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The Australian National University

Antje Lubcke

PhD candidate

Thesis topic

The New Guinea photographs of Reverend William G. Lawes and J. W. Lindt: reading encounters, images, and photo-objects


Chris Ballard (Chair), Bronwen Douglas (supervisor), Gael Newton - NGA (advisor)

My research

The emphasis of my thesis is on the materiality of photographs and the physicality of photographic encounters in New Guinea in the late nineteenth century. The ways in which the photographs taken byReverend W. G. Lawes and J. W. Lindt can be used to elucidate the nature of the encounters between them and the Papuans and what this might tell us about cross-cultural encounters in New Guinea more generally are a key concern. I also investigate the manner in which theirimages were displayed and circulated in Australia by analysing the physical form of the photographs, as well as the texts that surround them, to see what this might tell us about the different meanings attached to them.

About the student

I have an MA in history and a BA (Hons) in art history from Otago University (Dunedin, NZ). The topic of my MA thesis (completed in May 2009) was the photograph albums of the NZ Presbyterian Mission to the New Hebrides. I received a University of Otago Masters Award to undertake this research and have carried this interest in historical photographs through to my PhD studies. My research at the ANU is being undertaken with the support of an APA scholarship. In early 2013 I also received an ANU-IARU travel grant as well as a VC's travel grant to undertake archival research in England, Germany, and Switzerland.


  • Lubcke, Antje, 'From glass plate to album: New Hebrides mission photographs in the album of Reverend William Veitch Milne.' In Early New Zealand Photography: Images and Essays, edited by Angela Wanhalla and Erika Wolf, 128-132 (Dunedin: University of Otago Press, 2011).
  • Lubcke, Antje, 'Two New Hebrides mission photograph albums: an object-story of story-objects', Journal of Pacific History 47, No. 2 (2012): 187-209.
  • Lubcke, Antje, 'Narrative and J. W. Lindt's Picturesque New Guinea' series, 1885.' In Early Australian Photography, edited by Anne Maxwell (Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Press, forthcoming).'
  • Lubcke, Antje, 'Photographic encounters in British New Guinea: local agency in the making of the photographic record.' In Exploring Indigenous Histories: Archives, Intimacies, Exchanges and Places,Aboriginal History monographs series, edited by Maria Nugent and Tiffany Shellam (ANU E-Press, forthcoming).

Updated:  20 February 2015/Responsible Officer:  Director, Culture, History & Language /Page Contact:  CHL webmaster