Julia Martinez wins the Patricia Grimshaw Prize!

We are excited to report that CASS member As. Professor Julia Martinez has won the Patricia Grimshaw Prize for the best article published in Australian Historical Studies for 2016-17. Her prize-winning article is:

Julia Martı́nez, ‘Asian Servants for the Imperial Telegraph: Imagining North Australia as an Indian Ocean Colony before 1914’, Australian Historical Studies 48, no. 2, 2017.


The judges, Professor Alison Bashford (University of New South Wales) and Dr Kate Fullagar (Macquarie University), selected Julia’s article from a short-list of five outstanding examples of important and original work in Australian history. Their citation reads:

‘Julia’s article explored the operations of the north Australian telegraph during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Using press and company records, it showed how telegraphic connection between north Australia and London, via southeast Asia, defied white nationalist aims and consolidated instead a neglected Indian-Ocean colonial culture in pre-war Australia. The article not only makes a compelling case for the Indian-Oceanic turn in Australian history but also contributes significantly to the global history of immigration and recent ‘web’-focused analyses in imperial history.’

Congratulations to Julia!

Her article will soon be free-to-access for a limited time from the journal’s homepage.

Chinese Women in World History conference, Taipei, July 2017

In early July 2017 two CASS members, Julia Martinez and Kate Bagnall, attended the International Conference on Chinese Women in World History conference in Taipei, Taiwan – hosted by the Institute for Modern History at Academia Sinica, Taiwan’s national research academy. The conference brought together more than 120 researchers from Taiwan, mainland China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Europe, the United States and Australia for four days of stimulating papers and discussion.

Julia and Kate presented as part of a panel titled ‘Invisible Chinese women and colonial life’, one of two sessions organised by University of Queensland historian Dr Mei-fen Kuo. Julia’s paper explored Chinese women and trafficking into Manila in the 1920s and 1930s, based on research undertaken for her Future Fellowship on the history of trafficking in the Asia-Pacific region. Kate spoke on her ongoing work of uncovering the lives of Chinese women in colonial New South Wales from the 1850s to 1870s.

The conference was a great opportunity to meet and talk to historians from around the world, about the joys and challenges of researching women’s lives and about our own work as feminist scholars. It was also a great chance to sample some fantastic Taiwanese bento boxes for lunch!

New book by Julia Martinez and Adrian Vickers – The Pearl Frontier

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: