Project Team

Professor Victoria Haskins, Lead Chief Investigator

Co-Director, Purai Indigenous Global History Centre, University of Newcastle, Australia

Victoria K Haskins works on cross-cultural histories of gender, labour, and colonization, and is internationally respected for her work on Indigenous women’s domestic labour in Australia and the United States. Her recent books include Living with the Locals: Early Europeans’ Experience of Indigenous Life (NLA, 2019), with John Maynard; Colonialism and Male Domestic Service across the Asia Pacific (Bloomsbury, 2018), with Julia Martinez, Claire Lowrie and Frances Steel; Colonization and Domestic Service (Routledge 2014), with Claire Lowrie; and Matrons and Maids: Regulating Indian Domestic Service in Tucson 1014-1934 (Arizona University Press, 2012). She is the editor of the new Bloomsbury history series, Empire’s Other Histories.

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Professor Swapna Banerjee, Partner Investigator

Brooklyn College, City University of New York, USA

Located at the intersection of gender, class, race, and ethnicity in colonial South Asia, Swapna Banerjee’s research straddles related but distinct fields—on women, caregivers, children, fathers, masculinity, domesticity, and family. Her book Men, Women and Domestics: Articulating Middle-Class Identity in Colonial Bengal (OUP, 2004) employs the lens of employer-servant relationships to understand the construction of national identity in colonial Bengal. Her second monograph, Fathers in a Motherland: Imagining Fatherhood in Colonial India (OUP, forthcoming) interrogates the strong connection between fatherhood and masculinity.

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Dr Claire Lowrie, Chief Investigator

University of Wollongong, Australia

Claire Lowrie works on the history of domestic labour and colonialism in Southeast Asia and northern Australia. She has written extensively on the experiences of Chinese domestic servants, both men and women. Claire’s work has been published in Modern Asian Studies, ILWCH, Pacific Historical Review, the Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History and Gender and History. Her most recent book is Colonialism and Male Domestic Service across the Asia-Pacific (Bloomsbury, 2019) co-authored with Julia Martinez, Frances Steel and Victoria Haskins.

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Srishti Guha, Research Assistant

University of Newcastle, Australia

Srishti Guha is a PhD Candidate in History at the University of Newcastle. Her thesis is titled, Gaze Returned: The Politics of Colonial Visual Culture and Iconography in India and Australia 1860 – 1950, where she is undertaking a trans-colonial study of visual culture and iconography in India and Australia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Srishti holds MA and BA degrees in History, and a PG Certificate in Editing and Publishing from Jadavpur University, India.

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Lauren Samuelsson, Research Assistant

University of Wollongong, Australia

Lauren Samuelsson is a PhD candidate in history at the University of Wollongong. Her interests include the history of food and drink, women’s history, popular culture and Australian cultural history. Her PhD thesis focuses on the Australian Women’s Weekly and its influence on the development of Australian food culture during its first fifty years of publication. Her award-winning work has been published in Australian Historical Studies and History Australia. She has also been published in The Conversation.

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Jean-Michel Mutore, Research Assistant

Brooklyn College, City University of New York, USA

Jean-Michel Mutore is a writer and undergraduate student at Brooklyn College, majoring in History and minoring in English. He has worked for entertainment websites Birth.Movies.Death. and Polygon as a freelance journalist and film critic. In the Fall of 2020, he researched slave families and slave marriages with Professor Swapna Banerjee for Brooklyn College’s Mellon Undergraduate Transfer Student Program. He hopes to graduate in the Fall of 2021.

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Avantika Binani, Research Assistant

University of Wollongong, Australia

Avantika is a second-year undergraduate at the University of Wollongong, pursuing her Bachelor of Arts majoring in Ancient History and Archaeology and minoring in Modern History. She has always been passionate about colonial history and conducting independent research aided by material culture. She hopes to make a considerable contribution to the Ayahs and Amahs project while expanding her horizon in the field of historical research.

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Charmaine Lam, Research Assistant

Charmaine Lam recently completed her Masters in Transnational, Global and Spatial History at the University of St Andrews and holds a BA in History from Middlebury College. She is interested in bringing together transnational and local approaches to imperial history to highlight the socio-cultural impacts of subaltern experiences within histories of empire.  

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