Dr Ben Dibley

Dr Ben Dibley with trees and the Female Orphan School in the background.Ben Dibley is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society. His research interests have two strands. The first concerns questions of colonialism and museums; particularly in relation to the settler context and its legacy. The second, concerns questions of the human and the nonhuman in relation to the unfolding ecological crisis. These strands cross in a shared theoretical cum methodological orientation which draws on insights from postcolonial theory, governmentality theory and assemblage theory. 



2005, Doctor of Philosophy, Australian National University

1996, Master of Arts (First class Honours), The University of Auckland

Honours and Awards

1999: The Australian National University Ph.D Scholarship, Canberra.

1996: Roger Oppenheim Memorial Prize in Sociological Research, The University of Auckland, Auckland.

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Selected Publications


Bennett, T, Cameron, F, Dias, N, Dibley, B, Harrison, R, Jacknis, I & McCarthy, C  (forthcoming, under contract) 2016, Collecting, ordering, governing: anthropology and liberal governmentDuke University Press, Durham, NC. 

Book Chapters

Dibley, B & Harrison, R (forthcoming, under contract) 2016, 'Collecting and governing: the rationalities of colonial rule in two Australian administered territories', in T Bennett et al., Collecting, ordering, governing: anthropology and liberal government, Duke University Press, Durham, NC.

Harrison, R & Dibley, B (forthcoming, under contract) 2016, 'A liberal archive of everyday life: mass observation as Oligopticon', in T Bennett et al., Collecting, ordering, governing: anthropology and liberal government, Duke University Press, Durham, NC.

Muecke, S & Dibley, B 2015, 'Five theses for reinstituting economics: anthropological lessons from Broome', in W Sanders (ed.), Engaging Indigenous economy: debating diverse approaches, CAEPR monograph Series, ANU Press, Canberra.

Dibley, B 2015, 'Anthropocene: the enigma of "the geomorphic fold"', in HARN Editorial Collective (ed.), Animals in the Anthropocene: critical perspectives on non-human futures (opens in a new window), University of Sydney Press, Sydney, pp. 36-48.

Dibley, B 2014, 'Prospects for a common world: museums, climate change, cosmopolitics', in F Cameron & B Neilson (eds), Climate change, museum futures: the roles and agencies of museums and science centres, Routledge, New York, pp. 58–84.

Dibley, B 2014, 'Antipodean aesthetics, public policy and the museum', in T Neale, C McKinnon & E Vincent (eds), History, power, text: cultural studies and Indigenous studies (opens in a new window), UTS ePress, Sydney, pp. 271–290. [Reprint].

Refereed Journal Articles

Dibley, B 2015, 'Museus e um mundo comum: mudanças climáticas, cosmopolíticas e prática museológica' (opens in a new window), ClimaCom Cultura Científica: Pesquisa, Jornalismo e Arte (opens in a new window), vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 1-19.

Dibley, B & Kelly, M 2015, 'Morale and mass observation: governing the affective atmosphere on the home-front' (opens in a new window), Museum and Society, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 22–41. 

Dibley, B 2014, 'Assembling an anthropological actor: anthropological assemblage and colonial government in Papua' (opens in a new window), History and Anthropology, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 263-279.

Bennett, T, Dibley, B & Harrison, R 2014, 'Introduction: anthropology, collecting and colonial governmentalities' (opens in a new window), History and Anthropology, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 137-149. 

Dibley, B 2012, '"The shape of things to come": seven theses on the Anthropocene and attachment' (opens in a new window), Australian Humanities Review, no. 52, pp. 139–158. 

Dibley, B 2012, '"Nature is us": the Anthropocene and species-being'Transformations, no. 21.  

Dibley, B 2011, 'Museums and a common world: climate change, cosmopolitics, museum practice' (opens in a new window), Museum and Society, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 154-165 

Dibley, B & Neilson, B 2010, 'Climate crisis and the actuarial imaginary: "the war on global warming"' (opens in a new window), New Formations, no. 69, pp. 144-59. 

Dibley, B 2007, 'Antipodean aesthetics, public policy and the museum'Cultural Studies Review, vol. 13, no. 1, 129-149.

Dibley, B 2005, 'The museum's redemption: contact zones, government, and the limits of reform' (opens in a new window), International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 8, no. 1, 5-27.

Edited Volumes

Bennett, T, Dibley, B & Harrison, R (eds) 2014, 'Anthropology, collecting and colonial governmentalities' (opens in a new window), Special Issue, History and Anthropology, vol. 25, no. 2.

Dibley, B & Message, K (eds) 2006, 'Cultural politics and antipodean museums', Special Issue, New Zealand Sociology, vol. 21, no. 1.


Dibley, B 2014, 'Museums and empire: natural history, human cultures and colonial identities/Curating empire: museums and the British imperial experience' (opens in a new window), Australian Historical Studies, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 274-275. 

Other Publications

Dibley, B 2012, 'Colonial Governmentalities: conference report' (opens in a new window), History of anthropology newsletter, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 16–20. 

Message, K & Dibley, B 2006, 'Introduction: cultural politics and antipodean museums', Special Issue, New Zealand Sociology, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 6-10.



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