Film screening | Etched in Bone



9 April 2019


Hoyts Cinema, Broadway


Film screening

The United States Studies Centre held a special screening of documentary film, Etched in Bone.

Made over eight years, Etched in Bone gives extraordinary insight into the deep and enduring conflict between scientific and traditional forms of knowledge.

Drawing on original footage from National Geographic, this carefully crafted documentary explores the impact of one notorious bone theft by a member of the 1948 American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land. Hundred of bones were stolen and deposited in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

USSC Lecturer in American Studies Dr Aaron Nyerges joined the filmmakers Dr Martin Thomas and Dr Béatrice Bijon for a discussion after the screening.


  • Dr Martin Thomas
    Dr Martin Thomas

    Martin Thomas is a cultural historian who specialises in Australian, Aboriginal and trans-national history. He has published in the areas of environmental history, cross-cultural encounter, expeditions and exploration, and on the impact of sound recording and photography. He won the National Biography Award in 2012 for The Many Worlds of R.H. Mathews. Martin Thomas is Professor of History at the Australian National University. He has been doing collaborative work in Arnhem Land for the last ten years.

  • Dr Béatrice Bijon
    Dr Béatrice Bijon

    Béatrice Bijon was a Senior Lecturer in English Literature and History at the University of Lyon (France). She is now a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University. She has edited several books on literature and travel, and is co-author of Suffragistes et suffragettes (Suffragists and Suffragettes) recently published in her native France. She was curator of the "Deeds Not Words" exhibition at the National Library of Australia (2018). Béatrice Bijon started working in Arnhem Land in 2012, leading to her involvement in the Etched in Bone project.

  • Dr Aaron Nyerges
    Dr Aaron Nyerges
    Academic Director and Senior Lecturer in American Studies, United States Studies Centre

    Aaron Nyerges is the Academic Director and a Senior Lecturer in American Studies at the US Studies Centre. He holds a PhD in English from the University of Sydney and a BA in Creative Writing from the State University of New York. His work focuses on the relationship between literature, media and geography.