Dr Miranda Johnson
BA (Wellington); MA (Auckland); PhD (Chicago)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Room K6.04, Quadrangle A14
+61 2 9351 4933
I am an historian of indigenous peoples and settler colonialism in the Anglophone post/colonial world, most specifically in North America and the Pacific. At the University of Sydney, I hold an appointment as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and in the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, as part of Professor Warwick Anderson’s ARC Laureate Fellowship project, “Race and Ethnicity in the Global South”. I have previously taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Michigan.
- comparative indigenous history
- settler colonial history
- Australian and New Zealand history
- postcolonial theory and race
- legal history
My work engages questions of race, culture and rights in legal, political and social contexts. I am currently completing a book manuscript, "Re-Founding the Settler State: Indigenous rights in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, 1967-2000", that asks why the demand for and recognition of indigenous rights came to such national prominence in the three Commonwealth settler states in the closing decades of the twentieth century. It describes how indigenous rights activists made compelling arguments for their political difference within a broader context of geopolitical and economic shifts in and across the three countries. I argue that indigenous activism was in part so successful because it engaged with a broader project of "re-founding" the settler state as Australia, Canada and New Zealand sought out new identities in a postcolonial Asia-Pacific.
My next project, tentatively entitled, "Indigenous racial modernities" will examine how indigenous intellectuals and activists across the Pacific and North America in the early twentieth century conceived of themselves and others in racial terms and what the contributions and legacies of such conceptions were and are for racial thought and practice.
Re-founding the Settler State: indigenous rights in Australia, Canada and New Zealand 1967-2000 (in progress)
Articles & Chapters in Books
"Reconciliation, indigeneity and postcolonial nationhood in settler states", Postcolonial Studies, 14, 2 (2011): 187-201
"Burdens of Belonging: indigeneity and the re-founding of Aotearoa New Zealand", New Zealand Journal of History, 45, 1 (2011): 102-112
"The Gove Land Rights Case and the Problem of History in a Decolonising Australia", in Race, Nation, History, Bain Attwood and Tom Griffiths, eds (Melbourne, 2009)
"Making History Public: Indigenous Claims to Settler States", Public Culture, 20, 1 (2008): 97-117
"Honest Acts and Dangerous Supplements: Indigenous Oral History and Historical Practice in Settler Societies", Postcolonial Studies, 8, 3 (2005): 261-76
""The Land of the Wrong White Crowd": anti-racist organizations and Pakeha identity politics in the 1970s", New Zealand Journal of History, 39, 2 (2005): 137-57