Dr Nikita Vanderbyl

Nikita Vanderbyl

I’m a writer, researcher, and teacher of history to undergraduate students. I am most interested in the transnational art histories of Aboriginal cultural objects and artworks from the nineteenth century and their relevance to communities today.  

My doctoral thesis (2019) about Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung artist and diplomat William Barak, examined how his artwork ended up in European museums and what his actions reveal about the preservation of Wurundjeri Woi wurrung heritage.

My expertise and interest also extend to the legacies of British slave ownership and its connections to Australia's colonisation. My research has been published in Aboriginal History, La Trobe Journal and on the Conversation. In 2018 I won the Community History Award for best peer-reviewed journal article.

In 2020 I co-published with Professor Alan Lester 'the Restructuring of the British Empire and the Colonization of Australia, 1832–8' in History Workshop Journal. In 2021 I co-published with Professor Barry Judd 'Unfashionable Goodes: The wrong kind of blak and the scandalisation of Indigenous masculinities in settler-Australia' in Fashionable Masculinities (forthcoming).

I have taught history, sociology and critical criminology for La Trobe University and Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne, as well a providing research assistance to historians and community members in Victoria. I am member of the Australian Historical Association, the Professional Historians Association, and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association. I am a counsellor for the Royal Historical Society of Victoria.

I am always interested to work on projects which support First Nations' goals in the areas of cultural heritage, art and history.

This website includes material from my newsletter Slow Looking, and links to publications.

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