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Martin Thomas Martin Thomas i(A90983 works by) (a.k.a. Martin Edward Thomas)
Born: Established: 1964 Hornsby, Hornsby area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales, ;
Gender: Male
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Martin Edward Thomas, who writes under the name Martin Thomas, was educated at the University of Sydney, graduating with BA Hons in History in 1988. In 1995 he commenced doctoral research at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) where he subsequently worked as a postdoctoral fellow. Since 1988, Thomas has been practising as an essayist, critic and writer/producer for radio. He also lectures and writes about contemporary visual art. His work is often interdisciplinary; much of it concerns landscape history, philosophy of place and the impact of colonisation. He was a writer in residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris in 2001 and a Harold White Fellow at the National Library of Australia, Canberra in 2002, later becoming a Research Fellow in History at the University of Sydney. In 2011, he was working as an ARC future Fellow at the Australian National University.

Thomas is the author of The Artificial Horizon (2003), an innovative study of the Blue Mountains as a cultural imaginary. While working as an historian for the National Parks & Wildlife Service of NSW in 2000, he wrote A Multicultural Landscape (2001), a study of migrants' perceptions of the Australian bush.

Among his many works for radio are two award-winning programs on the Aboriginal story teller and sound recordist Jimmie Barker: This Is Jimmie Barker (2000) and I Love You Jimmie (2001).These were joint winners of the inaugural Best Moving Portrait Documentary Awards presented at the Woodford Festival, and This Is Jimmie Barker won the New South Wales Premier's Audio/Visual History Prize, 2000.

In 2018, Thomas was announced as the Keith Cameron Chair in Australian history at University College Dublin.

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

2013 winner The Calibre Prize for the essay 'Because It’s Your Country'

Awards for Works

form y separately published work icon Etched in Bone ( dir. Martin Thomas ) Australia : Red Lily Productions , 2018 15260682 2018 single work film/TV

'Jacob Nayinggul is a charismatic elder from Gunbalanya, an isolated settlement in Arnhem Land, northern Australia. Aboriginal people in this area believe that the landscape is inhabited by the spirits of their ancestors whose bones can be seen in crevices and caves.

'Nayinggul is aware that many of the old burial sites have been disturbed by scientists who collected human remains for museums. This presents the terrifying possibility that ancestral spirits were wrenched from their traditional country.

'Drawing on original footage from National Geographic, this carefully crafted documentary explores the impact of one notorious bone theft by a member of the 1948 American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land. Hundred of bones were stolen and deposited in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.

'When the location of the bones became known to Arnhem Landers in the late 1990s, elders called for their return. This resulted in a tense standoff with the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian—and eventually in the repatriation of the bones.

'Made over eight years, Etched in Bone gives extraordinary insight into the deep and enduring conflict between scientific and traditional forms of knowledge. In moving footage, we see how the repatriated bones are removed from their museum boxes, coated in red ochre and wrapped in paperbark. In this way, Jacob Nayinggul draws on ancient knowledge to create a new form of ceremony that welcomes home the ancestor spirits and puts them to sleep in the land where they were born.' (Production summary)

2019 shortlisted CHASS Australia Prizes Prize for Distinctive Work
y separately published work icon The Many Worlds of R. H. Mathews : In Search of an Australian Anthropologist Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2011 Z1765181 2011 single work biography

'The Many Worlds of R.H. Mathews is about the life and work of the renowned 19th century surveyor turned ethnologist, R. H. Mathews, whose studies of Aboriginal Australia were path-breaking and quite controversial. His childhood in Goulburn meant that he grew up with Aboriginal children as playmates, so when he began his obsession with documenting Aboriginal life, he came to his subject with fond familiarity, not the freakshow interest that spurred many of the English anthropologists of the time, especially Baldwin Spencer, who went out of his way to discredit Mathews' work, especially after his death.

'Largely due to this conspiracy, Mathews has been a reasonably unknown figure in early anthropology, but his legacy and work have been reassessed and he is emerging as one of our most important documentors of Aboriginal language, legends and mythology. So important, in fact, that it is his legacy of papers, interpretations and documents, held largely in the National Library of Australia, that is being used by contemporary Aboriginal people to rejuvenate their culture.

'Martin's approach to his subject is not conventional biography, but something more ambitious and unusual, and one perfectly tuned to the revelations it contains.' (From the publisher's website.)

2014 shortlisted Festival Awards for Literature (SA) Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature Award for Non-Fiction
2012 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction
2012 winner National Biography Award
2011 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's History Prize New South Wales History Prize Australian History Prize
2011 shortlisted Queensland Premier's Literary Awards Best History Book
2011 shortlisted The Age Book of the Year Award Non-Fiction Prize
Last amended 11 Jul 2018 10:30:18
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