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.  

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. Nineteenth-century Russian art and history, in particular the applied arts and the work of Pavel Ovchinnikov are also my research interests. My research has been published in Aboriginal History Journal, The 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.

I have taught history and criminology for La Trobe University, guest presented for Deakin and 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, the Royal Historical Society of Victoria and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association.

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

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