Dr Katherine Ellinghaus

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P: 03 9905 2179

School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies

Kat co-convened the Australia and New Zealand American Studies Association conference, held at Monash University’s Caulfield campus 30 June – 1 July 2015.

Biography

Kat Ellinghaus holds a Monash Fellowship in the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies at Monash University. She was an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Melbourne from 2002 to 2006, and also lectured in United States history there from 1999. She is the author of Taking Assimilation to Heart: Marriages of White Women and Indigenous Men in the United States and Australia, 1887-1937 (University of Nebraska Press, 2006) and The Outalucks: Native Americans of Mixed Descent and Assimilation Policy in the United States, 1880s–1940s (University of Nebraska Press, forthcoming).

Kat writes and researches in the areas of colonial history, transnational and comparative history, interracial relationships and the social and cultural history of the United States and Australia. In 2014 she was awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery Project to write the first national history of Aboriginal exemption policies: The Burden of Freedom? A History of Aboriginal Exemption Policies in Australia.

Ph.D.
Institution: The University of Melbourne
Year awarded: 2002

Bachelor of Arts (Hons)
Institution: The University of Melbourne
Year awarded: 1996

Current Research

The Burden of Freedom? Aboriginal Exemption Policies in Australia

This project was funded for four years under the ARC Discovery Project scheme in 2014. It will be the first major study of the clauses in Aboriginal Protection Acts which allowed Aborigines to be released from control by the government, also known as exemption policies. It will examine rich and underutilised government archives and provide a nuanced account of how Aboriginal people negotiated the pressures and possibilities of assimilation from 1897–1967. At the same time, it will reveal how non-Aboriginal Australians imagined Aborigines becoming equal citizens.

A Modest Investment in Civilisation: The Contradictions of Indigenous Assimilation in Australia and the United States, 1880s-1960s

This project uses a comparative methodology to investigate Native American and Aboriginal people’s role as consumer citizens in capitalist economies. It examines the limited financial opportunities offered by assimilation policies in the United States and Australia and explores both indigenous people’s experiences and white Australians’ and Americans’ hesitancy to fully imagine indigenous people as consumers, entrepreneurs, and self-sufficient workers, farmers and domestic servants.

The Outalucks: Native Americans of Mixed Descent, Blood and Assimilation Policy in the United States (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, under contract).

This forthcoming book describes how the category of “scattered,” landless, unenrolled Native Americans who lived with a “clouded” legal status came to be created. It is the story of a variegated body of people who had only two things in common—that they were of mixed ancestry and that they had never been given, or had been deprived of, the government-defined status of “Indian” and the protections and financial advantages that came with it. The making of this category of Indian is an important, and often unacknowledged, part of the history of the assimilation period, which spanned the years from 1887 to 1934. Their story is integral to an understanding of how Native Americans came to be one of the most disadvantaged groups in the United States, and it is a significant part of the background to present-day debates about Indian identity and tribal membership.

Areas of Research and Supervision

Colonial history; Gender; Transnational and Comparative History; Interracial relationships; Indigenous assimilation policies; Social and cultural history of the United States and Australia.

Select Publications

Books

reorienting-whitenesstaking-assimilation-to-heartKatherine Ellinghaus, Taking Assimilation to Heart: Marriages of White Women and Indigenous Men in Australia and the United States, 1887-1937 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2006).

Leigh Boucher, Jane Carey and Katherine Ellinghaus, eds, Re-Orienting Whiteness: Transnational Perspectives on the History of an Identity (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).

Articles and Chapters

Katherine Ellinghaus, “A Little Home for Myself and Child”: Indian Women, Competency and Colonialism,” Pacific Historical Review 84, no. 3 (2015): 307-332.

Katherine Ellinghaus, “Mixed Descent Indian Identity and Assimilation Policy,” in Gregory D. Smithers, Brian D. Behnken, and Brooke N. Newman, Native Diasporas: Indigenous Identities and Settler Colonialism in North America(Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2014).

Katherine Ellinghaus, ‘Getting There,’ in Searching for the American Dream: How a Sense of Place Shapes the Study of History, ed. Glenn Moore (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013).

Katherine Ellinghaus, “Biological Absorption and Genocide: A Comparison of Indigenous Assimilation Policies in the United States and Australia,” Genocide Studies and Prevention 4, no. 2 (April 2009): 59-79.

Katherine Ellinghaus, “Intimate Assimilation: White/Indigenous Intermarriage in the United States and Australia, 1880s–1930s,” in Gender, Mobility and Intimacy in an Age of Empire, ed. Tony Ballantyne and Antoinette Burton (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2009), 211-228.

Katherine Ellinghaus, “The Benefits of Being Indian: Disputed Citizenship, Tribal Rolls and Allotment Policy on the White Earth Reservation, 1889-1920,” Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies 29, nos 2 &3 (2008): 81-107.

Katherine Ellinghaus, “Indigenous Assimilation and Absorption in the United States and Australia,” Pacific Historical Review 75, no. 4 (2006): 563-85.

Katherine Ellinghaus, “Absorbing the Aboriginal Problem: Controlling Marriage in Australia in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century,” Aboriginal History 27 (2003): 185-209.

Katherine Ellinghaus, “Margins of Acceptability:  Class, Education and Interracial Marriage in Australia and America,” Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies 3, no. 3 (2002): 55-75.

Katherine Ellinghaus, “Regulating Koori Marriages: The 1886 Victorian ‘Aborigines Protection Act,'” Journal of Australian Studies 67 (2001): 22-29.