New PhD – William Matthew Kennedy

On behalf of the Department of History, a hearty congratulations to William Matthew Kennedy for the award of his PhD.
Matt’s thesis, entitled “Recolonizing Citizenship: Australia and the Ideal of Empire, 1867-1911,” was supervised by Mark McKenna, and deals with the relationship between an emerging Australian national identity and a more global, racialized, imperial political identity in establishing a settler-colonial ‘republic’ based on a contested notion of British rights. In developing his argument, Matt looked at the impact of communication technology, colonial philanthropy, and colonial imperialism and was particularly commended for situating this developing political identity relative to other constituent parts of the empire, most notably British India and the Pacific region within which Australia acted as a sub-imperial power. Examiners praised it as an “important contribution to the literature; one with relevance to historians of Australia, of other settler colonies and of the empire as a whole.” “Packed full of suggestive insights…adding up to a vibrant new appreciation of the relationship between Australian and imperial identities.” “Highly original, timely and compelling.”
Well done to Matt on this fine achievement. Congratulations.

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