|November 23, 2004|
Gallery features photos from Tasmania field study
Prof. Sharon Gmelch lectures as an albino wallabee comes in for a look
Visitors to the second-floor Social Sciences Gallery can get a feel for Tasmania, through the eyes of students and faculty who did a field study term abroad there last winter.
Photographs from the anthropology term will be on display through March 18.
After about 10 days traveling through New South Wales and Victoria, the group made the 15-hour ferry crossing of the Bass Straits from Melbourne to Tasmania. Soon after, each student moved into the home of a Tasmanian family in communities near the capital of Hobart.
Kyla Rudnick at the Pennyroyal cattle ranch, Tasmania
During the term, students learned anthropological research techniques while studying the ecology and culture of Tasmania. Each student also carried out an independent research project with topics ranging from the political controversy over aboriginal history to artists who have chosen an alternative lifestyle known as "voluntary downward mobility."
Students were Chris Berk, Mike Carey, Rose Chowallur, Morgan Gmelch, Cara Kantrowitz, Andrew McCord, Chris Neal, Mike Pascucci, Kaitlyn Richards, Kyla Rudnick and Sarah Tidman. The term was co-directed by George Gmelch and Sharon Gmelch, with the assistance of fellow anthropologist Richard K. Nelson.
Tasmania, Australia's only island state, was home to an aboriginal population of about 4,000 in 1803 when British colonization began and it was used as a penal colony. By the mid-1800's, Tasmania's aboriginal population had been wiped out. Today, 477,000 people have an economy based on agriculture, mining, logging, fishing, shipbuilding and tourism.