Associate Professor Christopher Ballard

BA (Hons), PhD (ANU)
Senior Fellow, School of Culture, History & Language
College of Asia & the Pacific

Areas of expertise

  • Horticultural Crop Growth And Development 070601
  • Government And Politics Of Asia And The Pacific 160606
  • Archaeology Of New Guinea And Pacific Islands (Excl. New Zealand) 210106
  • Studies Of Pacific Peoples' Societies 169905
  • Pacific History (Excl. New Zealand And Maori) 210313
  • Sustainable Agricultural Development 070108
  • Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander History 210301
  • Social And Cultural Anthropology 160104
  • Australian History (Excl. Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander History) 210303
  • History And Philosophy Of Science (Incl. Non Historical Philosophy Of Science) 220206
  • Asian History 210302
  • Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Archaeology 210101
  • Archaeology Of Asia, Africa And The Americas 210103
  • Agricultural Land Management 070101
  • Anthropology 1601
  • Archaeology 2101

Research interests

Resource ownership and land rights; violence and human rights; racism, concepts of "race" and colonial encounters; social and agricultural transformations; narrative and memory; sacred geography; theory in the disciplines of history, anthropology, archaeology and geography; regional interests in eastern Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.


My current interests revolve around indigenous Melanesian historicities - their transformation through cross-cultural encounters; their representation through various media, including film and fiction; and their articulation with contemporary challenges such as land reform, large natural resource projects, and cultural heritage management planning. I am also engaged, together with Bronwen Douglas, in an ARC Discovery Project on "European Naturalists and the Constitution of Human Difference in Oceania". Publications under preparation include an edited collection on the history of racial science in Oceania, and a monograph on violence and first contact in the New Guinea Highlands.

Career highlights

UNCEN-ANU Baseline Studies Project at the Freeport mine, Irian Jaya (1996-98); Visiting positions as Directeur de Recherche, CNRS, Marseille (1999-2000), and as Directeur de Recherche, EHESS, Paris (2001); nomination for World Heritage status of Chief Roi Mata's Domain on behalf of the Republic of Vanuatu (2007).


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Updated:  17 April 2021 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers