PhD (University of Sydney) 2004.
I teach and write on transnational histories of migration, displacement, refugees and family, with a current focus on the Displaced Persons of postwar Europe. My book Destination Elsewhere: Displaced Persons and their Quest to Leave Postwar Europe is forthcoming with Cornell University Press (November 2021) https://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/9781501760228/destination-elsewhere/#bookTabs=1. It explores the encounters of refugees with the international aid agencies, western migration agents and Allied forces on European soil during the war's aftermath, and the struggle to redefine refugees as immigrants to the West. I have also written extensively on the histories of families broken apart by the immigration policies of western nations.
My other main interest is in Australian migration history. My co-authored book with Julie Kalman, Smuggled: An Illegal History of Journeys to Australia (NewSouth Publishing, 2021), explores the histories of refugees and their people smugglers since the Holocaust: https://www.newsouthbooks.com.au/books/smuggled/ I hold an ARC Discovery grant with Professor Sheila Fitzpatrick from the University of Sydney and Dr Jayne Persian at the University of Southern Queensland, on the subject of Russian and Russian-speaking Jewish Displaced Persons arriving in Australia via the 'China' Route in the Wake of the Second World War.
My background as a filmmaker has also led me to become increasingly interested in the importance of making Australian history in accessible and creative ways. In 2019, my most recent radio documentary 'Cooking for Assimilation' aired on ABC Radio National's Hindsight program: https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/the-history-listen/cooking-for-assimilation/10595470. It is about the migration of my grandmother as a Jewish refugee to Australia, and more broadly, about the expectations and challenges women migrants faced in postwar Australia.
The Ernst Keller European Fellowship, Australian Academy of the Humanities, 2011.
The National Film and Sound Archive, Scholar-In-Residence, 2010.
The Centre for Media and History (Mediale Historiographien), Bauhaus University, Weimar, Germany, 1 March, 2008 – 30 June, 2008.
The Centre for Pasts Inc, Historical Studies, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, 1 July, 2008 – 1 November, 2008.
Australian Vogel Literary Award 2004
Dendy Documentary Award 2002
Australian Historical Association
Australian Feminist History Group
Australian Studies Research Network
I teach across all level of the Bachelor of Arts degree.
ARTS1271: The History of the Present
ARTS2271: Inventing Modern Australia
ARTS3289: Documentary Film and History.
ARTS3292: Migrants and Refugees in Australian History.