Dr Bree Blakeman

Research Fellow
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: 02 6125 5764

Areas of expertise

  • Social And Cultural Anthropology 160104

Research interests

  • Yolngu culture and languages
  • Anthropology of Aboriginal Australia
  • Anthropology of Emotion
  • Cognitive Anthropology
  • Exchange theory
  • Value theory
  • Theories of autonomy
  • Stateless societies


Bree is an Australian anthropologist. She is currently a Research Fellow in the School of Digital Humanities Research at the Australian National University.

Bree has worked with Yolngu people in northeast Arnhem Land since 2007. Her previous research focused on emotion concepts in Yolngu languages and how this body of concepts forms part of the local theory of value and exchange. From 2013-2015 Bree worked as an applied anthropologist in the Northern Territory. She has contributed to teaching a number of undergraduate courses focused Aboriginal Australia at The Australian National University over the years including working as course coordinator for ANTH2005/ANTH6005: Traditional Australian Indigenous Cultures, Societies and Environment in 2018. She was previously sole author of the popular blog, Footnotes and Fieldnotes (http://fieldnotesandfootnotes.wordpress.com/). Her other interests include property relations and land tenure, poetry and anarchist political philosophy. She is also the Mother of one very cute little boy.

Researcher's projects

Placenames and Personal Names in Yolngu society and country through time – an ARC Project with Howard and Frances Morphy:

The Yolngu peoples’ land and sea Country in north-east Arnhem Land is densely named, as a consequence of the actions of ancestral beings who gave shape to Country and to Yolngu society in place. Placenames are sung in ceremony, and passed down through the generations as personal names. This project aims to document the placenames of two Yolngu regions and explore what they tell us about Yolngu society as a system that has been in place for thousands of years. In consultation with Yolngu, it aims to create an interactive map and database archive to which Yolngu historians can add in the future, providing significant benefits for a community for who consider these names to be central to their identity and wellbeing – past, present and future.

Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  15 June 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers