The naturalist Amalie Dietrich was sent to colonial Queensland from 1863 to 1872 to collect specimens for the private Godeffroy Museum of Hamburg. Her skilled and extensive collections represent an enormous contribution to Australian science – in botany, herpetology, ornithology, bryology, arachnology, entomology, lepidoptery, and in an undervalued collection of early ethnographic items. In the recent past, however, Dietrich has been recontextualized, through fabrications, presumptions and insinuations, into a malign personification of evil. This meme found worldwide fame, in a juggernaut of defamation and demonization rolled out in print, film, and digitally. This seminar will trace the various interpretations of Dietrich from the nineteenth century to the present. Presented by Professor Ray Sumner (Long Beach City College).


Please be aware – this talk contains images of deceased Indigenous Australian persons and remains.