I am a social historian with expertise across Australian urban history, colonialism in north-east India, and digital techniques in the humanities, with broader critical and applied interests in cultural heritage and public history.As an urban historian I have published widely on the social experience of the Australian city, its public spaces and communal rituals, its suburban qualities, and its cosmopolitan cultures. As Director of 'The Encyclopedia of Melbourne', I guided that project's development from the mid 1990s to its publication by Cambridge University Press in 2005.
My interests in multimedia have seen me develop history in new media formats, including Melbourne Podtours (http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2008/03/28/2201932.htm), eGold (http://www.egold.net.au/), Pathways to the Past (a learning module on using images as historical evidence; https://arts.unimelb.edu.au/shaps/resources/teaching/pathways-to-the-past), and ongoing development of eMelbourne (the Encyclopedia of Melbourne in online format: http://www.emelbourne.net.au/). As Director of the Melbourne History Workshop (https://melbournehistoryworkshop.com), I oversee a studio-based research collaboratory in the History Program at the University of Melbourne which taps the pooled expertise of staff, research higher degree students and affiliates in order to provide innovative and rigorously-applied historical research, postgraduate training, industry collaboration and community-facing projects. The Workshop’s focus is the exciting synergy between urban history and cultural heritage, and builds on three decades of my teaching, research and engagement in the sector. As part of the Workshop, I produce the regular ‘My Marvellous Melbourne’ podcast (http://mymarvellousmelbourne.net.au).As a historian of imperialism, I have further and particular interest in aspects of religion, governance, identity and cultural heritage in the Khasi Hills of North-East India, a key contribution to the scholarship being "Welsh Missionaries and British Imperialism: The Empire of Clouds in North-East India" published in the Manchester University Press Studies in Imperialism Series. Here I am especially concerned with locating and understanding Indigenous agency in the colonial archive, Indigenous cultural resistance to proselytization, as well as the processes, impacts and legacies of British imperialism in a tribal and highly Christianised part of India.I am currently historian member of the Victorian Heritage Council, a board member of the History Council of Victoria, on the executive of the European Association for Urban History, and an editorial board member of Urban History and the Journal of Urban History. I have served on boards and/or advisory committees of the Australian Historical Association, Australian Historical Studies, the City of Melbourne, Heritage Victoria, Melbourne Immigration Museum, Melbourne Museum, the National Trust of Australia (Victoria), Public Record Office Victoria, Royal Historical Society of Victoria, State Library of Victoria, and the National Archives of Australia. In 2006 I was awarded the 'Individual Contribution to Profile' award in the City of Melbourne's 'Melbourne Awards'.
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Paper ambassadors: letterheads and the iconography of urban modernity
AJ MAY, S Banham, C Eid
Journal article | 2014 | Provenance: The journal of Public Record Office Victoria
The decorative letterhead as an ephemeral visual source is part of the minutiae of daily institutional correspondence from which t..
Homo in Nubibus: Altitude, Colonisation and Political Order in the Khasi Hills of Northeast India
Journal article | 2014 | Journal of imperial and commonwealth history
India's tribal northeast continues to be a footnote in national and international historiography. Influenced by James C. Scott's r..
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Honours, Awards and Fellowships
FASSA - Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia
NOTINLIST - Not in List
Professor In Australian History
Historical And Philosophical Studies
Victorian Heritage Council
International Board Member
International Committee Member
European Association for Urban History
Executive Member And Treasurer
Australian Historical Association
Doctor of Philosophy
University of Melbourne