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Personal profile


Chris's research focuses on American history, including African American history, US military history, and American cultural history.  His most recent book, African Americans and the Pacific War: Race, Nationality, and the Fight for Freedom, was published by Cambridge University Press in late 2018.

After completing his BA (Hons) and MA at the University of Western Australia, Chris completed his PhD at the University of New South Wales. A revised version of his PhD thesis, Perfecting the Family: Antislavery Marriages in Nineteenth-Century America, was published by the University of Massachusetts Press. His next book, African America and Haiti: Emigration and Black Nationalism in the Nineteenth Century was published in 2000 by Greenwood Press. Subsequently, Chris's research has focused on the social and cultural dimensions of war; his publications in that field include coauthored textbooks examining the Vietnam and Pacific wars, and Hollywood's South Seas and the Pacific War (coauthored with Professor Sean Brawley). He has also coauthored The South Seas: A Reception History from Daniel Defoe to Dorothy Lamour.

Prior to arriving at Macquarie in 2016, Chris held appointments at the University of Sydney, Massey University, the University of Newcastle, and the University of Queensland. Chris has served two terms as President of the Australian and New Zealand American Studies Association, as well as President of the International Society for Cultural History. He has been the recipient of grants from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council Grant and the Australian Research Council. In 2016 he held the Fulbright Scholarship in Australian-U.S. Alliance Studies.

Research interests

Chris's current research focuses on the part played by African Americans in the Korean War, and on American servicemen on R & R in Australia during the Vietnam War. 

External positions

Reader in History, The University of Queensland


Associate Professor of History, University of Newcastle


Lecturer in History, Massey University


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Projects 2017 2022

Research Outputs 1988 2019

The anti-Vietnam War movement: international activism and the search for world peace

Dixon, C. & Piccini, J., 2019, The Routledge history of world peace since 1750. Peterson, C. P., Knoblauch, W. M. & Loadenthal, M. (eds.). London ; New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, p. 371-381 11 p. (The Routledge Histories).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

Vietnam War

African Americans and the Pacific War, 1941-1945: race, nationality, and the fight for freedom

Dixon, C., 2018, New York: Cambridge University Press. 289 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review

Pacific War
African Americans
Second World War

Islanders and missionaries

Brawley, S. & Dixon, C., 2018, Herman Melville in context. Hayes, K. J. (ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 85-94 10 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

South Sea

History on trial: evaluating learning outcomes through audit and accreditation in a national standards environment

Brawley, S., Clark, J., Dixon, C., Ford, L., Nielsen, E., Ross, S. & Upton, S., 2015, In : Teaching and learning inquiry : the ISSOTL journal. 3, 2, p. 89-105 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


South Seas Lore: Anthropology, cultural determinism and the Pacific War

Brawley, S. & Dixon, C., 2015, The Pacific War: Aftermaths, Remembrance and Culture. Twomey, C. & Koh, E. (eds.). Abingdon, UK; New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, p. 169-187 19 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review