April Profile – Alana Brekelmans

April 2017’s PROFILE OF THE MONTH: Alana Brekelmans

Alana is a PhD student at The University of Queensland. She has spent her academic career somewhere in the murky space between fine arts and social science, jumping between studies dedicated to arts administration, social-geography, photography, anthropology, and writing. Alana completed her honours in creative writing using practice-led research techniques of embodiment and memory, before turning to a PhD in anthropology that employs creative writing techniques.

Alana’s research examines how rural Australians in North-West Queensland interpret and respond to weather and climatic events. Alana is particularly interested in how, through narrative storytelling and bodily practice, people might make present major weather events after they have passed

ANSA speaks to… Alana Brekelmans

1. What first attracted you to anthropology?I’ve always been interested in cultures. As soon as I mustered the money I bought a ticket to Asia, with the quixotic notion that I’d spend the rest of my days travelling and learning from the world’s cultures. I quickly discovered I didn’t even know how to ask the questions I needed to start learning. That’s when I decided to study anthropology.

2.  How would you describe Anthropology to someone you met at a party, and/or how do you use anthropology at a party or social event (think: meeting the in-laws for Christmas, a house warming, a festival, etc.)

“The ultimate gonzo journalism”

3. What’s your favourite saying, phrase, or quote?

“We wake, if we ever wake at all, to mystery”—Annie Dillard

4.  On what topic and on what location would your ideal future fieldwork be, and why?

Collecting future research topics is my favourite hobby at the moment. My next project after my PhD will likely explore the phenomenology and politics of yoga in the West.

5. What resource, writing, or fieldwork tips do you have for those new to anthropology?

Make wonderful new mistakes every day.