CASS Report – March 2019

CASS has had a very busy few months.

In December we undertook our major event for 2018 – hosting the 37thConference of the Australia and New Zealand Law and History Society on ‘Exclusion, Confinement, Dispossession: Uneven Citizenship and Spaces of Sovereignty’. Convened by Jane Carey, the stellar line up of international keynote speakers included Professor Audra Simpson (Columbia University), Associate Professor and Angela Wanhalla (University of Otago) and Professor Renisa Mawani (University of British Columbia). Plenary speakers included Aunty Dr Barbara Nicholson, Virginia Marshall, Penny Edmonds and Crystal McKinnon. Over 100 participants joined in the proceedings.


The conference also featured the launch of Mike Griffith’s book, The Distribution of Settlement: Appropriation and Refusal in Australian Literature and Culture (UWA, Press), by Professor Audra Simpson, who enthusiastically endorsed it as a major contribution.


Book announcements for Lisa Slater’s book Anxieties of Belonging in Settler Colonialism: Australia, Race and Place (Routledge, 2018) and Julia Martínez, Claire Lowrie and Frances Steel’s book with Victoria Haskins (University of Newcastle), Colonialism and Male Domestic Service Across the Asia Pacific (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018) also took place at the conference.

CASS also supported a workshop on ‘Chinese contributions to Asia Pacific colonial economies’ with keynote presentations by Emeritus Professor Gregor Benton (University of Cardiff) and Professor Danny Wong (University of Malaya). The workshop was part of Julia Martinez, Claire Lowrie and Gregor Benton’s ARC Discovery Project on Chinese Indentured Labour in the Colonial Asia-Pacific Region (DP180100695).

On 28 February 2019 we held a seminar to celebrate and discuss all five monographs published by CASS members since late 2017 – which also included two books by Sharon Crozier-De Rosa (one co-authored with Vera Mackie). There was a lively discussion both among the authors on the panel and the large audience in attendance. This focussed particularly on how CASS research might provide a counter to proposed new BA offerings at UOW.

2018 also saw the publication of a collection edited by Frances Steel – New Zealand and the Sea: Historical Perspectives (Bridget Williams Books) and CASS’s first special issue – an edition of History Australia on the theme of ‘Colonial Formations’ edited by Jane Carey and Frances Steel. Their co-authored introduction to this special issue, ‘On the Critical Importance of Colonial Formations’ outlines some of the exciting new direction in research that CASS is fostering.

Finally, CASS post-grad Lauren Samuelsson won the 2018 Ken Inglis Postgraduate Prize for the best paper at the annual Australian Historical Association conference. Lauren’s paper, titled ‘The Imitation Game: Mock Foods in the Australian Women’s Weekly, 1933–1982’, was described by the judges as ‘a valuable and original contribution to the historiography of Australian food.’ Congratulations Lauren!