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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, Australia-Asia relations, Cold War military garrisons in Asia, humanitarian and aid programmes, and visual cultures of atrocity.

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 and Australian representative on the international committee of Historians Without Borders.

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 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 latest 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. 

Recent titles include Gender and Trauma since 1900 (Bloomsbury, 2021: with Paula Michaels) and Detention Camps in Asia (Brill: with Robert Cribb and Sandra Wilson, 2022). 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) and journal special issues include 'Protection: Global Genealogies, Local Practices' for Pacific Historical Review (2018) and 'Photography and Atrocity' for History of Photography (2012).

The holder of an ARC Future Fellowship (2012-15), Christina's research has also received funding under the ARC's Discovery and Linkage Programs. Her current funded Discovery Project is Australia's Asian Garrisons and regional engagement, 1945-88.




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, DFAT - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (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


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