Christina Twomey


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1997 …2023

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Personal profile



Christina Twomey is Professor of History. Her research focuses on the social and cultural history of war, with a particular interest in imprisonment and internment, gendered violence, trauma, Australia-Asia relations, humanitarian and aid programmes, and visual cultures of atrocity. Her most recent work focuses on Australia's Asian garrisons and regional engagement during the Cold War period.

Christina is an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. In 2012, she was the Distinguished Visiting Chair of Australian Studies at the University of Copenhagen and in 2018, a Visiting Professor at Kyushu University. She is a member, by Ministerial invitation, of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Editorial Advisory Board .

Christina is an experienced academic leader. A former Vice-President of Monash University's Academic Board, she was also Head of the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies in the Faculty of Arts. (2017-21). A member of the ARC College of Experts (2019-21), her elected positions have included Chair of the Board of Australian Historical Studies (after a term as Editor, 2012-15), Executive of the Australian Historical Association (current) and President of the International Australian Studies Association. She has led ERA processes, and coordinated disciplinary submissions in the 2015 and 2018 ERA.

Christina is a prize-winning historian. Her most recent book is The Battle Within: POWs in post-war Australia (2018), winner of the 2018 NSW Premier's Prize for Australian History. She co-authored with Mark Peel A History of Australia (2011: 2nd Edition, 2017). Her book Australia's Forgotten Prisoners: Civilians Interned by the Japanese in World War Two (2007) won a 2008 NSW Premier's History prize. In 2009, she was awarded the Frederick Watson Fellowship by the National Archives of Australia. Christina's first book, Deserted and Destitute: Motherhood, Wife Desertion and Colonial Welfare (2002), was the recipieint of an AHA/National Centenary of Federation prize, and published the results of her PhD research into gender and welfare in colonial Victoria. Her research has been funded through the ARC's Discovery, Linkage and Future Fellowship schemes.

Recent titles include Gender and Trauma since 1900 (Bloomsbury, 2021: with Paula Michaels) and Detention Camps in Asia (Brill, 2022: with Robert Cribb and Sandra Wilson). Other published collections range from The Pacific War: Aftermaths, Remembrance and Culture (Routledge, 2015: with Ernest Koh) to Australians in Papua New Guinea, 1960-75 (UQP, 2014: with C. & S. Spark). Journal special issues include 'Protection: Global Genealogies, Local Practices' for Pacific Historical Review (2018) and 'Photography and Atrocity' for History of Photography (2012).

From 2023-25, Christina is on secondment to the Australian Research Council as its inaugural Chief Research Officer.




Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

History, PhD, University of Melbourne

Award Date: 6 Nov 1996

External positions

College of Experts, Australian Research Council (ARC)

1 Feb 201921 Dec 2021

Editorial Advisory Board, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) (Australia)

1 Feb 201730 Dec 2021

Research area keywords

  • 20th Century Australian History
  • Gender and Welfare
  • Australian Cultural and Social History
  • Humanitarianism
  • Cultural and Social History of War
  • Photography of Atrocity
  • War and Australian Society
  • Internment and Detention
  • Pacific War
  • Prisoners of War

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or