Amanda Harris

Amanda Harris' research focuses on gender, music and cross-cultural histories. Her current project looks at intersections of Indigenous and non-Indigenous identities in Australian music and dance in the decades following WWII. Amanda's edited book Circulating Cultures: Exchanges of Australian Indigenous Music, Dance and Media was released by ANU Press in 2014.


(2016 in press) "Gender, Science and Imperial Drive in Two Expeditions of the 1940s: Nutritionist and Anthropologist Margaret McArthur" in Expeditions and the Ethnographic Imagination: Teamwork, travel, and the 'science of man'. Martin Thomas and Amanda Harris (eds), Berghahn Books (under contract)

Thieberger, Nick, Amanda Harris & Linda Barwick (2015 in press) "PARADISEC: its history and future" in Research, Records and Responsibility: Ten Years of PARADISEC. Amanda Harris, Nick Thieberger and Linda Barwick (eds), Sydney: Sydney University Press (volume due out October 2015).

(2014) "Archival Objects and the Circulation of Culture" in Circulating Cultures: Exchanges of Australian Indigenous Music, Dance and Media. Amanda Harris (ed), ANU Press, 1-16. ANU Press

(2014) "Hearing Aboriginal Music Making in Non-Indigenous Accounts of the Bush from the mid-20th century" in Circulating Cultures: Exchanges of Australian Indigenous Music, Dance and Media Amanda Harris (ed), ANU Press, 73-97. ANU Press

(2014) "Chaperoned into Arnhem Land: Margaret McArthur and the Politics of Nutrition and Fieldwork in 1948". Lilith: A Feminist History Journal, V20: 62-75.

(2014) "The Spectacle of Woman as Creator: Representation of Women Composers in the French, German and English Feminist Press 1880-1930". Women's History Review V23, (1): 18-42.

(2013) "Food, Feeding and Consumption (or the Cook, the Wife and the Nutritionist): The Politics of Gender and Class in a 1948 Australian Expedition". History and Anthropology V24, (3): 363-379.

(2011) "Recomposing Her History: the Memoirs and Diaries of Ethel Smyth". Life Writing V8, (4): 421-431.

(2010) "The Smyth-Brewster Correspondence: a Fresh Look at the Hidden Romantic World of Ethel Smyth". Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture V14: 72-94.

(2010) "'Comrade' Ethel Smyth in the 'great liberative war of women': an English Musical Feminism". In Rock Blaster, Bridge Builder, Road Paver: The Composer Ethel Smyth. Cornelia Bartsch, Rebecca Grotjahn and Melanie Unseld (eds) 70-83. Munich: Allitera.

(2010) "A Prickly Alliance: Women Composers, the Press and Feminism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century". In History/Herstory: Alternative Musikgeschichten,Annette Kreutziger-Herr and Katrin Losleben (eds), 375-388.  Cologne: Böhlau Verlag.

(2000) "The nature of Nordicism: Grainger's 'blue-gold-rosy-race' and his music", Musicology Australia, vol. 23, pp.19–48.

(2010) "Boyd, Anne". In Handbuch Gender und Musik. Annette Kreutziger-Herr and Melanie Unseld (eds). Bärenreiter.

(2010) "Feminismus". In Handbuch Gender und Musik. Annette Kreutziger-Herr and Melanie Unseld (eds). Bärenreiter.

(2010) "Kats-Chernin, Elena". In Handbuch Gender und Musik. Annette Kreutziger-Herr and Melanie Unseld (eds). Bärenreiter.

(2010) "Sexualität". In Handbuch Gender und Musik. Annette Kreutziger-Herr and Melanie Unseld (eds). Bärenreiter.

(2003) Researchers, Communities, Institutions, Sound Recordings, (eds.) Linda Barwick, Allan Marett, Jane Simpson and Amanda Harris. Sydney: University of Sydney, 2003.

News & Events

  • New Edited Book: Circulating Cultures: Exchanges of Australian Indigenous Music, Dance and Media. Edited by Amanda Harris

    Circulating Cultures is an edited book about the transformation of cultural materials through the Australian landscape. The book explores cultural circulation, exchange and transit, through events such as the geographical movement of song series across the Kimberley and Arnhem Land; the transformation of Australian Aboriginal dance in the hands of an American choreographer; and the indigenisation of symbolic meanings in heavy metal music. Circulating Cultures crosses disciplinary boundaries, with contributions from historians, musicologists, linguists and dance historians, to depict shifts of cultural materials through time, place and interventions from people. It looks at the way Indigenous and non-Indigenous performing arts have changed through intercultural influence and collaboration.

    Available from ANU Press

  • New Edited Book: Expedition into Empire: Exploratory Journeys and the Making of the Modern World. Edited by Martin Thomas

    Expeditionary journeys have shaped our world, but the expedition as a cultural form is rarely scrutinized. This book is the first major investigation of the conventions and social practices embedded in team-based exploration. In probing the politics of expedition making, this volume is itself a pioneering journey through the cultures of empire. With contributions from established and emerging scholars, Expedition into Empire plots the rise and transformation of expeditionary journeys from the eighteenth century until the present. Conceived as a series of spotlights on imperial travel and colonial expansion, it roves widely: from the metropolitan centers to the ends of the earth. This collection is both rigorous and accessible, containing lively case studies from writers long immersed in exploration, travel literature, and the dynamics of cross-cultural encounter.

    Available for free download from Routledge

  • PARADISEC collection inscribed on UNESCO's Memory of the World Australian Register

    PARADISEC's priceless collection of rare archival recordings of languages and musics of our region has been recognised as of international significance through inscription on UNESCO's Australian Memory of the World Register at a special awards ceremony in Adelaide on 14 May 2013. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)'s Australian Memory of the World Register provides a selective list of Australia's documentary heritage, with the PARADISEC collection now sitting alongside such invaluable national documents as the Mabo Case transcripts and First Fleet journals.

    Read more: FASS media release

  • PARADISEC Sydney Honorary Associate Martin Thomas wins National Biography Award

    The story of how a son of Irish immigrants, R. H. Matthews, became one of Australia’s most significant early researchers of Aboriginal language, culture and history, has won the $25,000 National Biography Award, Australia’s richest prize for biographical writing and memoir, the State Library of NSW announced on Monday 14 May 2012.

    The Many Worlds of R. H. Mathews, In search of an Australian Anthropologist by historian Martin Thomas, has brought to light the largely forgotten but immensely important contribution Mathews made to anthropology and Australia’s cultural history in the nineteenth century.

    Read more: State Library of NSW Media
    Sydney Morning Herald

  • Film Screening, 24 Feb: In Language We Live - Voices of the World

    February 21st is UNESCO's International Mother Language Day, and to celebrate the world's indigenous languages, RNLD, PARADISEC and the Department of Linguistics will be hosting a free screening of In Language We Live - Voices of the World on the afternoon of the 24th to coincide with the final round of OzCLO.

    Location: Education Lecture Room 424
    Date: Wednesday, February 24, 3:30 pm.

  • PARADISEC archive approaches 5TB

    National Computational Infrastructure

    PARADISEC's archive, hosted by the National Computational Infrastructure in Canberra, is soon to approach 5TB. Read more to see the full details of PARADISEC's collection held at NCI.

  • PARADISEC Wins VeRSI Prize


    In the words of the judges: "PARADISEC is an outstanding application of ICT tools in the humanities and social sciences domain that harnesses the work of scholars to store and preserve endangered language and music materials from the Asia-Pacific region and creates an online resource to make these available."

    PARADISEC has been cited as an exemplary system for audiovisual archiving using digital mass storage systems by the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives and has also been included as an exemplary case study in the Australian Governmet's NCRIS Strategic Roadmap for Australian Research Infrastructure.

    PARADISEC features in the Strategic Roadmap for Australian Research Culture

    The Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures (PARADISEC) is an exemplary HASS capability project, undertaking digital conservation and provision of international access to research resources in audio, text and visual media on endangered cultural heritage in Indigenous Australia, the Pacific Island nations, and East and Southeast Asia. The project is known internationally for its development of low cost techniques for recording, accessioning, cataloguing and digitising complex cultural resources in digital media.... Read More (p.42)