›Australian Seascapes‹ : 27th Sept. – 2nd Oct. 2021

Today, I would like to put the attention on the 17th Biennial Conference of the Gesellschaft für Australienstudien | German Association for Australian Studies, which will take place within the week of 27th September 2021 and 2nd October 2021.

The conference will take place online via Zoom and include  “online lectures (»webinars«) with panel presentations and discussions.” “All conference events”, as the organizer PD Dr. Eva Bischoff concludes, “will take place between 8:00-13:00 CEST/ 16:00-21:00 AEST, giving Australian and German participants the opportunity to attend at their convenience.”

In order to take part, it is necessary to register here at Eventbrite.

The conference is supported by the DFG, hosted by Trier University and organized by PD Dr. Eva Bischoff, Department of International History.

Conference programm can be also found as a .pdf document.



08:00–09:00 CEST / 16:00–17:00 AEST: Webinar
Lynette Russell (Monash University): Planning for the Unknown and Unexpected
Chair: Eva Bischoff (Trier University)

09:00–09:30 CEST / 17:00–17:30 AEST: Tea and Coffee

09:30–10:30 CEST / 17:30–18:30 AEST: Webinar
Paul Giles (University of Sydney): Negative Antipodes: Australian Literature and Planetary Seascapes
Chair: Katrin Althans (University of Duisburg-Essen / German Association for Australian Studies)


08:00–09:00 CEST / 16:00–17:00 AEST: Webinar
Killian Quigley (Australian Catholic University / University of Sydney): „A Fellow-Denizen of the Deep“: Diving in the Colonial Undersea
Chair: Katrin Kleemann (German Maritime Museum – Leibniz Institute for Maritime History / RCC LMU Munich)

09:00–09:30 CEST / 17:00–17:30 AEST: Tea and Coffee

09:30–10:30 CEST / 17:30–18:30 AEST: Webinar
Ian Hoskins (Sydney): A Tentative Embrace: Depictions of the New South Wales Coast in Literature and Art, 1823–1932
Chair: Barbara Schmidt-Haberkamp (Bonn University)

10.30–11:00 CEST / 18:30–19:00 AEST: Tea and Coffee

11:00–12:00 CEST / 19:00–20:00 AEST: Webinar
Leah Barclay (University of the Sunshine Coast): Listening to Australian Aquatic Ecosystems: Ecoacoustics in Marine Environments
Chair: Anja Schwarz (Potsdam University)


08:00–09:00 CEST / 16:00–17:00 AEST: Webinar
Ian Conrich (University of Vienna): Seascapes from an Island Continent: Coastal Australia on Film
Chair: Victoria Herche (University of Cologne)

09:00–09:30 CEST / 17:00–17:30 AEST: Tea and Coffee

09:30–10:30 CEST / 17:30–18:30 AEST: Webinar
Rough Seas: From Mabo to Uluru
Geoff Rodoreda (University of Stuttgart) in conversation with Thomas Mayor, author of Finding the Heart of the Nation, and David Saylor, native title lawyer, Saylor Legal, Townsville


07:30–09:00 CEST / 15:30–17:00 AEST: Parallel Panels
1. „So it is captured from the sea“: Documenting the Pearling Industry of Broome
Stefanie Affeldt (University of Heidelberg) / Sarah Yu (Nyamba Buru Yawuru)

2. Between Indian and Pacific Oceans: Reframing Australian Literature
Meg Samuelson (University of Adelaide) / Madeleine Seys (University of Adelaide) / Mandy Treagus (University of Adelaide)

3. Indigenous Seascapes: Representations in Prose and Poetry
Jo Jones (Curtin University): Water Elegy: Mourning and the Mouth of the Swan River (Marragee and Wallyalup)
Geoff Rodoreda (University of Stuttgart): Seascapes of Alexis Wright

09:00–09:30 CEST / 17:00–17:30 AEST: Tea and Coffee

09:30–11:00 CEST / 17:30–19:00 AEST: Parallel Panels
4. Temporalities and Geographies I
Daniel Rothenburg (University of Tübingen): The Bequest of an Ancient Sea: A Modern Australian Story about Environmental Consciousness in Deep Time
Kate Tehan (University of Melbourne): Surfing in the Australian Imaginary

5. Temporalities and Geographies II
Katrin Kleemann (German Maritime Museum – Leibniz Institute for Maritime History / RCC LMU Munich): Understanding the Sea: A History of the Flagstaff Observatory for Geophysics, Magnetism and Nautical Science in Melbourne, 1858–1864
Jean Page (University of Lisbon): „Vast Crystal Globe“ – Awash in the Sublime: James McAuley’s Twentieth Century Sea Voyage (Captain Quiros, 1964)

6. Indigenous Knowledges and Practices
Christina Ringel (Univ. of Cologne / TU Dortmund): Revitalising Linguistics and Cultural Knowledge
Anja Schwarz (Potsdam University): Looking across the Beach with Tupaia


07:30–09:00 CEST / 15:30–17:00 AEST: Parallel Panels
7. Politics, Policies, and Economy I
Alessandro Antonello (Flinders University): Australia’s Expanding Ocean Territories and the Law of the Sea, 1950s-1980s
Ina Voshage (University of Passau): No Worries? No Way! Australia’s Handling of Boat People

8. Coastal Encounters and the Agency of the Sea – three Oceans, three Temporalities, three Encounters
Leigh Penman (Monash University): From the „Flying Dutchman“ to „Sailormen’s Ghosts“: Haunted Narratives of Dutch Encounters with the Southland, 1600–1700
Leonie Stevens (Monash University): „A Great Deal of Smook“: The Watchers and the Watched across the Hazardous Coastline, from Bass to Torres Strait, 1770
Lily Yulianti Farid (Monash University): Creating a Site of Memories through „Nur Al Marege“ Replica Project

9. Politics, Policies, and Economy II
Noah Riseman (Australian Catholic University): Royal Australian Navy Court Martialled for Homosexuality in the 1950s–60s
Matthew Zagor (Australian National University): Liquid Legalities, Liquid Mobilities: Perspectives on Australia’s Water Borders for „Irregular“ Arrivals

09:00–09:30 CEST / 17:00–17:30 AEST: Tea and Coffee

09:30–11:00 CEST / 17:30–19:00 AEST: Parallel Panels
10. Representations and Imaginations I
Leonie John (University of Cologne): „This Beautiful Ocean Was Once a Nightmare to Me“: Hani Abdile’s Ambiguous Relationship with The Sea
Imke Lichterfeld (University of Bonn): Paradise Post-Colonialised? A Perpetual Idealist Gaze at the Australian Seaside
Parin Somani (Independent Scholar): Australian Seascapes: Exploring Identity and Culture through Beaches

11. Representations and Imaginations II
Stephen Alomes (RMIT Melbourne): Confessions of an Australian Littoralist
Heinz Antor (University of Cologne): Growing Up by the Sea in Western Australia: Surfing and Identity-Constitution in Tim Winton’s Breath (2008)
Linda Daley (RMIT Melbourne): Horizons of Land and Sea in Alexis Wright’s Literature

12. Politics, Policies, and Economy III
Jatinder Mann (National Cheng Kung University): Transnational Identities of the Global South Asian Diaspora in Australia, Canada, Aotearoa New Zealand, and South Africa, 1900s–1940s
Chris Wallace (University of Canberra): Unmoored from History: Chris Watson and the Political Storm that Swept the World’s First Social Democratic Prime Minister from View

11:00–11:30 CEST / 19:00–19:30 AEST: Tea and Coffee

11:30–13:00 CEST / 19:30–21:00 AEST: Parallel Panels
13. Representations and Imaginations III
Donna Lee Brien (Australian Catholic University / Central Queensland University): Representations of Violent Death in Australian Writing about Bondi Beach
Stephen Enciso (Charles Darwin University): The Beach as a Site of Racialized Violence: Whiteness and the Australian National Imagination

14. Human and Non-human Actors
Ellen Arnold (University of Stavanger): The Phillip Island Penguin Parade in Global Context: Penguins, Tourism, and Conservation
Brooke Grasberger (Brown University): Tasmanian Shore Whaling and Maritime Seasons
Haureh Hussein (University of Trier): Global Entanglements between Māori and Quaker Whaling Families (1790–1840)


08:00–09:00 CEST / 16:00–17:00 AEST: Keynote Webinar
Suvendrini Perera (Curtin University): Remaking the Borderscape: Australian Insularity two Decades after the Tampa
Chair: Carsten Wergin (University of Heidelberg / German Association for Australian Studies)

09:30–10:30 CEST / 17:30–18:30 AEST: Keynote Webinar
Helen Gilbert (Royal Holloway, University of London): Turning Tides: Indigeneity, Belonging and Oceanic Dramaturgies in Australian Theatre
Chair: Leonie Stevens (Monash University)

11:00–12:00 CEST / 19:00–20:00 AEST: Concluding Roundtable Discussion: Australian Seascapes: Past, Present, and Future
Salhia Ben-Messahel (University of Toulon / European Association for Studies of Australia)
Beate Neumeier (University of Cologne / German Association for Australian Studies)
Noah Riseman (Australian Catholic University, International Australian Studies Association)
Chair: Eva Bischoff (Trier University)

My working space

My working space – The Cadbury Research Library – is in the cellar of the Muirhead tower.
– Private Picture – 8.9.2021.

After arriving in Birmingham, I thought to have now – apart from my archive visiting – plenty of time for preparing blog articles. After the first ten days, I have to admit: No, I do not.

In Birmingham I have these manuscripts in mind, which I want to go through:

CMS/B/OMS/C/N E: Early Correspondence, 1809-1821 (1 box)
CMS/B/OMS/C/N O 49/1-18: Hall, Francis, 1819-1823 (1 box)
CMS/B/OMS/C/N O 55/1-58: King, John, 1820-1854 (1 box)
CMS/B/OMS/C/N O 93/1-231: Williams, Rev. Henry, 1823-1861 (2 boxes)

My first step is to go through the sources of the most important Missionary individuals (I ascribe the term “most important” to those, who were regularly mentioned or quoted in secondary literature). Then I take pictures of EACH manuscript page, which means that I am adding roughly 300 pictures every day.

Taking pictures during the day – Private Picture – 8.9.2021.

Afterwards, I copy and remove them from my camera card into my research cloud and separate and distinguish each manuscript number. During the six weeks, in which I stay in Birmingham, do not allow me to additionally read all of them. The aim is to forge a detailed source corpus, which I then can consult and use for my next writing process, when I am back in Trier.

Organizing them in the afternoon/evening. Private Picture – 8.9.2021.

So, taking hundreds of pictures during the days and importing and categorizing them in the evenings, do shape my time here. For the rest of the remaining day, I enjoy lunch breaks in the sun and discover the city centre of Birmingham.

As soon, as I finish with the manuscripts of the individual missionaries, I will go a step further and will take the Mission books and the letter books of the research collection in to account.

Hello Birmingham (Cadbury Research Library)

It took me a while to write this blog article, not due to its planning, but rather because I had a busy time with a lot of Covid-related travel preparations and restrictions.

In May 2021, I applied successfully for a three-month research scholarship of the German Historical Institute London and now, at the end of August, fully vaccinated and equipped with (german and british) Negative Tests and visa, I was finally ready to travel and arrive in the UK.

As this research blog emerges with my current research, I had two different ideas to proceed with the next articles; Either I could start chronologically and explain step by step what I have done so far and what I intend to do in the future. Or I let you dive with me right in my current situation and then provide you with the historical background.

Private Picture – 1.9.2021

I decided for the second way and therefore, I will explain why I travelled to Birmingham in the United Kingdom. I will spend the next six weeks here in order to visit and read the manuscripts of the Church Missionary Society Archive (1799-2009) at the Cadbury Research Library at the University of Birmingham.

You might ask yourself: “Wait, what? Why does he talk about missionaries? I thought this is all about Quaker Whalers and Māori.” Well, history is unfortunately very complex and one cannot tell all its strings at the same time, yet I will, nevertheless, only focus on the interactions of Missionaries with Māori individuals and Whalers.

Until the next blog post, I will leave you with two monographs of Ballantyne and Middleton, which are two very helpful sources to start with the history of the Church Missionary Society and their encounter with Māori individuals in the early 19th century.


Ballantyne, Tony (2014): Entanglements of Empire. Missionaries, Māori, and the Question of the Body. Durham & London: Duke University Press.

Middleton, Angela (2014): Pewhairangi. Bay of Islands Missions and Maori 1814 to 1845. Dunedin: Otago University Press.

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