Chief Investigators (Academic)

234KateFullgarSept2017043c copyKate Fullagar, Lead Chief Investigator, is an Associate Professor in Modern History at Macquarie University. She is a historian of the eighteenth-century world, particularly the British Empire and the many indigenous societies it encountered. Her most recent books include The Savage Visit: New World Peoples and Popular Imperial Culture in Britain, 1710-1795 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012) and (as editor) The Atlantic World in the Antipodes: Effects and Transformations since the Eighteenth Century (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012). With Michael McDonnell, her next book is an edited collection with Johns Hopkins University Press entitled Facing Empire: Indigenous Experiences of a Revolutionary Age, 1760-1840, due out in late 2018. She is also currently completing a book on three unexpectedly interconnected eighteenth-century lives: a Cherokee man called Ostenaco, a Raiatean man called Mai and the British artist who portrayed them both, Joshua Reynolds. To find out more, see her personal website here.

McDonnell_photo Michael A. McDonnell, Chief Investigator, is Professor of History at the University of Sydney. He taught for a number of years at the University of Wales Swansea and has held visiting Fellowships in the UK and the US. He is the author of The Politics of War: Race, Class, and Social Conflict in Revolutionary Virginia (Chapel Hill, 2007), which won the NSW Premier’s History Prize in 2008, and (as co-editor) Remembering the Revolution: Memory, History, and Nation Making from Independence to the Civil War (Amherst, 2013). He has published numerous articles on the American Revolution and won the Lester Capon Prize for the best article in the William and Mary Quarterly in 2006. His most recent, award-winning, book is entitled Masters of Empire: The Great Lakes Indians and the Making of America (New York, 2015). To find out more, see his personal website here.


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David Hansen, Chief Investigator, is Associate Professor of Art History at the Australian National University. He has spent more than 30 years as an art museum director, collection and exhibition curator and writer on Australian art. His art historical specializations include early 19th century painting and drawing (notably the work of John Glover and settler images of Aborigines), mid-20th century modernism, contemporary criticism and regional artists and galleries. His publications include The face of Australia: the land and the people, the past and the present (Sydney, 1988), John Glover and the colonial picturesque (Hobart, 2003), and David Keeling (Hobart: Quintus Publishing, 2007). Broader interests include demotic portraiture in Britain, the art of empire, contemporary sculpture and spatial practices, art and environment and museum practice. He curated the recent exhibition at the NPG on John Dempsey.

Partner Investigators (Industry) 

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Joanna Gilmour, Partner Investigator, is curator at the National Portrait Gallery of Australia. Her exhibitions and publications for the NPG include Husbands & Wives (2010); Indecent exposure: Annette Kellerman (2011); Elegance in exile: portrait drawings from colonial Australia (2012); Sideshow Alley: Infamy, the macabre & the portrait (2015-2016); and the upcoming Cartomania (2018). She has twice been the co-ordinating curator of the National Photographic Portrait Prize (2012 and 2013). Her fascination with the Burke and Wills story led to an interest in the prevalence of bushy beards in portraits of chaps from the 1850s and 1860s, resulting in the 2011 online exhibition Jo’s Mo Show (with beards).  She will be the lead curator for the major exhibition in 2020.

1468570586998 copyAngus Trumble, Partner Investigator, is the Director of the National Portrait Gallery of Australia. He has worked as a curator for the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide, and the Yale Center for British Art in May 2003. Author of A Brief History of the Smile (2003), and The Finger: A Handbook (2010), his latest book (co-edited with Professor Andrea Wolk Rager), Edwardian Opulence: British Art at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century, was shortlisted for the 2013 Spears Book Awards. He is a regular contributor to The Times Literary Supplement, The Burlington Magazine, The Paris Review, Esopus Magazine, and the Australian Book Review.

Indigenous Scholarly Advisors

SPEAKER-Shino-Konishi copyShino Konishi is an Associate Professor in History at the University of Western Australia. Formerly at the Australian National University, she is the lead Chief Investigator on another Australian Research Council project, “An Indigenous Dictionary of Biography,” with Dr Malcolm Allbrook and Professor Tom Griffiths. Her publications include The Aboriginal Male in the Enlightenment World (London, 2012), and the co-edited collections Representing Humanity in the Age of Enlightenment (London, 2013), Indigenous Intermediaries: New Perspectives on the Exploration Archive (Canberra, 2015) and Brokers and Boundaries: Colonial Exploration in Indigenous Territory (Canberra, 2016). She is a descendant of the Yawuru people of Broome, Western Australia.

University of Waikato Portrait

Alice Te Punga Somerville is an Associate Professor in Maori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Waikato. At its heart, Alice’s research is about texts by Māori, Pacific and Indigenous people. It is underpinned by her belief that Māori, Pacific and/ or Indigenous peoples are constrained when the stories about them are limited. She is the author of Once Were Pacific: Māori Connections to Oceania (Minneapolis, 2012), and dozens of articles and collections on indigenous studies. She has held appointments at Victoria University of Wellington, the University of Hawaii and Macquarie University, and served on the executive of Te Pouhere Kōrero (Māori historians association) as well as the foundation council for NAISA (Native American and Indigenous Studies Assoc). Her people are Te Āti Awa from Taranaki and Wellington in New Zealand. To find out more, see her personal website here.

Indigenous Research Associates

Profile Photo_ SHANNON BRETT00 copyShannon Brett is a descendant of the Wakka Wakka, Badtjala & Goreng Goreng peoples of southern Queensland. She is an independent curator and arts worker, also artist, educator and administrator who focuses solely on sharing knowledge and promoting new dialogues within the space of the Indigenous Arts. She regularly travels throughout Australia, working with Aboriginal peoples on their country and in art centres motivating, educating and preparing artists for exhibitions of which she manages via various museum and gallery spaces. Brett is accomplished in many areas such as business management, art museum curation, tertiary art education, marketing, photography & new media, graphic design and fashion design. She shares these skills with fellow artists in order to advance their profiles as makers who desire a notable measure of the ‘artist’ experience and for those who long to share and continue the practice of their ancient cultures in order to educate the greater Australian and international community.

Jodie Dowd portrait copyJodie Dowd is a Noongar (Gitja, Minang) woman who was born and raised on Gunai/Kurnai Country in Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. Her Ancestral Country stems most of Western Australia from the Kimberley to the southwest coast of Albany. Jodie has been blessed to undertake cross-cultural exchanges with Palawa (Tasmanian Aboriginal), Maori, and Native American communities through leadership programs and internships; she believes that Indigenous agency and self-representation in museums is crucial to sharing culturally accurate and appropriate knowledge of Indigenous cultural practices and histories. Jodie has gained professional experiences within the cultural heritage industry by working at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Koorie Heritage Trust, Melbourne Museum, and City of Melbourne; volunteering at the State Library of Victoria; and undertaking internships at the Western Australian Museum, National Museum of Australia and the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian Institution). Jodie has three postgraduate degrees including a Master of Heritage and Museum Studies from the Australian National University.

Postgraduate Student

IMG_7170Liz Miller takes up the PhD scholarship associated with this grant in July 2019. She recently completed a Masters by Research at Monash University where she examined early twentieth-century memorialisation of Native American Civil War involvement. She has a specific interest in American history, especially in the field of Native American studies where she has previously undertaken field work in Utah and Idaho as part of her research. For her doctoral dissertation, Liz will study and compare Indigenous biography from North American and Australia.