School of Historical and Philosophical Studies - Research Publications

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    Cybernetic Funeral Systems
    Arnold, M ; Gould, H ; Kohn, T ; Nansen, B ; Allison, F ; Love, H ; Adamson, G ; Gopal, TV (IEEE, 2021-01-01)
    Using Postphenomenology (one of many methods informed by Wiener's cybernetics) as an analytical approach, this paper examines three examples of robot participation in, and mediation of, funerals. The analysis of robot mediation of funerals challenges the idea that death rituals are exclusively human performances and experiences, and instead repositions them as cybernetic systems of entanglement and impact. The paper begins with an introduction to the relevance of postphenomenological theory, then moves to the case of CARL, a robot that enables remote participation in funeral ceremonies. We argue that the [Human-Robot-Funeral] relation and its variants are both engaging and alienating, through revealing-concealing, magnification-reduction and a more generalised enabling-constraining. Technological mediation is also evident in the case of Pepper, a robot that has officiated at funerals as a Buddhist monk. We describe similarities and differences in the way CARL and Pepper manifest the [Human-Robot-Funeral] relation. The final example is AIBO, a companion robot that becomes the locus of a funeral ritual. This offers a radical case that directly challenges humans' self-proclaimed exceptional ontology.
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    A Post-Colonial Horrea Piperataria
    Webber, M-L (ASCS, 2022)
    Rome’s Horrea Piperataria – or ‘Pepper Warehouse’ – receives little more than a passing mention in our discussions of the Imperial Forum. Given the minimal archaeological and textual record, this is not surprising. Within a century of its Domitianic construction, the horrea had all but burned to the ground. When the Basilica of Maxentius was constructed in the early fourth century, the horrea disappeared from view entirely. It would seem that Rome’s emporium of herbs and spices from across the Empire has little to tell us. But is that the whole story? Recent excavations beneath the Basilica have uncovered new details about the warehouse’s internal space. If we consider the visual literacy of Rome’s population, we can situate the horrea within an architectural typology and begin to uncover its presence within the city. And adopting a post-colonial lens both reconstructs the social experience of this site and interrogates its post-classical scholarly reception. Many locations across the Roman world possess an equally fragmentary record. Yet many also enjoy considerably more attention in the literature than the Horrea Piperataria. This paper will reveal the horrea as a site of multicultural exchange and social identity in a diverse ancient city. In this process, it will also question whether eurocentrism incorrectly shaped – or rather diminished – our view of the Horrea Piperataria as being of minimal importance in the imperial power landscape.
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    Developing Museum to Museum Cultural Engagement Between Australia and Timor Leste
    Assis, C ; SLOGGETT, R ; Leach, M ; Canas Mendes, N ; da Silva, A ; Boughton, B ; Ximenes, A (Swinburne Press, 2022-01-12)
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    Modelling decay in stone heritage using Machine Learning
    Kemp, J ; Khoshelham, K ; Sun, Z ; Higgitt, C (National Gallery, University College London and Imperial College London, 2022)
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    ‘Australia-China Collaboration on the Art History, Restoration and Conservation Study of Mural Paintings’
    Eckfeld, T ; Tse, N ; Kyi, C ; Xiaoxiao, W ; Jing, Y ; Jiafang, L ; Daiyun, L ; Zhou, T (Wenwu chubanshe, 2020)
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    James Stirling, first governor of Western Australia and imperial investor
    Arnott, G (Western Australian Legacies of British Slavery Project in collaboration with National Centre for Biography, 2021-03-18)
    Admiral James Stirling arrived on Noongar land in 1829 to proclaim it the British colony of Western Australia. Officially, he represented the British government. Unofficially, he represented the commercial interests of his family, a collection of British naval officers, East India Company administrators and directors, imperial merchants, shipping magnates, their wives and their descendants. Stirling pursued the colony as an investment opportunity, first with the Colonial Office and then through land selections, the manipulation of market conditions and private capital-raising schemes. This pursuit was shaped by three, interrelated social phenomena. Firstly, numerous strands of his family had become wealthy through transatlantic and Caribbean slavery. Secondly, British government incentives for establishing a colony on the western side of Australia strengthened at the same time as it was shifting away from the ‘slave colonies’ and certain forms of unfree labour. And third, this shift placed pressure on the Stirling family to secure new income streams to maintain affluence and power. This seminar will explore these dynamics and ask: in what ways does the intergenerational biographical method expand and enliven, or alternatively risk reducing, our understanding of the legacies of British slavery in the Australian settler colonies?
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    National Biographies and Transnational Lives: legacies of British slavery across the empire
    Laidlaw, Z ; Arnott, G (Western Australian Legacies of British Slavery Project in collaboration with National Centre for Biography, 2021-04-01)
    Britain’s involvement in the slave trade and slavery affected the lives and fortunes of many nineteenth-century immigrants to the Australian colonies. Some transferred capital directly from plantation economies to newly burgeoning settler colonial societies; for others, the connections were more diffuse. As historians have shown, the Australian colonies provided individual immigrants with an opportunity to refashion their existing reputations or even create them afresh. At the same time, collective colonial and settler identities were asserted in cultural, social, economic and political fora. This seminar explores dictionaries of biography as sites for the mutual constitution of individual and national (or colonial) identities. Alongside a consideration of how slavery and the slavery business feature in the Australian Dictionary of Biography and the Biographical Dictionary of Western Australians, it explores how Britain and its other settler colonies remembered, forgot, or suppressed, the legacies of British slavery in their national biographical dictionaries.
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    Collections of paint colour charts, paint tins and paintings as a source for developing an understanding of paint making history
    Dredge, P (Museums Australia, 2011)
    A project looking at a collection of painting items from a studio used by the artist Sidney Nolan (1917-1992) from 1951 to 1953 is beginning to grapple with the subject of house paint technology from the pre World War II period up to the mid 1950s. Sidney Nolan was particularly engaged with house paint as an artist’s medium, and it seems sought information from paint makers to obtain a deep technical understanding of these complex paint systems. A number of additional collections of paint material held in Sydney museums have been identified that hold potential to provide new information on paint resins and pigments. A collection of historic paint colour charts which use the paint itself in the swatches of colour, and a collection of early synthetic paint resins from 1934-1937, are both valuable sources for analytical standards and the dating of technologies in Australia.
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    The use and characterisation of aluminum-based metallic paints in Australian paintings of the first half of the twentieth century
    Allen, L ; Dredge, P ; Sawicki, M ; Puskar, L ; Wuhrer, R ; Chemello, C ; Collum, M ; Mardikian, P ; Sembrat, J ; Young, L (Smithsonian Scholarly Press, 2019)
    This paper presents the results of research into the composition and use of metallic aluminum paints in three paintings by Australian artists from the first half of the twentieth century as well as a contemporary can of aluminum stove paint. A brief history of the development of aluminum paint and its uses is presented. The material characteristics of aluminum powders and binders used with them are described, as well as the effects variations of components have on resulting paint films. Analyses found leafing aluminum flakes and nitrocellulose binder on two paintings and identified coumarone as the binder for the stove paint.
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    Predicting the Past: A critical examination of current art history and conservation curricula.
    Wu, C ; Dalivalle, M ; Dempster, A ; de Ghetaldi, K ; Griener, P ; Roberts, M ; Sharp, J ; Skelton, S ; Sloggett, R (AiA, 2016)
    This document is a critical analysis of the current status of art education in art history and art conservation as it relates to the concept of authenticity (as defined as “authorship”). It has been constructed by students and professionals from different specialities and continents. The headline problems, raised by current art history students, have been observed in several art history and conservation programmes by the Work Group, who suggest potential solutions. These are targeted at the Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral levels.