Sally May

Associate Professor Sally May

Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow

School of Humanities

Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Economics


Associate Professor Sally K. May is an ARC Future Fellow with the School of Humanities at the University of Adelaide. She is also a convener of the Graduate Program in Curatorial and Museum Studies. As an archaeologist and anthropologist Sally's research focuses on relationships between people, landscapes, material culture and imagery, with inspiration drawn primarily from over 20 years of fieldwork in northern Australia. Prior to joining the University of Adelaide, Sally was a Senior Research Fellow with the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research (2017-2022) and a Senior Lecturer at the Australian National University (2009-2017).

She is the author of 'Karrikadjurren: Aboriginal art, community and identity in western Arnhem Land' (in press 2022) and 'Collecting Cultures: Myth, Politics, and Collaboration in the 1948 Arnhem Land Expedition' (2009). She is also co-author of 'The Bible in Buffalo Country: Oenpelli mission 1925-1931 (2020)' - winner of the 2021 Chief Minister's Northern Territory History Book award. Sally has also co-edited a number of volumes including 'The Archaeology of Portable Art' (2018), 'Macassan History and Heritage' (2013) and the soon to be released 'Histories of Australian Rock Art Research' (in press 2022).

Sally is currently working on two ARC-funded projects. She is lead CI for 'Art at a Crossroads: Aboriginal responses to contact in northern Australia' (2021-2024) and holds an ARC Future Fellowship 'Painting Country: the life and legacy of western Arnhem Land rock painters' (2022-2026).

Latest article in The Conversation Friday Essay: https://theconversation.com/friday-essay-this-is-our-library-how-to-read-the-amazing-archive-of-first-nations-stories-written-on-rock-176886

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2022 - ongoing Associate Professor University of Adelaide
    2017 - 2022 Senior Research Fellow Griffith University
    2009 - 2017 Senior Lecturer Australian National University
    2008 - 2009 ARC Postdoctoral Fellow Griffith University
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2021 Award Chief Minister's Northern Territory History Book Award 2021 Northern Territory Government Australia
    2011 Teaching Award ANU Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Education (Programs that Enhance Learning) Australian National University Australia
    2010 Teaching Award ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences Teaching and Learning Award Australian National University Australia
    2008 Fellowship ARC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Griffith University Australia
    2001 Scholarship Australian Postgraduate Award (Scholarship) Australian National University Australia
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2001 - 2006 Australian National University Australia PhD
    2000 - 2000 Flinders University of South Australia Australia Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
    1997 - 1999 Flinders University of South Australia Australia Bachelor of Arts (Archaeology and History)
  • Research Interests

  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2022 Brady, L. M., Taylor, L., May, S. K., & Taçon, P. S. C. (2022). Meaningful choices and relational networks: Analysing western Arnhem Land's Painted Hand rock art style using chaîne opératoire. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 65, 101396.
    DOI
    2022 Tacon, P. S. C., May, S. K., Goldhahn, J., Taylor, L., Brady, L. M., Ressel, A., . . . Maralngurra, G. (2022). Extraordinary Back-to-Back Human and Animal Figures in the Art of Western Arnhem Land, Australia: One of the World's Largest Assemblages. CAMBRIDGE ARCHAEOLOGICAL JOURNAL, 14 pages.
    DOI
    2022 Tsang, R., Katuk, S., May, S. K., Taçon, P. S. C., Ricaut, F. X., & Leavesley, M. G. (2022). Rock Art and (Re)Production of Narratives: A Cassowary Bone Dagger Stencil Perspective from Auwim, East Sepik, Papua New Guinea. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 1-19.
    DOI
    2021 Hayward, J. A., May, S. K., Goldhahn, J., Jalandoni, A., & Taçon, P. S. C. (2021). An Analysis of Motif Clusters at the Nanguluwurr Rock Art Site, Kakadu National Park, N. T. Australia. Journal of Field Archaeology, 46(6), 414-428.
    DOI Scopus1 WoS2
    2021 Taçon, P. S. C., May, S. K., Wesley, D., Jalandoni, A., Tsang, R., & Mangiru, K. (2021). History Disappearing: The Rapid Loss of Australian Contact Period Rock Art. Journal of Field Archaeology, 46(2), 119-131.
    DOI Scopus2 WoS3
    2021 May, S. K., Taçon, P. S. C., Jalandoni, A., Goldhahn, J., Wesley, D., Tsang, R., & Mangiru, K. (2021). The re-emergence of nganaparru (water buffalo) into the culture, landscape and rock art of western Arnhem Land. Antiquity, 95(383), 1298-1314.
    DOI
    2021 May, S. K., Rademaker, L., Goldhahn, J., Taçon, P. S. C., & Narndal Gumurdul, J. (2021). Narlim’s Fingerprints: Aboriginal Histories and Rock Art. Journal of Australian Studies, 45(3), 292-316.
    DOI Scopus1
    2021 Goldhahn, J., May, S. K., & Taçon, P. S. C. (2021). Revisiting Francis Birtles’ painted car: exploring a cross-cultural encounter with Aboriginal artist Nayombolmi at Imarlkba Gold Mine, 1929–1930. History Australia, 18(3), 469-492.
    DOI
    2021 Taçon, P. S. C., Wesley, D., & May, S. K. (2021). R. Lamilami, 1957–2021: Negotiating two worlds for cultural heritage. Australian Archaeology, 87(2), 220-225.
    DOI
    2021 May, S. K., Wesley, D., Goldhahn, J., Lamilami, R., & Taçon, P. S. C. (2021). The missing Macassans: Indigenous sovereignty, rock art and the archaeology of absence. Australian Archaeology, 87(2), 127-143.
    DOI Scopus2 WoS3
    2021 May, S. K., Goldhahn, J., Rademaker, L., Badari, G., & Taçon, P. S. C. (2021). Quilp’s horse: Rock art and artist life-biography in Western Arnhem Land, Australia. Rock Art Research, 38(2), 211-221.
    Scopus1
    2021 Goldhahn, J., Biyalwanga, L., May, S. K., Blawgur, J., Taçon, P. S. C., Sullivan, J., . . . Lee, J. (2021). "Our dad's painting is hiding, in secret place": reverberations of a rock painting episode in Kakadu National Park, Australia. Rock Art Research, 38(1), 59-69.
    WoS2
    2021 Miller, E., May, S. K., Goldhahn, J., Taçon, P. S. C., & Cooper, V. (2021). Kaparlgoo Blue: On the Adoption of Laundry Blue Pigment into the Visual Culture of Western Arnhem Land, Australia. International Journal of Historical Archaeology, 22 pages.
    DOI Scopus3
    2021 May, S., Domingo Sanz, I., Goldhahn, J., Wright, D., & Maralngurra, G. (2021). Broadening out understanding beyond the 'Buffaroo'. Rock Art Research, 38(2), 222-223.
    2020 May, S. K., Wright, D., Sanz, I. D., Goldhahn, J., & Maralngurra, G. (2020). The buffaroo: A ‘first-sight’ depiction of introduced buffalo in the rock art of western Arnhem Land, Australia. Rock Art Research, 37(2), 204-216.
    Scopus3
    2020 Brady, L. M., May, S. K., Goldhahn, J., Taçon, P. S. C., & Lamilami, P. (2020). What painting? Encountering and interpreting the archaeological record in western Arnhem Land, northern Australia. Archaeology in Oceania, 55(2), 106-117.
    DOI Scopus6
    2020 Jalandoni, A., & May, S. K. (2020). How 3D models (photogrammetry) of rock art can improve recording veracity: a case study from Kakadu National Park, Australia. Australian Archaeology, 86(2), 137-146.
    DOI Scopus4 WoS3
    2020 Taçon, P. S. C., May, S. K., Lamilami, R., McKeague, F., Johnston, I. G., Jalandoni, A., . . . Goldhahn, J. (2020). Maliwawa figures—a previously undescribed Arnhem Land rock art style. Australian Archaeology, 86(3), 208-225.
    DOI Scopus8 WoS10
    2020 Jones, T., Wesley, D., May, S. K., Johnston, I. G., McFadden, C., & Taçon, P. S. C. (2020). Rethinking the age and unity of large naturalistic animal forms in early Western Arnhem Land Rock Art, Australia. Australian Archaeology, 86(3), 238-252.
    DOI Scopus1 WoS1
    2020 Frieman, C., & May, S. K. (2020). Navigating Contact: Tradition and Innovation in Australian Contact Rock Art. International Journal of Historical Archaeology, 24(2), 342-366.
    DOI Scopus10 WoS10
    2020 Goldhahn, J., May, S. K., Maralngurra, J. G., & Lee, J. (2020). Children and Rock Art: A Case Study from Western Arnhem Land, Australia. Norwegian Archaeological Review, 53(1), 59-82.
    DOI Scopus5
    2020 May, S. K., Taylor, L., Frieman, C., Taçon, P. S. C., Wesley, D., Jones, T., . . . Mungulda, C. (2020). Survival, Social Cohesion and Rock Art: The Painted Hands of Western Arnhem Land, Australia. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 30(3), 491-510.
    DOI Scopus9 WoS9
    2020 May, S. K., Huntley, J., Marshall, M., Miller, E., Hayward, J. A., Jalandoni, A., . . . Taçon, P. S. C. (2020). New Insights into the Rock Art of Anbangbang Gallery, Kakadu National Park. Journal of Field Archaeology, 45(2), 120-134.
    DOI Scopus15 WoS12
    2019 May, S. K., Maralngurra, J. G., Johnston, I. G., Goldhahn, J., Lee, J., O'Loughlin, G., . . . Tacon, P. S. C. (2019). 'This is my father's painting': a first hand account of the creation of the most iconic rock art in Kakadu National Park. Rock Art Research, 36(2), 199-213.
    WoS14
    2018 Goldhahn, J., & May, S. K. (2018). Beyond the colonial encounter: global approaches to contact rock art studies. Australian Archaeology, 84(3), 210-218.
    DOI Scopus4 WoS4
    2018 Hayward, J. A., Johnston, I. G., May, S. K., & Taçon, P. S. C. (2018). Memorialization and the Stencilled Rock Art of Mirarr Country, Northern Australia. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 28(3), 361-378.
    DOI Scopus6 WoS6
    2018 May, S. K., Johnston, I. G., Taçon, P. S. C., Domingo Sanz, I., & Goldhahn, J. (2018). Early Australian Anthropomorphs: Jabiluka's Dynamic Figure Rock Paintings. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 28(1), 67-83.
    DOI Scopus13 WoS8
    2018 Wesley, D., Litster, M., O’Connor, S., Grono, E., Theys, J., Higgins, A., . . . Taçon, P. (2018). The archaeology of Maliwawa: 25,000 years of occupation in the Wellington Range, Arnhem Land. Australian Archaeology, 84(2), 108-128.
    DOI Scopus4 WoS3
    2017 May, S. K., Wesley, D., Goldhahn, J., Litster, M., & Manera, B. (2017). Symbols of Power: The Firearm Paintings of Madjedbebe (Malakunanja II). International Journal of Historical Archaeology, 21(3), 690-707.
    DOI Scopus15 WoS15
    2017 Domingo, I., Smith, C., & May, S. K. (2017). Etnoarqueología y arte rupestre: potencial, perspectivas y ética. Complutum, 28(2), 285-305.
    DOI Scopus1 WoS1
    2017 May, S. K., Marshall, M., Domingo Sanz, I., & Smith, C. (2017). Reflections on the Pedagogy of Archaeological Field Schools within Indigenous Community Archaeology Programmes in Australia. Public Archaeology, 16(3-4), 172-190.
    DOI Scopus3 WoS1
    2017 May, S., & Jones, T. (2017). Current themes in the study of material culture in the rock art of northern Australia. The Artefact, 38, 3-7.
    2017 Jones, T., & May, S. (2017). Rock Art and Ritual Function: the Northern Running Figures of western Arnhem Land. The Artefact, 38, 53-66.
    2016 Wright, D., Langley, M. C., May, S. K., Johnston, I. G., & Allen, L. (2016). Painted shark vertebrae beads from the Djawumbu-Madjawarrnja complex,western Arnhem Land. Australian Archaeology, 82(2), 43-54.
    DOI Scopus9 WoS8
    2014 Wright, D., May, S., Tacon, P. S. C., & Stephenson, B. (2014). A scientific study of a new cupule site in Jabiluka, western Arnhem Land. Rock Art Research, 31(1), 92-100.
    2013 May, S., Tacon, P. S. C., Wesley, D., & Pearson, M. (2013). Painted Ships on a Painted Arnhem Land Landscape. The Great Circle: Journal of the Australian Association for Maritime History, 35(2), 83-102.
    2013 Tacon, P. S. C., & May, S. (2013). Ship Shape: An exploration of Maritime-Related Depictions in Indigenous Rock Art and Material Culture. The Great Circle: Journal of the Australian Association for Maritime History, 35(2), 7-15.
    2013 Clark, M., & May K., S. (2013). Macassan History and Heritage: Journeys, Encounters and Influences.
    DOI
    2013 May, S. K., Taçon, P. S. C., Paterson, A., & Travers, M. (2013). The world from Malarrak: Depictions of South-East Asian and European subjects in rock art from the Wellington Range, Australia. Australian Aboriginal Studies, (1), 45-56.
    Scopus18 WoS18
    2012 Taçon, P. S. C., Aubert, M., Gang, L., Decong, Y., Hong, L., May, S. K., . . . Herries, A. I. R. (2012). Uranium-series age estimates for rock art in southwest China. Journal of Archaeological Science, 39(2), 492-499.
    DOI Scopus34 WoS31
    2011 Tacon, P. S. C., Langley, M., May, S., Lamilami, R., Brennan, W., & Wesley, D. (2011). A bird in the hand: response to Franklin and Szabo. Antiquity: a quarterly review of archaeology, 85, 327.
    2010 Taçon, P. S. C., Gang, L., Decong, Y., May, S. K., Hong, L., Aubert, M., . . . Herries, A. I. R. (2010). Naturalism, nature and questions of style in Jinsha River Rock Art, Northwest Yunnan, China. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 20(1), 67-86.
    DOI Scopus20 WoS19
    2010 May, S. K., Taçon, P. S. C., Wesley, D., & Travers, M. (2010). Painting history: Indigenous observations and depictions of the 'other' in northwestern Arnhem Land, Australia. Australian Archaeology, 71(71), 57-65.
    DOI Scopus43 WoS43
    2010 Tacon, P. S. C., May, S. K., Fallon, S. J., Travers, M., Wesley, D., & Lamilami, R. (2010). A MINIMUM AGE FOR EARLY DEPICTIONS OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN PRAUS. AUSTRALIAN ARCHAEOLOGY, (71), 1-10.
    WoS47
    2010 Taçon, P. S. C., Langley, M., May, S. K., Lamilami, R., Brennan, W., & Guse, D. (2010). Ancient bird stencils discovered in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia. Antiquity, 84(324), 416-427.
    DOI Scopus19 WoS20
    2010 Taçon, P. S. C., May, S. K., Fallon, S. J., Travers, M., Wesley, D., & Lamilami, R. (2010). A minimum age for early depictions of Southeast Asian Praus in the Rock Art of Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. Australian Archaeology, 71(1), 1-10.
    DOI Scopus62
    2010 May, S. K., & Sanz, I. D. (2010). Making sense of scenes. Rock Art Research, 27(1), 35-42.
    Scopus23 WoS14
    2009 May, S. K., Mckinnon, J. F., & Raupp, J. T. (2009). Boats on bark: An analysis of groote eylandt aboriginal bark-paintings featuring macassan prau s from the 1948 arnhem land expedition, Northern Territory, Australia. International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, 38(2), 369-385.
    DOI Scopus8 WoS5
    2003 May, S. (2003). Colonial collections of portable art and intercultural encounters in Aboriginal Australia. Before Farming, 2003(1), 1-21.
    DOI
    2003 Richards, N., & May, S. (2003). South Australia’s ‘Floating Coffin’: the diseased, the destitute, and the derelict Fitzjames (1852-c.1900). The Great Circle: Journal of the Australian Association for Maritime History, 25(1), 20-39.
  • Books

    Year Citation
    2020 May, S. K., Rademaker, L., Nadjamerrek, D., & Narndal Gumurdul, J. (2020). The Bible in Buffalo Country: Oenpelli Mission 1925–1931. Canberra, ACT: ANU Press.
    DOI
    2018 Langley, M. C., Litster, M., Wright, D., & May, S. K. (2018). The archaeology of portable art: Southeast Asian, Pacific, and Australian perspectives. M. Langley, M. Litster, & S. May (Eds.), Routledge.
    DOI Scopus2
    2016 Archaeologies of Art (2016). . Routledge.
    DOI
    2013 Macassan History and Heritage: Journeys, Encounters and Influences (2013). . ANU Press.
    DOI
    2010 May, S. K. (2010). Collecting Cultures Myth, Politics, and Collaboration in the 1948 Arnhem Land Expedition. Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Book Chapters

    Year Citation
    2022 Lee, J., Goldhahn, J., & May, S. (2022). Nayombolmi (c. 1895–1967). In M. Nolan (Ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
    2022 Goldhahn, J., & May, S. (2022). Nayombolmi and Djimongurr: Two prolific artists from western Arnhem Land. In M. Appel (Ed.), Inspired by Country: Bark Paintings from Arnhem Land, Northern Australia, The Gerd and Helga Plewig Collection. Münich: Museum Fünf Kontinente.
    2020 May, S., & Goldhahn, J. (2020). Rock Art and Children: Towards an Inter-Generational Perspective on Past and Present Visual Cultures. In C. Smith (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology (2nd ed., pp. 1-13). Cham: Springer Nature.
    DOI
    2018 Domingo Sanz, I., May, S., & Smith, C. (2018). Etnoarqueología y arte rupestre en el siglo XXI: de la analogía directa a la redefinición del método arqueológico. In D. Garate (Ed.), Redescubriendo el arte parietal paleolítico. Últimas novedades sobre los métodos y las técnicas de investigación (pp. 163-180). Spain: Kobie (anejos).
    2018 Wright, D., Langley, M. C., Litster, M., & May, S. K. (2018). In search of the archaeology of portable art from Southeast Asia, the Pacific, and Australia. In M. C. Langley, M. Litster, D. Wright, & S. K. May (Eds.), The Archaeology of Portable Art: Southeast Asian, Pacific, and Australian Perspectives (pp. 1-10). London, United Kingdom: Routledge.
    DOI
    2017 Johnston, I. G., Goldhahn, J., & May, S. (2017). Dynamic Figures of Jabiluka: Chaloupka’s 4-phase theory and the question of variability within a rock art ‘style’. In B. David, P. S. C. Tacon, J. -M. Geneste, & J. -J. Delannoy (Eds.), The Archaeology of Rock Art in Western Arnhem Land (Vol. 47, pp. 109-127). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.
    2017 May, S., Shine, D., Wright, D., Denham, T., Tacon, P. S. C., Marshall, M., . . . Stephens, S. P. (2017). The Rock Art of Ingaanjalwurr, western Arnhem Land, Australia. In B. David, P. S. C. Tacon, J. -M. Geneste, & J. -J. Delannoy (Eds.), The Archaeology of Rock Art in Arnhem Land (pp. 51-68). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.
    2017 May, S. K., Taçon, P. S. C., Wright, D., Marshall, M., Goldhahn, J., & Sanz, I. D. (2017). The rock art of Madjedbebe (Malakunanja II). In B. David, P. Taçon, J. -J. Delanno, & J. -M. Geneste (Eds.), The Archaeology of Rock Art in Western Arnhem Land, Australia (pp. 51-68). ACT, Australia: ANU Press.
    DOI
    2016 Inès, D., May, S., & Claire, S. (2016). Communicating through rock art: an ethnoarchaeological perspective. In O. Buchsenschutz, C. Jeunesse, C. Mordant, & D. Vialou (Eds.), Signes et communication dans les civilisations de la parole (pp. 9-26). Paris, France: Open Edition Books.
    DOI
    2016 May, S., Domingo Sanz, I., & Tacon, P. S. C. (2016). Arte rupestre de contacto: la versión Indígena de los encuentros interculturales en el noroeste de la Tierra de Arnhem (Australia). In F. Berrojalbiz (Ed.), The vitality of the Indigenous Voices: rock art of the contact and in colonial societies (pp. 83-106). Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
    2016 May, S. (2016). Learning art, learning culture: Art, education, and the formation of new artistic identities in Arnhem Land, Australia. In S. K. May, I. D. Sanz, & D. Fiore (Eds.), Archaeologies of Art: Time, Place, and Identity (pp. 171-194). New York, USA: Routledge.
    DOI Scopus18
    2016 Sanz, I. D., Fiore, D., & May, S. K. (2016). Archaeologies of art: Time, place, and identity in rock art, portable art, and body art. In I. Domingo Sanz, D. Fiore, & S. May (Eds.), Archaeologies of Art: Time, Place, and Identity (pp. 15-28). USA: Routledge.
    DOI Scopus17
    2015 May, S., Tacon, P. S. C., Wright, D., & Marshall, M. (2015). The Rock Art of Kakadu: past, present and future research, conservation and management. In S. Winderlich (Ed.), Kakadu National Park Symposia Series (pp. 36-44). Darwin: Parks Australia.
    2014 May, S. (2014). Maritime Contact Rock Art. In C. Smith (Ed.), Global Encyclopedia of Archaeology (pp. 4642-4645). New York: Springer.
    2014 May, S., & Tacon, P. S. C. (2014). Kakadu National Park rock art. In C. Smith (Ed.), Global Encyclopedia of Archaeology (pp. 3235-3240). New York: Springer.
    2013 Clark, M., & May, S. (2013). Understanding Macassans: a regional approach. In M. Clark, & S. K. May (Eds.), Macassan history and heritage: journeys, encounters and influences (pp. 1-18). Canberra: ANU Press.
    2013 Clark, M., & May, S. (2013). Understanding Macassans: a regional approach. In M. Clark, & S. K. May (Eds.), Macassan history and heritage: journeys, encounters and influences (pp. 1-18). Canberra: ANU Press.
    2013 Taçon, P. S. C., & May, S. K. (2013). Rock art evidence for Macassan–Aboriginal contact in northwestern Arnhem Land. In Macassan History and Heritage: Journeys, Encounters and Influences. ANU Press.
    DOI
    2012 Taçon, P. S. C., Ross, J., Paterson, A., & May, S. (2012). Picturing Change and Changing Pictures: Contact Period Rock Art of Australia. In A Companion to Rock Art (pp. 420-436). Wiley.
    DOI Scopus35
    2011 May, S. (2011). Piecing the History Together: An overview of the 1948 Arnhem Land Expedition. In M. Thomas, & M. Neale (Eds.), Exploring the Legacy of the 1948 Arnhem Land Expedition (pp. 171-188). Canberra: ANU Press.
    2010 May, S. (2010). Art in Gunbalanya Today. In P. Carroll (Ed.), Bark Art from Western Arnhem Land (pp. 20). Darwin: Northern Territory Anglican Foundation for the Promotion of Aboriginal Art and Literature, Ltd.
    2008 Domingo Sanz, I., & May, S. (2008). La pintura y su simbología en las comunidades de cazadores-recolectores de la Tierra de Arnhem (Territorio del Norte, Australia). In J. Salazar, I. Domingo Sanz, J. Azkárraga, & H. Bonet (Eds.), Mundos tribales: una visión etnoarqueológica (pp. 78-91). Valencia: Servicio de Publicaciones de la Diputación de Valencia.
    2008 May, S. (2008). The Art of Collecting: Charles Pearcy Mountford. In N. Peterson, L. Allen, & L. Hamby (Eds.), The Makers and Making of Indigenous Australian Museum Collections (pp. 446-471). Melbourne: Museum Victoria.
    2005 May, S., Murphy, A., Garde, M., Yulidjirri, T., Nabegeyo, B., Nabegeyo, G., & Nganjmirra, J. (2005). Some Baskets are Special Ones. In L. Hamby, & J. Nganjmirra (Eds.), Twined Together (pp. 45-51). Melbourne: Museum Victoria.
    2005 May, S. (2005). Collecting the ‘Last Frontier’. In L. Hamby, & J. Nganjmirra (Eds.), Twined Together (pp. 77-81). Melbourne: Museum Victoria.
    2005 May, S. (2005). Injalak Arts and Crafts: A Brief History. In L. Hamby, & J. Nganjmirra (Eds.), Twined Together (pp. 187-195). Melbourne: Museum Victoria.
    2005 May, S. K., Gumurdul, D., Manakgu, J., Maralngurra, G., & Nawirridj, W. (2005). 'You write it down and bring it back...that's what we want'-revisiting the 1948 removal of human remains from Kunbarlanja (Oenpelli), Australia. In Indigenous Archaeologies: Decolonizing Theory and Practice (pp. 102-121). Routledge.
    DOI Scopus8

Key grants:

Years

Program

Title

Chief Investigators

Amount

2022 – 2026 (awarded 2021)

ARC Future Fellowship

Painting Country: The life and legacy of western Arnhem Land rock painters

Sally K. May

$961,139

2021 – 2024 (awarded 2020)

ARC Special Research Initiative Scheme

Art at a Crossroads: Aboriginal responses to contact in northern Australia

Sally K. May, Paul S.C. Taçon, Liam Brady, Daryl Wesley, Laura Rademaker, Andrea Jalandoni, Joakim Goldhahn, and Luke Taylor

$273,828

2016 – 2019

ARC Discovery Project

History Places: Wellington Range rock art in a global context

Paul S.C. Taçon, Sally K. May, Liam Brady, Duncan Wright, Joakim Goldhahn, and Ines Domingo Sanz

$490,100

2008 – 2012

ARC Discovery Project

Picturing Change: 21st Century perspectives on recent Australian rock art

Paul S.C. Taçon, June Ross, Alistair Paterson and Sally K. May

$565,000

Sally is a co-convenor of the Graduate Program in Curatorial and Museum Studies at the University of Adelaide. Previously she was convenor of the Cultural and Environmental Heritage graduate program at the Australian National University for 8 years and a lecturer within the School of Archaeology at Flinders University and the School of Archaeology and Anthropology at the Australian National University.

Teaching awards:

  • ANU Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Education (Programs that Enhance Learning) 2011
  • ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences Teaching and Learning Award 2010
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2020 - ongoing Advisory Board Member Kakadu Research and Management Advisory Committee Parks Australia Australia
  • Community Engagement

    Date Title Engagement Type Institution Country
    2022 - ongoing The Conversation (Friday Essay): ‘this is our library’ – how to read the amazing archive of First Nations stories written on rock Public Community Engagement The Conversation Australia
    2021 - ongoing The Conversation: Aboriginal art on a car? How an Indigenous artist and an adventurer met in the 1930 wet season in Kakadu Public Community Engagement The Conversation Australia
    2021 - ongoing The Conversation: Threat or trading partner? Sailing vessels in northwestern Arnhem Land rock art reveal different attitudes to visitors Public Community Engagement The Conversation Australia
    2021 - ongoing The Conversation: How historically accurate is the film High Ground? The violence it depicts is uncomfortably close to the truth Public Community Engagement The Conversation Australia
    2020 - ongoing The Conversation: Introducing the Maliwawa Figures: A previously undescribed rock art style found in Western Arnhem Land Public Community Engagement The Conversation Australia
    2020 - 2020 Guest for the podcast: Foreign Countries: conversations in archaeology with Ash Lenton. Topic: Innovative Research in Australia Public Community Engagement Foreign Countries: conversations in archaeology with Ash Lenton Australia
  • Review, Assessment, Editorial and Advice

    Date Title Type Institution Country
    2022 - ongoing Guest Editor, Rock Art Research, v. 38/2 Editorial Rock Art Research Australia
    2021 - ongoing Guest Editor, Rock Art Research, v.38/1 Editorial Rock Art Research Australia
    2018 - ongoing Guest Editor, Australian Archaeology, v.84/3 Editorial Australian Archaeology Australia
    2017 - ongoing Guest Editor, The Artefact, v.38 Editorial The Artefact Australia
  • Position: Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow
  • Phone: 83135183
  • Email: sally.may@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Napier, floor Third Floor
  • Room: 313
  • Org Unit: School of Humanities

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