Colonialism and its Aftermath

Port Arthur Projects 2007

The Gardens of Port Arthur

The settlement was patchworked with recreational gardens and dotted with introduced trees. The successful candidate will be expected to use a range of material held by the Port Arthur Historic Site, the State Library, the Archives Office of Tasmania and the UTAS library (including the Royal Society Library) to understand what was grown where and when; the source of ornamentals; the use of native species; the involvement of both Port Arthur staff and interested outsiders. The aim of the project is to understand what role these gardens played in both free and convict life at Port Arthur penal station and how these gardens allowed their owners/managers to express their ideas about that life.

Displaying the Convict Era

The convict era and its associated trappings have long been a draw card amongst tourists to Tasmania. This project will examine ways in which the material culture of convict transportation and other artefacts have been used to interpret the experience of convict transportation to Van Diemen’s Land overtime.

Time at Port Arthur

While it is possible to reconstruct the convict population at Port Arthur, little work has been conducted on changing sentencing patterns. The aim of this project will be to examine the extent to which the length of the sentence convicts were banished to Port Arthur for varied overtime and the impact that such changes may have had on both convict life and the running of the station.

Buildings are Ideas

The carceral buildings at Port Arthur , the Penitentiary and the Separate Prison in particular, express nineteenth-century ideas about how adult male deviants should be treated in order to transform them into skilled and obedient members of society. The new Risdon Prison, currently under construction, also embodies such ideas. The successful candidate will be expected to use a range of material held by the Port Arthur Historic Site, State Library, the Archives Office of Tasmania and the UTAS library to analyse these ideas and their architectural expression in the nineteenth and the twenty-first centuries, with a view to understanding the place which Port Arthur occupies in the history of carceral institutions for adult males in Tasmania.