Emeritus Professor Tim Rowse

Emeritus Professor

Professor Tim Rowse with trees and the Female Orphan School in the background.Professor Tim Rowse is a former Professorial Fellow in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts and is Emeritus Professor in the Institute for Culture and Society.

Although much of what he writes can best be described as History, his formal training has been in Government, Sociology and Anthropology.

He has taught at Macquarie University, the Australian National University and Harvard University (where he held the Australian Studies chair in 2003-4), and he has held research appointments at the University of Sydney, the University of Melbourne, the University of Queensland and the ANU.

Since the early 1980s, his research has focused on the relationships between Indigenous and other Australians, in Central Australia (where he lived from 1989 to 1996) and in the national political sphere. In the 1990s, this and other interests led him to write two books about the life and works of Dr H.C. Coombs.


  • PhD, 1991, University of Sydney
  • MA, 1977, The Flinders University of South Australia
  • BA Hons, 1974, University of Sydney

Research Focus

  • Australian history - particularly the indigenous, colonial story; and twentieth century Australian history - including government policies towards Aboriginal people, and Aboriginal responses to colonisation (both nationally and with reference to Central Australia); cultural policy; and the history of official statistics.
  • Australian intellectuals in social science and public policy.
  • Comparative settler colonial Indigenous policy.

Recent Awards and Recognition

  • Shortlisted for the Ernest Scott Prize in 2018, and for the Prime Minister’s prize for Australian History in 2018, for Indigenous and other Australians since 1901 (UNSW Press, 2017)
  • Awarded a Centenary Medal by the Australian Government in 2003 for work in Australian and Indigenous Studies.
  • Awarded the Henry Mayer Prize in 2010 by the Australian Political Studies Association for the best article published in 2009 in the APSA journal Australian Journal of Political Studies.
  • Member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  • Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities
  • Fellow of the Australian Social Science Academy

Selected Publications

Bamblett, L, Myers, F & Rowse, T (eds) 2019, The difference identity makes: Indigenous cultural capital and Australian cultural fields (opens in a new window), Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra.

Rowse, T 2019, ‘A short and simple provisional code: the pastoralist as "protector"’, in S Furphy & A Nettelbeck (eds), Aboriginal protection and its intermediaries in Britain’s Antipodean colonies (opens in a new window), Routledge, New York & London, pp. 175-193.

Rowse, T & Pertierra, A 2019, ‘From white nation to white caution: non-Indigenous reflections on Indigenous difference’ (opens in a new window), Journal of Australian Studies, DOI: 10.1080/14443058.2019.1640769.

Rowse, T 2018, 'The moral world of the Native Mounted Police', Law & History, vol. 5, no. 1, p. 1-23.

Rowse, T & Waterton, E 2018, ‘The “difficult heritage” of the Native Mounted Police’ (opens in a new window), Memory Studies, DOI: 10.1177/1750698018766385.

Rowse, T 2017, 'The statistical table as colonial knowledge' (opens in a new window), Itinerario, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 51-73.

Rowse, T 2017, Indigenous and other Australians since 1901 (opens in a new window), NewSouth Press, Sydney.

Rowse, T 2015, 'The indigenous redemption of liberal universalism', Modern Intellectual History, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 579-603.

Ford, L & Rowse, T 2012, Between settler and indigenous governance (opens in a new window), Routledge, London.

Goot, M & Rowse, T 2007, Divided nation? Indigenous affairs and the imagined public (opens in a new window), Melbourne University Press, Carlton.



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