Dr Michael Davis

Department of History

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The University of Sydney

Michael’s research interests include Indigenous/European histories and encounters, particularly in relation to Indigenous knowledge, environment and natural history. He has also worked on Indigenous research ethics and guidelines. He is currently researching and writing about the relationships between Indigenous and other knowledge systems, ecology and place, with case studies from 19th century coastal north-east Australia, and is preparing a book on this. Michael is also working collaboratively on a planned edited collection on environmental humanities, oceans and islands, which will include many Indigenous contributions.

Michael recently completed a three year ARC Linkage Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the Department of History at Sydney University. He is currently an independent academic, and also holds the 2014-2015 Redmond Barry Fellowship with the State Library of Victoria and University of Melbourne Click Here. For this latter project Michael is carrying out a study of the papers of Professor Greg Dening (1931-2008) to explore the uses of Dening’s ethnographic history approach in his own writing on Australian Indigenous/European environmental encounters.

Michael spent many years as an independent researcher and specialist in Indigenous culture and heritage, including work with Aboriginal community organisations. He has held research fellowships at the State Library of New South Wales, and at Manning Clark House in Canberra. Michael’s most recent publication is ‘Encountering Aboriginal knowledge: explorer narratives on north-east Queensland, 1770 to 1820’ in Aboriginal History (vol 37, December 2013). He has also written Writing Heritage: the Depiction of Indigenous Heritage in European-Australian Writings (2007, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, and National Museum of Australia Press, Canberra).