Wit(h)nessing [Living Lexicon]


“Wit(h)nessing.” Environmental Humanities 10, no. 1 (2018): 343–345. This is a 1000+ word contribution to the Living Lexicon of the Environmental Humanities, a project of the journal.


This short essay version was written on the train from Campbelltown to Sydney, April 2017. Accepted for publication, September 2017 (grateful for two levels of editorial review and two anonymous peer reviewers).

Key ideas and narrative were presented first at Affective Habitus, Aslec-ANZ and History of Emotions conference, Canberra, July 2014. Paper: “After-Affect Skin Songs: Re-writing the affective dimensions of mammal species loss.”

It was written in full in a chapter of  my doctoral thesis in April 2014 (Chapter 8; 2016). And, composed in a draft for that doctoral thesis, December 2012.

It was originally sparked by a special encounter-exchange (a ‘skins’ meeting) with Anangu Elders, including Alice Cox, north of Ooldea, on the edge of the Maralinga Nuclear Tests Area in August 1984. All began in a blue Collins field notebook that smells like the Australian Nullarbor.

I am beginning to think this is equally about the natures of time.

20 May 2018