A Universe Named Debbie Rose


These memoirs are written in memoriam Deborah Bird Rose. Elena Govor draws from her diary entries to share her impressions from her first meetings with Debbie to their long friendship in the 1990s and 2000s. Debbie Rose, an Australian American anthropologist and the author of numerous acclaimed works in the fields of anthropology and ecocriticism, has been conducting field work since the 1980s among Indigenous Australian people in the Northern Territory of Australia with her partner, historian and anthropologist Darrell Lewis. By the time the author and her husband, Soviet ethnographer Vladimir Kabo, met in 1990 with the Rose family, Debbie was working at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies in Canberra, Australia. The memoirs capture Debbie’s vivacious personality and include excerpts from her own and Darrell’s stories about their fieldwork in the Victoria River area of the Northern Territory, their contacts with Aboriginal people, and their reflections on important issues including attitudes towards land in traditional Aboriginal societies, reconstruction of culture circles, and understanding of the mythological Dreaming. The author also pays tribute to Debbie and Darrell’s hospitality and the help they extended to her family in Australia.

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