Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies
Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies

Professor with Australian Research Agenda Joins UT-Austin’s History Department

Thu, August 29, 2019
Professor with Australian Research Agenda Joins UT-Austin’s History Department

Adam Clulow will be joining the History department at UT-Austin in August 2019 after eleven years working at Monash University in Australia. Although his work focuses predominantly on East and Southeast Asia, Professor Clulow is involved with a series of projects that explore Australia’s relations with Japan and the strange history of the Cocos Keeling Islands, an Australian possession in the Indian Ocean. 

Professor Clulow completed his MA at Niigata University in Japan and his PhD at Columbia University. He is the author of The Company and the Shogun: The Dutch Encounter with Tokugawa Japan (Columbia University Press, 2014), which won multiple awards including the Jerry Bentley Prize in World History from the American Historical Association, and Amboina, 1623: Conspiracy and Fear on the Edge of Empire, which will be published later this year. He is also the creator of multiple digital humanities resources including Virtual Angkor (https://www.virtualangkor.com), The Amboyna Conspiracy Trial (http://www.amboyna.org/), and Maritime Asia: War and Trade (https://maritime-asia.org).

With colleagues at Monash and Yale, Professor Clulow is part of a multi-year project focused on Australia’s postwar economic engagement with Japan. In the aftermath of Japan’s surrender at the end of World War II, the prospect of Japanese goods re-entering the Australian marketplace generated fierce resistance. In 1947, the Australian Women’s Weekly editorialised that an “undying hatred of the Japanese people” made the average Australian determined to never again purchase any object bearing the words “Made in Japan.” In the ensuing decades, however, Japanese goods started first to trickle and then to pour into the country, transforming Australian lives and homes in unprecedented ways. The Selling Japan in Postwar Australia project aims to investigate a central question at the heart of the Australia-Japan relationship: how did bitter wartime foes transform so quickly into important economic partners?

With Professor Lauren Benton at Vanderbilt University, Professor Clulow is also writing a new book on the history of the Cocos Keeling Islands, which Australia acquired in 1955.  Prior to this, the islands had been controlled for over 150 years by five generations of the Clunies-Ross family. This study will situate the strange story of the Cocos Keeling Islands within a longer history of contested sovereignty.

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