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Dr Miranda Johnson

Miranda Johnson imageContact details

Room 2S5, Arts 1 (Burns) Building
Tel +64 3 479 5761
Email miranda.johnson@otago.ac.nz

Academic qualifications

2008: PhD University of Chicago
2003: MA University of Auckland
2000: BA (Hons) Victoria University of Wellington

Research interests

Miranda is a historian of the modern Pacific world, focussing particularly on issues of race, indigeneity, citizenship and identity. She also researches political and legal issues relating to Indigenous rights and the politics of writing history.

Her first book, The Land is Our History: Indigeneity, Law and the Settler State (Oxford University Press, 2016) examined the wide-ranging effects of legal claims of Indigenous peoples in the settler states of New Zealand, Australia, and Canada in the late twentieth century. It won the W. K. Hancock Prize in 2018 from the Australian Historical Association.

She is currently working on two projects. The first is a book on frontier conflict and the politics of history-writing in settler states including Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, the United States, and South Africa. The second project is about indigeneity and New Zealand’s Pacific empire, from the nineteenth century through to the present. She is increasingly interested in environmental justice in the region and globally and the implications of climate change for the writing of history. She is also involved in a pilot project on teaching teachers in regards to the new Aotearoa New Zealand histories curriculum.

She has taught at the University of Michigan, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Sydney. At Otago, she is co-director of the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture and co-director of the Otago Centre for Law and Society

Research supervision

  • Erin Driessen, PhD, current
  • Janet Marquet, MA, current
  • Claire Macindoe, PhD, 2021

Courses taught

  • HIST 102 The Global Twentieth Century
  • HIST 241 War and Society in the Modern World
  • HIST 247 Empires Strike Back: A Global History of Decolonization
  • HIST 353 Practising History

Editorial responsibilities

Miranda is on the editorial board of the New Zealand Journal of History.

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Publications

Powell, E., & Johnson, M. (2021, July). Inside (and outside) the bubble of empire: A dialogue on the New Zealand realm. Verbal presentation at the Empire and Ecologies Symposium: Transimperial, transhistorical and transregional natures from the 17th to the 21st century, Dublin, Ireland.

Johnson, M. (2021). Indigeneity: Making and contesting the concept. In M. Valverede, K. Clarke, E. Darian-Smith & P. Kotiswaran (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of law and society. (pp. 166-169). Abingdon, YK: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9780429293306

Johnson, M. (2021). An epic of place where two peoples were transformed. The Age, (24 February). Retrieved from https://www.theage.com.au/culture/books/an-epic-of-place-where-two-peoples-were-transformed-20210223-p5755o.html

Johnson, M. (2020, September). A double-faced history of the New Zealand state between colony and empire. Waikato History Research Seminar, [Online]. [Research Seminar].

Johnson, M., Yannakakis, Y., Ghosh, D., Ibhawoh, B., Jagodinksy, K., Kiel, D., … Wanhalla, A. (2020, November). Authority, interpretation, and justice: Writing indigenous histories around the globe. Plenary presentation at the American Society for Ethnohistory (ASE) Annual Conference, [Online].

Johnson, M. (2020, June). Muting, unmuting, and losing everything in between. Meanjin Quarterly blog. Retrieved from https://meanjin.com.au/blog/muting-unmuting-and-losing-everything-in-between/

Other Research Output

Johnson, M. (2020, September). A double-faced history of the New Zealand state between colony and empire. Waikato History Research Seminar, [Online]. [Research Seminar].

Other Research Output

Johnson, M. (2019, March). In the spirit of reconciliation. The Immanent Frame: Social Science Research Council blog. Retrieved from http://tif.ssrc.org/2019/03/08/in-the-spirit-of-reconciliation/

Other Research Output

Johnson, M. (2017, February). Historians, activism, solidarity, and empathy. New Zealand Historical Association blog. Retrieved from https://nzha.org.nz/2017/02/03/historians-activism-solidarity-and-empathy/

Other Research Output

Johnson, M. (2017, June). The river is not a person: Indigeneity and the sacred in Aotearoa New Zealand. The Immanent Frame: Social Science Research Council blog. Retrieved from https://tif.ssrc.org/2017/06/14/the-river-is-not-a-person/

Other Research Output

Johnson, M. (2016). The land is our history: Indigeneity, law, and the settler state. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 248p.

Authored Book - Research

Anderson, W., Johnson, M., & Brookes, B. (Eds.). (2018). Pacific futures: Past and present. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai'i Press, 314p.

Edited Book - Research

Johnson, M. (2021). Indigeneity: Making and contesting the concept. In M. Valverede, K. Clarke, E. Darian-Smith & P. Kotiswaran (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of law and society. (pp. 166-169). Abingdon, YK: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9780429293306

Chapter in Book - Research

Johnson, M. (2020). Connecting indigenous rights to human rights in the anglo settler states: Another 1970s story. In A. D. Moses, M. Duranti & R. Burke (Eds.), Decolonization, self-determination, and the rise of global human rights politics. (pp. 109-131). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/9781108783170.006

Chapter in Book - Research

Johnson, M. (2019). Between critique and creativity: Some other politics of writing history in Aotearoa New Zealand. In S. Dube, S. Seth & A. Skaria (Eds.), Dipesh Chakrabarty and the Global South: Subaltern studies, postcolonial perspectives, and the Anthropocene. (pp. 19-28). Abingdon, UK: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9780429199745

Chapter in Book - Research

Aldrich, R., & Johnson, M. (2018). History and colonisation. In G. Baldacchino (Ed.), The Routledge international handbook of island studies: A world of islands. (pp. 153-172). London, UK: Routledge.

Chapter in Book - Research

Johnson, M. (2018). Introduction: The declension of history. In W. Anderson, M. Johnson & B. Brookes (Eds.), Pacific futures: Past and present. (pp. 1-14). Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai'i Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Johnson, M. (2017). Australia's black history: The politics of comparison and transnational indigenous activism in commonwealth settler states. In A. Clark, A. Rees & A. Simmonds (Eds.), Transnationalism, nationalism and Australian history. (pp. 35-47). Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978-981-10-5017-6_3

Chapter in Book - Research

Johnson, M. (2016). Chiefly women: Queen Victoria, Meri Mangakahia, and the Māori parliament. In S. Carter & M. Nugent (Eds.), Mistress of everything: Queen Victoria in indigenous worlds. (pp. 228-245). Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Johnson, M. (2016). Making a treaty archive: Indigenous rights on the Canadian development frontier. In S. Motha & H. van Rijswijk (Eds.), Law, memory, violence: Uncovering the counter-archive. (pp. 195-214). Abingdon, UK: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781315737157

Chapter in Book - Research

Johnson, M. (2015). Indigeneity and the archive: Mediating the public, the private and the communal. In P. Ashton, C. Gibson & R. Gibson (Eds.), By-roads and hidden treasures: Mapping cultural assets in regional Australia. (pp. 87-98). Perth, Australia: UWA Publishing.

Chapter in Book - Research

Johnson, M. (2009). The Gove Land Rights Case and the problem of history in a decolonising Australia. In B. Attwood & T. Griffiths (Eds.), Frontier, race, nation: Henry Reynolds and Australian history. (pp. 305-329). Melbourne, Australia: Australian Scholarly.

Chapter in Book - Research

Johnson, M. (2020). Indigenizing self-determination at the United Nations: Reparative progress in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Journal of the History of International Law [Revue d'histoire du droit international]. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1163/15718050-12340164

Journal - Research Article

Johnson, M. (2020). Toward a genealogy of the researcher as subject in post/decolonial Pacific histories. History & Theory, 59(3), 421-429. doi: 10.1111/hith.12170

Journal - Research Article

Johnson, M. (2019). The case of the million-dollar duck: A hunter, his treaty, and the bending of the settler contract. American Historical Review, 124(1), 56-86. doi: 10.1093/ahr/rhy576

Journal - Research Article

Johnson, M. (2018). Sacred claims and the politics of indigeneity in Australia. Journal of Religious & Political Practice, 4(1), 78-92. doi: 10.1080/20566093.2017.1393174

Journal - Research Article

Johnson, M., & Rowse, T. (2018). Indigenous and other Australians since 1901: A conversation between Professor Tim Rowse and Dr Miranda Johnson. Aboriginal History, 42, 125-140. doi: 10.22459/AH.42.2018.06

Journal - Research Article

Johnson, M. (2011). Burdens of belonging: Indigeneity and the re-founding of Aotearoa New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of History, 45(1), 102-112.

Journal - Research Article

Johnson, M. (2011). Reconciliation, indigeneity, and postcolonial nationhood in settler states. Postcolonial Studies, 14(2), 187-201. doi: 10.1080/13688790.2011.563457

Journal - Research Article

Johnson, M. (2008). Making history public: Indigenous claims to settler states. Public Culture, 20(1), 97-117. doi: 10.1215/08992363-2007-018

Journal - Research Article

Johnson, M. (2005). 'The land of the wrong white crowd': Anti-racist organizations and Pakeha identity politics in the 1970s. New Zealand Journal of History, 39(2), 137-157.

Journal - Research Article

Johnson, M. (2005). Honest acts and dangerous supplements: Indigenous oral history and historical practice in settler societies. Postcolonial Studies, 8(3), 261-276. doi: 10.1080/13688790500231046

Journal - Research Article

Johnson, M. (2021). An epic of place where two peoples were transformed. The Age, (24 February). Retrieved from https://www.theage.com.au/culture/books/an-epic-of-place-where-two-peoples-were-transformed-20210223-p5755o.html

Journal - Research Other

Johnson, M. (2020). Shaunnagh Dorsett on Māori and colonial courts [Review of the book Juridical Encounters: Māori and the colonial courts, 1840–1852]. History Australia. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/14490854.2020.1838933

Journal - Research Other

Johnson, M. (2020). [Review of the book Found in translation: Many meanings on a North Australian mission]. History of Education Review, 49(2), 272-274. doi: 10.1108/HER-10-2020-080

Journal - Research Other

Johnson, M. (2019). Knotted histories. Journal of New Zealand Studies, NS29, 89-96. doi: 10.26686/jnzs.v0iNS29.6264

Journal - Research Other

Johnson, M. (2019). [Review of the book Dynamics of difference in Australia: Indigenous past and present in a settler country]. Australian Journal of Politics & History, 65(3), 482-483. doi: 10.1111/ajph.12593

Journal - Research Other

Johnson, M. (2018). [Review of the book Aboriginal rights claims and the making and remaking of history]. University of Toronto Quarterly, 87(3), 283-284. doi: 10.3138/utq.87.3.7

Journal - Research Other

Antonellos, S., Rantall, J., Haskins, V., Haake, C., Healy, S., Johnson, M., & Stevens, L. (2017). Indigenous history [A conversation facilitated by Steven Antonellos and Jayne Rantall]. Australasian Journal of American Studies, 36(2), 115-128.

Journal - Research Other

Johnson, M. (2017). [Review of the book Decolonisation and the Pacific: Indigenous globalisation and the ends of empire]. American Historical Review, 122(5), 1599-1600. doi: 10.1093/ahr/122.5.1599

Journal - Research Other

Johnson, M. (2017). [Review of the book Entanglements of empire: Missionaries, Māori, and the question of the body]. Journal of the History of Sexuality, 26(1), 142-144. [Book Review].

Journal - Research Other

Johnson, M. (2017). [Review of the book Reconciliation, representation and indigeneity: ‘Biculturalism’ in Aotearoa New Zealand]. Journal of Pacific History, 52(2), 252-254. doi: 10.1080/00223344.2017.1330668

Journal - Research Other

Johnson, M. (2017). [Review of the books Just relations: The story of Mary Bennett’s crusade for Aboriginal rights; Different white people: Radical activism for Aboriginal rights 1946–1972; Trapped in the gap: Doing good in indigenous Australia]. Australian Historical Studies, 48(2), 293-295. doi: 10.1080/1031461X.2017.1302288

Journal - Research Other

Johnson, M. (2014). Writing indigenous histories now. Australian Historical Studies, 45(3), 317-330. doi: 10.1080/1031461X.2014.946525

Journal - Research Other

Johnson, M. (2011). [Review of the book Settler sovereignty: Jurisdiction and indigenous people in America and Australia, 1788–1836]. Comparative Studies in Society & History, 53(1), 219-220. doi: 10.1017/S0010417510000691

Journal - Research Other

Johnson, M. (2010). [Review of the book Mata Toa: The life and times of Ranginui Walker]. Journal of Pacific History, 45(1), 174-175. doi: 10.1080/00223344.2010.484185

Journal - Research Other

Johnson, M. (2009). [Review of the book Rights and redemption: History, law and indigenous people]. History Australia, 6(1), 25.1-25.3. doi: 10.2104/ha090025

Journal - Research Other

Johnson, M. (2006). [Review of the book One and a half Pacific Islands/Teuana ao Teiterana n aba n Te Betebeke: Stories the Banaban people tell of themselves/I-Banaba aika a Karakon oin Rongorongoia]. Journal of Pacific History, 41(3), 340-341. doi: 10.1080/00223340600984851

Journal - Research Other

Johnson, M. (2006). [Review of the book The Waitangi Tribunal and New Zealand history]. Law, Culture & the Humanities, 2(1), 136-138. doi: 10.1191/1743872106lw040xx

Journal - Research Other

Powell, E., & Johnson, M. (2021, July). Inside (and outside) the bubble of empire: A dialogue on the New Zealand realm. Verbal presentation at the Empire and Ecologies Symposium: Transimperial, transhistorical and transregional natures from the 17th to the 21st century, Dublin, Ireland.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Johnson, M. (2020, December). Reckoning with a Pacific empire state: Race, nation, citizenship and the idea of New Zealand. Keynote presentation at the 39th Annual Conference of the Australian & New Zealand Law & History Society (ANZLHS), Auckland, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Johnson, M., Yannakakis, Y., Ghosh, D., Ibhawoh, B., Jagodinksy, K., Kiel, D., … Wanhalla, A. (2020, November). Authority, interpretation, and justice: Writing indigenous histories around the globe. Plenary presentation at the American Society for Ethnohistory (ASE) Annual Conference, [Online].

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Greenhalgh, C., Johnson, M., Kluge, E., & Powell, E. (2019, November). Archive frictions: Ethics and politics of knowledge-making in Pacific contexts. Panel discussion at the New Zealand Historical Association (NZHA) Conference: Kanohi-ki-te-Kanohi: Histories for Our Time, Wellington, New Zealand.

Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

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