Dr Nicholas Smith

Adjunct Senior Lecturer

Email: Nick.Smith@nd.edu.au

  • Biography

    Dr Nicholas Smith was awarded a PhD in Anthropology in 2000. From 2001-2006 he was employed as an anthropologist by Pilbara Native Title Service (Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation) researching native title claims in the Pilbara region. In 2006 he was a consultant anthropologist at the Centre for Anthropological Research, University of Western Australia (UWA). In 2008 he took up a position as lecturer/researcher at UWA. He has authored various anthropological reports in support of mediated and litigated native title applications. In addition he has undertaken consultancies in post-determination native title capacity, working with Ngarla and Nyangumarta peoples whose country lies in the north-west Pilbara. Currently Nicholas is lecturing in anthropology at La Trobe University, Melbourne.

  • Teaching areas

    Nicholas has substantial teaching experience in undergraduate and graduate teaching in anthropology. He currently teaches in the following subject areas: environmental anthropology; anthropological approaches ot food and drink; continuity and change in Indigenous Australia; marginality, neoliberalism and the state.

  • Research expertise and supervision

    Fifteen years of research experience working with west Pilbara traditional owners (primarily Nyangumarta and Ngarla peoples) on matters relating to native title, cultural heritage, and indigenous engagement in the conservation estate. Nicholas is currently principal supervisor of eight PhD students, one MA and several fourth year Honours students.

  • Book chapters

    • Morton, J. & N. Smith. 1999. ‘Planting Indigenous Species: a Subversion of Australian Eco-nationalism.’ In Quicksands: Foundational Histories in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand pp.153-175. UNSW Press, Sydney, Australia.
    • Smith, N & R Madden, 2012. 'Animals' in P. Beilharz & T. Hogan (eds.) Sociology: Antipodean Perspectives pp. 283-287. Oxford University Press: Australia.
  • Journal articles and proceedings

    • Smith, N. 1999. ‘The Howl and the Pussy: feral cats and wild dogs in the Australian imagination.’ The Australian Journal of Anthropology 10 (3):288-305.
    • Smith, N. 2006. ‘Thank your mother for the rabbits: bilbies, bunnies & redemptive ecology.’ Australian Zoologist 33 (3): 369-378
    • Smith, N. 2011. ‘Blood and Soil: nature, native and nation in the Australian imaginary’ Journal of Australian Studies 35 (1): 1-18.
    • Smith, N. 2012. ‘The Return of the Living Dead: Unsettlement and the Tasmanian Tiger’ Journal of Australian Studies 36 (3): 269-289.
    • Smith, N. 2015 'Murtuka yirraru: Automobility in Pilbara Song-Poems', Anthropological Forum. 25 (3): 221 – 242.
  • Conference papers

    • ‘The Howl and the Pussycat: feral cats and wild dogs in the Australian imagination’. Paper presented to the Australian Anthropology Society Annual Conference, Albury 2-4 October 1996.
    • ‘Ethnoscience and Australia’s Aborigines’. Paper co-authored by John Morton presented to the third conference of The European Society of Oceanists, Copenhagen. 13-15 December 1996.
    • ‘Panting Indigenous Species: the mythical grounding of Australian eco-nationalism’ Paper co-authored by John Morton presented to the Foundational Histories Seminar, Sydney, 29-31 August 1997.
    • ‘The return of the living dead: the Tasmanian tiger in the Australian imaginary’. Paper presented to the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California, 15-19 November 2000.
    • ‘The return of the living dead: the Tasmanian tiger in the Australian imaginary’. Paper presented to the Australian Anthropology Society Annual Conference, Sydney 2003.
    • ‘Follow the Yellow Brick Road … Producing Connection Reports at an NTRB where lawyers and anthropologists like and respect each other’. Paper co-presented with David Ritter at Claims Research Management Workshop; AIATSIS, April 2004.
    • ‘An Induction Manual for Staff Anthropologists’ Workshop presentation at AIATSIS Native Title Conference, Adelaide June 2004.
    • ‘Archive dilemmas for NTRBs’. Workshop presentation at AIATSIS Native Title Conference; Coffs Harbour June 2005.
    • ‘Authoring from the Inside; or ‘How did we get from Sec 223 to the WA Guidelines’. Paper presented to the AIATSIS Native Title Conference; Coffs Harbour June 2005.
    • ‘Blood & Chocolate: Australian attitudes to the rabbit’. Paper presented to the Inaugural Conference of the Animals & Society (Australia) study group, University of Western Australia, Perth, 12-15 July 2005.
    • ‘Proving Connection in an area where there is little ethnography and where there are discrepancies between contemporary research and ethnographic material.’ Paper presented to Office of Native Title Connection Workshop, Medina Grand, Perth Western Australia 27- 28 July 2006.
    • ‘Some observations on the role of staff anthropologists in a Western Australian Native Title Representative Body (NTRB)’. Paper presented to Anthropological Society of Western Australian Annual Conference, Perth, Western Australia December 2008
    • “Negotiating Tradition in the Pilbara’. Paper presented to Workshop - Tradition, Adaptation, the “Tide of History”: issues for anthropology in research for native title claims and their aftermath, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland June 2009.
    • “ Muurrkarra [motorcars] and yirraru [a Ngarla song form]”. Seminar presentation Melbourne University 2011
    • “Singing about sharks” Paper presented to Australian Anthropology Society Annual Conference, Canberra November 2013.
    • “Gemeinschaft and gesselschaft in the Pilbara”. Invited to present at Centre for Native Title Anthropology Workshop “Around the edge: claim formation in complex and contested situations” The University Club of Western Australia, Perth, 27-28 March 2014.
  • Professional affiliations

    • Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
    • Australian Anthropological Society
    • Society of Applied Anthropology (US)
  • Community engagement

    Collaborative research is ongoing with Indigenous groups in the Pilbara and south west Kimberley. Currently working with Nyangumarta people in the Nyangumarta Warrarn Indigenous Protected Area on a project titled "Indigenous eco-cultural futures: re-implementing Nyangumarta burning in the Pilbara, Australia".