In Her Place: state intervention and Indigenous domestic service in Australia and the United States, 1880-1945
Researcher: Dr Victoria Haskins
Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (2009-2013) - $686 400
From the late nineteenth century to the Second World War governments around Australia enacted and carried out policies involving the forcible placement and control of Indigenous girls and women in domestic service. The placement of Native American girls and women as domestic workers in white households during the same period, under federal US government policy known as the ‘Outing policy’, is a history that parallels Australian Aboriginal experience of domestic ‘apprenticeships’, but is little known outside, or indeed inside, the US. Such state interventions had a major impact on race and gender relations but their significance for the shaping of the twentieth century nation is little understood. Offering a transnational analysis that compares the Aboriginal with the Native American experience of state intervention in domestic service, this project illuminates not only our national past, but also the deeper significance of Indigenous women’s place in the history of settler colonial nations. This exciting and groundbreaking project, supported under the ARC Future Fellowship scheme and entailing an international conference on race, domestic service and colonisation, will generate and develop important insights about Indigenous histories that go beyond national confines.