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A/Prof. Melinda Hinkson



Associate Professor (Research)


Faculty of Arts and Education


Alfred Deakin Institute


Melbourne Burwood Campus



Melinda Hinkson is an Associate Professor (Research) and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow. She is a social anthropologist with wide ranging interests in visual culture and the faultlines of seltter colonial Australia. Building on long term research with Warlpiri people of Central Australia, Melinda's current research centres on Aboriginal displacement and creative efforts in post-colonial placemaking.

Prior to joining the Alfred Deakin Institute in late 2015 Melinda was based at the Australian National University where she taught courses in the history of anthropological theory, anthropology of media and visual anthropology and convened a masters program in interdisciplinary visual studies. 

Read more on Melinda's profile

Research interests

I am a social anthropologist with wide ranging interests in visual culture and the faultlines of settler colonial Australia. My current research explores intersections between modes of governance, cultures of seeing and creative practice in central Australia. The first stage of this project resulted in my book Remembering the Future: Warlpiri Life Through the Prism of Drawing (Aboriginal Studies Press 2014) and an associated exhibition for the National Museum of Australia. The next phase of the fellowship project explores the turbulence of displacement.

Wider research interests include postcolonial placemaking, the politics of intercultural recognition and the conceptualisation of person-image relations in contemporary society.

I have also published on Aboriginal placemaking in Sydney, on the life work of Australian anthropologist WEH Stanner, and on the complex cultural politics around the Northern Territory Emergency Response Intervention. 


Director, Institute for Postcolonial Studies

Visiting Fellow, School of Archaeology and Anthropology, Australian National University

Teaching interests

I welcome enquiries from prospective higher degree students on any aspect of my research interests.

Knowledge areas

Anthropology of Aboriginal Australia

Visual anthropology and visual culture studies

Mediations of social life

Postcolonial placemaking

History of Australian Anthropology

Professional activities

Fellow, Australian Anthropological Association

Fellow, American Anthropological Association

Fellow, European Association of Social Anthropologists

Member, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

Arena Publications Editor

Editorial board member: Visual Studies (UK), Visual Ethnography (Italy), Australian Aboriginal Studies, The Australian-Pacific Journal of Anthropology


Australian Research Council Future Fellowship: 'Place and displacement in Aboriginal Australia: A Warlpiri Visual Cultural Enquiry' FT130101280


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Beyond the hot take

M Hinkson

(2018), pp. 1-1, Cultural anthropology, Washington, D.C., C1


Indigenous media

M Hinkson

(2018), pp. 3207-3216, The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology, Sussex, UK, B1


In and out of place: ethnography as 'journeying with' between central and South Australia

M Hinkson

(2018), Vol. 88, pp. 254-268, Oceania, Chichester, Eng., C1


Shifting Indigenous Australian realities: dispersal, damage, and resurgence: introduction

M Hinkson, E Vincent

(2018), Vol. 88, pp. 240-253, Oceania, Chichester, Eng., C1


Turbulent dislocations in Central Australia: exile, placemaking, and the promises of elsewhere

Melinda Hinkson

(2018), Vol. 45, pp. 521-532, American ethnologist, Washington, D.C., C1


Beyond assimilation and refusal: a Warlpiri perspective on the politics of recognition

M Hinkson

(2017), Vol. 20, pp. 86-100, Postcolonial studies, Abingdon, Eng., C1


Unsettling encounters

M Hinkson

(2017), Vol. 23, pp. 879-881, International journal of heritage studies, Abingdon, Eng., C1


At the edges of the visual culture of exile: a glimpse from South Australia

M Hinkson

(2017), pp. 93-104, Refiguring techniques in digital visual research, Cham, Swizerland, B1


Precarious placemaking

M Hinkson

(2017), Vol. 46, pp. 49-64, Annual review of anthropology, Palo Alto, Calif., C1


'We have always moved around'. Backstories on Warlpiri mobility and media

M Hinkson

(2017), pp. 19-38, Bush mechanics: from Yuendumu to the world, Mile End, S. Aust., B1


'That photo in my heart': remembering Yayayi and self-determination

M Hinkson

(2016), Vol. 27, pp. 386-397, Australian journal of anthropology, London, Eng., C1


Pictures for our time and place: reflections on painting in a digital age

M Hinkson

(2016), pp. 37-57, Imaging identity: media, memory and portraiture in the digital age, Acton, A.C.T., B1


Making Aboriginal Men and Music in Central Australia

Melinda Hinkson

(2016), Vol. 27, pp. 414-415, AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF ANTHROPOLOGY, C1


Remembering the future : Warlpiri life through the prism of drawing

M Hinkson

(2014), Canberra, ACT, A1-1


Warlpiri drawings : Remembering the future

M Hinkson

(2014), National Museum of Australia, Canberra, J1-1


Back to the future: Warlpiri encounters with drawings, country and others in the digital age

M Hinkson

(2013), Vol. 54, pp. 301-317, Culture, theory and critique, Abingdon, Eng., C1-1


Image-encounters with the techno-mediated other: Regarding post-election Iran on Youtube

M Hinkson

(2012), Vol. 16, pp. 131-143, Angelaki: journal of the theoretical humanities, Abingdon, Eng., C1-1


Culture crisis: anthropology and politics in Aboriginal Australia

J Altman, M Hinkson

(2010), Sydney, N.S.W., A1-1


Seeing more than black and white: picturing Aboriginality at Australia's National Portrait Gallery

M Hinkson

(2010), Vol. 49, pp. 5-28, Australian humanities review, Acton, A.C.T., C1-1


Australia's Bill Henson scandal: notes on the new cultural attitude to images

M Hinkson

(2010), Vol. 24, pp. 202-213, Visual studies, Abingdon, Eng., C1-1


The intercultural challenge of Stanner's first fieldwork

M Hinkson

(2005), Vol. 75, pp. 195-208, Oceania, Chichester, Eng., C1-1


Introduction: conceptual moves towards an intercultural analysis

M Hinkson, B Smith

(2005), Vol. 75, pp. 157-166, Oceania, Chichester, Eng., C1-1


What's in a dedication? On being a Warlpiri DJ

M Hinkson

(2004), Vol. 15, pp. 143-162, Australian journal of anthropology, Chichester, Eng., C1-1


Encounters with Aboriginal sites in metropolitan Sydney: a broadening horizon for cultural tourism?

M Hinkson

(2003), Vol. 11, pp. 295-306, Journal of sustainable tourism, Abingdon, Eng., C1-1


New media projects at Yuendumu: inter-cultural engagement and self-determination in an era of accelerated globalization

M Hinkson

(2002), Vol. 16, pp. 201-220, Continuum: journal of media & cultural studies, Abingdon, Eng., C1-1


Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

Place and displacement in Aboriginal Australia: a Warlpiri visual cultural enquiry

A/Prof Melinda Hinkson

ARC Fellowships - Future Fellowships

  • 2017: $87,641
  • 2016: $446,958


No completed student supervisions to report