For four decades Jeremy Beckett has shone a light on previously marginalised fields of life. While the many went in search of ‘traditional culture’, Beckett was fascinated to learn how people who often lacked wider recognition of their Aboriginality went about their lives. In the process he changed our understandings of those people and highlighted the issues they confronted and enriched our appreciation of the diversity of Indigenous identities and experiences.
He was an expert witness leading up to the Mabo decision, and has brought Australian Indigenous studies into a world framework.
His work continues to be influential to many: those who revisit his ideas here; and those who are newer to his work.
Jeremy Beckett taught anthropology at the University of Sydney, was a Visiting Professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center, the Australian National University, New York University, and the University of Texas at Austin. He has carried out long term field research with Australian Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders including ethnomusicology, has been involved in native title recognition and in the contextualisation of Indigenous identities in the postcolonial world.
Reviews and endorsements
'Jeremy Beckett is one of the most accomplished and insightful writers on Australian Indigenous matters. He has been a trail-blazer in his academic field in a number of ways.'
— Dr Melinda Hinkson, ARC Future Fellow
'Jeremy Beckett’s contribution to the field of indigenous studies has without question been pioneering and highly significant.'
— Professor Tim Rowse, University of Western Sydney