The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

Ipsum Lorem

Ethan Blue

Dr Ethan Blue

Senior Lecturer

Contact details
The University of Western Australia (M208)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6488 1227
+61 8 6488 1069
Room 2.08, Arts Building, Perth campus
BA Virginia, MA PhD UT Austin
Key research
United States History; History of Punishment; Immigration History; Ethnic Studies; Cultural History; Labor/Working Class History; Critical Theory; Gender and Masculinities; US-Mexico Borderlands; Deportation; Comparative Wests; Technology; Settler Colonialisms, Spatial History; Deaths in Custody.
Publications – Books & Edited Volumes
•Doing Time in the Depression: Everyday Life in Texas and California Prisons (New York: New York University Press, 2012; paperback in 2014).

•Engineering and War: Institutions, Ethics, Alternatives, (33.3%) with Dean Nieusma and Michael Levine. (Morgan and Claypool, 2013[ebook]; 2014[paper]).

•Editor (50%), with Patrick Timmons, Punishment and Death: Special Issue of Radical History Review, Number 96, September 2006.

Publications – Articles & Book Chapters

•“Seeing Ms. Dhu: Inquest, conquest, and black women’s (in)visibility in deaths in custody,” Settler Colonial Studies (2016), 1-22. DOI: 10.1080/2201473X.2016.1229294

•“Strange Passages: Carceral Mobility and the Liminal in the Catastrophic History of American deportation,” National Identities, Vol. 17, No. 2 (2015).

•“National Vitality, Migrant Abjection, and Coercive Mobility: The Biopolitical History of American Deportation,” in press, Leonardo, Vol. 48, No 2/3 (2015).

•“Abject Correction and Penal Medical Photography in the Early Twentieth Century,” in The Punitive Turn: Race, Prisons, Justice, and Inequality, Deborah E. McDowell, Claudrena Harold, and Juan Battle, eds. (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013).

•“Finding Margins on Borders: Shipping Firms, Settler States, and Deportation in Comparative Wests,” Occasion: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities – Special Issue on Comparative Wests (2013).

•“Introduction to Comparative Wests,” (20%) with Doug Bird, Jon Christensen, Brian Codding, and, Richard White, Occasion: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities – Special Issue on Comparative Wests (2013).

•“Deportation,” in The Social History of Crime and Punishment in America: An Encyclopedia, ed. Wilbur R. Miller (SAGE, 2012).

•“Engineering and War,” co-authored with Dean Nieusma (50%), International Journal of Engineering, Social Justice, and Peace, No. 1, Vol. 1 (2012), 50-62.
oReprinted in P. Aarne Vesilind and W. Richard Bowen, eds., Peace Engineering: When Personal Values and Engineering Careers Converge, 2d ed (Lakeshore Press, 2013), 189-206.

•“The Culture of the Condemned: Pastoral Execution and Life on Death Row in the 1930s,” Law, Culture, and the Humanities, online first publication: June 30, 2011 as doi:10.1177/1743872111406627.

•“A Parody on the Law: Organized Labor, the Convict Lease, and Immigration in the Making of the Texas State Capitol,” Journal of Social History, Vol. 43, No. 4 (2010), 1021—1044. Thompson-Reuters ISI indexed journal. Nominated for the Ray Allen Billington Prize, Western Historical Association.

•“The Strange Career of Leo Stanley: Remaking Manhood and Medicine at San Quentin State Penitentiary, 1913—1951,” Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 78, No. 2 (2009), 210—241. Thompson-Reuters ISI indexed journal.

•“Teaching American Studies in Australia,” A Roundtable Commentary in Australasian Journal of American Studies (December 2008), 127—132.

•“’A Dark Cloud Will Go Over’: Pain, Death, and Silence in Texas Prisons in the 1930s,” Humanities Research, Vol. 14, No. 2 (2007), 5—24.

•“Gordian knots and recent work on the American prison complex,” Australasian Journal of American Studies (December 2006), 91—101.

•“Punishment and Death: Editor’s Introduction,” with Patrick Timmons (50 %), in Punishment and Death: Special Issue of Radical History Review, Number 96 (2006), 1-8.

•“National Trauma, Church Drama: The Cultural Politics of Christian Fear,” Bad Subjects, February 2005.

•“Beating the System: Prison Music and the Politics of Penal Space,” in Isolation: Places and Practices of Exclusion, eds. Carolyn Strange and Alison Bashford, (London: Routledge, 2003), 56—70.

Forthcoming Publications
•“The Means and Meanings of Coercive Mobility,” in Norwood Andrews and Robert Chase, eds., Sunbelt Prisons: A New Frontier of Resistance, State Power, and Racial Oppression (forthcoming, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2016).

•“Cognitive maps and spatial narratives: US deportation hearings and the imaginative cartographies of forced removal,” in Gareth Griffiths and Philip Mead, eds., The social work of narrative: human rights and the literary imaginary (forthcoming, Stuttgart: Ibidem-Verlag, 2016).
Funding received
•2016 UWA Near Miss Central Grant scheme, $34,000AUD.

•2015 UWA Internal Teaching Relief Scheme. $19,903AUD.

•Lead investigator, ‘Histories and legacies of deportation across the Pacific,’ USAsia Centre Seed Funding Grant, 2014. $10,000AUD.

•Residential Research Fellow, Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, University of Michigan. January – May 2012. Associated travel grant: $5000 USD

•Australia Learning and Teaching Council Team award recipient to investigate “Engineering and Social Justice,” Team coordinated by Winthrop Professor Caroline Baillie, 2010-2011. Total grant: $213,000.

•Chief Investigator, “Comparative Wests: Peripheral Regions in Settler Colonial Societies,” Total Grant $31,000: $15,000 ISL-HCA Linkage Grant from the Australian Academy for the Humanities, 2010. $13,000 matching funds from UWA, $3000 from United States Studies Centre at Sydney University.

•Australian Academy of the Humanities Traveling Fellowship, 2010 ($4000).

•Australian Academy of the Humanities Publication Subsidy ($3000).

•Littleton-Griswold Research Grant, from the American Historical Association, 2006-2007, Sole Investigator ($1000 USD).

•University of Western Australia Research Development Grant, 2006, Sole Investigator ($26,500 AUD).
English, Spanish
Australia/New Zealand American Studies Association
Organization of American Historians
American Historical Association
Labor and Working Class Historians' Association
American Studies Association
Honours and awards
Fellowships & Honors
•2016 Nominated invitee to University Hall Academic Achievement Awards celebration.

•2014 UWA Student Guild “Students’ Choice Award,” Arts Faculty.

•2013 Yasuo Sakakibara Prize for best paper from an international scholar, presented by the American Studies Association.

•2013 Arts Nominee for Excellence in Research Supervision.

•Residential Research Fellow, Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, University of Michigan. January – May 2012.

•Australia Learning and Teaching Council Nominee for Early Career Teacher Citation, 2011.

•UWA Award Nominee for Excellence in Teaching, 2010.

•University of Western Australia Nominee for 2010 National Australian Learning and Teaching Council Awards (Early Career).

•UWA Award Nominee for Excellence in Teaching, 2009 (ineligible for award, having won in 2008)

•UWA Award Recipient for Excellence in Teaching (Early Career), 2008.

•UWA Award Nominee for Excellence in Teaching, 2007

•UWA High Commendation for Excellence in Research Supervision, 2007

•Dora Bonham Fellowship, University of Texas, Spring 2004.

•1st Honorable Mention in the Critical Geography Specialty Group Graduate Paper Competition Award, Association of American Geographers, 2003.

•Woodson Predoctoral Residential Research Fellow, The Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies at The University of Virginia, 2002—2004.

•Mellon Dissertation Fellow, Council on Library and Information Resources, 2002—2003 (declined).

•University of Texas Thematic Fellow on Poverty, Mobility, and Environment, 2001—2002.

•Phi Alpha Theta Editorial Fellow at the Texas State Historical Association, 1998—1999. Position included editorial work for the scholarly journal Southwestern Historical Quarterly.
Current external positions
Public Outreach
•“Aboriginal Lives Matter,” panel member at the public forum Aboriginal Lives Matter: Stopping Deaths in Custody, Building Communities, Seeking Justice, Uniting Church Hall, Perth, 16 March 2016.

•“Police Violence and Protest: What it means for Australia” Roundtable discussion at University of Sydney’s US Studies Centre, 26 May 2015.

•Invited Lecture: Shenton College and the University of Western Australia, Year 11/12 Humanities Symposium, “Versions of Reality: Reading Behind the Lines” 1 February 2013.

•Invited Speaker, “Rally for Humaneness,” Wesley Church, 13 November 2010. Discussing the use and abuse of Tasers by West Australian police as a civil rights issue.

•Chair and Participant, “The Obama Effect: A Public Roundtable on Barack Obama as President and Icon,” University of Western Australia, 27 May 2009.

•Session Chair, ‘America: The State of the Union’, Perth International Writers’ Festival Ticketed Event, 22 February 2008.

•“Homeland Insecurities: The Cultural Politics of New Right Fear,” University of Western Australia History/Institute of Advanced Studies Terrorism Lecture Series, May 10, 2006.

•Invited Lecturer in History and Sociology, Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women, Troy, Virginia, October 2003.

•Panel discussant on the film Bowling for Columbine for UVA’s University Programs Council's Cinematheque, co-sponsored by the Arts and Science Council, American Studies Department, Virginia Festival Film Society, and the Anthropology Department, April 2, 2003.

• “Connections” discussion leader on Prisons and Correctional Issues, Charlottesville Friends’ Meeting, January 26, 2003.

•Guest Speaker on KVRX (91.7 FM) radio show “Radio Aguascalientes.”

•Guest Speaker and prison expert on KOOP (91.7 FM) radio show “Mandatory Prison Talk.”

•Guest and prison expert on KOOP (91.7) radio show “Celtic Storm,” discussing immigration history and the presence of Scottish immigrant workers in building the Texas Capitol.

Media Appearances, Op-Eds:
•“Elijah Doughty and Trayvon Martin: Victims of Modern Vigilantism,” ABC Religion and Ethics Op-Ed page, 7 September 2016,…/articles/2016/…/07/4534263.htm

•“Seeing Ms Dhu: Time to Turn a Light on Aboriginal Deaths in Custody,” ABC Religion and Ethics Op-Ed page, 14 March 2016,
oReprinted at Croakey: Independent, tn-depth social journalism for health, 17 March 2016,

•“Deaths in Custody and Colonial Contexts,” Tuesday Breakfast Show, 3CR Radio Melbourne, Invasion Day program, 26 January 2016,

• “Police Violence and Protest: What it means for Australia,” ABC Radio National’s Big Ideas, 2 June 2015,

•“Crime and Punishment: Are prisons immoral and can we do without them?” ABC Radio National’s The Minefield, 28 May 2015,

•“Comparative Wests” interview on ABC Radio National’s Late Night Live, 27 June 2013,

Professional and Service Activities
•Founder and Chair, University of Western Australia American Studies Research Group.

•Conveyor, “Comparative Wests: Peripheral Regions in Settler Colonial Societies,” International Symposium, Perth, WA, February 21-22, 2011.

•Manuscript Reviewer (articles), Journal of American History; Pacific Historical Review; Australasian Journal of American Studies; Theoretical Criminology; Crime, Law and Social Change; American Music; Limina; Journal of Maritime Research.

•Manuscript Reviewer (books), University of North Texas Press; University of North Carolina Press.

•Book Reviewer, Journal of American History; Journal of Southern History; Australasian Journal of American Studies; Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era; Virginia Quarterly Review; LABOR; H-South listserve.

•UWA History Honours Coordinator and Postgraduate moderator, 2010-2011

•Member, Deaths in Custody Watch Committee WA. Board member December 2013-December 2015; Senior Consultant, December 2015-present.

•Member, University of Western Australia Academic Board, 2008—2010, 2013—2014.

•Member, University of Western Australia Arts Faculty Ethics Committee, since 2013.

•Peer Reviewer, Australian Research Council Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2012, 2015.

•Editorial Board, Palgrave series on Prisons and Policing.

•Lawrence Wilson Gallery, Prize Committee, Art Writing Prize (2015)
Useful links
Research profile
Research profile and publications

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM