A public lecture sponsored by the School of Communication and Arts


Replicas of colonisation and the ‘foundation’ of nations by colonisers are not new topics; indeed, such matters have been discussed widely in recent times. Truth-telling has been at the centre of major protests challenging the continued commemoration of the people, symbols and narratives of colonisation. The winds of change are blowing - In the lead up to Australia Day in 2017 a statue of James Cook and a memorial to colonial ‘explorers’ Burke and Wills were targeted in Melbourne. Pink paint was poured on Cook’s head and the words “no pride” were painted beneath his feet. In Sydney the statue of Cook in Hyde Park was also targeted with spray paint, “no pride in genocide” and “change the date”. Monuments of Lachlan Macquarie and Queen Victoria were also targeted with similar messages. In all cases, the defenders of the symbols of colonialism have employed similar rhetoric to argue against either retelling stories or removing the symbols of colonialism, ethnic-cleansing, genocide, oppression and dispossession.

Bronwyn Carlson is Professor of Indigenous Studies, Macquarie University. Bronwyn is an Aboriginal woman who was born on and lives on D'harawal Country in NSW. She is the recipient of the 2013 prestigious Stanner Award administered by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies for her doctoral thesis. She is the author of the book, The Politics of Identity: Who Counts as Aboriginal Today? and the recipient of two consecutive ARC Discovery Indigenous grants. Bronwyn has written extensively about Indigenous cultural, social and political engagements on social media. She is currently working on a book entitled, “Colonial commemorations and the unfinished business of truth-telling”.

5pm Wednesday 4 December 2019
Abel Smith Lecture Theatre 
The University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus

Followed by light refreshments at UQ Art Museum
The James and Mary Emelia Mayne Centre (11)
The University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus

For more information, contact iash@uq.edu.au or 07 334 61465

All welcome. Please register here for catering purposes.
This event is held in association with the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia 2019 Conference, 4-6 December 2019. Hosted by the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities.

*Please note, CSAA 2019 delegates are not required to register for this event.


Abel Smith Lecture Theatre (23-101), UQ St Lucia Campus