BRYCE BARKER: Hi my name is Professor Bryce Barker – I am an anthropologist specialising in ‘prehistoric’ archaeology. One of the first things you may ask is what is anthropology? Anthropology is the study of Humanity incorporating all of the socio/cultural and biological aspects of human life. The goal of anthropology is to describe, analyse and explain different cultures, to show how humans have adapted to their environments and given significance to their lives. So anthropologists attempt to comprehend the entire human experience. We study our species from its ancestral beginnings several million years ago up to the present. We study human beings as they live in every corner of the earth in all kinds of physical, political and social environments. In other academic disciplines, human behaviour is usually studied primarily from the point of view of western society which they consider to be representative of all humanity. Anthropologists however insist that to understand humanity we must study living in many different cultures, times and places. Anthropology has a range of specialist study areas, including prehistoric archaeology, cultural anthropology (which is the study of contemporary cultures), linguistic anthropology, physical or biological anthropology which includes forensic anthropology as seen on the TV drama Bones. At USQ we mainly teach cultural anthropology and prehistoric archaeology.
LARA LAMB: My name is Lara Lamb and I’m also one of the anthropologists here at USQ. Primarily, my current research interests centre on the migration and creation stories of the Kerowo people of Kikori River Delta in Papua New Guinea, and how these stories signify attachment to place. I’m also developing an interest in the anthropology of sexual practice, and anthropological perspectives on the complex sociality of sadomasochism.
Throughout the year, you will find me teaching several courses. I teach the Anthropology of Religion and Belief, which looks at differences, but also similarities in religions and religious practices around the world; I teach the Anthropology of Illness and Health which provides a cross-cultural and comparative framework for considering the health of our species as a whole; and I also teach Ethnographic Methods which provides you with the theoretical and practical tools for doing anthropological ethnography. Actually, we also call this course Making Anthropology, because that’s what we teach you to do.
CELMARA POCOCK: I’m Dr Celmara Pocock – a lecturer in Anthropology at USQ. I have research interests in human relationships with the environment, with special interests in the Great Barrier Reef and Tasmania. I am interested in how human senses – touch, taste, smell, sound and sight –give us an understanding of spaces and places. My research at the Great Barrier Reef explores how visitor experiences of the region are changed by the human imagination, conservation and new technologies. More recently I have begun researching how Aboriginal people are marginalised from these representations of the Reef. Some of my other projects relate to living memory and heritage; human-animal relationships and tourism. At USQ I teach the first year introductory course on cultural anthropology that provides an overview for students new to the discipline and gives them a taste of the cultural diversity, creativity and adaptability of humans around the world.
I teach higher level courses in Power and Conflict and Anthropological Theory.
BRYCE BARKER: So, we hope you will consider Anthropology as a major or a compliment to your other studies in areas such as education, psychology, social sciences, counselling, art and indigenous studies – because what we do is teach you how to understand the complexity of the human condition.