School of Humanities

Gender, empire and race

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This study of cross-cultural relations in colonial Australia analyses the construction of gender roles and identities as a relational process.

It investigates the interactions between European and Indigenous men and women with regard to race and class on Christian missions in central Australia.

Overview

The project explores the various strategies employed by Indigenous women and men in adapting, resisting and subverting European gender roles.

The project will discuss textual, visual and material representations of Indigenous women and the production of gendered knowledge. This research will draw on archival documents and ethnographic collections of the German Lutheran mission at Ntaria in central Australia between 1877 and the 1940s.

A second current research project in this field is the gendered nature of indigenous conversions. It involves researching female and male narratives of conversion and the gendered identities of indigenous evangelists in Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Outcomes

Chapters

  • Van Gent, J. (2005) 'Changing Concepts of Embodiment and Illness among the Western Arrernte at Hermannsburg Mission', in P. Brock (ed), Indigenous Peoples, Christianity and Religious Change. Leiden: Brill.
  • Van Gent, J. (2004) 'Blickwechsel: Arrernte encounters with Lutheran missionaries in central Australia', in: Hans Medick and Peer Schmidt (eds), Luther zwischen den Kulturen, Göttingen, Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht.
  • Van Gent, J. (2001) 'Bildung und Identität: Indigene Bevölkerung und Erwachsenenbildung in Australien', in E. Tschernokoschewa und D. Kramer (eds), Der alltägliche Umgang mit der Differenz: Bildung – Medien – Politik. Münster, New York, Munich, Berlin: Waxmann.
  • Van Gent, J. (2001) 'Carl Strehlow, Die Aranda- und Loritja-Stämme in Zentral-Australien', in C. F. Feest and K.-H. Kohl (eds), Hauptwerke der Ethnologie, Alfred Kröner-Verlag, Stuttgart.
  • Van Gent, J. (2001) 'Geza Roheim, The Eternal Ones of the Dream', in C F Feest and K-H Kohl (eds), Hauptwerke der Ethnologie, Alfred Kröner-Verlag, Stuttgart.

Refereed articles

  • Van Gent, J. (2003) 'Changing Concepts of Embodiment and Illness among the Western Arrernte at Hermannsburg Mission', Journal of Religious History, October 2003.
  • Van Gent, J. (2003) 'Voraussetzungen und Folgen eines Kolonialmassakers: Margaret Wieners Studien zu Bali als Beispiel anthropologischer Geschichtsschreibung', Historische Anthropologie, volume 11, no.1, 2003, pp. 123-128.
  • Van Gent, J. (2002) (with Peggy Brock), 'Generational Religious Change Among the Arrernte at Hermannsburg, Central Australia', Australian Historical Studies, no 120, October 2002, pp. 303-318.

Funding

  • Australian Research Council Discovery Project, 'Recovering the Experience of the Indigenous Evangelist in the Expansion of Christianity in the late Colonial Era' (with Professor N. Etherington, Professor G. Griffiths, Professor P. Brock) (2008-2010), value: $163.000
  • 2005 Northern Territory History Grant, project entitled, 'A social history of missionary wives at Hermannsburg Mission'
  • 2004 University of Western Australia Research Grant, project entitled, 'Missionaries between cultures: Encounter history and anthropological research at Hermannsburg mission, central Australia, 1870s – 1940s'.
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