Postdoctoral Fellows

Sebastian Gil-Riano

BA (King's College Halifax) MA (Toronto) PhD (Toronto)

Dr Sebastian Gil-Riano is an historian of twentieth century science, and science studies scholar, whose research examines the mid-twentieth century repudiation of racial thought via the human sciences of Anglophone, Francophone, Latin American and post/colonial worlds. His doctoral dissertation is titled “Historicizing Anti-Racism: UNESCO’s campaigns against race prejudice in the 1950s,” and examines the knowledge practices and narratives of redemption that informed UNESCO’s anti-racism campaigns in the post-WWII era.

Research areas

transnational history of science
history of race and ethnicity
history of the human sciences
Latin American History
French history

Miranda Johson

BA (Wellington); MA (Auckland); PhD (Chicago)

Dr Miranda Johnson is 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, she holds 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”. She has previously taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Michigan.
Dr Johnson's work engages questions of race, culture and rights in legal, political and social contexts. She is 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. She 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.

Research areas

comparative indigenous history
settler colonial history
Australian and New Zealand history
postcolonial theory and race
legal history

Sarah Walsh

Sarah Walsh

BA (Boston College) PhD (Maryland)

Dr Sarah Walsh is an historian of Latin America, focusing on the relationship between eugenics and Catholicism in the early 20th century. She received her PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park. Sarah is a postdoctoral research fellow in the ARC Laureate Fellowship project, “Race and Ethnicity in the Global South,” supervised by Professor Warwick Anderson. In 2010, she received the National Science Foundation’s Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant to study the development of eugenics as a discipline in Chile.

Sarah’s manuscript project examines the development and application of eugenic science to the field of public health in Chile between 1900 and 1950. Her research demonstrates how Chilean social reformers idealized their indigenous ancestry while simultaneously overlooking the indigenous peoples living in Chile and on its peripheries to create a eugenic science focused on national racial homogeneity. Additionally, she studies how Chilean Catholic social reformers formed a meaningful part of the Chilean debates regarding eugenics and race. Specifically, Sarah assesses the visual culture corresponding to Chilean eugenics to see if there was a preferred Chilean phenotype that eugenics sought to create. This will illuminate how racial difference and similarity was made in Chile. By studying Chilean visual culture, her manuscript will complicate scholarly notions about racial ideology in Latin America.

Research areas

Latin America
women and gender
public health
history of science
history of medicine
history of religion

Christine Winter

Chrisine Winter


Dr Christine Winter is a transnational historian, analyzing Pacific-European relations during the long 20th century. She completed her PhD at the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University in 2005. Since then she has worked on several ARC funded group projects: The weight of modernity, a historical-epidemiological study of obesity in Australia (CI Prof. Dorothy Broome and Dr. Jane Dixon, ANU); [i||The Official History of Australian Peacekeeping and Post-Cold War Operations]] (CI Prof David Horner, ANU); The Humanitarian Dilemma: Intervention and the Relief of Suffering in the Mid-Twentieth Century (CI Prof Tessa Morris-Suzuki). In 2010 Christine was awarded a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Queensland, researching Legacies of the German Empire in Oceania: the transformation of German identity during the inter-war years. Christine’s research at the University of Sydney analyses scientific theories, identity and politics of mixed-race German Diasporas in Southern Hemisphere Mandated Territories.

Christine has been the recipient of a number of awards and prizes, most recently in 2012 an International Visiting Scholar Fellowship, from the Research Group Historicizing Knowledge about Human Biological Diversity in the 20th Century, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG), Berlin.

Research areas

19th and 20th century European and Pacific history
transnational history
German diaspora studies
colonialism and its legacies
scientific theories and politics of ‘race’