Announcing John Barrett Award Winners

Kumi Kato, ‘Australia’s Whaling Discourse: Global Norm, Green Consciousness and Identity’, Journal of Australian Studies, Vol.39 No.4 (December) (2015): 477-493.

Kumi Kato’s paper succinctly traces the changing nature of Australia’s whaling discourse across a century of non-print media, drawing out the ways it has helped shape international relations in a shifting geopolitical environment. More widely, the essay demonstrates how whaling discourse has contributed to changing understandings of human-nature relationships in Australia and elsewhere. Kato’s sensitive and lucid analysis reveals the complexity of these issues within a global context, and asks us to rethink the conventional dichotomy of Western (anti-whaling) conservation and Japanese (pro-whaling) cultural difference that has come to define whaling discourse internationally.

John Barrett Award: Postgraduate Category


Chelsea Barnett, ‘Man’s Man: Representations of Australian Post-War Masculinity in Man Magazine’, Journal of Australian Studies, Vol.39 No.2 (June) (2015): 151-169.

The 1950s, so long dismissed as a period of stultifying conservatism and conformity, receives nuanced analysis in Chelsea Barnett’s fine analysis of the men’s magazine Man. Adding to a growing body of scholarship on the intellectual tensions and debates running through this ostensibly stable decade, Barnett explores how Man magazine represents masculinity as an unstable category against the social and cultural backdrop of 1950s Australia. Her essay demonstrates that the model of 1950s Australian manhood portrayed in Man did not so much reinforce the model of manhood so readily imagined from that period, but rather problematized it.

John Barrett Award: Highly Commended (Open Category)

The judging panel identified one essay for High Commendation.

Alana Piper, ‘“I’ll have no man”: Female Families in Melbourne’s Criminal Subcultures, 1860-1920’, Journal of Australian Studies, Vol.39 No.4 (December) (2015): 444-460.

Alana Piper’s essay contributes new research to a neglected area of history by exploring the intersections between domestic life and the criminal law, tracing the household and family cultures of ‘criminal women’ and the forms of security they forged from precarious circumstances. Drawing upon a rich array of archival research, her essay offers fascinating insight into the social and economic forces that cemented women’s domestic relationships to each other rather than to husbands or fathers, and that produced a ‘disorderly’ feminine subculture in late colonial and pre-war Melbourne.