Dr Laura Rademaker

Position: Senior Research Fellow
School and/or Centres: School of History

Position: Deputy Director of the Research Centre for Deep History
School and/or Centres: School of History

Email: laura.rademaker@anu.edu.au

Phone: (02) 612 52352

Location: Level 5, RSSS Building, 146 Ellery Crescent


PhB (Australian National University); PhD (Australian National University); GradDipEd (Excelsia)

Researcher profile: https://researchers.anu.edu.au/researchers/rademaker-l

Laura Rademaker is Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Centre for Indigenous History. She is the author of Found in Translation: Many Meanings on a North Australian Mission (University of Hawai’i Press, 2018) on language and cross-cultural exchange at Christian missions to Aboriginal people. Her work explores the possibilities of ‘cross-culturalising’ history, interdisciplinary histories as well as oral history and memory. At present, is contributing to the Deep Human Past project, seeking to tell the ‘deep’ history of Australia and expand notions of history and the past. She is also working on a book about the Tiwi Islands and Aboriginal encounters with Catholicism as well as researching the closing of Christian missions, secularisation and Indigenous self-determination. She sits on the editorial committee of Journal of Australian Studies.

Indigenous history, ‘deep’ and ‘big’ history, gender and women’s history, religious history, oral history and memory, language and cross-cultural encounters, Christian missions.


Laura Rademaker, Found in Translation: Many Meanings on a North Australian Mission, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press (2018)

Book Chapters

Laura Rademaker, ‘Why historians need linguists (and linguists need historians)’ in Peter Austin, Harold Koch & Jane Simpson eds. Language, Land and Story, 489-500 (London: SOAS, 2016)

Refereed Journal Articles

Laura Rademaker, “The importance of marrying ‘straight’: Aboriginal marriage and mission monogamy in North Australia,” Gender & History, 29, 3, 2017.

Laura Rademaker, ‘“A Miserable Sectarian Spirit”: Sectarianism and the Women’s Movement in Early Twentieth-Century New South Wales,’ Labour History, 112, 2017: 1-16.

Laura Rademaker, ‘“We want good mission not rubish please”: Aboriginal Petitions and Mission nostalgia,’ Aboriginal History, Vol. 40, 2016:119-143.

Laura Rademaker, ‘Religion for the Modern Girl: Maude Royden in Australia, 1928’ Australian Feminist Studies Vol. 31, No. 89, 2016: 336-354

Laura Rademaker, ‘“Only Cuppa Tea Christians”: colonisation, authentic indigeneity and the missionary linguist,’ History Australia, Vol.  13, No. 2, 2016: 228-242.

Laura Rademaker, ‘Mission, Politics and Linguistic Research: The case of the Anindilyakwa language of North Australia,’ Historiographia Linguistica Vol. 42, No. 2/3, 2015.

Laura Rademaker, ‘Missions and Aboriginal difference: Judith Stokes and Australian missionary linguistics,’ Journal of Australian Studies Vol. 39, No. 1, 2015.

Laura Rademaker, ‘Language and Australian Aboriginal History: Anindilyakwa and English on Groote Eylandt,’ History Australia Vol. 11, No. 2, 2014.

Laura Rademaker, ‘“I had more children than most people”: Single Women’s Missionary Maternalism in Arnhem Land, 1908-1945,’ Lilith: A Feminist History Journal 17, 2012.


ABC Religion and Ethics Tiwi Christianity: Aboriginal Histories, Catholic Mission and a Surprising Conversion http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2018/02/07/4800150.htm

The Conversation Dreaming of a White Christmas on the Aboriginal Missions https://theconversation.com/friday-essay-dreaming-of-a-white-christmas-on-the-aboriginal-missions-88381

Australian Women’s History Network Blog, Sex in the Pulpit


Australian Women’s History Network Blog, The Stolen Generation: Motherhood in Black and White http://www.auswhn.org.au/blog/stolen-generation-motherhood-black-white/

FL170100121 Rediscovering the Deep Human Past: Global Networks, Future Opportunities (led by Professor Ann McGrath).

This project will analyse Australia's epic Indigenous narratives alongside relevant new scientific evidence in order to create a big picture history of Greater Australia/Sahul, and as a result transform the scale and scope of history. Fresh periodisations and understandings will reorient this history in its wider global context. Through critiquing the evolution of disciplines, especially the world history/prehistory divide and the Cambridge training nexus, the project will develop future-oriented transdisciplinary techniques for researching the deep human past. As part of the project, a diverse generation of early career scholars will join top international networks and be trained in digital research techniques and delivery platforms for researching this exceptional human history.

Council of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) Australia Future Leader Prize, 2017.

History Australia Taylor & Francis Prize for best article in 2016.

Australian Historical Association’s biennial Serle Award for best PhD thesis in Australian History, 2016.

John Molony Prize in History, Australian National University, for most outstanding PhD thesis from the School of History, 2015.

J.G. Crawford Prize, Australian National University, for most outstanding thesis from the College of Arts and Social Sciences, 2014.

Shortlisted for the Australian Historical Association’s Jill Roe Prize for best postgraduate article, 2014.

ANU Vice Chancellor’s Award for Reconciliation for an essay contributing to reconciliation, 2012.

University Medal for History, Australian National University, 2009.

Australian Historical Association

Australian Women’s History Network

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