Professor Gillian Cowlishaw

Anthropology Research Fellow

A18 - Brennan MacCallum Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9114 1294

Website Contact details
Curriculum vitae Curriculum vitae

Biographical details

I enrolled at Sydney University as an undergraduate mature age student in 1970 and took my PhD in anthropology in 1979 [or 80?]. I taught anthropology at Charles Sturt University, the ANU, and Sydney University and was a Research Professor at UTS and then at Sydney University until retirement in 2015.

My first fieldwork in 1975-6, focussed on Aboriginal women’s lives. But experiencing the entrenched and dramatically unequal race relations in the Northern Territory excited my interest and after more field and archival work I published a historical ethnography: Rednecks, Eggheads and Blackfellas (Allen and Unwin with Michigan U.P.1999).

Before that book was completed, I conducted several periods of field research in Bourke NSW, examining emergent contestations of racial inequality in NSW towns, a neglected area in Australian social science. I analysed quotidian forms of racial identity, the policing of public manners and how structures and institutions support racial inequality.Black, White or Brindle (Cambridge U.P. 1988) andBlackfellas, Whitefellas and the Hidden Injuries of Race (Blackwell 2004) are both set in Bourke. My last book The City’s Outback (UNSW Press 2009) analyses my urban ethnographic study in Western Sydney, and includes an enquiry into the nature and limits of ethnographic research and the political potential of anthropology. I continue to write on urban race relations based on close-grained concrete work in western Sydney where racial and cultural identities are both transformed and reproduced among ever changing forms of governmental power. I have also written on Australian social science history, especially anthropology.

In the media

Inside Story. (2013). A new protection policy? University ethics committees and the social sciences make awkward partners, December 17: [weblink]

Selected grants

2009

  • Social Relations Among Urban Aborigines in Sydneys Western Suburbs; Cowlishaw G; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).

Selected publications

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Books

  • Cowlishaw, G. (2009). The City's Outback. Sydney, Australia: University of New South Wales (UNSW) Press.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2004). Blackfellas, Whitefellas and the Hidden Injuries of Race. UK: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (1999). Rednecks, Eggheads and Blackfellas: racial power and intimacy in north Australia. Sydney and Michigan: Allen and Unwin.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (1988). Black, White or Brindle: race in rural Australia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Edited Books

  • Cowlishaw, G., Gibson, L. (2012). Towards an Australia-wide Anthropology: Oceania Special Issue. Vol 82 (1). United States: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.
  • Eickelkamp, U., Cowlishaw, G. (2012). Young Lives, Changing Times: Perspectives on Social Reproduction. Sydney: University of Sydney.
  • Lea, T., Kowal, E., Cowlishaw, G. (2006). Moving Anthropology: Critical Indigenous Studies. Australia: Charles Darwin University Press.
  • Cowlishaw, G., Morris, B. (1997). Race Matters: Indigenous Australians and ‘Our’ society. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press.

Book Chapters

  • Cowlishaw, G. (2014). Performing Aboriginality: The Politics and Poetics of Citizenship in Everyday Life. In Timothy Neale, Crystal McKinnon, Eve Vincent (Eds.), History, Power, Text: Cultural Studies and Indigenous Studies, (pp. 229-249). Sydney: UTSePress. [More Information]
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2014). True Ethnography. In Vanessa Castejon, Anna Cole, Oliver Haag, Karen Hughes (Eds.), Ngapartji Ngapartji In turn in turn: Ego-Histoire, Europe and Indigenous Australia, (pp. 128-131). Canberra: ANU Press.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2013). 'Culture', 'Race' and 'Me': Living the Anthropology of Indigenous Australians. In Cris Shore, Susanna Trnka (Eds.), Up Close and Personal: On Peripheral Perspectives and the Production of Anthropological Knowledge, (pp. 94-107). Oxford: Berghahn Books.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2013). Reproducing Criminality; How Cure Enhance Cause. In Kerry Carrington, Matthew Ball, Erin OBrien and Juan Tauri (Eds.), Crime, Justice and Social Democracy: International Perspectives, (pp. 234-247). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. [More Information]
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2010). Framing Violence: an ethnographic perspective on rioting. In Craig Browne and Justine McGill (Eds.), Violence in France and Australia: Disorder in the postcolonial welfare state, (pp. 27-52). Sydney: Sydney University Press.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2010). Helping Anthropologists, still. In J. Altman and M. Hinkson (Eds.), Culture Crisis: Anthropology and Politics in Aboriginal Australia, (pp. 45-60). Sydney: University of New South Wales (UNSW) Press.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2008). Australia's Frontier Wars. In Deborah Gare, David Ritter (Eds.), Making Australian History: Perspectives on the Past since 1788, (pp. 175-182). Australia: Thomson (Learning Australia).
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2006). Collateral Damage in the History Wars. In Tess Lea, Emma Kowal, Gillian Cowlishaw (Eds.), Moving Anthropology: Critical Indigenous Studies, (pp. 131-146). Australia: Charles Darwin University Press.
  • Lea, T., Kowal, E., Cowlishaw, G. (2006). Double Binds. In Tess Lea, Emma Kowal, Gillian Cowlishaw (Eds.), Moving Anthropology: Critical Indigenous Studies, (pp. 1-15). Australia: Charles Darwin University Press.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2005). Who's Upsetting Who?: Strangeness, Memory, Nostalgia, Morality. In Tess Lea & Bill Wilson (Eds.), The State of the North: A Selection of Papers from the 2003 Charles Darwin Symposia, (pp. 203-213). Australia: Charles Darwin University Press.

Journals

  • Cowlishaw, G. (2018). Tunnel Vision: Part Two-Explaining Australian anthropology's conservatism. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 29(1), 35-52. [More Information]
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2017). Tunnel Vision: Part One - Resisting post-colonialism in Australian anthropology. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 28(3), 324-341. [More Information]
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2014). Abstracting Anthropology: review essay on James Clifford 'Returns'. Australian Review of Public Affairs, 8. [More Information]
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2014). Governing Sex: Removing the Right to Take Responsibility. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 3(1), 35-48. [More Information]
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2012). Culture and the absurd: the means and meanings of Aboriginal identity in the time of cultural revivalism. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 18(2), 397-417. [More Information]
  • Cowlishaw, G., Gibson, L. (2012). Locating an Australia-wide Anthropology. Oceania, 82(1), 4-14. [More Information]
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2011). Mythologising culture Part 2: Disturbing aboriginality in the suburbs. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 22(2), 170-188. [More Information]
  • Cowlishaw, G., Lea, T. (2010). Development, heroism and the indigenous life project. Dialectical Anthropology, 34(2), 223-234. [More Information]
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2010). Faulty Tours: a study of Australian tourists. La Ricerca Folklorica, 61, 11-19.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2010). Mythologising culture - Part 1: Desiring Aboriginality in the suburbs. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 21(2), 208-227. [More Information]
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2010). Ways to Claim a Country. Arena Magazine, 10-11(108), 36-39.
  • Cowlishaw, G., Mookherjee, N. (2009). A multiplicity of meanings: an ethnographic reflection on Kevin Rudd's apology on behalf of the nation, to Australia's Indigenous peoples in January 2008. Critique of Anthropology.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2009). Ethics and the 'unethical' in social science knowledge production. Australian Journal of Professional and Applied Ethics, 11(1 & 2), 90-98.
  • Mookherjee, N., Rapport, N., Josephides, L., Hage, G., Todd, L., Cowlishaw, G. (2009). The Ethics of Apology: A Set of Commentaries. Critique of Anthropology, 29(3), 345-366. [More Information]
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2007). Introduction: Ethnography and the Interpretation of 'Cronulla'. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 18(3), 295-299. [More Information]
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2006). Cultures of complaint: An ethnography of rural racial rivalry. Journal of Sociology, 42(4), 429-445. [More Information]
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2006). On 'Getting It Wrong': Collateral Damage in the History Wars. Australian Historical Studies, 37(127), 181-202. [More Information]

Conferences

  • Cowlishaw, G. (2012). Crime and Culture. Crime, Justice and Social Democracy: An International Conference, Brisbane: QUT Publications.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2010). Revivalism and Alterity: Culture as a means of governance. Anthropology and the Ends of Worlds, Sydney: WordPress.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2009). Helping Anthropologists, Still. Australian Anthropology Society Annual Conference, Canberra: Australian Anthropology Society.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2008). Culture as Therapy. Australian Anthropology Society Annual Conference, Canberra: Australian Anthropology Society.

Report

  • High, H., Cowlishaw, G., Missbach, A., Ramsay, G., Hoffstaedter, G., Lee, H. (2014). National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention 2014. A submission from the Australian Anthropological Society. Australia: Australian Human Rights Commission.

Reference Works

  • Cowlishaw, G. (2007). Redneck Masculinities. In Michael Flood, Judith Kegan Gardiner, Bob Pease, Keith Pringle (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Men and Masculinities. Unted Kingdom: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.

2018

  • Cowlishaw, G. (2018). Tunnel Vision: Part Two-Explaining Australian anthropology's conservatism. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 29(1), 35-52. [More Information]

2017

  • Cowlishaw, G. (2017). Tunnel Vision: Part One - Resisting post-colonialism in Australian anthropology. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 28(3), 324-341. [More Information]

2014

  • Cowlishaw, G. (2014). Abstracting Anthropology: review essay on James Clifford 'Returns'. Australian Review of Public Affairs, 8. [More Information]
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2014). Governing Sex: Removing the Right to Take Responsibility. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 3(1), 35-48. [More Information]
  • High, H., Cowlishaw, G., Missbach, A., Ramsay, G., Hoffstaedter, G., Lee, H. (2014). National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention 2014. A submission from the Australian Anthropological Society. Australia: Australian Human Rights Commission.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2014). Performing Aboriginality: The Politics and Poetics of Citizenship in Everyday Life. In Timothy Neale, Crystal McKinnon, Eve Vincent (Eds.), History, Power, Text: Cultural Studies and Indigenous Studies, (pp. 229-249). Sydney: UTSePress. [More Information]
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2014). True Ethnography. In Vanessa Castejon, Anna Cole, Oliver Haag, Karen Hughes (Eds.), Ngapartji Ngapartji In turn in turn: Ego-Histoire, Europe and Indigenous Australia, (pp. 128-131). Canberra: ANU Press.

2013

  • Cowlishaw, G. (2013). 'Culture', 'Race' and 'Me': Living the Anthropology of Indigenous Australians. In Cris Shore, Susanna Trnka (Eds.), Up Close and Personal: On Peripheral Perspectives and the Production of Anthropological Knowledge, (pp. 94-107). Oxford: Berghahn Books.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2013). Reproducing Criminality; How Cure Enhance Cause. In Kerry Carrington, Matthew Ball, Erin OBrien and Juan Tauri (Eds.), Crime, Justice and Social Democracy: International Perspectives, (pp. 234-247). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. [More Information]

2012

  • Cowlishaw, G. (2012). Crime and Culture. Crime, Justice and Social Democracy: An International Conference, Brisbane: QUT Publications.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2012). Culture and the absurd: the means and meanings of Aboriginal identity in the time of cultural revivalism. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 18(2), 397-417. [More Information]
  • Cowlishaw, G., Gibson, L. (2012). Locating an Australia-wide Anthropology. Oceania, 82(1), 4-14. [More Information]
  • Cowlishaw, G., Gibson, L. (2012). Towards an Australia-wide Anthropology: Oceania Special Issue. Vol 82 (1). United States: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.
  • Eickelkamp, U., Cowlishaw, G. (2012). Young Lives, Changing Times: Perspectives on Social Reproduction. Sydney: University of Sydney.

2011

  • Cowlishaw, G. (2011). Mythologising culture Part 2: Disturbing aboriginality in the suburbs. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 22(2), 170-188. [More Information]

2010

  • Cowlishaw, G., Lea, T. (2010). Development, heroism and the indigenous life project. Dialectical Anthropology, 34(2), 223-234. [More Information]
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2010). Faulty Tours: a study of Australian tourists. La Ricerca Folklorica, 61, 11-19.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2010). Framing Violence: an ethnographic perspective on rioting. In Craig Browne and Justine McGill (Eds.), Violence in France and Australia: Disorder in the postcolonial welfare state, (pp. 27-52). Sydney: Sydney University Press.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2010). Helping Anthropologists, still. In J. Altman and M. Hinkson (Eds.), Culture Crisis: Anthropology and Politics in Aboriginal Australia, (pp. 45-60). Sydney: University of New South Wales (UNSW) Press.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2010). Mythologising culture - Part 1: Desiring Aboriginality in the suburbs. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 21(2), 208-227. [More Information]
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2010). Revivalism and Alterity: Culture as a means of governance. Anthropology and the Ends of Worlds, Sydney: WordPress.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2010). Ways to Claim a Country. Arena Magazine, 10-11(108), 36-39.

2009

  • Cowlishaw, G., Mookherjee, N. (2009). A multiplicity of meanings: an ethnographic reflection on Kevin Rudd's apology on behalf of the nation, to Australia's Indigenous peoples in January 2008. Critique of Anthropology.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2009). Ethics and the 'unethical' in social science knowledge production. Australian Journal of Professional and Applied Ethics, 11(1 & 2), 90-98.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2009). Helping Anthropologists, Still. Australian Anthropology Society Annual Conference, Canberra: Australian Anthropology Society.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2009). The City's Outback. Sydney, Australia: University of New South Wales (UNSW) Press.
  • Mookherjee, N., Rapport, N., Josephides, L., Hage, G., Todd, L., Cowlishaw, G. (2009). The Ethics of Apology: A Set of Commentaries. Critique of Anthropology, 29(3), 345-366. [More Information]

2008

  • Cowlishaw, G. (2008). Australia's Frontier Wars. In Deborah Gare, David Ritter (Eds.), Making Australian History: Perspectives on the Past since 1788, (pp. 175-182). Australia: Thomson (Learning Australia).
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2008). Culture as Therapy. Australian Anthropology Society Annual Conference, Canberra: Australian Anthropology Society.

2007

  • Cowlishaw, G. (2007). Introduction: Ethnography and the Interpretation of 'Cronulla'. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 18(3), 295-299. [More Information]
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2007). Redneck Masculinities. In Michael Flood, Judith Kegan Gardiner, Bob Pease, Keith Pringle (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Men and Masculinities. Unted Kingdom: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.

2006

  • Cowlishaw, G. (2006). Collateral Damage in the History Wars. In Tess Lea, Emma Kowal, Gillian Cowlishaw (Eds.), Moving Anthropology: Critical Indigenous Studies, (pp. 131-146). Australia: Charles Darwin University Press.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2006). Cultures of complaint: An ethnography of rural racial rivalry. Journal of Sociology, 42(4), 429-445. [More Information]
  • Lea, T., Kowal, E., Cowlishaw, G. (2006). Double Binds. In Tess Lea, Emma Kowal, Gillian Cowlishaw (Eds.), Moving Anthropology: Critical Indigenous Studies, (pp. 1-15). Australia: Charles Darwin University Press.
  • Lea, T., Kowal, E., Cowlishaw, G. (2006). Moving Anthropology: Critical Indigenous Studies. Australia: Charles Darwin University Press.
  • Cowlishaw, G. (2006). On 'Getting It Wrong': Collateral Damage in the History Wars. Australian Historical Studies, 37(127), 181-202. [More Information]

2005

  • Cowlishaw, G. (2005). Who's Upsetting Who?: Strangeness, Memory, Nostalgia, Morality. In Tess Lea & Bill Wilson (Eds.), The State of the North: A Selection of Papers from the 2003 Charles Darwin Symposia, (pp. 203-213). Australia: Charles Darwin University Press.

2004

  • Cowlishaw, G. (2004). Blackfellas, Whitefellas and the Hidden Injuries of Race. UK: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.

1999

  • Cowlishaw, G. (1999). Rednecks, Eggheads and Blackfellas: racial power and intimacy in north Australia. Sydney and Michigan: Allen and Unwin.

1997

  • Cowlishaw, G., Morris, B. (1997). Race Matters: Indigenous Australians and ‘Our’ society. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press.

1988

  • Cowlishaw, G. (1988). Black, White or Brindle: race in rural Australia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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