Profile image of Melinda Hinkson

A/Prof. Melinda Hinkson





Faculty of Arts and Education


Indigenous Strategy & Innov


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus



Melinda Hinkson is an Associate Professor of Anthropology. She has wide ranging interests in the faultlines of settler colonial Australia, the governance of indigenous difference, displacement and placemaking practices, and the challenges of coexistence. Much of Melinda's work is informed by long standing research relationships with Warlpiri people of Central Australia as well as an abiding interest in visual culture. 

Prior to joining Deakin University in late 2015, Melinda lectured in social anthropology and interdisciplinary visual culture studies at the Australian National University. 

Read more on Melinda's profile

Research interests

Between 2014 and 2018 I was the recipient of an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship for a project entitled ‘Place and Displacement in Aboriginal Australia: A Warlpiri Visual Cultural Enquiry’. This research explored intersections between modes of governance, forced and voluntary displacement, cultures of seeing, and creative placemaking in central Australia and beyond. The first stage of this research was published as 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 second phase resulted in an ethnography of displacement, See How We Roll: Enduring Exile Between Desert and Urban Australia (Duke University Press, 2021).

I have published widely on the complex cultural politics of the Northern Territory Intervention and co-edited (with Jon Altman) two books examining its wide-ranging ramifications, Coercive Reconciliation: Stabilise, Normalise, Exit Aboriginal Australia (Arena Publications, 2007) and Culture Crisis: Anthropology and Politics in Aboriginal Australia (UNSW Press, 2010).

I have undertaken research on the lifework of celebrated Australian anthropologist WEH Stanner and co-edited (with Jeremy Beckett) An Appreciation of Difference: WEH Stanner and Aboriginal Australia (Aboriginal Studies Press, 2008).

My book Aboriginal Sydney: A Guide to Important Places of the Past and Present (Aboriginal Studies Press, 2001) is an accessible and engaging cultural history as well as a usable guidebook.

From 2021 a new research direction sees me examining transformations in people / place relationships in north-western Victoria. I am exploring shifting farming and food production practices, and ideas for regional revitalisation against the pressing backdrop of climate change.


Director, Institute for Postcolonial Studies

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

Convening Editor, Postcolonial 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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Contesting rural Australia in the time of accelerating climate change

Melinda Hinkson

(2022), Vol. 95, pp. 50-57, Journal of Rural Studies, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Beyond Global Food Supply Chains

Victoria Stead, Melinda Hinkson

(2022), Singapore, A7

edited book

See how we roll : enduring exile between desert and urban Australia

Melinda Hinkson

(2021), Durham. NC., A1


Beyond Shattered Fantasies?

Melinda Hinkson

(2021), Vol. 13, pp. 55-60, Anthropology Now, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Lurching between consensus and chaos: shades of populism in Australian Indigenous Affairs

Melinda Hinkson, Jon Altman

(2019), Vol. 18, pp. 74-96, Democracy's Paradox: Populism and its Contemporary Crisis, New York, N.Y., B1

book chapter

Locating a zeitgeist: Displacement, becoming and the end of alterity

M Hinkson

(2019), Vol. 39, pp. 371-388, Critique of Anthropology, London, England, C1

journal article

Imaging crisis in Indigenous Australia and Canada: towards an analysis of neoliberal primitivism

M Hinkson, L Fullenwieder

(2019), Vol. 34, pp. 164-181, Visual studies, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

Indigenous media

M Hinkson

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

book chapter

Beyond the hot take

M Hinkson

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

journal article

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

journal article

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

M Hinkson, E Vincent

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

journal article

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

journal article

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

book chapter

'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

book chapter

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

journal article

Unsettling encounters

M Hinkson

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

journal article

Precarious placemaking

M Hinkson

(2017), Vol. 46, pp. 49-64, Annual Review of Anthropology, C1

journal article

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

book chapter

'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

journal article

Imaging identity: media, memory and portraiture in the digital age

M Hinkson

(2016), Acton, A.C.T., A7

edited book

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

Non-Traditional Research Output

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

journal article

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

journal article

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

journal article

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

journal article

The intercultural challenge of Stanner's first fieldwork

M Hinkson

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

journal article

Introduction: conceptual moves towards an intercultural analysis

M Hinkson, B Smith

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

journal article

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

journal article

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

journal article

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

journal article

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

Other Funding Sources

Feeding the Crisis: Global Food Supply Chains in a World on the Edge

A/Prof Victoria Stead, A/Prof Melinda Hinkson, Prof Jon Altman

Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia ASSA Workshop Program grants

  • 2021: $9,000


Principal Supervisor

David Brown

Thesis entitled: Digital government: ideology and new forms of power

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Associate Supervisor

Sofya Shahab

Thesis entitled: Weaponising Affect: The turbulent displacements of heritage destruction in Iraq and Syria

Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences