In the 2020 Summer Semester and 2020/2021 Winter Semester due to the Coronavirus pandemic, teaching moved to online platforms. Whilst we could not invite guests to Cologne, we had the pleasure of hosting several guest lectures digitally in lectures over the course of the year, including:

  • Prof. Rob Amery (University of Adelaide)

Professor Rob Amery is currently Associate Professor at the University of Adelaide and Head of Linguistics.

His main research focus is Australian Indigenous languages, their maintenance and revival. He began working in Aboriginal communities in 1980 in health, first as a nurse and then as an Aboriginal Health Worker Educator, and since 1985 in education issues in Yirrkala, northeastern Arhnem Land.

For more than two decades now he has been working with the Indigenous languages of Adelaide and surrounds, especially Kaurna, the language of the Adelaide Plains. The language is being re-learnt on the basis of 19th century materials and is beginning to be used again for a range of purposes. In this, he has worked closely with the Kaurna community, the Department of Education and Children’s Services (DECS), Kaurna Plains School and other institutions to implement Kaurna language programs.

  • Prof. Maïa Ponsonnet (University of Western Australia)

Maïa Ponsonnet is an anthropological linguist currently based at The University of Western Australia in Perth. She holds a PhD in Linguistics from the Australian National University (Canberra, 2014), with additional background in Philosophy (PhD Université Paris-8, 2005). She has extensive experience working with speakers of Indigenous languages in communities of inland Arnhem Land, in the Top End of Australia. In line with her combined linguistic, philosophical and anthropological interests, Maïa Ponsonnet’s research concerns the role of language in humans’ lives, and in particular how language may channel or modify people’s experience and management of emotions. She is the author of a number of articles and books, in particular a 2014 monograph on the encoding of emotions in Dalabon (Arnhem Land) and a 2019 monograph on a comparison between Dalabon and Kriol, the creole that has replaced Dalabon.

  • Dr. Knut Olawsky (Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring Language and Culture Centre)

Knut J. Olawsky is specialised in language documentation, field linguistics and endangered languages and has published grammars of Dagbani (Ghana) and Urarina (Peru). In his current role as senior linguist of the Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring Language and Culture Centre he is engaged in the revitalisation of the Miriwoong language of the East Kimberley region (Northwestern Australia). His academic background includes a PhD from Duesseldorf (Germany) as well as postdoctoral positions at the University of California, Berkeley and at La Trobe University (Melbourne). While his commitment to the Miriwoong people involves a range of non-academic tasks, he stays connected to the academic community through casual teaching and presentations on an international level.

  • Prof. Rob Mailhammer (Western Sydney University)

Robert Mailhammer (PhD 2007, Munich) is Associate Professor of Linguistics at Western Sydney University. His research focuses on Australian Indigenous languages, Contact varieties of English, Language change, variation and contact. Robert has been working in the Top End of Australia documenting the Iwaidjan languages, especially Amurdak and Iwaidja, and Aboriginal English spoken on Croker Island. Together with Mark Harvey (Newcastle), he demonstrated for the first time that almost all Australian languages form one language family (Diachronica, 2017).

  • Prof. Jaky Troy (University of Sydney)

Professor Jaky Troy is currently a professor at the University of Sydney and Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research.

Her research interests are currently focussed on documenting, describing and reviving Indigenous languages. Her current new focus on the Indigenous languages of Pakistan, including Saraiki of the Punjab and Torwali of Swat. She currently has two Australian Research Council Discovery Projects one with Prof John Maynard on the history of Aboriginal missions and reserves in eastern Australia and the history of Aboriginal people who were not institutionalised. The other Discovery Project is about the practise of ‘corroboree’ by Aboriginal people in the ‘assimilation period’ of the mid 20th century in Australia. She is interested in the use of Indigenous research methodologies and community engaged research practises. She is Aboriginal Australian and her community is Ngarigu of the Snowy Mountains in south eastern Australia.

  • Dr. Michael Pickering (National Museum of Australia)

Michael Pickering is currently Senior Repatriation Advisor and Senior Advisor: Discovery and Collections with the National Museum of Australia. He is also an Honorary Associate Professor with the Department of Museum and Heritage Studies at the Australian National University.

He has worked as an anthropologist for the Central Land Council and then the Northern Land Council. Dr Pickering was the Regional Officer for the Central Australian region of the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority in the Northern Territory while completing his PhD at La Trobe University. He worked as a Research Officer on Native Title for Aboriginal Affairs Victoria and then as Head Curator for the Indigenous Cultures program of Museum Victoria. He moved to the National Museum of Australia as the Director of the Repatriation Program, later taking on the role of Head of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program.  He then became a Senior research Fellow and subsequently Head of the Museum’s Research Centre.

Dr Pickering is a member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). He has previously been a member of the Collections Council of Australia Expert panel on repatriation and has recently been a member of an ethics panel convened by the 9/11 memorial Museum in New York. He has twice received an Australian Public Service Australia Day Achievement medal.

Michael Pickering has a wide range of research interests and has published over 60 articles on topics ranging from political cartoons, material culture, cannibalism, settlement patterns, exhibitions, museum ethics, and repatriation.