Congratulations to Tim Calabria who has won our TRACE award for his article ‘The Bungalow and the Transformation of the “Half-Caste” category in Central Australia: Race and Law at the Limits of a Settler Colony 1914-1937’ which appeared in volume 7 issue 1 of law&history. The TRACE award (THEORY RACE and COLONIALISM ESSAY), is a prize in honour of Tracey Banivanua-Mar.
The judging committee was Professor Penny Edmonds and Dr Laura Rademaker who have written the following citation for the prize:
This engaging article makes a significant new contribution to our understanding of how racialized categories worked not only to eliminate or erase Aboriginality but were tied to the exploitation of Aboriginal labour in and around Alice Springs. Its nuanced examination of the fluctuating and often ambiguous legal category of ‘half-caste’ was applied at the Bungalow in Central Australia reveals how the category was used not only to racialize Aboriginal people but to create a particular class of people who would fill settler colonial demands for labour. Its attentiveness to considerations of affect and emotions reveals the limited explanatory power of legal frameworks for understanding the mass institutionalisation of ‘half caste’ children. Rather, it sheds important new light on affectual encounters in this history. Through painstaking research and analytical insight, the article deftly weaves back and forth between the story of an individual caught up in these laws – Emily Geesing and her sovereign acts to escape these laws – to broad themes in the historiography, revealing how her experiences present us with important new ways to understand the logics of the settler-colonial project in Central Australia.