New releases

The Chinese in Papua New Guinea »

Past, Present and Future

Publication date: May 2024
Papua New Guinean, Chinese and Australian people have long been entangled in the creation of complex histories and political debates concerning the similarities and differences of each group. These debates are fundamental to understanding how a sense of national unity in Papua New Guinea is formed, as well as within analyses of the wider world of strategic power dynamics and influence. The Chinese in Papua New Guinea offers a comprehensive and nuanced examination of the Chinese in Papua New Guinea. Chinese, Papua New Guinean and Australian interactions are analysed in the context of ongoing shifts in colonial power, increased regional engagement with China, and current political instabilities across the Indo-Pacific region. The many ways the Chinese have been defined as actors in PNG’s history and politics are analysed against the backdrop of a rapidly changing global order. The complexity of Chinese experiences within Papua New Guinea is given expression, here, with chapters that stress political and historical heterogeneity, the importance of language for understanding Chinese social relations, and that articulate rich personal experiences of race relations.

Forty Years in the South Seas »

Archaeological Perspectives on the Human History of Papua New Guinea and the Western Pacific Region

Publication date: May 2024
“This edited volume of invited chapters honours the four decades of fundamental research by archaeologist Glenn Summerhayes into the human prehistory of the islands of the western Pacific, especially New Guinea and its offshore islands. This area helped to shape and direct many ancient dispersal events associated with Homo sapiens, initially from Africa more than 50,000 years ago, through the lower latitudes of Asia, into Australia, New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, and possibly the Solomon Islands. Around 3000 years ago, coastal regions of northern and eastern New Guinea, and the islands of Melanesia beyond, played a major role in the Oceanic migrations of Austronesian-speaking peoples from southern China and Southeast Asia, migrations that have recently attained new levels of genetic complexity through the analysis of ancient DNA from human remains. For the first time, humans of both Southeast Asian and New Guinea/Bismarck genetic origin reached the islands of Remote Oceania, beyond the Solomons. Many of the chapters in this book deal with archaeological aspects of this Austronesian maritime expansion (which never seriously impacted the populations of the New Guinea Highlands), especially as revealed through the analysis of Lapita pottery and associated artefacts. Other chapters offer archaeological perspectives on trade and exchange, and on related topics that extend into the ethnographic era. The research of Glenn Summerhayes stands centrally amongst all these offerings, ranging from the discovery of some of the oldest traces of Pleistocene human settlement in Papua New Guinea to documentation of the remarkable phenomenon of Lapita expansion through Melanesia into western Polynesia around 3000 years ago. This volume is a fitting celebration of a remarkable career in western Pacific archaeology and population history.” ­— Emeritus Professor Peter Bellwood, The Australian National University

Dreaming Ecology »

Nomadics and Indigenous Ecological Knowledge, Victoria River, Northern Australia

Edited by: Darrell Lewis, Margaret Jolly
Authored by: Deborah Bird Rose
Publication date: May 2024
In the author’s own words, Dreaming Ecology ‘explores a holistic understanding of the interconnections of people, country, kinship, creation and the living world within a context of mobility. Implicitly it asks how people lived so sustainably for so long’. It offers a telling critique of the loss of Indigenous life, human and non-human, in the wake of white settler colonialism and this becoming ‘cattle country’. It offers a fresh perspective on nomadics grounded in ‘footwalk epistemology’ and ‘an ethics of return sustained across different species, events, practices and scales’. ‘This is the final and most substantial of Debbie’s love letters to the Aboriginal people of the Victoria River Downs. I say this because there is such a sense of reverence, wonder and respect throughout the book. The introduction of concepts of double-death, footwalk epistemology, wild country … are not only organising ideas but characterisations arising from what Debbie hears, sees and feels of herself and Aboriginal others … I think of it in terms of love, if love is care, reciprocal respect, deep connectivity and a strong desire to never make less of the people she chose to commit herself to.’ —Richard Davis ‘This book was a pleasure to read, filled with careful description of people, places, and various plants and animals, and insightful analysis of the patterns and commitments that hold them together in the world.’ —Thom van Dooren

East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 16, Number 1, 2024 »

Publication date: April 2024
As India charts its post-colonial journey, its pursuit of great-power status intensifies. This issue of East Asia Forum Quarterly delves into India's regional and global positioning, exploring avenues to leverage its economic, demographic and geopolitical advantages. Key insights highlight India's subordinate role to China in the Asia-Pacific, the need for job creation in manufacturing, revamp education and seize opportunities in global manufacturing. As India heads to the polls, its future trajectory hinges on addressing these complexities.
Download for free
Not available for purchase

Quaternary Palaeontology and Archaeology of Sumatra »

Publication date: April 2024
“The Indonesian island of Sumatra is part of a chain of islands making up Sunda and the Malay Archipelago. Sumatra is one of the largest islands in the world, housing unique and globally important tropical rainforests, a diverse array of rare plants and magnificent animals, and a population of 60 million who speak a range of Austronesian languages. As beautifully exemplified in this volume, Sumatra is a place which preserves a distinct and long-term human history, studies of which began in earnest with Eugene Dubois’s explorations in the 1880s to find our ancestral ‘missing link’. Archaeological investigation of megaliths and historic empires carry on to this day. A range of topics are explored here, including palaeontological study of fossil mammals and their environments, the routes that Homo erectus took during their wanderings across Indonesia, and the growth and development of societies and empires in more recent periods. This exemplary volume presents a revised view of the history of palaeontological and archaeological research as well as new ground-breaking field research, laying the foundation for future research on the biological and cultural evolution of one of the most majestic islands of the world.” ­— Professor Michael Petraglia, Director of the Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution, Griffith University

Uneven Connections »

A Partial History of the Mobile Phone in Papua New Guinea

Authored by: Robert J. Foster
Publication date: March 2024
In the first years of the 21st century, economic liberalisation began to transform telecommunications services throughout the Pacific Islands. Government regulators, corporate executives and everyday consumers hopefully imagined that opening mobile phone markets to competition would result in greater access, lower costs and accelerated development. Uneven Connections examines the ways in which liberalisation took hold in Papua New Guinea (PNG) when a unit of the Caribbean-based mobile network operator Digicel Group Ltd. seized the opportunity to compete with the state-sponsored incumbent. The book highlights how mobile phones entered the lives of urban and rural Papua New Guineans after Digicel’s arrival in 2007. In so doing, it describes a moral economy in which companies, consumers and state agents continually negotiate who owes what to whom. In what ways have these various actors invented and negotiated new forms of both freedom and constraint? Uneven Connections advances understanding of how a so-called digital revolution in PNG unfolded, resulting in outcomes that often confounded the expectations of policy makers and ordinary citizens alike. It assesses the extent to which some of the promises of this revolution have been redeemed and identifies the challenges faced by companies, consumers and state agents in establishing and experiencing novel forms of uneven connectivity. The book provides a short and selective history of mobile phones in PNG, ending with the sale of Digicel’s Pacific operations to the Australian company Telstra in 2022.

Political and Social Control in China »

The Consolidation of Single-Party Rule

Publication date: March 2024
During the past decade Xi Jinping has reasserted the Chinese Communist Party’s dominance of state and society, tightening political and social controls to consolidate the Party’s monopoly on political power in China. This volume brings leading China experts together to examine the changing mechanics of authoritarian rule in China, and the Party’s systematic efforts to neutralise potential threats. The book examines critical but little understood changes to the architecture of state, which enables more effective top-down rule and the efficient operation of an increasingly professional bureaucracy. It also explores the policies and mechanisms the Party has used to squash dissent and prevent criticisms. This volume will be of interest to anyone who wants to understand how the CCP has consolidated its rule at home and how it relates to the Party’s global ambitions for China’s great national rejuvenation.

Australian Urban Policy »

Prospects and Pathways

Publication date: March 2024
Urban Australia confronts numerous challenges in the 21st century: climate change, housing, transport, greenspace, social inequality, and governance, among them. While state and local governments wrestle with these issues, they are continent wide and require national leadership, direction and participation. As a highly urbanised country without a national approach to urban policy, Australia is an outlier. Contributors to this book argue that this policy gap needs to be addressed. They ask: How have productive, sustainable and liveable cities so far been enhanced? Where have aspirations fallen short or produced negative outcomes? And what approaches are emerging to challenge existing and devise new urban policy settings? In the face of ongoing crises and escalating change, the need for policy to quickly transform urban Australia is daunting. Problems, wicked in their complexity, require innovative, ethical solutions. This book offers new ideas that challenge policy orthodoxy.

Yagara Dictionary and Salvage Grammar »

Publication date: March 2024
Most English speakers in Australia know a few words of Yagara, the Pama-Nyungan language traditionally spoken in the area that now includes Brisbane and Ipswich. For example, Australian English yakka ‘work’ comes from the Yagara verb yaga ‘to work’. However, no fluent native speakers of Yagara remain. The current volume compares the written records of Yagara to facilitate revitalisation of the spoken language. Part 1: Grammar introduces the Yagara sources, which are then compared to extract a picture of Yagara’s structure – its sounds, its words, and its grammar. Attention is also given to the system of kinship terms, moieties, and totems. Part 2: Dictionary contains the most complete Yagara-English dictionary to date, with over 2,200 entries, the original source spellings for each word, standardised spellings, and anthropological notes. Entries include traditional place names, fun insults, and everyday expressions such as the greeting wi balga ‘Hey, come’. The dictionary is followed by an English word finder list. Part 3: Texts consist of full versions of all known texts in Yagara, including sentences, songs, and three Bible stories. Standardised versions are accompanied by English translations and the original unedited renditions.

International Review of Environmental History: Volume 9, Issue 2, 2023 »

Edited by: James Beattie
Publication date: February 2024
The histories and legacies of extraction and toxicity are innumerable. Globally, these forces have both facilitated and been a by-product of industrial growth, technological advancement and nation-building for centuries, but so too have they enabled and exacerbated environmental degradation, structural inequality, and the continued colonisation of lands and peoples. In addressing the histories and legacies of extraction and toxicity, this special issue of the International Review of Environmental History draws attention to several of the most pressing themes taken up by historians dealing with these processes. The papers within explore how extraction and toxicity have been woven into the colonial fabric of various countries, the ways that the exploitation and contamination of specific landscapes have come to define the history of such places and spaces, the response of various groups to these processes, and the extent to which long-term environmental consequences wrought by extractive practices and their toxic by-products are—in many cases—yet to be revealed. The articles in this special issue span Australia, Africa, the Pacific, and the Southern Ocean, consider the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, and draw on a range of disciplinary methods and perspectives. What binds them together is a deep engagement with the significant legacies of extraction and toxicity that endure into the present and inform contemporary environmental debates.

Australian Journal of Biography and History: No. 8, 2024 »

Publication date: February 2024
The Australian Journal of Biography and History No 8 (2024) applies biographical methodologies to enliven themes and episodes in Australian history. Studying John Wear Burton, the head of the Commonwealth department of external affairs between 1947 and 1950, Adam Hughes Henry explores some of the ways in which anti-communism in 1950s Australia served to limit critical thinking on the country’s foreign policy. Gary Osmond and Jan Richardson write on the Black sports promoter and entrepreneur Jack Dowridge, who lived and largely thrived in Brisbane between the mid-1870s until his death in 1922. Phillip Deery and Julie Kimber examine the often-overlooked figure of Evdokia Petrov, considering the ‘disjuncture between historical imagination and the archival record.’ In Richard Fotheringham’s article on the variety entertainer and singer Jenny Howard, aka Daisy Blowes, Howard emerges as a character in her own play. Martin Thomas relates in his article ‘Patrick White and the Path to Sarsaparilla’ how the novelist Patrick White demanded a ‘final pound of flesh from his biographer’ by making David Marr ‘sit with him at the dining table while he read it in front of him from beginning to end.’ The result was a biography of ‘complete artistic freedom’, ‘unauthorised’ certainly, but ‘aided and abetted by its subject.’ Patricia Clarke describes the experience of the journalist Iris Dexter, née Norton (1907–1974), in seeking, but until 1950 failing to obtain, a divorce from an abusive husband, and the devastating impact the episode had on her life. Two further articles in this number utilise collective biographical methodologies to illuminate historical episodes which have become emblematic in Australian history: Nichola Garvey relates the story of the ‘death ship’ Neptune, which arrived in New South Wales in 1790 as part of the infamous second fleet; and Peter Woodley examines the 1891 Queensland bush workers’ strike. This affair has generally been portrayed as a ‘war’ between capital and labour, but as Woodley argues, the strike also showed the ‘often intense and fraught intersections of individuals’ lives’, many of which would never have come to light were it not for the strike and its judicial consequences.

Mandates and Missteps »

Australian Government Scholarships to the Pacific – 1948 to 2018

Authored by: Anna Kent
Publication date: February 2024
Mandates and Missteps is the first comprehensive history of Australian government scholarships to the Pacific, from the first scheme in 1948 to the Australia Awards of 2018. The study of scholarships provides a window into foreign and education policy making, across decades, and the impact such policies have had on individuals and communities. This work demonstrates the broad role these scholarships have played in bilateral relationships between Australia and Pacific Island territories and countries. The famed Colombo Plan is here put in its proper context within international aid and international education history. Australian scholarship programs, it is argued, ultimately reflect Australia, and its perception of itself as a nation in the Pacific, more than the needs of Pacific Island nations. Mandates and Missteps traces Australia’s role as both a coloniser in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea and a participant in the process of decolonisation across the Pacific. This study will be of interest to students and scholars of international development, international education and foreign policy.

The Chinese Communist Party »

A 100-Year Trajectory

Publication date: January 2024
This volume brings together an international team of prominent scholars from a range of disciplines, with the aim of investigating the many facets of the Chinese Communist Party’s 100-year trajectory. It combines a level of historical depth mostly found in single-authored monographs with the thematic and disciplinary breadth of an edited volume. This work stands out for its long-term and multiscale approach, offering complex and nuanced insights, eschewing any Party grand narrative, and unravelling underlying trends and logics, composed of adaption but also contradictions, resistance and sometimes setbacks, that may be overlooked when focusing on the short term. Rather than putting forward an overall argument about the nature of the Party, the many perspectives presented in this volume highlight the complex internal dynamics of the Party, the diversity of its roles in relation to the state, as well as in its interaction with society beyond the state. Our historical approach stresses impermanence beyond the apparent permanence of the Party’s organisation and ideology while also bringing to light the recycling of past practices and strategies. Looking at the Party’s evolution over time shows how its founding structures and objectives have had a long-lasting impact as well as how they have been tweaked and rearranged to adapt to the new economic and social environment the Party contributed to creating.

Redeveloping China’s Villages in the Twenty-First Century »

The Dilemmas of Policy Implementation

Authored by: Lior Rosenberg
Publication date: January 2024
Implementing national policies is a crucial function of the local Chinese bureaucracy and an indispensable part of Beijing’s overall state capacity. Yet the specifics of how and why local officials interpret and implement such policies have so far escaped detailed attention. In Redeveloping China’s Villages in the Twenty-First Century, Lior Rosenberg fills this gap by examining the national Village Redevelopment Program, one of China’s most significant policies of recent decades to promote rural change. Based on Rosenberg’s on-site research, Redeveloping China’s Villages in the Twenty-First Century investigates the Village Redevelopment Program’s implementation in both the industrialised county of Chenggu, in Shandong province, and the predominantly agricultural county of Beian, in Anhui province. At the book’s heart is a puzzle: the program was supposed to prioritise poorer villages, but in both Chenggu and Beian—despite being carried out in surprisingly divergent ways—it has subsidised improved infrastructure and services in already industrialised and prosperous villages, while leaving behind poorer ones. In explaining this outcome, Rosenberg elaborates on the larger economic, political and social environment in which Chinese local officials operate, as well as the pressures they face from above. He analyses the dual role played by higher-level authorities, as both policy enablers and thwarters in a system that sanctifies commandism but where the distinction between principals and agents is blurred.

Lilith: A Feminist History Journal: Number 29 »

Publication date: December 2023
The 2023 issue of Lilith showcases the journal’s dedication to encouraging underrepresented voices in historical writing, including early-career scholars, First Nations voices and historians from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Six of the research articles in the issue focus on nineteenth and early twentieth-century topics, with papers on women’s roles in interwar international diplomacy, on Indian prostitution under British colonialism, on the relationship between interracial rape and white femininity on the Australian colonial frontier, on the role of gender in the NSW Shipwreck Society of the late nineteenth century, and on the struggle of women for public lavatories in 1912 Meanjin (Brisbane). Two of the research articles concern more recent histories, with papers on the role of Māori women in feminist movements of the 1970s, and the construction of sexual consent in Dolly Magazine of the late twentieth century. There is also a review essay about global histories of feminism and gender struggle which evaluates several recent such works, reflecting on their methodological innovations and concerns. The edition includes six short book reviews that span a wide range of international and local interests, covering topics such as the digital humanities, the global history of sexual violence, US queer history, Australian queer women’s history, gender in European colonial travel, and the history of the pram in Australia. Several of the articles in the volume concern the international engagement of feminist struggles and intercultural questions in relation to gendered roles in history, while others gesture beyond the concerns of historical studies alone, addressing issues of rape culture, political activism, women’s spaces, and gendered emotions, making valuable contributions to the wider Australian humanities and social sciences. The volume exemplifies the value of balancing international trends in feminist history with the recognition of local episodes in the history of gender struggle, underscoring Lilith's commitment to advancing new forms of feminist historical writing and showcasing innovative research by scholars at diverse career stages.
Download for free
Not available for purchase

Grassroots Law in Papua New Guinea »

Edited by: Melissa Demian
Publication date: December 2023
The introduction of village courts in Papua New Guinea in 1975 was an ambitious experiment in providing semi-formal legal access to the country’s overwhelmingly rural population. Nearly 50 years later, the enthusiastic adoption of these courts has had a number of ramifications, some of them unanticipated. Arguably, the village courts have developed and are working exactly as they were supposed to do, adapted by local communities to modes and styles consistent with their own dispute management sensibilities. But with little in the way of state oversight or support, most village courts have become, of necessity, nearly autonomous. Village courts have also become the blueprint for other modes of dispute management. They overlap with other sources of authority, so the line between what does and does not constitute a ‘court’ is now indistinct in many parts of the country. Rather than casting this issue as a problem for legal development, the contributors to Grassroots Law in Papua New Guinea ask how, under conditions of state withdrawal, people seek to retain an understanding of law that holds out some promise of either keeping the attention of the state or reproducing the state’s authority.

After the Coup »

Myanmar’s Political and Humanitarian Crises

Publication date: December 2023
The coup in Myanmar on 1 February 2021 abruptly reversed a decade-long flirtation with economic and political freedoms. The country has since descended into civil war, the people have been plunged back into conflict and poverty, and the state is again characterised by fragility and human insecurity. As the Myanmar people oppose the regime and fight for their rights, the international community must find ways to act in solidarity. There is an urgent need for new policy settings and for practical engagement with local partners and recipient groups. The contributors to After the Coup offer timely insights into ways international actors can try to reduce the suffering of millions of citizens who are again being held hostage by a brutal and self-serving regime. Chapters analyse topics including coercive statecraft, international justice, Rakhine State (Rohingya) dynamics, pandemic weaponisation, higher education, non-state welfare and aid delivery, activism from exile, self-determination and power sharing in the National Unity Government’s alternative constitution, and the roles of China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

China between Peace and War »

Mao, Chiang and the Americans, 1945–1947

Authored by: Victor Cheng
Publication date: November 2023
In China between Peace and War, Victor S. C. Cheng explores the gripping history of peace talks and international negotiations from 1945 to 1947 that helped determine the shape of the Chinese Civil War. The book focuses on the efforts of the two belligerent parties—​the Chinese Nationalists, or Guomindang, and the Communists—to achieve an enduring peace. It presents previously unexplored major elements of the peace talks: ambiguous treaties, package deals and short-term solutions. It identifies the burning challenges that confronted attempts at peacemaking, including the two warring parties’ high-risk decision-making styles and the temptation to veto agreements and resume fighting. Cheng argues against popular notions that differences between the two belligerents in the Chinese Civil War were irreconcilable, that the failure of the peace talks was predetermined and that the US government mediators needed to remain neutral. Because the actions around the negotiating table occurred in a developing theatre of war, Cheng also explores the military decision-making of the opposing sides as well as the conflicts that ultimately plunged China into the world’s largest military engagement of the seven-plus decades since World War II. China between Peace and War highlights the contradictory role of political leaders who micromanaged the military, including their struggle to connect political objectives and military power, their rhetorical use of the ‘decisive war’ concept, and their pursuit of radical military-political goals at the expense of a negotiated peace.

ANU Historical Journal II: Number 4 »

Publication date: November 2023
In the fourth issue of the ANU Historical Journal II, broad and urgent historical questions about memorialisation, environmental change, and violence are elucidated by detailed and thoughtfully contextualised studies of local places and communities in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. The six peer-reviewed articles span topics including frontier sexual violence, the categorisations of child patients in mental hospitals, the politics of war memorialisation, the long history of flooding in Queensland, and changing practices in community cemeteries. Complementing these articles are five book reviews which cast a critical eye on a wide range of new work, encompassing Australian, global, military, political, colonial, and disciplinary history. This issue also features the inaugural Robin-Griffiths Lecture in Environmental History, reflecting on Libby Robin and Tom Griffiths’ path-breaking work and changing sensibilities around national parks, as well as a conversation-style review of ‘Marking Country: Mapping Deep History’, presented by the Research Centre for Deep History. Together these pieces speak to the contributions of the research centres in the School of History, and to the rich range of ways in which history can be meaningfully created and communicated.

East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 15, Number 4, 2023 »

Publication date: November 2023
It’s back: the past decade has seen a remarkable resurgence of industrial policy in the developed world. Geopolitical fragmentation and resultant suspicions of international trade, the politically induced adoption of second-best industrial policies to address carbon emissions, and the use of manufacturing incentives sparked by fears of deindustrialisation and widening inequality risk tit-for-tat protectionism and further splintering of the global economy. This issue of East Asia Forum Quarterly examines what the new enthusiasm for industrial policy activism means for the global system and Asian economies: exploring its effects on the ability of emerging Asian economies’ to break into manufacturing in global value chains; investigating how measures aimed at encouraging domestic processing of raw materials affect the stability of policy environments and green industrialisation; detailing and comparing the experiences of major regional economies with policy developments in semiconductor and electric vehicle manufacturing and renewable energy; and appraising industrial policy’s effects on smaller economies and the rules-based trading system from a global perspective.
Download for free
Not available for purchase