Dr Gareth Knapman

Research Fellow
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: +61418266450

Areas of expertise

  • Asian History 210302
  • British History 210305
  • Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander History 210301
  • Australian History (Excl. Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander History) 210303
  • Curatorial And Related Studies 2102
  • Museum Studies 210204

Research interests

Repatriation and Restituion of colonial collections

Eighteenth and Nineteenth century Colonial thought in Asia and Australasia

Racial thought

History of Anthropology

History of Anzac Day

War and memory 



Dr Gareth Knapman is a Research Fellow on the ARC Discovery Project 'Profit and Loss, The commercial trade in Indigenous human remains' at the Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies at the Australian National University. Dr Knapman previously worked as a curator and repatriation officer at Museum Victoria’s Indigenous Cultures Department. He has written extensively on museum collections and collecting, and has made significant contributions to Australian history. He is a leading authority on nineteenth-century British colonialism in Southeast Asia. His book, Race and British Colonialism in Southeast Asia (2017), creates a new understanding of colonial Southeast Asia. He was a research officer on the Return, Reconcile, Renew (2013–2016) and Restoring Dignity (2018–2020) projects, both funded by the Australian Research Council 

Knapman is currently writing a book on Sovereignty and Indigenous Property in the British colonial world. He is working towards developing a narrative of settlement uniting British India with settlements in Southeast Asia and Australia. In this research, he contends that modern ideas of sovereignty developed through colonial interactions with the ambiguities between private property and sovereignty. In addition to his work on Southeast Asia, Dr Knapman has also made significant contributions to Australian Aboriginal history. 



Researcher's projects

DP200101814 Profit and Loss: ‘They made money out of our Old People’

The intersections between sovereignty and private property in British colonial thought in the Indian Ocean world 



Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  18 April 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers