About Dr Elizabeth Rechniewski

Elizabeth Rechniewski is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Sydney. She has a long-standing research interest in nationalism and in the discourses that surround and support it in the media, and in the political uses of the national past. Over the last decade she has published widely on remembrance of twentieth century war in Australia, France and New Caledonia, including on the commemoration of the role of Indigenous soldiers from these countries. Individually and with Matthew Graves, she has published many articles on the nexus of scientific, institutional and colonial interests at work in the speculative mapping of Australia in the nineteenth century. She was a Chief Investigator on the Australian Research Council Discovery Project: Judging the Past in a Post-Cold War World, 2013-2016. In the context of this project she published on the impact of Cold War ideology on decolonisation in French Cameroon, on the armed repression of the independence movement there, and on the significance of this conflict for the development of the theory and practice of the 'French School' of counter-insurgency warfare. Other publications resulting from this project include an edited volume (with Judith Keene): Seeking Meaning, Seeking Justice in a Post-Cold War World (Brill, 2018). She was awarded the title of Chevalier des palmes académiques by the French government in 2009, and the Ordre national du mérite in 2010.

Areas of supervision include: • Nationalism and the politics of commemoration • Discourse analysis especially Critical Discourse Analysis and Appraisal Theory • Decolonisation in the French Empire, • Speculative geographies of Australia.

Selected publications

  • 2018, ‘The Vagabond: The Sydney Morning Herald’s Special Commissioner on the 1878 Revolts in New Caledonia,’ in Steven James Grattan, Daniel Barredo, Barry Turner (eds), Reporting from the Wars 1850 – 2015 The Origins and Evolution of the War Correspondent, Wilmington USA, Vernon Press, 1-25.
  • 2018, ‘Resénégalisation and the Representation of Black African Troops during World War One’, in Ben Wellings and Shanti Sumartojo (eds), Commemorating Race and Empire in the First World War Centenary, Presses Universitaires de Provence and Liverpool University Press, 79-92.
  • 2018, ‘Why the War in Cameroon Never Took Place’ in Seeking Meaning, Seeking Justice in a Post-Cold War World (co-edited with Judith Keene), Leiden, Brill, 231-248.
  • 2018, ‘New Perspectives from the Post-Cold War World’ (with Judith Keene), in Seeking Meaning, Seeking Justice in a Post-Cold War World, 1-24.
  • 2017, ‘1947: Decolonisation in the Shadow of the Cold War. The Case of French Cameroon,’ The Australian and New Zealand Journal of European Studies, 9: 3, 52-67.
  • 2017, ‘Remembering the Black Diggers: from “the Great Silence” to “Conspicuous Commemoration”?’ in Stéphanie Bélanger and Renée Dickason (eds), War Memories: Commemorations, Recollections and Writings on War, Montreal, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 388-408.
  • 2017, ‘Black Wars and White Settlement: The Conflict over Space in the Australian Commemorative Landscape’ (with Matthew Graves), E-rea, 14: 2. http://erea.revues.org/?lang=en 
  • 2016, ‘Representing Conscripts’ Experience of Counter-Insurgency Warfare on Screen: Laurent Herbiet’s Mon Colonel’, Essays in French Literature and Culture 53 (November 2016), 81-98.
  • 2016, ‘Geographies of Displacement in a Colonial Context: Allen F. Gardiner’s Writings on Australia’, Commonwealth Essays and Studies,   38: 2, 9-18.
  • 2015, ‘The Perils of Proximity: Australian Attitudes towards New Caledonia in the Nineteenth Century’, Portal special issue, Geographies of Identity, 12: 1.
  • 2015, ‘Imagining Geographies, Mapping Identities’ (with Matthew Graves), Portal, special issue, Geographies of Identity 12: 1.