tonnaer published 'The Resounding of a Plane Crash: Articulating Gender Relations in a Festival Performance of the Aeroplane Dance in Borroloola, Australia' in The Challenge of Indigenous Peoples: Spectacle or Politics? edited by Barbara Glowczewski and Rosita Henri. For an interwiew with Barbara Glowczewki on production of this book click here. (Cover photograph book: Borroloola women, dressed for their performance of the aeroplane dance, Tanyuwa, Garrwa, Mara and Kurdanji, by Anke Tonnaer, 2001.)