Edwina is a senior research fellow on the Koori History Project in the Foley Collection at Moondani Balluk, Victoria University.

After completing an Arts/Law degree and an honours law thesis that investigated the resurgence of the constitutive theory in international law, she embarked on a very long holiday camping around Australia.

This journey coupled with an experience of working in the development sector in East Timor in 2005 and working for the Castan Centre of Human Rights law primarily in two fields of critique: refugee and immigration law and policy and native title law, encouraged Edwina back to study in 2007.

Edwina returned to Monash University to undertake an honours degree in anthropology, an investigation of how the activities of Xstrata/Glencore at McArthur river mine on Gudanji country was communicated with PR spin and then understood by mainstream Australians as ‘in the national interest’.

In 2013 Edwina completed her PhD ‘Tangled Up in Black: a study of the activist strategies of the Black Power movement through the life of Gary Foley’ driven by a desire to learn effective strategies of change.

Edwina is most interested in our ontological understandings of "progress", "development" and power in particular as they manifest in Australia. Her work draws from the life's work of Gary Foley, John Bradley, Germaine Greer, Naomi Klein, Naomi Wolf, Arhundati Roy and Michael Taussig. She is also indebted to her first intellectual mentor Dr Michael Stevenson.

Recent publications

Refereed journal articles

Howell, E. and G. Foley ‘Cultural Awareness Training for Educational 
Leaders and Teachers – A Lesson in History’ Agora, Victorian History 
Teachers Association Journal, October 2017

Howell, E. and G. Foley, ‘Black Power and the Creative Arts’ NiTRO - The 
Australian Council of Deans and Directors of Creative Arts Journal, 5 October 

Howell, E. ‘It’s Captain Cook all over again’ Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies e-journal Vol.4 No.2 2008.

Howell, E. ‘The struggle to save the McArthur River’ Chain Reaction, September 2008, No.103, 34. 


Dexter, Barrie (2015) Pandora's Box: The Council for Aboriginal Affairs 1967-1976. ed. Foley G. & Howell E., Keeaira Press: Southport QLD.

Foley, G. Schaap, A. & Howell E. eds. (2014) The Aboriginal Tent Embassy: Sovereignty, Black Power, Land Rights and the State, Routledge: London UK. 

Book chapters

Howell, E (forthcoming) ‘Academic collaboration in pursuit of 
decolonisation’, Prising open the cracks of neo-liberal universities 
Dorothy Bottrel and Catherine Manathunga (eds) Palgrave Macmillan.

Howell E. and G. Foley (forthcoming) ‘The media strategy of the Aboriginal 
Black Power, Land Rights and Self-Determination Movement’ Routledge 
Companion to Media and Activism, Graham Meikle (ed) Routledge, London, UK.

Refereed chapters

Howell, E. & Schaap A. (2014) ‘The Aboriginal Tent Embassy and Australian Citizenship’ in Routlege Handbook of Global Citizenship Studies, ed. Engin Isin and Peter Nyers, Routledge: London UK. 

Howell, E. (2014) ‘Black Power – by any means necessary’ The Aboriginal Tent Embassy: Sovereignty, Black Power, land Rights and the State, ed. Gary Foley, Andrew Schaap & Edwina Howell, Routledge: London, UK. 67-83.

Conference presentations

Howell, E. ‘Black Power: By any means necessary’ Symposium on the Aboriginal Tent Embassy: Sovereignty, Black Power, Land Rights and the State, Senate House, University of London. October 2013.

Howell, E. ‘How do you put the Rainbow Serpent on the Table? A discussion of the contestation of knowledge of place at the site of the McArthur River Mine.’ Annual Seminar Series, Department of Anthropology, School of Political and Social Inquiry, Monash University. September 2009.

Research grants

3D immersive education: using virtual reality technologies to transform 
user-engagement with the national Aboriginal History Archive" Edwina Howell, Gary Foley and Gavan McCarthy with Sharon Huebner, Melbourne Network Society Institute, University of Melbourne, 2017-2018, $45,000

Aboriginal History Archive, Foley, Howell, Birch, McCarthy, Maynard, Haskins, 
Behrendt, Altman, Hinkson, Papastergiadis, Smith, Smith, Schaap with Industry Partners National Museum of Australia and Museum of Australian Democracy, ARC Linkage Infrastructure Equipment and Facilities, 2017-2019, $475,000

The Foley Collection - An archive of the Aboriginal Black Power, Land Rights  and Self-determination Movement, Foley, Howell, Birch and Jacobi, Victoria  University Research Infrastructure Grant, 2016-2017, $159,115

Australian National Data Service Open Data Source Project - The Foley 
Collection, Foley, Howell with Partner Victoria University Library, 
Australian National Data Service, 2014, $35,000.

Foley, G. with Howell E. Victoria University Central Research Grant. ‘ASIO surveillance of Black Power activists 1968-1976.’ 2014. Totalling $26,780.

Foley, G. with Howell E. Australian Communities Foundation for the publication of Barrie Dexter’s  historical monograph Pandora’s Box: The Council for Aboriginal Affairs 1967-1976. 2012, 2013. Totalling $15,000.

Areas of expertise

  • Activism
  • anthropology
  • Australian politics and history
  • Black Power movement (Australia)
  • deep colonisation
  • Human rights
  • Law
  • Research methodology

Contact details

(03) 9919 2038