Dr Diana Young

Senior Lecturer in Museum Anth

School of Social Science
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
djbyoung@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 51210

Overview

I am a social anthropologist specialising in visual, material and digital culture. I research using curatorion as well as through standard fieldwork and archival methods. I have substantial senior leadership experience as the Director of the University of Queensland Anthropology Museum for eight years.

My research interests include colour as visual, digital and material culture, contemporary Australian and Pacific art and design and their histories, re-inventing ethnographic museums for the 21st century and curation as research, contemporary consumption practices and their histories, landscape, architecture, space and place studies and the environment. I welcome students for research by higher degree supervision in any of these subject areas.

I have a doctorate in Social Anthropology gained in 2001 on the subject of colour, materiality and memory among Anangu Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara living in the far northwest of South Australia. I have a Master’s degree with distinction in Anthropology of Art gained in 1994 in whcih my thesis centred on colour in the islands of the Kula ring in Papua New Guinea. Both these degrees are from University College London where I was a member of the influential material culture group in the Department of Anthropology, during its formative stages. Prior to this I trained as an architect and worked in the UK construction industry as a designer and project leader.

Before moving to UQ in 2009 to take up the post of Director of the UQ Anthropology Museum and senior lecturer in anthropology, I held post doctoral and research positions at the Australian National University in the Centre for Cross Cultural Research/ Research School for Humanities from 2005 to 2009. I have taught at the University of the Arts London, University College London and Goldsmiths College. I was an Economic and Social Research Council Post-doctoral Research Fellow at University College London and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Archaeology at University College London.

Research Interests

  • Colour as Material, Digital and Visual Culture.
    I am influential in establishing the contemporary research of colour in anthropology. My work centres on the role of colour as a concept, and colours as substances, in social and cultural life. This research is centred on visual, digital and material culture using fieldwork and draws on linguistics, cognitive science, architecture, archaeology, ecological studies, contemporary art theory and museum collections.
  • Western Desert Art Histories
    My interest is in the development of the art histories of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands since the establishment of the mission at Ernabella (now Pukatja) in South Australia 1937. Overall this work is a contribution to reassessing Australia’s colonial history and the creativity of Aboriginal women artists who gained autonomy and an expansion of themselves through art practices. I have curated public exhibitions (1998 'Warka Iritii munu Kuwari Kutu/ Work from the past and the present 50 years of Ernabella Arts'; 2001 'Art on a string' ; 2009, 'Nyukana Baker. A Retrospective') and catalogues on this topic. This research includes fieldwork and archival study - both textual and photographic.
  • Consumption Practices in Central Australia.
    This project was funded by an ARC Discovery ( 2013-Dec 2016) which researched the neglected history of consumption after colonisation among Australian Indigenous peoples. The research based on long term fieldwork. Findings from this recently completed research are in press.
  • Public Anthropology through Curatorial practice and the future of the ethnographic museum
    This research examines the role of so-called ethnographic museums now. I have collaborated in the curation of 17 public exhibitions in many venues in Australia including at UQ. I have developed collaborative research in museums with the aim of generating innovative exhibitions, using little seen objects combined with contemporary academic theory, to engage wide audiences.

Research Impacts

As an influential curator of anthropology, I am at the forefront of object centred teaching and learning for university and school students. Through a rolling gallery program, including those exhibitions that I have generated through research of the University of Queensland Anthropology Museum collections, I am an expert at successfully profiling academic research for public engagement using material and digital means. These research projects include links with communities, industry and with other institutions nationally and internationally for knowledge expansion and exchange. I frequently gives invited public talks.

I directed the creation of a new research and teaching infrastructure for the UQ Anthropology Museum. See the online catalogue at http://catalogue.anthropologymuseum.uq.edu.au/ and exhibtions at http://anthropologymuseum.uq.edu.au/exhibitions/. These digital sites have been visited by people in 157 different countries globally (Google analytics June 2017).

Qualifications

  • PhD Socio Anthropology, University College London
  • MA Anthropology of Art, University College London

Publications

  • Young, Diana J. B. (2018). Infused with colour. In Stephanie Bunn (Ed.), Anthropology and beauty: from aesthetics to creativity (pp. 148-166) Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom: Routledge.

  • Young, Diana (2017) Focus on the exhibition. Oceanic Arts Society, 22 1: 7-8.

  • Young, Diana (2017). Coloring Cars: customising motor vehicles in the east of the Australian Western Desert. In Alison Clarke (Ed.), Design anthropology: object cultures in transition (pp. 147-159) London, United Kingdom: Bloomsbury Publishing.

View all Publications

Supervision

View all Supervision

Publications

Book

Book Chapter

  • Young, Diana J. B. (2018). Infused with colour. In Stephanie Bunn (Ed.), Anthropology and beauty: from aesthetics to creativity (pp. 148-166) Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom: Routledge.

  • Young, Diana (2017). Coloring Cars: customising motor vehicles in the east of the Australian Western Desert. In Alison Clarke (Ed.), Design anthropology: object cultures in transition (pp. 147-159) London, United Kingdom: Bloomsbury Publishing.

  • Young, Diana (2017). Introduction. In Solomon Islands: re-enchantment and the colonial shadow (pp. 1-7) Brisbane, Australia: Anthropology Museum, The University of Queensland.

  • Young, Diana (2017). On revealing and concealing. In Margo Neale (Ed.), Songlines: tracking the seven sisters (pp. 74-77) Canberra, ACT, Australia: National Museum of Australia Press.

  • Young, Diana (2015). Introduction. In Michael Aird, Mandana Mapar and Paul Memmott (Ed.), Wild Australia. Meston's Wild Australia 1892-93 (pp. 2-3) Brisbane, Australia: Anthropology Museum, The University of Queensland.

  • Young, Diana (2014). How did we get here?. In Diana Young (Ed.), Strong Women Strong Painting Strong Culture (pp. 7-12) St. Lucia, QLD, Australia: University of Queensland Anthropology Museum.

  • Young, Diana (2014). The domestication of things. In Diana Young (Ed.), Written on the body () St Lucia, QLD, Australia: The University of Queensland Anthropology Museum.

  • Young, Diana (2013). Hector Burton Tjupuru. My Country. In Ian Were (Ed.), NEWv: selected recent acquisitions 2011-2013 (pp. 34-35) Brisbane, Australia: UQ Art Museum.

  • Young, Diana (2012). Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri; rock holes and country near the Olgas’. In Ian Were (Ed.), New, v. 2: selected recent acquisitions, 2009-2011 (pp. 86-86) St Lucia, QLD, Australia: The University of Queensland Art Museum.

  • Young, Diana (2011). Colouring cars: Customising motor vehicles in the East of the Australian Western Desert. In Alison J. Clark (Ed.), Design anthropology: Object culture in the 21st century (pp. 117-129) Wien, Austria ; New York, U.S.A.: Springer.

  • Young, Diana (2010). Dingo scalping and the frontier economy in the north west of South Australia. In Ian Keen (Ed.), Indigenous participation in Australian economies (pp. 91-107) Australia: ANU E-Press.

  • Young, Diana (2010). Dressing the body in the Western Desert, Australia. In Joanne Eicher (Ed.), Berg encyclopedia of world dress and fashion (pp. 37-41) Oxford, United Kingdom: Berg. doi:10.2752/BEWDF/EDch7007

  • Young, Diana (2006). The colours of things. In Christopher Tilley, Webb Keane, Susanne Kuechler, Mike Rowlands and Patricia Spyer (Ed.), The handbook of material culture (pp. 173-185) London: Sage Publications.

  • Young, Diana (2001). The life and death of cars. Private cars on the Pitjantjatjara Lands, South Australia. In Daniel Miller (Ed.), Car cultures (pp. 35-59) London: Berg Publishers.

  • Young, Diana (1998). Punu metaphors and markets- wood carving in the Ernabella area. In Warka iritita munu Kuwari kutu. Work from the past and the present: a celebration of Fifty years of Ernabella Arts (pp. 38-43) Ernabella, SA, Australia: Ernabella Arts .

Journal Article

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor