Professor Fiona Paisley FASSA FAHA is a cultural historian at Griffith University who works on progressive networks and the reform of settler colonialism in the first half of the twentieth century. Her recent books include The Lone Protestor: AM Fernando in Australia and Europe (2012), Glamour in the Pacific: Cultural Internationalism and Race Politics in the Women’s Pan-Pacific (2009) and a collection co-edited with Kirsty Reid, Sources and Methods in Histories of Colonialism (2017). Current projects include affective communities and the ends of empire; Pan-Pacific internationalism, education, and colonial policy in the 1930s; and Australian humanitarianism, Aboriginal rights, and anti-slavery discourse from the 1910s to the 1950s.


Work: (07) 373 57464


Twitter: @fpaisleyhistory


Doctor of Philosophy

La Trobe University, 1996

Masters of Education

Melbourne University, 1989

Diploma of Education

Monash University, 1982

Professor of History, School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science, Griffith University

Co-Leader, History/Media/Change, Griffith Social and Cultural Research Centre, 2016-

Deputy Head of School (Research), School of Humanities, Griffith University 2012 -2014

Deputy Director, Centre for Public Culture and Ideas, Griffith University 2003-2007

Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities

Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia

International Board of History of Education

International Board of Women and Empires

Australian Editorial Board, Anthem Press International


Fiona Paisley and Pamela Scully, Writing Transnational History, Bloomsbury, 2019

Reid,Kirsty and Fiona Paisley (eds), Sources and Methods in Histories of Colonialism: Approaching the Imperial Archive, Routledge, 2017

Allen, Margaret, Jane Haggis, Clare Midgely, and Fiona Paisley, Cosmopolitan Lives on the Cusp of Empire: Interfaith, Cross-Cultural and Transnational Networks, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017

Fiona Paisley and Kirsty Reid (eds), Critical Perspectives on Colonialism: Writing the Empire from Below, Routledge, 2014

Prue Ahrens, Lamont Lindstrom and Fiona Paisley, Across the World with the Johnsons: Visual Culture and Empire in the Twentieth Century, Ashgate, 2013

Fiona Paisley, The Lone Protestor: AM Fernando in Australia and Europe Aboriginal Studies, Press, 2012

Fiona Paisley, Glamour in the Pacific: Cultural Internationalism and Race Politics in the Women’s Pan-Pacific University of Hawaii Press, 2009 (and Ebook)

Cole, Anna, Victoria Haskins, and Fiona Paisley (eds), Uncommon Ground: White Women in Aboriginal History, Aboriginal Studies Press, 2005

Fiona Paisley, Loving Protection? Australian Feminism and Aboriginal Women’s Rights 1919-1939, Melbourne University Press, 2000 (and Ebook)

Special Journal Issues

‘Everyday Cultures of Australian Internationalism in the Mid-Twentieth Century’, with Kate Darian-Smith and Catriona Elder, Journal of Australian Studies (2019)

‘Anti-Slavery and Settler Colonialism in World History’, History Compass, 15:52017

‘Anti-Slavery and its Legacies’, Australian Historical Studies, with Jane Lydon, 45:1 2014

‘Settler Colonialism and the Colonial Turn’, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, 4:32003

‘New Comparisons, International Worlds’, Australian Feminist Studies, 16:36 2001

Journal Articles

Paisley, Fiona, 'Being International at Home: Australian Public Opinion in the League Era', Journal of Australian Studies, forthcoming 2020.

Paisley, Fiona, 'The Italo-Abyssinian Crisis and Australia Settler Colonialism in 1935', History Compass Special Issue on Anti Slavery and Settler Colonialism in World History. 15:5 (2017).

Paisley, Fiona. (2017). Sexuality, Nationalism, and Race: Humanitarian Debate about Indian Indenture in Fiji, 1910-18. Labour History, 113, 183–207.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘The Spoils of Opportunity: Janet Mitchell and Australian Internationalism in the Interwar Pacific’, History Australia, 13:4 (2016): 575-591.

Julie McLeod and Fiona Paisley, ‘The Modernization of Colonialism and the Educability of the “Native”: Transpacific Knowledge Networks and Education in the Interwar Years’, History of Education Quarterly, 56:3 (2016): 473-502.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘Applied Anthropology and Interwar Internationalism: Felix and Marie Keesing and the (White) Future of the ‘Native’ Pan-Pacific, Journal of Pacific History 50:3 (2015): 304-321.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘An Echo of Black Slavery: Emancipation, Forced Labour and Australia in 1933’, Australian Historical Studies 45:1 (2014): 103-125.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘Arrested in St Peter’s Square: Anthony Martin Fernando, Aboriginal Rights and Fascist Italy’, Indigenous Modernities: Cultural and Social History 9:4 (2012): 569-588.

Finnane, Mark and Fiona Paisley, ‘Policing on a Colonial Frontier: the “Borroloola Case” and the limits of rule of law in 1930s Australia’, Law and History Review 28:1 (2010): 141-171.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘Death Scene Protest: Aboriginal Rights in 1920s London’, South Atlantic Quarterly 110:4 (2011): 867-883.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘From Nation of Islam to Goodwill Tourist: African American Women at Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women’s Conferences, 1931-1955’, Women’s Studies International Forum, 32 (2009): 21-28.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘Australian Aboriginal Activism in Interwar Britain and Europe: Anthony Martin Fernando’, History Compass 7:3 (2009): 701-18.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘Mock Justice: World Conservation and Australian Aborigines in Interwar Switzerland’, Transforming Cultures eJournal, 3/1 (2008).

Paisley, Fiona, ‘Glamour in the Pacific: Cultural Internationalism and Maori Politics at Pan-Pacific Women’s Conferences in the 1950s’, Pacific Studies 29:1/2 (2006): 54-81.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘Performing “New Zealand”: Maori and Pakeha Delegates at the Pan-Pacific Women’s Conference, Hawai’i, 1934’, New Zealand Journal of History 38:1 (2004): pp. 22-38.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘White Settler Colonialisms and the Colonial Turn: An Australian Perspective’, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History 4:3 (2003): 1-12.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘Introduction’, New Comparisons/International Worlds, Australian Feminist Studies, Special Issue on Comparative History, Australian Feminist Studies 36:16 (2001): 271-77.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘Cultivating Modernity: Culture and Internationalism in Feminism’s Pacific Age’, Journal of Women’s History 14:3 (2002): 105-132.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘Race Hysteria, Darwin, 1938’, Australian Feminist Studies 16:34 (2001): 43-60.

Paisley, Fiona, '‘Federalising the Aborigines? Constitutional Reform in the late 1920s’, Australian Historical Studies 29:111 (1998): 248-266.

Paisley, Fiona, 'Citizens of their World: Australian Feminism and Indigenous Rights in the World Context, 1920s and 1930s', Feminist Review (April 1998) 66-84.

Paisley, Fiona, 'No Back Streets in the Bush: 1920s and 1930s Pro-Aboriginal White Women's Activism and the Trans-Australia Railway', Australian Feminist Studies 12:25 (1997), pp.119-138.

Paisley, Fiona, 'White Women in the Field: Feminism, Cultural Relativism and Aboriginal Rights, 1920-1937', Journal of Australian Studies 52 (1997) 113-125.

Paisley, Fiona, 'Race and Remembrance: Contesting Aboriginal Child Removal in the Inter-War Years', Australian Humanities Review Nov - Dec 1997

Book Chapters

Paisley, Fiona, ‘Looking with their eyes and feeling with their hearts:  The Permanent Mandate Commission and Reform in the Mandates’, in Joy Damousi and Patricia O’Brien, eds, League of Nations: Histories, Legacies and Impact, Melbourne University Press, 2018: 214-36.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘Living Empire’, in Sources and Methods in Histories of Colonialism, edited by Reid and Paisley, Routledge, 2017: chapter 10.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘Cosmopolitan Modernity and Post-Imperial Relations: Dominion Australia and Indian Internationalism in the Interwar Pacific’, in Allen et al, Cosmopolitan Lives on the Cusp of Empire: Interfaith, Cross-Cultural and Transnational Networks, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017: 85-105.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘History Lessons in Hyde Park: Embodying the Australian Frontier in Interwar London’, in Critical Perspectives on Colonialism: Writing the Empire from Below edited by Fiona Paisley and Kirsty Reid, Routledge 2014: 85-101.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘Resistance in Exile: Anthony Martin Fernando, Australian Aboriginal activist, internationalist, and traveller in Europe’, in Transnational Lives: Biographies in Global Modernity, edited by Desley Deacon, Penny Russell and Angela Woollacott, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010: 183-194.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘Performing Interracial Harmony: Maori Delegates, the New Zealand Delegation and Cultural Internationalism in the Pan-Pacific’, in Tony Ballantyne and Antoinette Burton (eds), Moving Subjects: Mobility, Intimacy and Gender in an Age of Global Empire, Duke University Press, 2009: 127-146.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘An education in white brutality: Anthony Martin Fernando and Australian Aboriginal rights in transnational context’, in Annie Coombes (editor), Rethinking Settler Colonialism: History and Memory in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa (Manchester University Press, 2006): 209-226.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘Race Hysteria: Darwin 1938’, in Tony Ballantyne and Antoinette Burton (editors), Bodies in Contact: Rethinking Colonial Encounters in World History, Duke University Press, 2005: 234-252.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘Mary Bennett and Chief Protector Neville: Protection, Absorption and the Future of the Aborigines’, in Tim Rowse (ed), Contesting Assimilation, API-Network, 2005: 71-84.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘“For a Brighter Day”: Constance Ternent Cooke’, in Anna Cole, Victoria Haskins and Fiona Paisley (eds), Uncommon Ground: White Women in Aboriginal History, Aboriginal Studies Press, 2005: 172-196.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘Childhood and Race: Growing up in the Empire’ in Philippa Levine (ed), Gender and Empire, Oxford University Press, 2004: 240-259.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘Discoveries made in the Archives’, in Stuart Macintyre (ed) The Historian’s Conscience: Australian Historians on the Ethics of History, Melbourne University Press, 2004: 118-125.

Paisley, Fiona, ‘“Unnecessary Crimes and Tragedies”: Race, Gender and Sexuality in Australian Policies of Aboriginal Child Removal’, in Antoinette Burton (ed), Gender, Sexuality and Colonial Modernity, Routledge, New York, 1999: 134-147.

Paisley, Fiona, 'Challenging Aboriginal Policy in the Inter-War Years', in Barbara Caine et al (eds), Oxford Australian Feminism, A Companion, Oxford University Press, 1998: 168-73.

Paisley, Fiona, 'Feminist Challenges to White Australia, 1900-1940', in Diane Kirkby (ed), Sex Power and Justice: Historical Perspectives on Law in Australia, Melbourne, Oxford University Press, 1995: 252-269.

Haggis, Jane, Margaret Allen, and Fiona Paisley, ‘Beyond Empire: Transnational Religious Networks and Liberal Cosmopolitanisms’, ARC Discovery Grant 2017-2019

Paisley, Fiona, Jane Lydon, and Jennifer Burn, ‘Anti-Slavery and Australia: Humanitarianism and Popular Culture from 1860 to the Present’, ARC Discovery Grant 2014-2016

Paisley, Fiona, ‘Worldly Encounters: Australian Internationalists and the Future of World Civilization in the Twentieth Century Pan-Pacific’, ARC Discovery Grant 2013-2014

Paisley, Fiona, The Lone Protestor Susan Magarey Medal for Biography 2014

Paisley, Fiona, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Grant, Canberra, 2007 for ‘Anthony Martin Fernando: Aboriginal Internationalist, Activist, and Traveller in Early Twentieth Century and Interwar Europe’

Paisley, Fiona, ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship, ANU, 1999 -2001

Paisley, Fiona, Postdoctoral Fellowship, Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, ANU, 1998

RhD supervision current

Natalie Fong, PhD part-time, Principal Supervisor, ‘Chinese Merchants in the Northern Territory’. Due for submission 2019.

Dianne Heanan, PhD, Associate Supervisor with Prof Mark Finnane, ‘Caught in the Ripetide’: Commenced 2018.

Tonia Chalk, PhD, Associate Supervisor with Prof Mark Finnane, ‘No Marks of Violence on the Body’: Commenced 2018.

Debra Robinson, PhD, Associate Supervisor with Dr Robert Mason, ‘Dreams of Home, Then and Now’.

Thom Combe, PhD, Associate Supervisor with Dr Bruce Buchan, ‘Colonialism at the Crossroads’

Jo Grant, PhD, Principal Supervisor, ‘Imagining Utopia in the Antipodes’. Due for submission in 2019.

RhD supervision completed

Jillian Beard, Associate Supervisor with Dr Bruce Buchan, ‘Conciliation in British Colonial Governance’

Veronika Neuzilova, ‘The Oil of the Dugong’

Elizabth Nunn (MPhil) ‘Sunshine and Shadow’

Karen Laughton, Associate Supervisor with Dr Bruce Buchan, ‘Children and Empire’

Juliette Milner-Thornton, The Long Shadow of the British Empire (published as a book in 2012)

Malcolm Allbrook, Henry Prinsep’s Empire (published as a book in 2014)

Rebecca Crow, ‘Colonialism’s Paradox’

Dale Kerwin (MPhil), Co-Supervisor with Prof Regina Ganter, Aboriginal Dreaming Pathways and Trading Routes (published as a book in 2012)

2018 ‘CF Andrews and the Future of Indian Indenture in Fiji’, Beyond, website for the ARC Project, Beyond Empire: Transnational Religious Networks and Liberal Cosmopolitanisms;

2018 ‘Anna Bugge Wicksell and Education at the Permanent Mandates Commission’ Blog for VIDA, Australian Women’s History Association:

2017 ‘Australian Women at the League of Nations: A Spotlight on Settler Colonialism in the 1930s’ Blog for VIDA, Australian Women’s History Association: Reblogged on Imperial and Global Forum, Blog of the Centre of Imperial and Global History at the University of Exeter; and ‘A Seat at the Table: Australian Women in Global Governance’:

2014 Anti-War Panel, Big Ideas, Radio National, ABC website:

2013 Public Talk on The Lone Protestor: Reconciliation Australia, State Library of Queensland

2013 Queensland History Teachers Association conference presentation and Plenary Panel

2012 ABC Late Night Live interview with Philip Adams, 23 May, ABC website: The Lone Protestor: AM Fernando in Australia and Europe

2012 Launch of The Lone Protestor at the Bishopsgate Institute, London, on 14 June, 2012, by the Equiano Centre and the Raphael Samuel Centre, University College London. Download audio: UCL- Arts and Science on Soundcloud: The Lone Protestor - Fiona Paisley in conversation with Bernardine Evaristo.

2012 Additional media for The Lone Protestor including interviews on ABC Radio in each state and various community radio stations, feature news report on National Indigenous Television and on ABC News 24, and features/reports in Courier Mail, Sydney Morning Herald and Canberra Times. Public Talk: Manning Clarke House, Canberra, The Lone Protestor. Public Talk: State Library of NSW, The Lone Protestor. Public Talk and Book Launch: Avid Reader, Brisbane, The Lone Protestor.

2011 Expert Essay, ‘A Geneva in the Pacific: Reflecting on the First Three Decades of the Pan-Pacific and South East Asia Women’s Association (PPSEAWA)’, for the Women and Social Movements International archival website initiated by the State University of New York Binghamton.

2010 Floor Talk, ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’, National Touring Exhibition on Aboriginal Activism in the Twentieth Century, National Museum of Australia.

2010 Podcast ‘Britain’s Gun Bragging: Aboriginal and Black on the Streets of Interwar London’ presented at the Writing the Empire Conference, Bristol University. Backdoor Broadcasting website, search for Fiona Paisley: Writing the Empire: Scribblings from Below, An international & interdisciplinary conference

2007 Feature about AM Fernando on Awaye! with presenter Daniel Browning and others, Radio National, ABC website: Fernando's Ghost

Convenorships of Events and Invited Panels

Co-Convenor of International Symposium, ‘Cosmopolitics Past and Present: Global Activism and the Dynamics of Race, Faith and Affect’, Sheffield University, December 2017

Invited Plenary, ‘Imperial Entanglements of Faith, Emotion and Affect’, Australian Historical Association Conference, Newcastle, July 2017.

Panel organiser and presenter, ‘Educating for Citizenship and the Future of Colonialism: International, Imperial and Colonial Debates about Educational Reform during the First Decades of the Twentieth Century’ and presenter ‘Education in the Mandates:  the Permanent Mandates Commission in the 1920s and the Education of ‘Natives’,European Social Science and History Conference, Valencia, March/April 2016

Convenor of ‘Anti-Slavery and Australia’, International Symposium, Brisbane, December 2015

Panel organiser and presenter, ‘Eleanor Hinder and the East: An Australian Internationalist and Activist in Inter-war China and Japan’ and presenter ‘Debating the Machine Age: Eleanor Hinder at the Institute of Pacific Relations in Kyoto, Japan, 1929’, 22nd International Conference of Historical Science, Jinan China, August 2015

Convenor of ‘Anti-Slavery and its Legacies’, International Symposium, Brisbane, December 2014

Co-Convenor: ‘Writing the Empire’, International Conference held at Bristol University, 2010