Humans Through Time and Space > Colonialism, Capitalism and Cosmopolitanism

Dr Mick Morrison, Dr Darlene McNaughton (Discipline of Public Health, Flinders University), Associate Professor Heather Burke, Dr Ian Moffat, Associate Professor Shawn Ross (Maquarie University), Dr Adela Sobotkova (Macquarie University), Dr Brit Asmussem (Queensland Museum) and Mr David Claudie (Chuulangun Aboriginal Corporation)

Research Partners:
Chuulangun Aboriginal Corporation, Napranum Aboriginal Shire Council, Western Cape Communities Trust, Queensland Museum

This research investigates the emergence and negotiation of new structures of power within the context of intercultural entanglements between Indigenous people and settler-colonists between 1865 and 1939 in northern Cape York Peninsula. It explores a range of distinct colonial settings including government reserves, Christian missions, pastoral stations, telegraph stations and early goldfields. This enables localised comparative analysis within and beyond distinct spheres of colonial control, and in doing so, expands our understandings of colonialism and capitalism in Australia. Our research explores the following themes:

  • What were the social, economic, ecological and cultural conditions that influenced the intercultural engagements between Indigenous people and outsiders, and how did these conditions vary across different contexts and through time?
  • What was the role of food and material culture within these negotiations, and how was demand or desire for these materials used towards strategic political agendas of differently positioned agents (both Indigenous and European)?
  • What patterns exist in the flows of material culture and food through domestic spaces, and what does this reveal about the construction, expression and repression of particular cultural identities?

Current major grants:
ARC Linkage Project 170100050 (2018-2020)

Current Postgraduate Projects

Selected Publications:
Morrison, Michael, Amy Della-Sale, and Darlene McNaughton 2018 'War capitalism and the expropriation of country: spatial analysis of Indigenous and settler-colonial entanglements in north eastern Australia, 1864–1939.' International Journal of Historical Archaeology forthcoming.

Morrison, M.J., D.A. McNaughton and C. Keating 2015 'Their God is their belly': Moravian missionaries at Weipa Mission (1898-1932). Archaeology in Oceania 50(2):85-104.

Morrison, M. and E. Shepard 2013 The archaeology of culturally modified trees: Indigenous economic diversification within colonial intercultural settings in Cape York Peninsula, northeastern Australia. Journal of Field Archaeology 38(2):143-160.

Morrison, M., D. McNaughton and J. Shiner 2010 Mission-based Indigenous production at the Weipa Presbyterian Mission, western Cape York Peninsula (1932-1966). International Journal of Historical Archaeology 14(1):86-111.

Completed theses
David Tutchener (PhD) Archaeological Investigations of the Wenlock Goldfields, Cape York Peninsula. Supervisors: Mick Morrison and Heather Burke