Dr Jennifer Debenham

Dr Jennifer Debenham

Senior Research Assistant

Office PVC - Education and Arts (History)

Career Summary

Biography

Currently a Senior Research Assistant in the Centre for the History of Violence and Conjoint Lecturer in the School for Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle. Special interests in colonial Australia and first contact histories. Other interests include mythology in history, representation, memory, gender, race and class in Australian and international history over a range of time periods.  An anthropological understanding of historical issues steers the perspectives in her inquiry. Her current research is considering the way Aboriginal Australians have been represented on documentary film.

Research Expertise
My research expertise is primarily in the discipline of history. My expertise is especially developed in the history of Indigenous Australians, in particular, how they have been represented on documentary film. I also have expertise in Anthropology and Sociology. This interdisciplinary approach informs the way I approach issues of gender, class, race and ethnicity and how they influence the construction of Australian national identity. The mythological constructions of identity through individual and collective memory, particularly in film, play a central role in my research. A transnational approach to history is also a key aspect of my research. A strong consideration of the historiography of colonial encounters and shifting ideas in scientific thinking are also important areas of interest.

As well as working as a Senior Research Assistant on ARC projects - Colonial Massacres in Central and Eastern Australia, 1788 -1930, (2018) - I am a consultant historian and belong to the Professional Historian’s Association of NSW. I this capacity I have co-authored The Australia Day Regatta, (2014), provided text for signage in Pyrmont Park Redevelopment for the Sydney Harbour Authority, conducted surveys for local government authorities and constructed corporate histories. I have developed skills in oral history practice, the construction of bibliographic databases and Excel spreadsheets. My current projects include writing a history of Indigenous documentary filmmaking; working on an ARC Development Project collecting data about colonial violence on the Australian frontiers and examining the ways in which tertiary students respond to Anzac. My work is informed by interdisciplinary perspectives, especially in the use of qualitative evidence.

Teaching Expertise
Since 2005 I have developed my teaching expertise in my role of tutor. I have taught at undergraduate level and in the English Language and Foundations Studies Program (ELFS), teaching Australian History, Sociology and Lectured a course on Comparative histories of Australia and Canada. I have the ability to teach independently and in teams with both large and small groups of students. As a lecturer and tutor I have received positive feedback from students many of who continue to keep in contact after they have completed their studies. In 2006 I was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence and Learning Support.

Qualifications

  • PhD (Humanities), University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of Newcastle

Keywords

  • Aboriginal history
  • Australian history
  • Film studies
  • Food studies
  • Indigenous filmmakers
  • Sociology
  • Transnational histories

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
130199 Education Systems not elsewhere classified 35
160199 Anthropology not elsewhere classified 35
210399 Historical Studies not elsewhere classified 30

Professional Experience

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/03/2013 -  Senior Research Assistant University of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia
1/04/2011 - 1/10/2011 Research Assistant University of Newcastle
School of Architecture
Australia
1/07/2006 - 1/12/2006 Lecturer/Tutor University of Newcastle
English Language and Foundation Studies Centre
Australia
1/03/2005 -  Tutor University of Newcastle
English Language and Foundation Studies Centre
Australia
1/03/2005 -  Tutor University of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia
1/01/2005 - 1/04/2005 Research Assistant University of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia
1/01/1977 - 1/04/1977 Laboratory Technician

Histology and Embryology

The University of Sydney
School of Medicine
Australia

Membership

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/2009 -  Membership - Professional Historian's Association (NSW) Professional Historian's Association (NSW)
Australia
1/01/2004 -  Membership - Australian Historical Association Australian Historical Association
Australia

Professional appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/2000 -  Laboratory Technician Ramm Botanicals
Australia
1/01/1985 -  Laboratory Technician NSW Dept. of Agriculture
Australia
1/01/1985 -  Laboratory Technician Macquarie Pathology Services
Australia
1/10/1982 -  Laboratory Technician Cenco Citrus Products
United States
1/09/1982 - 1/02/1983 Laboratory Technician Kitchens of Sara Lee
Australia
1/04/1977 - 1/09/1982 Laboratory Technician CSIRO - Molecular and Cellular Biology Unit
Molecular and Cellular Biology Unit
Australia

Awards

Award

Year Award
2019 Dean's Excellence Award
Centre for the History of Violence, University of Newcastle

Distinction

Year Award
2004 Faculty Award, Education and Arts
University of Newcastle

Recipient

Year Award
2006 Research Higher Degree Scholarship
University of Newcastle

Recognition

Year Award
2006 Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence and Learning Support
University of Newcastle
2001 Pro-Vice Chancellor's Award (Dean's Award)
University of Newcastle
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Book (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2014 Cheater C, Debenham JA, The Australia Day Regatta, UNSW Press, Sydney, 304 (2014) [A1]

Journal article (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Kilmister M, Bennett JE, Ford M, Debenham J, 'Treading on sacred ground: confronting the Anzac myth in higher education', History Compass, 15 1-12 (2017) [C1]
DOI 10.1111/hic3.12395
Co-authors Margot Ford, J Bennett
2005 Debenham JA, May JR, 'Making connections: a dialogue about learning and teaching in a tertiary enabling program', Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 45 82-105 (2005) [C1]
Co-authors Josephine May

Conference (11 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Ford M, Bennett JE, Debenham J, Kilmister M, 'Challenging Anzac at the tertiary chalk face: student engagement with critical pedagogy', Book of Abstracts, Wellington, New Zealand (2015) [E3]
Co-authors Margot Ford, J Bennett
2014 Debenham JA, 'William Grayden s Explosive Film, Warburton Aborigines, (1957): Conflicting Media Representations Of The Warburton Aborigines', Conflict in History - Australian Historical Association Annual Conference, University of Queensland, St Lucia (2014) [E3]
2014 Debenham JA, 'Performing Science: the field work of the South Australian Board of Anthropological Research at Cockatoo Creek, 1931', Friends, Foes and Other Intimacies, University of Tasmania, Hobart. (2014) [E3]
2011 Debenham JA, 'The Day We Celebrate: newspaper reports of NSW Anniversary Day Celebrations History at the Edge - Australian Historical Association Biennial Regional Conference 4 8 July, University of Tasmania, Launceston.', History at the Edge - Australian Historical Association Biennial Regional Conference 4 8 July, University of Tasmania, Launceston., Launceston (2011)
2009 Debenham JA, 'Celluloid Narratives: the influence of Darwinian thinking in the construction of Aboriginality and Whiteness in Australian ethnographic films, 1900 1950. Evolution The Experience - 8-13 February, Melbourne Convention Centre, Melbourne.', Evolution The Experience - 8-13 February, Melbourne Convention Centre, Melbourne., Melbourne Convention Centre, Melbourne. (2009)
2008 Debenham JA, 'The Colonial Eye: Celluloid narratives of the primitive 3-5 December, Melbourne. 2008 Re-Orienting Whiteness - Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association', .Re-Orienting Whiteness - Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association, University of Melbourne (2008)
2008 Debenham JA, 'Celluloid Memorials: Fixing Aboriginal Australians in Time and Place Locating History - Australian Historical Association Biennial Conference 7 10 July, University of Melbourne.', Locating History - Australian Historical Association Biennial Conference, University of Melbourne (2008)
2007 Debenham JA, 'Men of Science, Social Darwinism and the construction of whiteness on film in early twentieth century Australian society. Engaging Histories - Biennial Regional Australian Historical Association 2007 23rd 26th September, University of New England, Armidale NSW.', Engaging Histories - Biennial Regional Australian Historical Association, University of New England, Armidale (2007)
2007 Debenham JA, 'Stationary cameras and stilted views: Technology, anthropology and the construction of race at the turn of the Twentieth Century', Historicising Whiteness: Transnational Perspectives on the Construction of an Identity, Melbourne (2007) [E1]
2006 Debenham JA, 'Stationary Cameras and Stilted Views: Technology, Anthropology and the Construction of Race at the Turn of the Twentieth century. Historicising Whiteness - Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association 22 24 November, 2006.University of Melbourne.', Historicising Whiteness - Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association, University of Melbourne (2006)
2004 Debenham JA, May JR, 'Making connections: a dialogue about learning and teaching in a tertiary enabling program', Building Foundations 2004 Conference of Enabling Educators, Newcastle, Australia (2004) [E2]
Co-authors Josephine May
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Other (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Ryan Lyndall, Debenham Jennifer, Pascoe William, Brown Mark, 'Colonial Frontier Massacres in Eastern Australia 1788-1872', (2017)
Co-authors Bill Pascoe, Lyndall Ryan

Thesis / Dissertation (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2013 Debenham JA, Representations of Aborigines in Australian Documentary Film, 1901 - 2009., University of Newcastle (2013)
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 1
Total funding $982

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20161 grants / $982

Ourimbah Strategic Research Grant III$982

Funding body: Faculty of Education and Arts

Funding body Faculty of Education and Arts
Project Team

James Bennett, Margot Ford, Jennifer Debenham and Michael Kilmister

Scheme Ourimbah Strategic Research Grant scheme
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2016
Funding Finish 2016
GNo
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON N
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News

University part of winning Walkley Award for coverage of Indigenous Affairs

November 29, 2019

The Killing Times, a collaboration between The Guardian Australia and the University of Newcastle’s Colonial Frontier Massacres research team has been awarded the 2019 Walkley Award for Coverage of Indigenous Affairs.

True extent of colonial frontier massacres revealed as new sites added to interactive map

November 18, 2019

The true extent of massacres on the colonial frontier of Australia has been revealed by researchers at the University of Newcastle. Around 97 per cent of people killed in these massacres were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Massacres on Australia’s colonial frontier climb to 250

July 27, 2018

The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander massacres verified and recorded on an online digital map has risen to 240, following an influx of valuable information and evidence from regional communities around Australia.

Bringing the Humanities into the digital age

August 1, 2017

The launch of the Colonial Frontier Massacres Map, saw a huge huge influx of visitors to the Centre for 21st Century Humanities (C21CH) website

Dr Jennifer Debenham

Position

Senior Research Assistant
Ourimbah Research group. Tutor of Australian History. (Ourimbah); Senior Research Assistant - Center for the Study of Violence (Callaghan)
Office PVC - Education and Arts
Faculty of Education and Arts

Focus area

History

Contact Details

Email jennifer.debenham@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4349 4459

Office

Room Humanities Building Room 1.75
Building School of Humanities and Social Science
Location Ourimbah
10 Chittaway Road
Ourimbah, NSW 2258
Australia
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