CategoryFay Gale Lectures
Rethinking ‘the human’ in memory of Fay Gale
In 1972, the late Fay Gale (AO) published a characteristically self-styled book titled Urban Aborigines. It launched a richly diverse career that delivered an exceptional legacy to the academic discipline of geography, Aboriginal justice, university administration, and women’s professional advancement.
This lecture honours Fay’s intellectual contribution to one of these fields. It pursues her critical interest in the clash of indigenous/settler cultures in Australia through a fresh account of the notorious head-measuring practices of 19th century racial craniometry.
Probing the Western premise that ‘mind’ is the assured marker of human distinction from nature, the lecture asks: are there fresh prospects for reconciling settler and indigenous values on this continent if the conceit of this distinction can be overcome? This fundamental question for the Anthropocene is provoked from a ‘southern’ perspective in the sprit of the insistently geographic project that was Urban Aborigines.