Researcher biography

Anna Johnston is Deputy Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, and Associate Professor in English Literature in the School of Communication and Arts. A graduate of the University of Queensland, Anna has worked at the University of Tasmania, where she was Director of the Centre for Colonialism and Its Aftermath (2013-16) and an ARC Queen Elizabeth II Research Fellow (2007-14). In 2014-15, Anna was Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at the University of Tokyo. Anna recently completed her ARC Future Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities: "The Laboratory of Modernity: Knowledge Formation and the Australian Settler Colonies (1788-1900)." This 4-year project traces how knowledge created in the early Australian colonies was circulated by print culture through imperial networks. From 2016-2020, Anna was also a member of the multi-institutional ARC grant "Intimacy and violence in Anglo Pacific Rim settler colonial societies, 1830-1930" (University of Newcastle), in which she focused on evangelical missionaries and colonial settlers who collected Indigenous languages in Australia and the Pacific. For a recent overview of this project, see UQ's HASS Researchers. In 2019, Anna led a new collaboration between UQ and the National Library of Australia to digitise the popular geographical magazine Walkabout (1934-74) on TROVE, with the support of a UQ HASS Partnership grant.

With David Carter and Sandra Philips, Anna is leading a new Australian Studies Research Node at UQ.

Anna has published widely in the field of colonial and postcolonial studies, focussing on literary and cultural history: her most recent monograph is The Paper War: Morality, Print Culture, and Power in Colonial New South Wales (UWA Press 2011). An edited collection with Professor Elizabeth Webby (Sydney University) Eliza Hamilton Dunlop: Writing from the Colonial Frontier (forthcoming, Sydney University Press 2020) will be published in the Sydney Studies in Australian Literature series. She has particular interests in settler colonialism, travel writing, and missionary writing and empire.

Anna is an experienced Masters and PhD supervisor, with 22 HDR completions and 2 current HDR candidates. She is keen to supervise in Australian, colonial, and postcolonial literary studies, including travel writing, life writing, and print culture and book history studies.