Professor Howard Morphy

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Digital Humanities Hub
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Brief Description
Howard Morphy (BSc, MPhil London, PhD ANU, FASSA, FAHA, CIHA) is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Research School of Humanities at the Australian National University. Prior to returning to the Australian National University in 1997, he held the chair in Anthropology at University College London. Before that he spent ten years as a curator at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford. He is an anthropologist of art and visual anthropologist having co- edited two of the main source books in the respective fields The Anthropology of Art: a Reader (2006, Blackwell's, with Morgan Perkins) and Rethinking Visual Anthropology (1997, Yale University Press, with Marcus Banks). He has written extensively on Australian Aboriginal art with a monograph of Yolngu Art, Ancestral Connections (Chicago 1991), a general survey Aboriginal Art (Phaidon, 1998) and most recently Becoming Art: Exploring Cross-Cultural Categories (Berg, 2007). He has also produced a pioneering multimedia biography The Art of Narritjin Maymuru with Pip Deveson and Katie Hayne (ANU epress 2005). He has conducted extensive fieldwork with the Yolngu people of Northern Australia, and collaborated on many films with Ian Dunlop of Film Australia and has curated many exhibitions including Yingapungapu at the National Museum of Australia. With Frances Morphy he helped prepare the Blue Mud Bay Native Title Claim which as a result of the 2008 High Court judgement recognised Indigenous ownership of the waters over the intertidal zone under the Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act. His involvement in e-research and in the development of museum exhibitions reflects his determination to make humanities research as accessible as possible to wider publics and to close the distance between the research process and research outcomes. In 2008 he was one of the organising committee of the major CIHA conference in Melbourne Crossing Cultures: conflict, migration, convergence. He is president elect of the Council for Museum Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association. He is a member of the Kluge-Ruhe Advisory Council, University of Virginia, USA.
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Fields of Research
200209 - Multicultural, Intercultural and Cross-cultural Studies; 190102 - Art History; 210204 - Museum Studies; 210101 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology; 210301 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History; 210303 - Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History); 200201 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Studies; 190104 - Visual Cultures; 190103 - Art Theory; 190199 - Art Theory and Criticism not elsewhere classified; 190504 - Performance and Installation Art; 220406 - Studies in Eastern Religious Traditions; 1601 - Anthropology; 180101 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Law; 169902 - Studies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Society; 160104 - Social and Cultural Anthropology; 190401 - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Performing Arts; 2202 - History and Philosophy of Specific Fields
Status: Published
Published to:
  • Australian National Data Service
  • Australian National University