The University of Western Australia

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Jane Lydon

Professor Jane Lydon

Wesfarmers Chair in Australian History
Western Australian History, Centre for

Contact details
Centre for Western Australian History
The University of Western Australia (M208)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6488 2131
Room 1.19, Arts Building, Perth campus

Discipline Chair/Wesfarmers Chair in Australian History

Contact details
The University of Western Australia (M208)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6488 2131
Room 1.19, Arts Building, Crawley campus
My research centres upon Australia’s colonial past and its legacies in the present. Since 1997 I have explored colonial visual cultures, seeking to understand how images have shaped ideas and debates about race, identity and culture that persist into the present. I have worked in the heritage sphere for over twenty-seven years, including as convenor of an inaugural heritage program at La Trobe University. Between 2011-2017 I led the Australian Research Council-funded project Globalization, Photography, and Race: the Circulation and Return of Aboriginal Photographs in Europe (DP110100278) in partnership with four major European museums (the University of Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum, the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Musée de Quai Branly in Paris and the Wereldculturen in Leiden) and Aboriginal communities.
Key research
Current research focuses on the emotions aroused by visual imagery, including antislavery in Australia, magic lantern performances, and visualizing violence in Australian history.
(In prep) (ed.) Visualising Human Rights (UWAP)

(In prep.) (co-editor with Lyndall Ryan) Remembering the Myall Creek Massacre. (NewSouth Books)

(In prep.) Imperial Emotions, or Charity Begins at Home?

2016 Photography, Humanitarianism, Empire. Bloomsbury, London.

2014 (editor) Calling the Shots: Aboriginal Photographies. Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra.

2014 (co-editor with Jane Carey) Indigenous Networks: Transnational Mobility, Connections and Exchange. Routledge Studies in Cultural History, New York.

2012 The Flash of Recognition: Photography and the emergence of Indigenous rights. NewSouth Books.
*Winner Qld Literary Awards: Uni.of Southern Queensland History Book Award
*Short-listed NSW Premier's Awards, Multicultural category
*Short-listed for the 2013 Literature Award, Australian Human Rights Commission
*Short-listed for the 2013 Chief Minister NT’s History Book Award

2011 (co-editor with Liz Conor) Double Take: Visual Culture and Colonial Australia. Special issue of Journal of Australian Studies, 35(2), June.

2010 (co-editor with Uzma Z.Rizvi) Handbook to Postcolonialism and Archaeology, World Archaeological Congress Research Handbooks in Archaeology Series, Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek CA.

2010 (co-editor with Jeremy Ash and Michael Morrison) The Archaeology of Australian Missions. Special Issue of the International Journal of Historical Archaeology.

2009 Fantastic Dreaming: the archaeology of an Australian Aboriginal mission. AltaMira Press, Lanham MD.
*Winner, Australian Archaeological Association’s 2010 John Mulvaney Book Award
*Winner, Graham Connah Award for Best Publication, Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology

2005 Eye Contact: Photographing Indigenous Australians. Duke University Press, Durham NC.

2005 (co-editor with Tracy Ireland) Object Lessons: Archaeology and Heritage in Australia. Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne. (Reprinted in 2008)

1999 Many Inventions: The Chinese in the Rocks 1890-1930, Monash Publications in History, Melbourne.

Book Chapters
(In press) Fantasy Islands: Photography, Empathy, and Australia’s Detention Archipelago
Photography and Migration, ed. Tanya Sheehan (Routledge. Accepted November 2016).

(In press) ‘Popularising Anthropology: Elsie Masson and Baldwin Spencer’, in Lynette Russell and Leigh Boucher (eds) The British Association for the Advancement of Science: Anthropology and Historical Legacies. (Accepted June 2016)

(In press) ‘Postcolonial Societies: Australia’ in Gil Pasternak (ed), The Handbook of Photography Studies, London: Bloomsbury Publishing. (accepted 5 January 2016).

(In press) ‘“Visual history at its best!”: UNESCO’s 1951 Human Rights Exhibition in Australia’, in Gareth Griffiths and Philip Mead (eds), The social work of narrative: human rights and the literary imaginary. Ibidem-Verlag. (Accepted 8 September 2015)

2017 ‘Photography and History’ in Kirsty Reid and Fiona Paisley (eds) Approaching the Imperial Archive: Sources and Methods in Histories of Colonialism, Routledge Studies in Cultural History, New York.

2017 ‘Aboriginal transformations of the photographic archive’, in Ian McLean and Darren Jorgensen (eds) The Archival Turn in Australian Aboriginal Art, UWA Publishing, pp. 362-382.

2015 ‘The interesting couple: Simon Wonga in 1857’, in Anne Maxwell and Josephine Croci (eds) Shifting Focus: Colonial Australian Photography 1850-1920, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, pp. 58-68.

2015 ‘Photography, Authenticity and Victoria’s Aborigines Protection Act (1886)’ in Leigh Boucher and Lynette Russell (eds) Settler Colonial Governance in Victoria, 1851-1900. Aboriginal History Monographs, Canberra, pp. 139-64.

2015 ‘Afterword: Naming our love’, in Steve Brown, Anne Clarke and Ursula Frederick (eds), Object Stories: Artifacts and Archaeologists, Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, California, pp. 209-218.

2015 ‘Living Pictures: Photography, re-enactment and colonialism’ in Kate Darian-Smith and Penelope Edmonds (eds), Conciliation on Colonial Frontiers: Conflict, Performance, and Commemoration in Australia and the Pacific Rim. Routledge Studies in Cultural History, New York, pp. 95-112.

2014 ‘Picturing Macassan-Yolngu histories’ in Jane Carey and Jane Lydon (eds) Indigenous Networks and ‘Transnational’ Cultures. Routledge Studies in Cultural History, New York.

Articles in Scholarly Refereed Journals
(In press) ‘Pity, Love or Justice? 1830s Images of Australian Colonial Violence’, in Juanita Ruys (ed) History of Emotions special issue (Accepted Feb 2016).

(In press) ‘‘Little Gunshots, but with the blaze of lightning’: Xavier Herbert and the violation of human rights. In Xavier Herbert: Forgotten or Repressed? Special Issue, Cultural Studies Review.

2017 ‘Antislavery in Australia: Picturing the 1838 Myall Creek Massacre’, History Compass. 5/5 2017:e12330, 10.1111/hic3.12330

2016 ‘Real Photos’: Transforming Tindale and the Postcolonial Archive. Public History Review Vol 23 (2016): 56-73

2016 (with Tracy Ireland) ‘Rethinking Materiality, Memory and Identity’ Public History Review Vol 23 (2016): 1-8.

2016 ‘Transmuting the Australian Aboriginal Photographic Archive’, World Art 6(1): 45-60.

2016‘Introduction: Throwing Dust in the Eyes of the People’, Governing West Australian Aboriginal People: Section 70 of WA's 1890 Constitution, Special issue of Studies in Western Australian History, Vol 30: 1-8.

2016‘Christian Heroes? John Brown Gribble, Exeter Hall and Anti-slavery on Western Australia’s frontier’, Governing West Australian Aboriginal People: Section 70 of WA's 1890 Constitution, Special issue of Studies in Western Australian History, Vol 30: 59-72.

2015 ‘Walter William Thwaites and Aboriginal people at Mt Gambier and New Norcia: extinction or the future?’ Ways of Telling (Rosendo Salvado: Commemorating 200 Years 1814-2014.) Special Issue of New Norcia Studies 22: 12-21.

‘“The colonial children cry”: Jo the crossing-sweeper goes to the colonies’, Journal of Victorian Culture 20(3): 1-18.

(with Sari Braithwaite) ‘Photographing “the nucleus of the native Church” at Poonindie Mission, South Australia’ Photography and Culture 8(1), pp. 37-58.

‘H.G. Wells and a shared humanity: Photography, humanitarianism, empire’, History Australia, 12(1), pp. 75-94.

2014 ‘The Bloody Skirt of Settlement: Arthur Vogan and Anti-Slavery in 1890s Australia’ in Jane Lydon and Fiona Paisley (eds) Anti-Slavery and its Legacies, special issue of Australian Historical Studies 45(1): 46-70.

2014 (with Fiona Paisley) Introduction, ‘Australia and Anti-Slavery’ in Jane Lydon and Fiona Paisley (eds) Anti-Slavery and its Legacies, special issue of Australian Historical Studies 45(1): 1-12.
Roles, responsibilities and expertise
Wesfarmers Chair of Australian History
•Looking for Australia (HIST2015)
•Thinking History (HIST2007)
•Eyewitness to the Past (HIST3016).
Current external positions
•Council, Australian Academy of the Humanities, (2016-2019)
•Advisory Board, Limina: A Journal of Historical and Cultural Studies. Postgraduate-run. (2016-)
•Advisory Panel, The Conversation, Arts and Culture (2016-)
•Council, National Trust of Australia (Western Australia) (2016-)
•International Reference Group, Negotiating History, major research project on Sámi photography, the University of Bergen, Norway. (2013-2017)
•Advisory Board, Anthem Press, Series in Australian History (and General Advisory Board in Australian Studies) (2015-)
•Advisory Board, Bloomsbury Publishing Handbook Series, The Handbook of Photography Studies, Gil Pasternak (ed), London: Bloomsbury Publishing. (2015-)
•Editorial Board, History of Photography (2016-2018)
•Editorial Board, Cultural Studies Review (2013-)
•Editorial Board, Australasian Historical Archaeology
•Editorial Board, Journal of the Anthropological Society of South Australia
•Western Australian Representative, Australian Women's History Network (2013-)
Research profile
Research profile and publications

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