AsPr Christopher Ballard


Research activity per year

Personal profile


My current interests revolve around indigenous Melanesian historicities - their transformation through cross-cultural encounters; their representation through various media, including film and fiction; and their articulation with contemporary challenges such as land reform, large natural resource projects, and cultural heritage management planning. I am also engaged, together with Bronwen Douglas, in an ARC Discovery Project on "European Naturalists and the Constitution of Human Difference in Oceania". Publications under preparation include an edited collection on the history of racial science in Oceania, and a monograph on violence and first contact in the New Guinea Highlands.

Career highlights

UNCEN-ANU Baseline Studies Project at the Freeport mine, Irian Jaya (1996-98); Visiting positions as Directeur de Recherche, CNRS, Marseille (1999-2000), and as Directeur de Recherche, EHESS, Paris (2001); nomination for World Heritage status of Chief Roi Mata's Domain on behalf of the Republic of Vanuatu (2007).

Research interests

Resource ownership and land rights; violence and human rights; racism, concepts of "race" and colonial encounters; social and agricultural transformations; narrative and memory; sacred geography; theory in the disciplines of history, anthropology, archaeology and geography; regional interests in eastern Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.


BA (Hons), PhD (ANU)

Expertise Areas

  • Agricultural Land Management
  • Sustainable Agricultural Development
  • Horticultural Crop Growth and Development
  • Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific
  • Studies of Pacific Peoples' Societies
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Archaeology
  • Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas
  • Archaeology of New Guinea and Pacific Islands (excl. New Zealand)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History
  • Asian History
  • Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
  • Pacific History (excl. New Zealand and Maori)
  • History and Philosophy of Science (incl. Non-historical Philosophy of Science)


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