Russell McGregor is Adjunct Professor of History in the College of Arts, Society and Education. Before his retirement in 2013, he taught modern world history, Australian history and historiographic theory at James Cook University.

His research has focussed mainly on the history of settler Australian policies and attitudes toward Indigenous Australians. His publications in this field include the books Indifferent Inclusion: Aboriginal People and the Australian Nation (winner of the 2012 NSW Premier's Prize for Australian History; shortlisted for the 2012 Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History) and Imagined Destinies: Aboriginal Australians and the Doomed Race Theory (winner of the 1998 WK Hancock Prize for History). He also publishes on the history of Australian nationalism and environmental history. Weaving these two themes together, his latest book, Environment, Race and Nationhood in Australia: Revisiting the Empty North, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in July 2016.

As well as several smaller projects, he is currently working on three major research projects: One (in conjunction with several colleagues from anthropology and archaeology) is an ARC-funded study of ethnographic collecting in the wet tropics of North Queensland; the second is a history of the Gugu Badhun people of the upper Burdekin region of North Queensland; the third is a biography of the popular natural history writer, conservationist, ornithologist, journalist and encyclopedia editor, Alec Chisholm.

Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2012 - Shortlisted for Prime Minister's Prize for Australian History
  • 2012 - NSW Premier's Prize for Australian History
  • 1998 - W.K Hancock Prize, Australian Historical Association
  • Research Fellow, Cairns Institute
  • 1997 - Australian Studies Fellow, Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest
  • 2016 to 2017 - David Scott Mitchell Fellow, Mitchell Library, Sydney
  • Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  • Australian Historical Association

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 77+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Russell McGregor from 1993 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Australian Research Council - Discovery - Projects

Objects of Possession: Artefact Transactions in the Wet Tropics of North Queensland, 1870 -2013

Indicative Funding
$350,000 over 3 years
This project will provide the first systematic history of ethnographic collecting in the Wet Tropics of North Queensland. Covering the period from the 1870s to the present, it will explore the diverse ways in which Aboriginal peoples, collectors and museums have expressed their interests and property rights in the collected artefacts. It will also analyse the ways in which Aboriginal peoples of the Wet Tropics have vested these artefacts with their regional and other identities. By doing so, it will shed new light on current debates about the ownership and value of Indigenous artefacts and contribute to the development of innovative ways of presenting Indigenous peoples? connections with their material cultural heritage.
Rosita Henry, Russell McGregor, Michael Wood, Shelley Greer and Ton Otto (College of Arts, Society & Education and Division of Tropical Environments & Societies)
Cultural Anthropology; Aboriginal History; Property claims; Identity; artefact transactions; indigenous museums; artefact collectors

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Cultural Landscape in the historical Perspective of White Settlement in the Wet Tropics: Case Study of Redlynch Valley (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Developing the Queensland Tropics: The Ideas and Politics of Northern Development 1901-2014 (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Indigenous and First Nations Women in Indigenous Leadership: a Comparative Study (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • The Deep North and the Near North: The Relationship Between North Queensland and Japan, 1894-1991 (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM)
  • An Army of Naturalists: John Gould's Australian Network of Collectors and Correspondents. (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM)

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