Kirsty Wissing

Kirsty Wissing

PhD Candidate
Anthropology

Qualification

BA (Hons), Monash University
Contact details
Room: E326
Building: Baldessin Precinct Building

Kirsty is a PhD candidate within the discipline of anthropology in the School of Culture, History and Language. Her research focuses on Indigenous religious attitudes to and ritual uses of water and other fluids in relation to ideas of cleanliness/purity and, by extension, morality. She considers how influences including colonialism, Christianity and the hydro-power industry have affected local attitudes and uses of these fluids, and asks how multiple co-existing ideas of cleanliness/purity can become politicised. For this research, she undertook 14 months of field research in the Eastern Region of Ghana in 2016, 2017 and 2019.

Kirsty has previous research experience with Australian Indigenous communities under the Native Title and Aboriginal Land Rights legislation in the Central Australia and the Pilbara regions of Australia, having worked for the Central Land Council (CLC) and Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC) respectively. She has also conducted research into and managed programs about the petroleum, mining and energy industries in Ghana for the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP).

Research interests:
Anthropology, water, religion, cultural heritage, mining negotiations, energy, native title, customary title, theatre, performance, Ghana, Australia

Thesis title:
Fluid Boundaries: Politicising Rituals of Purity in Ghana

Publications:
Wissing, K. 2019 "Environment as Justice: Interpreting the State(s) of Drowning and Undercurrents of Power in Ghana." Australasian Review of African Studies, Vol 40(1), pp.12-30. https://doi.org/10.22160/22035184/ARAS-2019-40-1/12-30

Wissing, K. 2018 "Assistance and Resistance of (Hydro-)Power: Contested Relationships of Control over the Volta River, Ghana." Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, Special Issue. https://doi.org/10.1177/0263774X18807482

Apoh, W., Wissing, K., Treasure, W. and J. Fardin 2017, "Law, Land and What Lies Beneath: Exploring Mining Impacts on Customary Law and Cultural Heritage Protection in Ghana and Western Australia." African Identities, Vol.15(4), pp.367-386. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14725843.2017.1319752

Treasure, W., Fardin, J., Apoh, W. and K. Wissing 2016, “From Mabo to Obuasi: Heritage and Customary Law in Ghana and Western Australia.” Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law, Vol. 34(2), pp.191-211. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02646811.2016.1133986

Professional Reports:
Adam, M.A. 2014, “Three Years of Petroleum Revenue Management in Ghana: Transparency without Accountability,” ed. K. Wissing. Africa Centre for Energy Policy, Public Interest Report, No. 2 (July 2014). https://s3.amazonaws.com/oilmoney/CACHES/IMAGES/2017/11/27/10:59:04/ACEP...

Rayner, A. and K. Wissing 2013, "Anthropology Report" submitted as evidence for the Aileron Pastoral Lease Native Title Claim, Northern Territory, Australia. Submitted to the National Native Title Tribunal.

Published interview:
Interview with S. Butcher Japanangka, conducted by K. Wissing. Interview excerpts published in Bowman, M. (ed.) 2015, Every Hill got a Story: Men and Women of Central Australia and the Central Land Council. Richmond, Victoria: Hardy Grant Books.

Conference/seminar papers:
Wissing, K. "Water access and agency in Ghana: thinking through thresholds of control." Australian National University African Studies Reading Group, Australian National University, Canberra, June 27, 2019.

Wissing, K. "Water in Ghana: hydro-social states and contested power" as part of a panel titled "Water in Africa - transnational and interdisciplinary approaches." Conversations across the Creek Seminar Series, Humanities Research Centre and Research School of Chemistry, Australian National University, Canberra, May 10, 2019.

Wissing, K. "Pure water: purity and power in ritual meanings and uses of water in Ghana." School of Demography Seminar Series, Australian National University, Canberra, February 19, 2019.

Wissing, K. "The fluid power of water: infrastructures and contested governance of the Akosombo Dam, Ghana." African Studies of Australasia and the Pacific, University of New South Wales, Sydney, November 21, 2018.

Wissing, K. "Pure water: purity and power in ritual meanings and uses of water in Ghana." The Royal Anthropological Institute, London, September 21, 2018.

Wissing, K. "Bloody business: placing blood in the politics of purity and pollution in Ghana." Association of Social Anthropologists of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth, University of Oxford, Oxford, September 21, 2018.

Wissing, K. "Playing with the power of water: flows, blockages and infrastructures of hydro-sociality in relation to the Akosombo Dam, Ghana." African Studies Association of the United Kingdom, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, September 12, 2018.

Wissing, K. "Performing religion: unpacking inter-faith dialogues through theatre in Ghana." African Studies Association of the United Kingdom, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, September 11, 2018.

Wissing, K. "Dwelling on death in water: interpreting the state(s) of drowning and undercurrents of power in Ghana." European Association of Social Anthropologists conference, Stockholm University, Stockholm, August 15, 2018.

Wissing, K. "Pure water: purity and power in ritual meanings and uses of water in Ghana." African Studies Group, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, March 27, 2018.

Wissing, K. "Of blood and water: flows, blockages and intimate hydro-sociality over the Volta River and Lake, Ghana." Australian Anthropological Society conference, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, December 13, 2017.

Wissing, K. "Environment as justice: Akwamu reflections on river justice in Ghana." African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific conference, University of South Australia, Adelaide, November 23, 2017.

Wissing, K. "Pure water: purity and power in ritual meanings and uses of water in Ghana." Institute for Ethnology, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, November 16, 2017.

Wissing, K. "Pure water: purity and power in ritual meanings and uses of water in Ghana." Department of Sociology, University of Ghana, Accra, October 27, 2017.

Wissing, K. "Pure water: purity and power in ritual meanings and uses of water in Ghana." Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Accra, October 26, 2017.

Wissing, K. "River refractions on global environmental management discourse: an Akwamu case study." College of Humanities conference, University of Ghana, Accra, July 18, 2017.

Wissing, K. "River reflections of personhood: drowning as non-human judgement of human virtue in Ghana." Australian Anthropological Society conference, University of Sydney, Sydney, December 13, 2016.

Wissing, K. "River reflections of personhood: drowning as non-human judgement of human virtue in Ghana." Department of African Studies and Anthropology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, December 6, 2016.

Wissing, K. "Pure water: exploring water as (religious) morality and sociality in Ghana." Department of African Studies and Anthropology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, October 19, 2016.

Wissing, K. "Pure water: purity, profit and power in ritual meanings and uses of water in Ghana." European Association of Social Anthropologists conference, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, July 23, 2016.

Wissing, K. “Two sides of mining: local perspectives on the moral discourse of large-scale and small-scale mining operations in Ghana.” Australian Anthropological Society conference, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, December 3, 2015.

Wissing, K. “Law, land and what lies beneath: mining impacts on customary law and heritage in Ghana.” Alice Springs Anthropologists Forum, Central Land Council, Alice Springs, September 1, 2015.

Exhibitions:
Contributed works to "The colours of anthropology photography exhibition." Gallery in the Australian Centre on China and the World, Australian National University, Canberra, September 14 - October 12, 2018.

Contributed works to "The art of anthropology: photographs from the field." Foyer Gallery in the School of Art, Australian National University, Canberra, June 1-14, 2015.

Scholarships, grants and awards:
2019: Awarded conference funding from Wenner-Gren Foundation and the Association of Social Anthropologists of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth.

2019: Endeavour Research Leadership Award from the Department of Education and Training, Australian Government. Hosted by the Global South Studies Center, University of Cologne.

2018: Australian National University Vice-Chancellor Travel Grant.

2018: African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific financial support to travel and present at the African Studies Association of the United Kingdom's international conference.

2017: Cherry Gertzel/African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific Postgraduate Prize.

2017: Australian Anthropological Society/Australian Network of Student Anthropologists Travel Grant.

2016: Endeavour Research Fellowship from the Department of Education and Training, Australian Government. Hosted by the Department of African Studies and Anthropology, University of Birmingham.

2015-2019: Australian Government Research Training Program Stipend Scholarship (formerly the Australia Postgraduate Award Scholarship).

2015: Marie Reay Prize in Anthropology from the Department of Anthropology, School of Culture, History and Language, College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University.

2015: Australian Anthropological Society/Australian Network of Student Anthropologists Travel Grant.

2008: Faculty of Arts Honours Study Assistance Scholarship, Monash University.

Updated:  7 July 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, Culture, History & Language/Page Contact:  CHL webmaster