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The 2021 AAANZ conference includes special programming aimed at emerging scholars – those who are undertaking or have recently completed graduate studies.   


These programs had limited spaces, and applications to join them have now closed.



The Necessity of Australian Art History Now
Postgraduate and Early Career Research Intensive
Convenor: Victoria Perin (University of Melbourne)



Greg Lehman (Pro Vice Chancellor, Aboriginal Leadership, University of Tasmania)

Ian McLean (Hugh Ramsay Chair of Australian Art History, University of Melbourne)

Ann Stephen (Senior Curator, Chau Chak Wing Museum, University of Sydney)


Over thirty years ago The Necessity of Australian Art was published with a desire to curb the cringe that defined Australian art only in light of dominant international discourses. But did we ever truly heed the authors of that publication? How has recent Indigenous scholarship changed this discussion? And what, if anything, have we been left with?


Professor Greg Lehman is a Tasmanian art historian, curator, essayist and commentator on Indigenous identity and place, he was until recently the McKenzie Research Fellow at the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne, and he is the current Pro Vice Chancellor, Aboriginal Leadership at the University of Tasmania. Descended from the Trawulwuy people of north east Tasmania, Lehman has an intimate relationship with the island’s Indigenous culture and his creative works explore the impact of colonisation on Tasmania’s social fabric.


In 2017, Lehman curated the development of First Tasmanians, the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery’s first permanent Indigenous gallery. Lehman was a foundation member of the National Museum of Australia’s Indigenous Reference Group, and is Indigenous Advisor to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart. He received the 2016 AAANZ award for Best Art Writing by an Indigenous Australian for his essay ‘Benjamin Duterrau: the Art of Conciliation’ and has collaborated with numerous visual artists who seek to engage with Tasmanian’s deep history and culture, including Tom Nicholson, Nigel Helyer and Imants Tillers. In 2018, together with Tim Bonyhady, he also co-curated The National Picture: the Art of Tasmania’s Black War, a major touring exhibition on the work of Benjamin Duterrau and other Tasmanian colonial artists that opened at the National Gallery of Australia in May, 2018. The National Picture won the 2019 Museums and Galleries Australia Award for Travelling Exhibitions.


Ian McLean is the Hugh Ramsay Chair of Australian Art History at the University of Melbourne. McLean was previously the Senior Research Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Wollongong and adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia.


McLean has been described as a “trendsetting Australian art historian”. He has published extensively on the subject of Australian art, particularly Indigenous and contemporary art. His books include Indigenous Archives: The Making and Unmaking of Aboriginal Art, with Darren Jorgensen (2017); Rattling Spears: A History of Indigenous Australian Art (2016); Double Desire: Transculturation and Indigenous Art (2014); How Aborigines Invented the Idea of Contemporary Art (2011) alongside extensive publishing in journals like Australia and New Zealand Journal of Art, The Art Bulletin and Third Text. McLean has received numerous external grants including three ARC Discovery grants (2015, 2011, 2007) and two AAANZ prizes for best anthology in 2015 (Double Desire) and 2012 (How Aborigines Invented the Idea of Contemporary Art).


Ann Stephen is Senior Curator at Sydney’s newest museum, the Chau Chak Wing Museum at the University of Sydney. Stephen’s curatorial career over four decades has been in public and university museums. She has worked for three decades as a curator and art writer within state museums and as a freelance curator. She has been awarded two ARC grants and many prizes for her academic work. She was appointed a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2009. Since 2014, she has been chair of Art Monthly Australasia.


She has an established national and international publishing record in modernism and conceptual art. Her books tackle both large trends in Australian art, as well as biographic monographs, and include: Bauhaus Diaspora and Beyond: Transforming Education through Art, Design and Architecture (2019, as co-author), Jacky Redgate: Mirrors (2016); Into the Light: The Cultural Collections of the University of Sydney (2010); On Looking at Looking: The Art and Politics of Ian Burn (2006); Modernism & Australia: Documents on Art, Design and Architecture 1917–1967 (2006, as co-author), and Modern Times: The Untold Story of Modernism in Australia (2008, as co-author).


Asian Art Research Now 
Postgraduate Workshop
Convenors: the Australasian Network for Asian Art Research (
Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android:
Password: 124262


Graduate and Early Career Researchers working in the field of Asian Art will participate in an informal workshop with colleagues from around Australia on issues in Asian art research. Participants will have the opportunity to present their research and receive feedback from an invited audience comprised of student supervisors, local and international academics as well as professional colleagues from the academic and museum sectors. We welcome researchers from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, including Art History, Curatorship, Fine Arts and Art Conservation.


Michelle Wun Ting Wong is a Hong Kong-based researcher and curator. From 2012-2020, she was Researcher at Asia Art Archive, where she researched on histories of exchange and circulation through exhibitions and periodicals, and the personal archive of the late Hong Kong artist Ha Bik Chuen (1925-2009). She was Assistant Curator of 11th Gwangju Biennale (2016). She collaborates with artist Wei Leng Tay on the long term collective project Sightlines. Since Yokohama Triennale 2020, she works with curator Kabelo Malatsie and artist Lantian Xie, exploring how curatorial thinking expresses itself infrastructurally. She is currently a PhD student of Art History at The University of Hong Kong. Her writing has been published in Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of Southeast Asian Art, 1945–1990 (2018), the journal Southeast of Now (2019), Oncurating, Ocula Magazine, and SOUTH SOUTH. She is the curator for the exhibition Portals,  Stories, and Other Journeys, presented by Asia Art Archive at Tai Kwun Contemporary (2021). Photo Credit: Luke Casey.


Antariksa is an independent historian and artist. His main research interest is art history and mobility of ideas in 1930s-1940s Japanese-occupied Asia. In 1999 he co-founded KUNCI Study Forum & Collective, a collective focusing on experiments with methods in producing and sharing knowledge through the acts of studying together at the intersections between affective, manual and intellectual labor. Antariksa has been a research fellow at art and academic intitutions including Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Ujazdowski Centre for Contemporary Art, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute, Leiden University Libraries, and Foundation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme. Antariksa uses exhibitions as a medium to make archives and their stories public, physical and interactive. His installations have been presented at galleries, institutions and biennials including Europalia, Taman Ismail Marzuki, Sharjah Biennial, Asian Art Biennial, Gallery SOAP Kitakyushu, Contemporary Art Museum Kumamoto, and Orange Regional Gallery. Photo credit: Leiden University Libraries.


Sabine Cotte is a French-Australian private conservator, based in Melbourne (Australia) since 2001. She holds conservation degrees from Institut National du Patrimoine (Paris), ICCROM (Rome) and a PhD from University of Melbourne, Australia, on the materials and techniques of Mirka Mora. Her PhD led to a book for the general public:  Mirka Mora, a life making art, published by Thames and Hudson Australia, in 2019. She has participated in several workshops in the Himalayan region for UNESCO, ICCROM and private NGOs, focusing on training local people in conservation and in disaster recovery. She has published many articles and given many talks in professional journals and conferences. She is an Honorary Fellow of the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, a casual lecturer in the Masters of Cultural Materials Conservation and a tutor in the Masters of Curatorship, University of Melbourne.


Restless Objects and Collections in a Global Nineteenth Century
Postgraduate and Early Career Research Intensive
Convenors: Kathleen Davidson, Stephen Gilchrist and Mary Roberts, Department of Art History and the Power Institute, The University of Sydney


This intensive is aimed at graduate students and early career researchers whose scholarship engages with current debates about the unstable cultural histories of objects and practices of collecting in the nineteenth century.


The material turn has alerted us to the mutability and ancestral resonance of object narratives, and studies in collecting have drawn our attention to the way practices of collection and display affirmed or disrupted systems of knowledge associated with imperialism in the nineteenth century. But such studies tend to remain siloed within particular national narratives and singular imperial histories. We are interested in orchestrating a dialogue between scholars working in diverse geographic contexts that consider how objects and collections travelled in the nineteenth century and how meanings shifted as they moved between and beyond cultures and systems of knowledge. How do practices of collection formation and object histories intersect and diverge in multiple geographic and cross-cultural contexts? What is the homing desire of these objects? Will they again be mobile? How do Indigenous voices add to this discussion?

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