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Dr Victoria Stead

STAFF PROFILE

Position

DECRA Senior Research Fellow

Faculty

Faculty of Arts and Education

Department

Alfred Deakin Institute

Campus

Melbourne Burwood Campus

Qualifications

Doctor of Philosophy, Royal Melb Inst. of Technology, 2013
Bachelor of Arts (Honours), La Trobe University, 2007

Biography

I am an anthropologist whose work also has an interdisciplinary focus, engaging cognate areas of politics, geography, development studies, history, and postcolonial studies. My current research coheres around two key areas of interest and activity. The first of these engages themes of conflict, memory, landscape and development in relation to the legacies of the Second World War in Papua New Guinea, including the growth of war tourism in the region surrounding the Kokoda Track. The second focuses on labour in the Australian horticultural industry, with a geographical focus on the Shepparton region in northern Victoria. Discourses and practices relating to horticultural labour are strongly inflected with considerations of race and class, and have complex histories that are also bound up with Australia’s colonial history. Pacific Islanders and East Timorese are amongst those who travel to the area to work as fruit pickers, and their experiences intersect with the labour experiences of Indigenous communities, as well as migrants and refugees from Asia and the Middle East, European backpackers, and an increasingly marginalized White local underclass. Connecting these two strands of research activity is a focus on the Australia-Pacific region, a concern with contemporary postcolonialism and the reverberations of the past in the present, and an empirical and theoretical attention to land and landscape.

My most recent book, Becoming Landowners: Entanglements of Custom and Modernity in Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste, was published in 2017 by University of Hawaii Press. It examines the relationship of customary and modern forms of connection to land in contemporary Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste, elaborating the concept of ‘entanglement’ as a means of theorizing this shifting social, cultural and political landscape.

At Deakin, I am a Co-Convenor of the Culture, Environment and Science Research Stream in the Alfred Deakin Institute, and Deputy Chair of the Deakin University Human Research Ethics Committee. In addition to my own research I have taught units in the Anthropology undergraduate program, and I also supervise Higher Degree by Research students across the disciplines of anthropology, sociology, political studies, and Pacific studies.

Read more on Victoria's profile

Research interests

Pacific Island studies
Migration and mobility
Labour
Land, landscape and place-making
Colonialism and (post)colonialism
The anthropology of state and nation-building
The anthropology of development
Ethnographic methodology

Affiliations

Fellow, Australian Anthropological Society

Member, Australian Association for Pacific Studies

Member, Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania

Knowledge areas

Pacific Island studies
Migration and mobility
Labour
Land, landscape and place-making
Colonialism and (post)colonialism
The anthropology of state and nation-building
The anthropology of development
Ethnographic methodology

Conferences

SELECTED RECENT CONFERENCE PAPERS

2018. ‘Money trees and Pasifika place-making in the Shepparton fruit bowl’, Australian Association for Pacific Studies, University of Adelaide, 4-8 April.

2018. ‘Women’s Wartime Memories and Gendered Relations of Remembrance in Oro, PNG’, Australian Association for Pacific Studies, University of Adelaide, 4-8 April.

2017. ‘Horticultural labour and precarious belonging: Complexes of race and mobility in the Greater Shepparton food bowl’, Australia Anthropological Society, University of Adelaide, 11-15 December.

2017. ‘In defence of customary land: Land activism, custom, and emerging discourses of indigeneity in Melanesia’, Association of Social Anthropologists of Oceania, L??hue, Hawai’i, 8-11 February.

2016. ‘Seasonal Labour, Assessments Of Value, And Social Relations In Precarious Times’, Australian Anthropological Society conference, Sydney University, 12-15 December.

2016. ‘Grounding Mobility: Intersections of Land, Labour and Migration in the Seasonal Workers Program’, Australian Association for Pacific Studies conference, James Cook University, Cairns, 1-3 April.

2015. ‘The violence of men and the violence of land: Moral reckonings at the site of the Higaturu Hangings, PNG’, Australian Anthropological Society conference, University of Melbourne, 1-4 December.

2015. ‘Remembering the Taim Pait: Connecting universities, communities and public institutions to explore PNG’s national narratives’, with Kirstie Close-Barry, Waigani Seminar, Port Moresby, 19-21 August.

2014. ‘Liminal states: (Post)colonialism and the politics of asylum in Australia's Regional Resettlement Arrangement’, Oceanic Conference on International Studies, University of Melbourne, 9-11 July.

2014. ‘Landownership as exclusion’, Australian Association for Pacific Studies Conference, Sydney University, 24 April.

2013. 'Ambivalent imaginings of the good life at Papua New Guinea’s Pacific Marine Industrial Zone', Australian Anthropological Society Conference, Australian National University, Canberra, 8 November.

2012. ‘State-building in a globalizing world: reimagining sovereignty through Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste’, European Association of Social Anthropologists Conference, Université Paris Nanterre, Paris, 10-13 July.

SELECTED SEMINAR AND WORKSHOP PRESENTATIONS

2017. ‘Mobility under constraint: Race and Precarity in the Pacific Islander Seasonal Worker Program’, Labour Lines workshop, Deakin University, 22-23 June.

2016. ‘Reckoning with the wartime past and reckoning with history in Northern Province, PNG’, Contemporary Histories seminar series, Deakin University, 9 March 2016

2016. ‘Violent Histories and the Ambivalences of Recognition in Postcolonial Papua New Guinea’, Against Recognition workshop, Deakin University, February.

2015. ‘War Memories: Collective Remembering and Colonial Pasts in Papua New Guinea’ (with Jonathan Ritchie and Kirstie Close-Barry), Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation seminar series, Deakin University, 20 October.

2014. ‘Fractured encounters between locals and Chinese migrant workers in Papua New Guinea: Political economies and post-colonial imaginaries’ (with Sophia Loy-Wilson), State Society and Governance in Melanesia seminar series, Australian National University, Canberra, 4 March.

2013. ‘Spatial Justice in Timor-Leste’, part of Occupy: A Panel Discussion, organised by Architects for Peace and the Centre for Cultural Partnerships, Victorian College of the Arts, 4 April.

Professional activities

Co-Convenor, Culture, Environment and Science Research Stream, Alfred Deakin Institute, Deakin University

Deputy Chair, Deakin University Human Research Ethics Committee

Editor and coordinator of the Australian Association for Pacific Studies (AAPS) Book Series editorial group

Member of the Pacific Editorial Board, ANU Press

Media appearances

AUTHORED COMMENTARY

2017. ‘PNG Women’s Wartime Memories Cast New Light on Kokoda and the Pacific War’. The Conversation, 3 November. https://theconversation.com/png-womens-wartime-memories-cast-new-light-on-kokoda-and-the-pacific-war-85667 

2015. ‘Remembering Australia’s Wars: Hangings of Papua New Guineans by Australian Soldiers in WWII Complicate Our National Narratives’ (co-authored with Kirstie Close-Barry). Australian Policy and History (online). http://aph.org.au/remembering-australias-wars-hangings-of-papua-new-guineans-by-australian-soldiers-in-wwii-complicate-our-national-narratives/ 

2014. ‘“PNG Solution” turns to nightmare on Manus Island’. The Age, Comment section. 20 Feb. https://www.smh.com.au/opinion/png-solution-turns-to-nightmare-on-manus-island-20140220-332fz.html

2013. ‘Rudd’s hard-line approach will be disastrous’. The Age, Comment section. 22 July. https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/rudds-hard-line-approach-will-be-disastrous-20130721-2qccy.html

INTERVIEWS AND PODCASTS

2018. ‘Episode #11: Monica Minnegal and Victoria Stead’, Conversations in Anthropology@Deakin podcast, published SoundCloud 14 May. https://soundcloud.com/user-910866758/episode-11-monica-minnegal-and-victoria-stead

2016. Interview on ABC 774 Evenings Program, with Jonathan Ritchie, on the PNG Oral History Project, 25 April.

2015. Interview on 2SER Drive Program, ‘Women Remember the War’ and the PNG Oral History Project.

2014. Interviewed for ‘The Cloak of Kinship: Spotlight Papua New Guinea’ (author, Phil Mercer), on Global: The International Briefing.

2013. Interview on The 7pm Project, Channel Ten, the ‘PNG Solution’ asylum seeker policy, 22 July.

2013. Interview with The Wire community radio news network, the ‘PNG Solution’ asylum seeker policy, 22 July.

2012. ‘RMIT's Victoria Stead speaks to Pacific Beat about the PMIZ project’. Interview with Radio Australia, the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone in PNG, 24 October.

MEDIA MENTIONS

2018. ‘PNG Hears its War History’, Geelong Advertiser, 27 April.

2018. ‘Papua New Guineans to Hear Their Own Stories of WW2’, Invenio, 26 April. http://invenio.deakin.edu.au/papua-new-guineans-to-hear-their-own-stories-of-ww2/

2018. ‘Memorialising Tragedy in Papua New Guinea’, Invenio, 23 March. http://invenio.deakin.edu.au/memorialising-tragedy-in-papua-new-guinea/

2017. ‘Indigenous Research First—Deakin Celebrates ARC Round Success’, Invenio, 10 November. http://invenio.deakin.edu.au/indigenous-research-first-deakin-celebrates-arc-round-success/

2017. ‘Time to Rethink “Development” in Melanesia’. Deakin Research News, 17 August. http://www.deakin.edu.au/research/research-news/articles/time-to-rethink-development-in-melanesia 

Awards

2017. Awarded the Faculty of Arts and Education Faculty Early Career Researcher Award

Projects

Labour, Race and Belonging: Strengthening Rural Workforces and Communities’, Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA), Australian Research Council, 2018-2012, AU$351,996

Beyond Recognition: Postcolonial Relationality Across Difference’, Discovery Indigenous, Australian Research,  Council, 2018-21, AU$497,807

Mobile Labour and the Meaning of Land: The Australian Farm as a Site of Encounter’, Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Deakin University, 2016-18, AU$200,000

Labour Migration, Transnational Farm Ownership, and the Transformation of Global Agriculture: Identifying Pathways to Intercultural Connection and Shared Belonging in Changing Rural Spaces’, Toyota Foundation Research Grants Program, 2016-17, AU$8,300

Women Remember the War: Investigating Papua New Guinean Women’s Experiences of the Second World War’, part of the PNG Oral History Project, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) through the PNG Strongim Pipol, Strongim Nesen program, 2015-18, AU$120,000

War Memories: Papua New Guineans, Australians, and the Taim Pait’, Central Research Grants Scheme, Deakin University, 2015, AU$15,000

Publications

Filter by

2018

History as resource: moral reckonings with place and with the wartime past in Oro Province, Papua New Guinea

V Stead

(2018), Vol. 28, pp. 16-31, Anthropological forum, London, Eng., C1

journal

Moral horizons of land and place

V Stead, M Dominy

(2018), Vol. 28, pp. 1-15, Anthropological forum, London, Eng., C1

journal
2017

Becoming landowners: entanglements of custom and modernity in Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste

V Stead

(2017), Honolulu, T.H., A1

book

Doing 'social cohesion': cultural policy and practice in outer metropolitan Melbourne

V Stead

(2017), Vol. 37, pp. 405-424, Critical social policy, London, Eng., C1

journal

Landownership as exclusion

V Stead

(2017), pp. 357-381, Kastom, property and ideology: land transformations in Melanesia, Acton, A.C.T., B1

chapter

Violent histories and the ambivalences of recognition in postcolonial Papua New Guinea

V Stead

(2017), Vol. 20, pp. 68-85, Postcolonial studies, London, Eng., C1

journal

Recognition, power and coloniality

S Balaton-Chrimes, V Stead

(2017), Vol. 20, pp. 1-17, Postcolonial Studies, Melbourne, Vic., C1

journal
2016

Mobility and emplacement in north coast Papua New Guinea: worlding the Pacific marine industrial zone

V Stead

(2016), Vol. 27, pp. 30-48, Australian journal of anthropology, London, Eng., C1

journal
2015

Homeland, territory, property: contesting land, state, and nation in urban Timor-Leste

V Stead

(2015), Vol. 45, pp. 79-89, Political geography, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1-1

journal
2014

The price of fish: problematising discourses of prosperity at the Pacific marine industrial zone

V Stead

(2014), pp. 197-230, Securing a prosperous future: Papua New Guinea. Papers from the second annual Alfred Deakin Research Institute Papua New Guinea Symposium, 2012, Goolwa, Adelaide, B1-1

chapter
2012

Sustainable communities, sustainable development: Other paths for Papua New Guinea

P James, Y Nadarajah, K Haive, V Stead

(2012), pp. 1-462, Sustainable Communities, Sustainable Development: Other Paths for Papua New Guinea, A1-1

book

Greeting the state: entanglements of custom and modernity on Papua New Guinea's Rai Coast

V Stead

(2012), Vol. 23, pp. 16-35, Anthropological forum, Abingdon, Eng., C1-1

journal

Embedded in the land: Customary social relations and practices of resilience in an East Timorese community

V Stead

(2012), Vol. 23, pp. 229-247, Australian Journal of Anthropology (The), C1-1

journal
2009

Urban and peri-urban communities

P James, V Stead, Y Nadarajah, K Haive

(2009), Vol. 5, pp. 17-62, Local-Global Journal, Melbourne, Vic., C1-1

journal

Hinterland communities

P James, V Stead, Y Nadarajah, K Haive

(2009), Vol. 5, pp. 64-114, Local-Global Journal, Melbourne, Vic., C1-1

journal

Remote communities

P James, V Stead, Y Nadarajah, K Haive

(2009), Vol. 5, pp. 116-154, Local-Global Journal, Melbourne, Vic., C1-1

journal

Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

Beyond Recognition: Postcolonial Relationality Across Difference

Prof Yin Paradies, Dr Victoria Stead, Dr Sam Balaton-Chrimes

ARC - Discovery Projects

  • 2019: $114,294
  • 2018: $124,013

Labour, Race and Belonging: Strengthening Rural Workforces and Communities

Dr Victoria Stead

ARC DECRA - Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

  • 2019: $102,728
  • 2018: $148,614

Other Public Sector Funding

PNG Oral History Project

Dr Jonathan Ritchie, Dr Ceridwen Spark, Dr Victoria Stead

  • 2018: $105,724
  • 2017: $566,591
  • 2016: $67,492
  • 2015: $186,686

Industry and Other Funding

Intergenerational Relations in New Arrival Communities in Victoria

Prof Fethi Mansouri, A/Prof Danny Ben-Moshe, Dr Victoria Stead

  • 2014: $10,000

Evaluation of the Social Cohesion, Young People and Multiculturalism project

Prof Fethi Mansouri, A/Prof Danny Ben-Moshe, Dr Victoria Stead

  • 2014: $15,000
  • 2013: $15,000

Labour Migration, Transnational Farm Ownership, and the Transformation of Global Agriculture: Identifying Pathways to Intercultural Connection and Shared Belonging in Changing Rural Spaces

Dr Victoria Stead

  • 2017: $2,276
  • 2016: $5,908

Supervisions

No completed student supervisions to report