Areas of expertise:
- Pacific History (Excl. New Zealand And Maori)
- Maori History
- Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander History
- Australian History (Excl. Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander History)
- British History
External website here.
Patricia O'Brien's research interests include indigenous resistance, colonial violence, power, gender and race. Patricia's work is primarily focused on Australia and the Pacific but extends further afield. Her current ARC Future Fellowship project is concerned with the interwar colonial period, and the histories of League of Nations Mandated Territories within a long view of imperial histories from around the world. The impact of World War One on Pacific imperialism and reforged nationalisms in Australia and New Zealand after this event are some of the focal points of this study, as is the shifting landscape of ideas about race, gender and violence in this age of 'protective' colonialism. Patricia explores the impact of these changed circumstances and ideas on indigenous peoples, especially in Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea and Samoa in a number of ways; first through a biography of the Samoan nationalist leader Ta'isi O. F. Nelson.
‘Bridging the Pacific: Ta’isi O. F. Nelson, Australia and the Sāmoan Mau’, History Australia 14:1 (2017), 1-19.
Tautai: Sāmoa, World History and the Life of Ta’isi O. F. Nelson (Honolulu: Hawai’i, 2017)
‘100 People Who Shaped Australia’ in 200 Treasures of the Australian Museum (Sydney: Australian Museum Press, 2017)
‘Empires and Indigenous Worlds: Violence and the Pacific Ocean 1760 to 1930s’, Joy Damousi and Philip Dwyer eds., Cambridge World History of Violence (Cambridge: University of Cambridge, forthcoming, 2019)
With Joy Damousi eds., League of Nations: History, Impact, Legacies (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, forthcoming 2018).
‘From Sudan to Samoa: Imperial Legacies, Cultures and New Zealand’s Rule over the Mandated Territory of Western Samoa’, New Zealand’s Empire, Katie Pickles and Catharine Coleborne eds. (Manchester University Press, forthcoming 2015).
O'Brien, P 2014, 'Ta'isi O.F. Nelson and Sir Maui Pomare Samoans and Maori Reunited', Journal of Pacific History, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 26-49.
O'Brien, P 2014, 'Gender', in David Armitage and Alison Bashford (ed.), Pacific Histories: Ocean, Land, People, Palgrave Macmillan Ltd, England.
O'Brien, P 2012, 'Reactions to Australian Colonial Violence in New Guinea: The 1926 Nakanai Massacre in a Global Context', Australian Historical Studies, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 191-209.
O'Brien, P 2012, 'The Politics of Race, Nation, Empire, and the Intimate: Recent Explorations', Journal of Women's History, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 214-223.
O'Brien, P & Vaughn, B 2011, 'Centre-Periphery Relations & Borders in Western New Guinea', in James Clad, Sean M. McDonald and Bruce Vaughn (ed.), The Borderlands of Southeast Asia: Geopolitics, Terrorism, and Globalization, National Defense University Press, Washington DC, pp. 211-235.
O'Brien, P 2010, 'The Politics of Mines and Indigenous Rights: A Case Study of the Grasberg Mine in Indonesia's Papua Province', Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, vol. xi, no. 1, pp. 47-56.
O'Brien, P 2009, 'Remaking Australia's Colonial Culture?: White Australia and its Papuan Frontier 1901-1940', Australian Historical Studies, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 96-112.
The Pacific Muse: Exotic Femininity and the Colonial Pacific (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2006)
With Bruce Vaughn, 'Centre-Periphery Relations & Borders in Western New Guinea' in Borderlands of Southeast Asia (Washington: National Defense University Press, 2011).
'Think of Me as a Woman: Queen Pomare of Tahiti and Anglo- French Imperial Contest in the 1840s Pacific, Gender and History, Vol. 18 No. 1 April 2006: 108-129.
'Post-Colonial Women’s Historical Writing' in Companion to Women’s Historical Writing, gen. ed. Mary Spongberg (London: Palgrave Macmillan. 2005)
'The Gaze of the Ghosts: European Images of Aboriginal Women in New South Wales and Port Phillip 1800-1860' in J. Kociumbas ed. Maps, Dreams, History: Race and Representation in Australia, (Sydney: Braxus Publishing. 1998) pp. 313-400
Colonialism, Violence and Resistance in the Interwar Pacific: Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, Samoa and Beyond (Primary Investigator)
Pacific Historical Association (PHA)
Australian Historical Association (AHA)
American Historical Association (AHA)
North American Conference of British Studies (NACBS)
Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA)
Pacific Coast Conference of British Studies (PCCBS)