Researching transformations of humans and environment in the Hunter Valley. Why does ethnography matter?

Ethnography. Ethno-graphy. Culture-writing. What may this have to do with the Hunter Valley and human and environmental change? Since 2015, Hedda Askland has been conducting ethnographic fieldwork with mining affected communities in the Hunter Valley. She is one of many social scientists that have conducted social research in the region, trying to understand and explore the various social impacts that mining brings to local and regional communities. Her work is, however, different to many of the others working in the region, particularly consultants employed by government and industry to quickly turn around social impact assessments of mining projects. How is her work different? What is unique in the methods of anthropologists? In this one-hour event, Hedda will discuss the role of ethnography in studying transformations of humans and environment. In conversation with Julie Lylford, former mayor of Gloucester and cofounder of the Gloucester Environment Group and Groundwell Gloucester, discuss the role of place and place attachment in the meeting with large scale extractive industries.

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