Megan Graham

Megan Graham

Profile

I first began studying at the University of Leeds in 2017. After graduating with First Class Honours in BA History, I continued to pursue historical studies and achieved a MA in Race and Resistance with Distinction in 2021. During this time I worked for the European Research Council Funded Men, Women and Care Project developing the internationally significant PIN 26 section of the National Archives, and took on the responsibility of mentoring final year undergraduate students. I also produced two dissertations; one focused on exploring education as a weapon in the struggle for civil rights in the American South (BA), and the other on radical Black Theatre and cultural activism in Redfern, Sydney in the 1970s (MA).

Following a short break from academic study, I returned to Leeds in 2022 to begin a full-time PhD with the School of History, generously funded by the White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH). My current research explores how politics of health and identity were intimately entwined in late Twentieth Century Aboriginal Australia, documenting the ways in which community-controlled health activism was bound to transnational discourses of racial empowerment. I work closely with peers and colleagues across the White-Rose consortium, and welcome opportunities for collaboration with others researching in spheres where the interfaces between humanities and social sciences can be innovatively realised.

Research interests

My research seeks to uncover and amplify marginalised histories of radicalism and resistance in the modern world. My specialist interests are in histories of race, activism, and empowerment that emerged from settler colonialist societies in the Twentieth Century.

At present, my work explores Indigenous activism in Australia through the critically understudied lens of health by analysing the rise and operation of local Aboriginal Medical Services from the 1970s onward. I consider the radical ways activists and grassroot organisations in disparate local contexts renegotiated western understandings of health, confronted wide scale health inequity, and drove efforts for black self-determination. This work draws upon qualitative, quantitative and oral sources, and in doing so, presents a potent counter-narrative to the dominant history of black healthfulness in Australia, which is both devoid of agency and tainted with victimhood.

At present, I am a member of the following organisations and societies:

  • Royal Historical Society
  • European Association for Studies of Australia
  • Institute of Historical Research
  • Northern Network for Medical Humanities 

Qualifications

  • MA Race and Resistance (Distinction), 2021
  • BA (Hons) History (First Class), 2020