Informal Session: Astronomies of Oceania
Organizers: Rick Feinberg, Martha Noyes, Cathy Pyrek, and Julius Riese (in absentia)
Throughout history, people have been gazing at the heavens. Perceptions of celestial objects and occurrences are embedded in worldviews, cosmologies, and religions as well as everyday practices. This informal session considers astronomical knowledge and knowledge systems in Oceania. Such knowledge and knowledge systems may include cosmogonies and genealogies; astronomical embedding of sociopolitical organization and land use systems; “recording” of astronomical knowledge in stories, histories, myths, and legends; place names; prophecy and weather prediction; astronomical uses and implications of indigenous mathematics and calendrics; or navigation and spatial cognition. Other potentially salient issues include the teaching of indigenous astronomies; application of indigenous words or names to celestial objects by official bodies such as the International Astronomical Union; and the placing of scientific observatories on culturally significant lands.
For purposes of this informal session, we are casting our net broadly both in terms of subject matter and geography. Contributions focused either on Austronesian-speaking regions technically outside of the Pacific or on Aboriginal Australia are welcome. Those wishing to explore the cosmos as perceived and understood by Oceanic peoples may contact any of the session organizers.
Rick Feinberg <email@example.com>;
Martha Noyes <firstname.lastname@example.org>;
Cathy Pyrek <email@example.com>;
Julius Riese <Julius.Riese@web.de>