Dr Virginia Marshall, first Indigenous woman to gain a PhD in law from Macquarie University and principal solicitor at Triple BL Legal, reflects on her first book, Overturning Aqua Nullius (Aboriginal Studies Press, 2017). Dr Marshall was a keynote speaker at the 2016 CASS Colonial Formations conference.
Here I was in Townsville, Queensland, presenting a session on the findings of my doctoral thesis for the National Native Title Conference and passionately explaining to the packed venue why Australia hasn’t embraced the High Court Mabo decision in securing Aboriginal water rights. Indigenous peoples sitting in front of me were nodding and agreed at various intervals that our water rights have been swept away by colonial governments, federalism and the national water reforms.
Claire Lowrie, Masters and Servants: Cultures of Empire in the Tropics
(Manchester University Press, 2016)
Masters and servants explores the politics of colonial mastery and domestic servitude in the neighbouring British colonies of Singapore and Darwin. Through an exploration of master-servant relationships within British, white Australian and Chinese homes, this book illustrates the centrality of the domestic realm to the colonial project. It is the first comparative history of domestic service and British colonialism in the tropics, and highlights the important role which ‘houseboys’ played in colonial households in the tropics and the common preference for Chinese ‘houseboys’ throughout Southeast Asia.
For more information see:
Julia Martínez and Adrian Vickers, The Pearl Frontier: Indonesian Labor and Indigenous Encounters in Australia’s Northern Trading Network (University of Hawaii Press, 2015)
Remarkable for its meticulous archival research and moving life stories, The Pearl Frontier offers a new way of imagining Australian historical connections with Indonesia. This compelling view from below of maritime mobility demonstrates how, in the colonial quest for the valuable pearl-shell, Australians came to rely on the skill and labor of Indonesian islanders, drawing them into their northern pearling trade empire.
For more information see:
Jane Carey and Jane Lydon (eds), Indigenous Networks: Mobility, Connections and Exchange (Routledge, 2014)
This edited collection argues for the importance of recovering Indigenous participation within global networks of imperial power and wider histories of ‘transnational’ connections. It takes up a crucial challenge for new imperial and transnational histories: to explore the historical role of colonized and subaltern communities in these processes, and their legacies in the present. Bringing together prominent and emerging scholars who have begun to explore Indigenous networks and ‘transnational’ encounters, and to consider the broader significance of ‘extra-local’ connections, exchanges and mobility for Indigenous peoples, this work engages closely with some of the key historical scholarship on transnationalism and the networks of European imperialism.
For further information see: