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Kate Fullagar is a historian of the eighteenth-century world, particularly the British Empire and the many Indigenous societies it encountered. Her interest in comparative indigenous history focuses on the eastern Pacific (Polynesia), the American southeast (esp. Cherokees), and the Eora of today's Australia.  

She is the author of The Savage Visit (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012), which traces the dramatic rise and surprising fall of popular British fascination for indigenous visitors through the eighteenth century. Pursuing similar themes, she is also the editor of The Atlantic World in the Antipodes: Effects and Transformations since the Eighteenth Century (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012), with chapters by Alison Bashford, Iain McCalman, Simon Schaffer, Margaret Jolly, Sheila Fitzpatrick, Damon Salesa, and several of the other fabulous scholars who assembled for Sydney's Sawyer Seminar Series. In 2018 she published with prize-winning historian Michael McDonnell an edited collection called Facing Empire: Indigenous Experiences in a Revolutionary Age (Johns Hopkins University Press, Oct. 2018). It includes chapters by Colin Calloway, Bill Gammage, Sujit Sivasundarum, Tony Ballantyne, Daniel Richter, and many others.  In 2020 she publishes her second monograph, The Warrior, the Voyager, and the Artistwith Yale University Press. It is about the unlikely eighteenth-century story of a Cherokee warrior called Ostenaco, a Ra'iatean voyager called Mai, and the British artist, Joshua Reynolds, who painted them both.

Kate has held visiting fellowships at the University of York (as a British Academy Fellow); Duke University (at the John Hope Franklin Center for the Humanities); Yale University (as a Lewis Walpole Library Travelling Fellow), and Princeton Univesity (Humanities Council). 

Kate is the Lead Chief Investigator on an ARC Linkage Project with the National Portrait Gallery – see https://facingnewworlds.org/ for further details. For her own personal website, see katefullagar.com 

Research interests

Eighteenth-Century British History, especially popular and artistic culture
Eighteenth-Century Pacific History, especially Polynesia
Eighteenth-Century Australian History, especially Bennelong
Early Atlantic History, especially southeastern North America
Comparative Indigenous History


MHIS1001 Religion, Trade, and Empire in the Pre-Modern World

MHIS2021 The Age of Revolution: Europe from the Reign of Terror to the First World War 

MHIS2001 The History of Human Rights

MHIS7000 Introduction to Modern Historiography

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of California, Berkeley

… → 2005

Award Date: 20 May 2018

MA, University of California, Berkeley

… → 2001

BA (Hons), Australian National University

… → 1997


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