What the eye can hear

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Abstract

This paper draws on studies of encounters with remote Indigenous Australian cultures by scholars such as Barry Hill and Martin Thomas. I also refer to my own studies of the transactions between Indigenous and invasive cultures around Sydney, 1788_1791. Again and again in Europeans’ first-contact accounts of Indigenous cultures, there is a sense that Indigenous knowledge is arranged in people and in space and time in ways that are completely at odds with Western presumptions about cognition and interpretation. There is a sense that awareness is a multi-modal experience and that there is no point in separating the senses that Western commonsense tends to distinguish and hierarchise. While I do not purport to explain Indigenous thought here, I do want to dwell on the enigmas that arise in accounts of the encounters between the indigenous and incursive mentalities. What fundamental questions do the records of these encounters pose for Western assumptions about the operations of sense and the separated senses?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-151
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Australian Studies
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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mentality
transaction
cognition
contact
interpretation
knowledge
experience
Enigma
Presumption
Australian Culture
Mentality
Indigenous Knowledge
Thought
Indigenous Culture
Fundamental
Cognition
time

Cite this

GIBSON, Ross. / What the eye can hear. In: Journal of Australian Studies. 2011 ; Vol. 35, No. 2. pp. 145-151.
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What the eye can hear. / GIBSON, Ross.

In: Journal of Australian Studies, Vol. 35, No. 2, 2011, p. 145-151.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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