About

McCann-35aa (1)Welcome to my blog. I am an Australian environmental and cultural historian and writer with a PhD from the Australian National University.

My research interests include the natural and cultural history of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica; oceans in the Anthropocene; nature, history and memory in rural regions; cultural heritage conservation; history in museums; the ecological humanities; and community-based history and storytelling.

I have written on many aspects of Australian environmental, cultural and political history, drawing on my experience as a public historian, researcher and curator in the heritage, museums and library sectors. I am currently writing a history of Australians in Antarctica for the National Library of Australia, and thinking about future projects to do with place and belonging in the Anthropocene, ocean governance, and river stories in the Southern Hemisphere. So much to think about!

I am currently a Visiting Fellow at the ANU School of History, and a Research Editor with the Australian Dictionary of Biography. From time to time I also work as a senior parliamentary researcher, and I have a long-standing interest in the history of women’s political rights.

Here are a few of my most recent projects and publications:

  • (with Marian Sawer), ‘Australia: The Slow Road to Parliament’, in Susan Franceschet, Mona Lena Krook and Netina Tan, eds, The Palgrave Handbook of Women’s Political Rights, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019
  • Keynote address at 2018 Oceans Institute Postgraduate Symposium, University of Western Australia, 2 November 2018
  • ‘Reflections on writing an ocean history’, Professional Historians Association NSW/ACT blog, 11 August 2018
  • Wild Sea: A History of the Southern Ocean, NewSouth Publishing,  2018 (to be released internationally by University of Chicago Press in spring 2019)
  • (with Andrea Gaynor), ‘“I’ve had dolphins … looking for abalone for me”: Oral History and Subjectivities of Marine Engagement’, The Oral History Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 44, no. 2, 2017, pp. 260-277
  • Review: Michael Veitch, Southern Surveyor: Stories from Onboard Australia’s Ocean Research Vessel, CSIRO Publishing, 2015, for The Great Circle, Journal of the Australian Association for Maritime History, vol. 38, no. 2, 2016, pp. 93-95
  • ‘Upwelling: The Rise of Ecological Consciousness in the Southern Ocean’, in Estelita Vaz, Arnaldo Melo and Cristina Joanaz de Melo, eds, Environmental History in the Making, vol. II, Springer, 2016
  • ‘Carson, Rachel (1907-1964)’; Cook, James (1728-1779); ‘Science at the Poles’, Stephen K. Stein, ed, The Sea in World History: Exploration, Travel and Trade, ABC-CLIO, California, 2016