Allatson, Paul. A/Prof

Associate Professor, School of International Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

University of Technology Sydney

I am currently collaborating with a colleague from Western Sydney University, Dr Andrea Connor, on a project focusing on cultural representations of the Australian White Ibis in relation to ibis rewildings or colonisations of Australia’s coastal urban cities and towns. The project is international in scope as well, in that it also examines cultural and historical human-ibis interchanges, and other instances of ibis rewildings, in other parts of the world in order to make comparative points of commonality and difference with Australian ibis-human experiences. In our research we investigate how recent representations of ibis, more than any other Australian creature, have transformed how that the Australian White Ibis now symbolises the tense reality of human-natural interactions in Australia’s largest coastal cities. As many cultural works evoke so compellingly, in the era of the Anthropocene and human-induced climate change, the Australian White Ibis has emerged as a bell-weather species—an avian agent of rewilding in Australia—in a process in which the so-called wild or natural realm moves on and in to Australia’s human-made spaces, with as yet unforeseen consequences for interspecies cohabitation.

Allatson, P. and Connor, A. “From god-head to bin chook: Ibis in the Australian cultural imagination,” Artlink v. 38, no. 1. (special issue: Considering the Animals) March 2018 (forthcoming)
Staff Profile