Welcome! I am a historian at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. I specialize in the history of the eighteenth-century world, particularly the British Empire and the many indigenous societies it encountered. I also have interests in visual history, anthropological history, experimental uses of biography, and issues surrounding higher education and the humanities. On this site you’ll find links to my historical writing, reflections on my historical reading, and discussions of various historical engagements (oh, and an unlikely page on swimming).

[HEADER PICTURE CREDIT: “PRINCE LE BOO,” (C.1785), NAT. LIB. OF AUSTRALIA. 3837 #U7224 NK1675]

Recent Posts

Historians on the Automated Future

Consequences for higher education, work, and the care of bodies.  That’s a rather grandiose title for this post, which spruiks just two pieces recently uploaded by historians. But I think they are among the best short things I’ve read this year; and they speak unusually well to each other. The first is by Frances Flanagan, an … Continue reading Historians on the Automated Future

Erko History

Some of my colleagues are really good at engaging with local history. Since Australian history is not my speciality, my professional “engagement” tends more towards school teachers and international traveling art shows and so on, rather than the immediate world around me. However, recently inspired by my near-and-dear Australianists, I decided last year to become … Continue reading Erko History

Bennelong’s Contested History

My first foray into the mainstream press was both stimulating and disconcerting.  A version of the article appeared here in The Guardian on 8 July. But my original is pasted below… Bangarra’s current production Bennelong opened last week, and tells the first contact story of the Aboriginal warrior. It is exquisite, captivating, quick-paced and deeply moving. But … Continue reading Bennelong’s Contested History

Review of Indigenous Intermediaries

Indigenous Intermediaries: New Perspectives on Exploration Archives. Edited by Shino Konishi, Maria Nugent, and Tiffany Shellam. Canberra: ANU Press and Aboriginal History Inc., 2015. Pp. 205. A$33.00. This books ends with Len Collard and Dave Palmer discussing indigenous terms for ideal approaches to history-making. The Noongar’s sense of kanya and the Kimberley people’s notion of … Continue reading Review of Indigenous Intermediaries

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