Dr Agnieszka Sobocinska is a Senior Research Fellow at the National Centre for Australian Studies. She is an historian with research specialisations in Australian relations with Asia and the intersection between popular opinion and international affairs.
Currently, she is working on an ARC DECRA project that traces the rise and influence of development volunteering programs during the 1950s and 1960s. The project aims to ascertain how mainstream ideas about international development and the Third World developed and to trace the political impact of popular opinion through an examination of Australia’s Volunteer Graduate Scheme, Britain’s Voluntary Service Overseas and the United States Peace Corps.
Her latest book, Visiting the Neighbours: Australians in Asia examines the history of Australian travel to Asia from World War II to the present day, showing that travel experiences helped shape both public opinion and diplomacy towards the region.
‘ … Puts travel to Asia firmly on the ‘Asia-literacy’ map. This is not only a richly detailed, subtly argued and historically informed study of the Australian traveller in Asia. It is also smart, sharp and a very good read.’ – David Walker, BHP Billiton Chair of Australian Studies, Peking University.
Visiting the Neighbours: Australians in Asia is available at: https://www.newsouthbooks.com.au/books
With David Walker, she co-edited Australia’s Asia: From Yellow Peril to Asian Century (UWA Publishing, 2012).‘Every now and then a book comes along that forces us to reconceptualise our national history, to see that history, and thus ourselves, in a new way, and to understand how we failed to see what is now so strikingly obvious. Australia’s Asia should be credited as one of these landmark collections.’ – Peter Cochrane review of ‘Australia’s Asia’ in ‘The Australian’, 26/01/2013 Australia’s Asia: From Yellow Peril to Asian Century is available at: http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/australia-s-asia-from-yellow-peril-to-asian-century