Graphic Encounters PhD Scholarship – History Program

The scholarship

We seek applications from innovative Indigenous scholars in any discipline relevant to visual and/or print history to join the research team of the recently established Graphic Encounters research project based in the history department at La Trobe University. The project is dedicated to the study of Australian print-making depicting Aboriginal Australians from ‘discovery’ to federation (1770-1901). This historical period encompasses an era of intercultural encounters imagined within the graphic medium of prints, from engraving to lithography. Concurrently the many techniques in image reproduction refined over these same decades. We seek to document particularly the production of prints featuring Aboriginal Australians and their recurrence and dissemination within a transnational web of print media and print making. The PhD project may focus on the cultural, social, economic, geographic, or other dimensions of colonial print production and circulation during the period, and it is a requirement of the scholarship that the funded work contributes to the aims of the Graphic Encounters: Colonial Prints and the Inscription of Aboriginality research project. Our aim is to curate a major travelling exhibition and develop an online gallery resource, as well as convene an international conference, research publications and commentaries to facilitate access to published and unpublished prints for the period up to 1901.

About Graphic Encounters

The project is an Australia Research Council Future Fellowship with Associate Professor Liz Conor as Chief Investigator, based in the History Department at La Trobe University.

Scholarship value and duration

One PhD scholarship is available for commencement in 2020 and will provide research training in Melbourne. Scholarship holders will be registered at La Trobe University, where Dr Liz Conor will provide research supervision and training and where the recipient will have the opportunity to engage in the History Program’s research events and culture. The entitlements and obligations of the award will match the La Trobe University Postgraduate Research Scholarship. This includes a tax-free living allowance for a period of up to three years full-time with a remuneration of between $27,328 - $28,328 per annum. Applicants should have Australian permanent residency,an appropriate Honours 1 or high 2A (or equivalent) undergraduate degree, and a background in Australian history. The successful applicants will commence 1 March 2020.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants are invited from students identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. They must fulfil the criteria for PhD Admission and Scholarship at La Trobe University. Applicants must have completed a Bachelor degree with First Class Honours or equivalent in history, cultural studies or a relevant discipline, and be intending to enrol full-time in an approved doctoral program at La Trobe University.

Closing date

The mid-year scholarship round at La Trobe University (for commencement in October) closes on 1 March 2020. The scholarship may also be offered in subsequent rounds.

Further information

For discussions about suitable topics please contact the Director of the Graphic Encounters research project Liz Conor on 9479 2370 or via email at

How to apply

Applicants should send a single Word document comprising a CV, the names and email addresses for two referees (please supply your referees with this Confidential Academic Referee Report form [PDF 159KB]) and a one page statement which outlines your experience, training and expertise relevant to this project and a 200-300 word summary of your proposed project, by email to Liz Conor. Students currently completing Honours or Masters degrees should list academic results to date, and likely date for completion (which must be before the end of April 2020).