Listening with Intent: Kim Mahood in conversation with Martin Thomas

About the Event

Kim Mahood is a writer, artist, mapmaker, former H. C. Coombs Creative Fellow at ANU and outstanding Australian Studies scholar. Her new book of essays, Wandering with Intent, takes the reader to remote places and communities where she is engaged in long-established collaborations involving mapping, storytelling, and placemaking.

Celebrated as one of the few writers able to articulate the complexities and tensions that arise in the spaces between Aboriginal and settler Australia, Mahood writes passionately and eloquently about art, country, people, and literature. In this event by the ANU Australian Studies Institute, she will be in conversation with Martin Thomas from the ANU School of History.

"A master class on unravelling complex issues in fluently lucid prose … The compassionate intelligence of these essays underpins literature’s redemptive arc."

- Ian McFarlane, The Canberra Times

This event is in association with Harry Hartog Bookshop. Books will be available for purchase on the evening and available for signing after the event.


About the Speaker

Kim Mahood is a writer, artist and mapmaker. She is the author of two works of non-fiction, Craft for a Dry Lake (Random House 2000), and Position Doubtful – Mapping Landscape and Memory (Scribe 2016), and a collection of essays, Wandering with Intent (Scribe 2022). Her work has received numerous awards, and her essays have been published in art, literary and public affairs journals. Her artwork is held in state, territory and regional collections.

She divides her time between a dual-occupancy property she shares with other artists on the outskirts of Canberra, and extended trips to remote Australia for map-making projects. For the past thirty years she has returned regularly to Central Australia and the Tanami desert, where she grew up, and maintains her connection with the Warlpiri and Walmajarri people of the region. Her cross-cultural mapping work extends from the remote desert to the city, and is designed to map the Indigenous landscape back into visibility, and to foster communication and understanding between Indigenous and settler Australians.

Martin Thomas is a cultural historian who specialises in Australian, Aboriginal and trans-national history. He has published in the areas of environmental history, landscape studies, cross-cultural encounter, expeditions and exploration, history of anthropology, and on the impact of sound recording and photography. He has written numerous visual art reviews and catalogue essays and also works as an oral-history interviewer for the National Library of Australia. He has had long experience as a broadcaster and maker of radio documentaries. His recent teaching at ANU includes courses on exploration, photography and public history.

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