Professor Claire Smith, Associate Professor Heather Burke, Dr Ian Moffat, Dr Mick MorrisonAssociate Professor Amy Roberts, Dr Martin Polkinghorne, Dr Daryl Wesley

Leader:
Professor Claire Smith

Keywords:
Symbols, semiotics, social action, social identity, visual anthropology

Symbolic communication is integral to being human. This research group focuses on the ways in which humans either consciously or unconsciously use material culture as non-verbal communication to: negotiate or express group and individual identity; demarcate territories and space; convey or restrict information; express social cohesion, inclusion and exclusion; and interpret social and physical environments. Key material forms of symbolic communication include rock art, body art, graffiti, buildings and monuments, but all artefacts have the capacity to function in this way.

Projects:

Art as a Lens for Cultural Change in the Barunga Region, Northern Territory, Australia

New Methods for Digital Rock Art Research: A Case Study from Red Lily Lagoon, Arnhem Land

Rock Art and Social Interaction in Northern Cape York Peninsula (pilot project)

Socially Mediated Terrorism, the Islamic State and Cultural Heritage

The Material Culture of Mental Illness at the Willow Court Lunatic Asylum, New Norfolk, Tasmania, 1826-2000

Visualising Angkor

People, Animals and Ochre: Rock Art as a Proxy for Past Climates and Ecology