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Professor Judy Bennett

Contact DetailsBennett_Judy 186

Room 2C10, Arts 1 (Burns) Building
Tel 64 3 479 8607

Academic Qualifications

1980: PhD (History) Australian National University

Research Interests

Professor Bennett’s research interests are in Pacific History, Environmental History and Australia's and New Zealand's relations with the Pacific Islands.

Judy’s most recent books include Oceanian Journeys and Sojourns: Home thoughts Abroad, which she edited in 2015, which considers human mobility and its social meanings in the Pacific.

Judy was the lead investigator of her first Marsden-funded project, entitled "Mothers' darlings of the South Pacific: The children of indigenous women and US servicemen” with Associate Professor Angela Wanhalla in 2010-2012. That book has been published by University of Hawaii Press and the University of Otago Press (2016)
If you are looking for further information on the Mothers' Darlings research project, or you are looking for your American serviceman father or relative, please follow this link:

and see Youtube: Children of Conflict, a documentary shown in Maori TV on Anzac Day 2014 which traces the experiences of some of the children of the wartime Pacific.

Currently leading her second Marsden project (2015-2017: Constant coconuts), the project focuses on the history of the coconut and its related commodities in the tropical Pacific and seeks to discover the meanings and implications attached to these commodities along the chain from producer to consumer.


Research Profile

• Former co-editor and current board member of 'The Journal of Pacific History' (Canberra).
• Editorial Board of 'Pacific Affairs' (Vancouver).
• Assessor of Pacific-related applications for the Australian Research Council.
• Referee for 'Agricultural History' (USA), 'Pacific Studies' (Hawaii), 'Global Environmental Politics' (Sydney).
• Board member of the Pacific History Association.
• Member of the Forest History Society
• Member of the University of Otago’s Centre for Research on Colonial Culture.

Areas of Research Supervision

Professor Bennett can work with students in the areas of Pacific history and environmental history.


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Bennett, J. A. (2018). After the plane crashed: Reactions to the deaths of Japanese World War Two internees at Whenuapai, New Zealand. In N. Guo & T. Shogimen (Eds.), Proceedings of the Overseas Symposium in Otago: Japanese Studies Down Under: History, Politics, Literature and Art. (pp. 163-170). Kyoto, Japan: International Research Center for Japanese Studies. Retrieved from

Bennett, J. A. (2017). Fluid frontiers and uncertain geographies: US controls on immigration from the Pacific, c. 1880−1950. Journal of Pacific History. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/00223344.2017.1406319

Bennett, J. A. (2017). [Review of the book Isles of amnesia: The history, geography, and restoration of America’s forgotten Pacific Islands]. Journal of Pacific History, 52(1), 120-121. doi: 10.1080/00223344.2016.1268670

Bennett, J. A. (2017). [Review of the book Niue 1774–1974: 200 years of contact and change]. Pacific Affairs, 90(3), 637-639. [Book Review].

Bennett, J. (2017, January). Voices of Rotuma: Enduring refrain. Verbal presentation at the Valued Coconuts Symposium and Workshop: Hear Our Voices, Dunedin, New Zealand.

More publications...