Mellon Sawyer Seminar - People

The Antipodean Laboratory

Humanity, Sovereignty, and Environment in Southern Oceans and Lands, 1700-2009


Katherine Anderson
Department of History
H3.04, Main Quadrangle (A14)
University of Sydney
NSW 2006

Phone: 02 9036 5347


Professor Robert Aldrich

Prof. Robert Aldrich is Chair of the History Department at the University of Sydney. He has recently edited two books for Thames and Hudson, Gay Life and Culture: A World History (2006) and The Age of Empires (2007). These works reflect Aldrich's enduring interests in issues surrounding sexuality and colonialism. His previous books include The French Presence in the South Pacific, 1842-1940 (1990), France's Overseas Frontier: DÇpartements et Territoires d'Outre-Mer (with John Connell, 1992), France and the South Pacific since 1940 (1993), The Seduction of the Mediterranean: Writing, Art and Homosexual Fantasy (1993), Greater France: A History of French Overseas Expansion (1996), and Vestiges of the Colonial Empire in France: Monuments, Museums and Colonial Memories (2005). The French government in 2002 decorated Aldrich with the Ordre des Palmes AcadÇmiques in recognition of 'services to French culture'.


Professor Warwick Anderson

Prof. Warwick Anderson is a Professorial Research Fellow in the Department of History and the Center for Values, Ethics, and the Law in Medicine at the University of Sydney. Additionally, he has an affiliation with the Unit for History and Philosophy of Science at Sydney and is a Professorial Fellow of the Centre for Health and Society at the University of Melbourne. Anderson is an historian of
colonial science and medicine whose research focuses on the Pacific, Southeast Asia and the United States. His previous books include the much-acclaimed The Cultivation of Whiteness: Science, Health and Racial Destiny in Australia (2002) and Colonial Pathologies (2006), in which he traced the influence of American colonial public health in the Philippines on metropolitan medicine. His forthcoming The Collectors of Lost Souls (Johns Hopkins, 2008) is an account of Nobel Laureate D. Carleton Gajdusek's investigations of the fatal brain disease kuru, which afflicted the Fore people of New Guinea. For this project, Anderson received support from the National Science Foundation and the Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship of the American Council of Learned Societies. Anderson's new historical study of the scientific investigation of mixed race populations in the twentieth century considers how the Pacific fieldwork of leading American anthropologists and human biologists challenged their understanding of racial classification. Anderson was awarded a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation for this project, as well as grants from the National Science Foundation and the Australian Research Council.


Professor Alison Bashford

Prof. Alison Bashford is Acting Chair of the Department of History, University of Sydney, and has published widely in the history of medicine and public health. Her recent work has explored the history of nationalism, imperialism and globalization through the history of medicine and science. She is an Honorary Associate of the Unit for the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Sydney. Bashford is currently completing two books: Life on Earth: geopolitics and the world population problem and The Environmental Visions of Griffith Taylor: man and nature in the twentieth century. She is also currently editing the Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics. Previous books include Medicine at the Border: Disease, globalization and security, 1850 to the present (2006); Imperial Hygiene: a critical history of colonialism, nationalism and public health (2004); Isolation: places and practices of exclusion (2003), Contagion: Historical and Cultural Studies (2001), Purity and Pollution: Gender, Embodiment and Victorian Medicine (1998).


Dr Emma Christopher

Dr Emma Christopher is an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow in the History Department, University of Sydney. She is the author of Slave Ship Sailors and their Captive Cargoes, 1730-1808 (2006) and with Marcus Rediker and Cassandra Pybus the co-editor of Many Middle Passages: Forced Migration and the Making of the Modern World (2007). Her forthcoming book traces, for the first time, the story of the British convicts transported to West Africa's slave trading forts in the 1780s and raises new questions as to how that disastrous episode led to the decision to settle Australia. She is also writing about the links between convict transportation and the slave trade in the larger arena, including the life of Donald Trail who worked in both industries and subsequently became a slave importer at Cape Town.


Professor Andrew Fitzmaurice

Prof. Andrew Fitzmaurice is Senior Lecturer in the History Department, University of Sydney. His Humanism and America: An intellectual history of English colonisation, 1500-1625 appeared in 2005 and his A History of Terra Nullius will appear in 2008. He is also co-editor for CUP with David Armitage of the forthcoming Shakespeare's Political Thought. Fitzmaurice's next major research project involves a history of environmental political thought, which continues in many ways his ongoing interest in the intellectual foundations of European expansion.


Dr Kate Fullagar

Dr Kate Fullagar is University of Sydney Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History. She is currently preparing her doctoral dissertation for publication: entitled Savages and Moderns: The New World in Britain, 1710-c.1800, it analyses a series of diplomatic visits by indigenous peoples of the New World to Britain throughout the eighteenth century. She has published articles on various Native American and Pacific Islander travellers to eighteenth-century Britain. She was Assistant Editor of The Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age: British Culture, 1776-1832 (1999).


Professor Duncan Ivison

Prof. Duncan Ivison is Head of the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney and teaches in the Department of Philosophy. His books include The Self at Liberty: Political Argument and the Arts of Government (1997), Postcolonial Liberalism (2002), Political Theory and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (with Paul Patton and Will Sanders, 2000), and Rights (forthcoming 2008). Ivison's new project involves a kind of genealogy of distributive justice, which examines assumptions about the bounded space of justice as well as the concept of humanity.


Professor Iain McCalman

Prof. Iain McCalman AO is a Federation Fellow and Research Professor in History at the University of Sydney. A fellow of numerous honorific academies, he was President of the Australian Academy of Humanities, 2001-04, and Director of the Humanities Research Centre at ANU, 1995-2003. Among his many books are Radical Underworld: Prophets, Revolutionaries, and Pornographers in London 1795-1840 (1988), An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age: British Culture, 1776-1832 (1999), Gold: Lost Histories and Forgotten Objects of Australia (2001), and The Last Alchemist: Count Cagliostro, Master of Magic in the Age of Reason (2003), which has been translated into fifteen languages. He has been a historical consultant and narrator for a number of BBC, ABC and other TV and film documentaries. He is currently working on a monograph entitled 'Darwin's Southern Armada. The Story of Four Scientific Voyagers to the Southern Oceans and their fight for evolution'. This is to be the basis of a TV Series (ABC, Canada, NZ and Germany) and exhibitions at the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Macleay Museum, University of Sydney. In 2007 McCalman was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for services to history and the humanities.


Dr Kirsten McKenzie

Dr Kirsten McKenzie is Senior Lecturer in the History Department, University of Sydney. Her research interests lie in the development of colonial identities in the British empire, and specifically in how social status and respectability intersect with claims to personal and political power. Her Scandal in the Colonies: Sydney and Cape Town, 1800-1850 (2004) won numerous awards, including the prestigious Max Crawford Medal. Her Status and Empire: Opportunists and Impostors in the British Imperial World is forthcoming. Her next research project is tentatively entitled 'Mapping the Imperial Turn: British Liberty in the Indo-Pacific World, 1780-1830s', and examines the legal and constitutional peculiarities of the new British colonies that were established in the Southern Oceans of the Indo-Pacific region in the late eighteenth century.


Emeritus Professor Roy MacLeod

Em. Prof. Roy MacLeod, emeritus professor of history and Honorary Professor in the Centre for International Strategic Studies at the University of Sydney, has written extensively in the social history of science, technology, and medicine, and holds a DLitt from Cambridge, and an honorary doctorate from Bologna. In 1971, he co-founded the journal Social Studies of Science, and since 2000 has been Editor of Minerva. His latest work in the subject area of this project is Nature and Empire: Science and the Colonial Enterprise (Osiris, vol. 15), edited with introduction (Chicago, 2001). He is currently working on a book dealing with the relations of science and Empire as seen through the natural history museums of imperial Britain, France, and Germany.


Dr Jude Philp

Dr Jude Philp, Senior Curator at the Macleay Museum at the University of Sydney, has a long-term interest in the notion of history for Torres Strait Islanders and in historic collections of Torres Strait Islander material culture held in European collections. In 1998 Jude co-curated Torres Strait Islanders: Centenary exhibition of the 1898 Cambridge University Expedition to Torres Strait, with Anita Herle at Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and has since written on a variety of contemporary and historic aspects of Torres Strait islander culture and history. She is currently working on two projects: one, an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant entitled Producers and Collectors: uncovering the role of Indigenous agency in the formation of museum collections of Central Province, PNG material culture; and the other on the currency of Royal Society of London's voyages of discovery in the popular imagination.

Professor Cassandra Pybus

Prof. Cassandra Pybus is Australian Research Council Professorial Fellow in the History Department at the University of Sydney. Among her many books are Other Middle Passages (with Marcus Rediker and Emma Christopher, 2007), Epic journeys of freedom: Runaway slaves of the American Revolution and their global quest for liberty (2006), Black Founders: The unknown story of Australia's first black settlers (2006), American Citizens, British Slaves: Yankee Political Prisoners in an Australian Penal Colony, 1839 -1850 (with Hamish Maxwell-Stewart, 2002), The Devil and James McAuley (1999), and White Rajah: a Dynastic Intrigue (1996). Her enduring interest in how race is played out in the antipodes is currently realized in an ARC-funded project with Prof. Peter Hulme (Essex) and Prof. Marcus Rediker (Pitt) on 'Race and the Construction of Racial Identity at the Antipodes of Empire'.


Dr Martin Thomas

Dr Martin Thomas is Sesqui Research Fellow in the History Department of the University of Sydney. His primary research interests involve perceptions of place, representations of landscape, and narratives of cross-cultural encounter. His previous books include Culture in Translation: The foreign-language publications of R. H. Mathews (2006), A Multicultural Landscape: National Parks and the Macedonian Experience (2001), The Artificial Horizon: Imagining the Blue Mountains (2003), an Uncertain Ground: Essays Between Art and Nature (1999). He is currently working on two separate projects: representations of Aboriginal culture in 20th-century Australian audio archives and a biographical study of the surveyor and ethnologist, R. H. Mathews. In collaboration with the National Museum of Australia, he is also researching the American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land of 1948, for which he has a fellowship during 2008 at the Smithsonian Museum in the USA.


Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr Peter Denney

Dr Peter Denney was appointed the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in December 2008, after a formal competitive selection process. He recently gained his PhD from the University of York with a dissertation entitled "Silencing the Poor: Soundscape, Landscape and Society in Eighteenth-Century Britain." He has published in numerous critical journals and plans to conduct research while with Sawyer on a new project called "The Prospect of Civilisation: European Landscape and the Antipodean Acoustic Environment, c.1770-1860."