AASV lecture 3,2014: SSchaffarczyk Rara Avis: FEWilliams & the POC
Thursday, 15 May 2014 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm (AEST)
San Francisco, California, USA
London, United Kingdom
A Rara Avis: FE Williams, the Government Anthropologist of Papua and the Papuan Official Collection.
Dr Sylvia Schaffarczyk, AASV member
FE Williams, the Government Anthropologist of the Territory of Papua from 1922-43 is well known for his ethnographic writing and photography. These aspects of his life have been covered in some detail (Young and Clark 2001, Griffiths 1977) , and are still undergoing scrutiny (Bell 2006), while his collecting has not. While Williams himself saw collecting as a perfunctory part of his duties as Government Anthropologist, his contributions to the Papuan Official Collection (POC), include some of the best provenanced material in the collection and form an unusual sub-set within what is otherwise a rather haphazard official collection. The POC is held at the National Museum of Australia, Canberra (NMA), and its acquisition spans most of the 32 year administration of the Territory of Papua by Sir Hubert Murray. This paper will consider the contribution by Williams to the Papuan Official Collection and the impact his professional training had on the acquisition of objects for the collection and in the Territory. I first gave a version of this paper as PhD student at the Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies (AAAPS) conference at ANU in 2006. The paper was published in 2007, as a chapter in Cochrane, S & Quanchi, M, Eds. Hunting the collectors : Pacific collections in Australian museums, art galleries and archives. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, United Kingdom, republished as an ebook in 2012.
When & Where
Archaeological & Anthropological Society of Victoria (AASV)
The Archaeological and Anthropological Society of Victoria was formed in 1976 through the amalgamation of two societies, the Anthropological Society of Victoria and the Archaeological Society of Victoria. Although one was formed 30 years before the other both owed their origin to inspiring lectures given by singularly gifted academic lecturers to what were largely non-academic audiences. Both lecturers were on the staff of the University of Melbourne but stimulated the enthusiasm of people outside the university community.
The AASV welcomes members from all walks of life: professional archaeologists and anthropologists, students, and interested laypeople. We hold monthly meetings with free lectures covering a wide range of topics from the broad disciplines of archaeology and anthropology, and we offer a range of activities including fieldtrips and the opportunity to participate on archaeological digs. While the Pacific region has a special place in the work of the Society, lectures cover a wide range of topics and regions across the world. Links with the University of Melbourne, LaTrobe University and Monash are strong with both staff and students regularly speaking to the society about their work.