Amanda  Kearney Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Amanda Kearney

Senior Lecturer in Anthropology, Sociology & Anthropology Program
University of New South Wales

Amanda Kearney is an anthropologist who investigates cultural & environmental wounding and healing in Australia and Brazil, through ethnographic collaborations with Indigenous Australians and African descendant groups. Her research contributes also to violence and trauma studies, exploring the greater effects of cultural wounding on the world in which we live, striving to elicit care for the places that humans harm and the nonhuman species which experience trauma as a result of human conflict.


Amanda's recent book, 'Violence in Place, Cultural and Environmental Wounding' (Routledge, UK) explores the greater effects of cultural wounding on the world we live in and strives to elicit care for the places that humans harm and the non human species who also experience trauma as a result of human/ethnic conflict. This builds on her earlier work, 'Cultural Wounding, Healing and Emerging Ethnicities' (Palgrave Macmillan, NY) which introduced the principles of cultural wounding and healing, as a way of better understanding and engaging with the lived experiences of Indigenous families in Australia and African descendants in Brazil. Her primary methodology has been ethnographic research.

Amanda’s research has also addressed themes of Indigenous anthropology, African Diaspora, intangible cultural heritage and the emotional geographies that accompany homelands. In 2000 she began ethnographic collaborations with Indigenous Australian groups in the southwest Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Australia, to record the terms of their cultural and social engagements with homelands, and the politics of place. Amanda began working on themes of emerging ethnicities and the rise of affirmative action principles in north eastern Brazil in 2008. By critically engaging with ethnic studies from an anthropological perspective this research sought to define the quality and character of emerging ethnicities, through a comparison of the similarities and differences in ethnic ‘scapes’ found in wounded spaces such as Australian Indigenous communities in remote and urban settings and amongst interethnic groups in northeastern Brazil.


    PhD University of Melbourne, Australia

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Sociocultural anthropology
    Social and cultural geography
    Indigenous studies
    Decolonising methodologies
    Kincentric ecologies


Featured Title
 Featured Title - Violence in Place, Cultural and Environmental Wounding - 1st Edition book cover



Intimacy and Distance: Indigenous Relationships to Country in Northern Australia

Published: Oct 07, 2016 by Ethnos
Authors: Amanda Kearney and John Bradley
Subjects: Anthropology - Soc Sci

Among the strategies employed by colonial authorities to ‘manage’ Indigenous people, forced removal and centralisation to townships was a deliberate attempt to fragment relationships to home territories. For Yanyuwa, an Indigenous group in northern Australia, this meant being removed from their saltwater ‘country’ in the Gulf of Carpentaria and resettled 60 km inland. Despite this violent act Yanyuwa saltwater identity has remained strong.

Social and Cultural Geography

‘Too strong to ever not be there’: place names and emotional geographies

Published: Dec 02, 2008 by Social and Cultural Geography
Authors: Amanda Kearney and John Bradley
Subjects: Anthropology - Soc Sci

This paper reflects on the emotional geography of a place; one part of the Yanyuwa people's Indigenous homelands in northern Australia. It offers a biography of a Yanyuwa place that is deemed ‘too strong to ever not be there’.