Dr Michael Davis

Research Officer

PhD (University of Technology Sydney)
BA Hons (La Trobe University)

T 0417 401 241
E M.Davis@anu.edu.au or Michael.Davis@sydney.edu.au


Dr Michael Davis joined the NCIS in December 2016 to assist with work on the Lowitja Institute-funded project ‘The Narrative Framing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Wellbeing: A Review’. Michael has extensive experience in research, writing and policy on Indigenous histories, including environmental history and cultural heritage, Indigenous and Western knowledges, colonial, and postcolonial discourse studies, and ethics and research protocols and guidelines in Indigenous studies. He has worked with a range of organisations, including Aboriginal land councils and community organisations, and has published widely.


Michael Davis is a historian whose work is interdisciplinary, traversing the humanities and social sciences. He researches and writes about Aboriginal/European histories and encounters, relationships between Indigenous and other knowledge systems, environment, ecology and place, ethical guidelines and protocols for Indigenous research, and theoretical issues in history and ethnographic history. Michael has worked with a range of organisations, including academia and government, and with Aboriginal community organisations, and as an independent researcher. He has also researched and written on noted Australian anthropologists and historians specialising in Indigenous and Pacific cultures. He has held many funded library and archival fellowships, and from 2011 to 2014, carried out post-doctoral research in the Department of History at the University of Sydney. Michael is currently an Honorary Research Fellow with the Sydney Environment Institute, and with the Department of Sociology and Social Policy at Sydney University.

Michael’s publications include (as co-editor with Joni Adamson) Humanities for the Environment: Integrating Knowledge, Forging New Constellations of Practice (Routledge Earthscan 2016), ‘Encountering Aboriginal knowledge: explorer narratives on north-east Queensland, 1770 to 1820’ (Aboriginal History 37, 2013), and Writing Heritage: the Depiction of Indigenous Heritage in European-Australian Writings (2007, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, and National Museum of Australia Press, Canberra).

Scholarly interests

Michael’s scholarly interests range across several disciplines in the humanities and social sciences:

  • Indigenous and other knowledge intersections and entanglements
  • Histories of Indigenous/European encounters, environment and place
  • Indigenous and Western environmental histories, textual representations and discourse and post-colonial studies
  • Historiography and theory in Indigenous and Western environment, ecology and place
  • Biographies of historians and anthropologists

Updated:  13 January 2017/ Responsible Officer:  NCIS Project Coordinator/ Page Contact:  NCIS Administrative Officer