Research Profile: Katharine Massam

Research Interests

Katharine’s research explores intersections between Christian tradition and wider culture in postcolonial, settler societies, including Australia. She writes on the history of Christian spirituality (especially Benedictine traditions), cross-cultural encounter in the Australian mission context, the dynamics work and leisure, and is especially interested in methodologies that open-up neglected sources and experience (such as historical readings of space and place, devotional literature, art, music, and material culture).

Research Supervision

Katharine supervises topics on religion in Australia and on the history of Christian spirituality. She particularly welcomes projects that explore community memory and traditions, including monasticism and its contemporary expressions.

Recent students have successfully completed major theses on Australian missionary women in Papua New Guinea, Eucharistic tradition and devotion in Australia, the twelfth-century Benedictine abbess Eloise of the Paraclete, the cook books and food traditions of church communities in Victoria, and a range of minor theses and research essays including several drawing on the photographs and documents of the mission archive at New Norcia.

Katharine’s current students are working on the significance of landscape and place for non-Conformist churches in Australia, the theological treatment of female sanctity in French literature, and changes in religious communities in the 1960s.

Recent Publications

‘Of things beyond us as we are’: Tom Stannage and Faith in Australian History. Studies in Western Australian History , vol. 29 (2015), 131-141. ISSN 978-0-9944419-0-4 / 0314-7525

The Spiritual and the Material: Women and Work at the New Norcia Mission 1860-1910. New Norcia Studies Journal, vol. 29 (2015), 53-61. ISSN ISSN: 1039-8627

Missionary Women and Holy Work: Benedictine Women in Western Australia. Journal of Australian Studies, vol. 39 (1) (2015), 44-53. ISSN 1444-3058

Katharine Massam, “Hidden in the Heart: Spirituality of the Uniting Church’ in An Informed Faith ed. William Emilson. Melbourne. Mosaic. 2014, pp. 19-36. ISBN 9781743241554.

‘Making Familiar, Making Strange: Introducing Sources in Monastic History to Contemporary Adults’ American Benedictine Review, June 2014, pp. 158-175. ISSN 0002-7650.

Women and Leadership in Australia (The Catholic Church).” Encyclopedia of Women Leaders in Twentieth-Century Australia. 2014 . ISSN 978-0-7340-4873-8.

“Benedictine Missionary Women at New Norcia.’ In Monasticism Between Culture and Cultures, Studia Anselmiana 159, ed. Philippe Nouzille and Michaela Pfeiffer.  Rome: Pontifical Athenaeum S. Anselmo, 2013, pp. 287-295. ISBN 9783830675983.

“Work in the Life of Grace.” In Grace: Immense, Unfathomed, Unconfined: Essays in Honour of Norman Young, ed. Sean Winter. Melbourne: Uniting Academic Press, 2013, pp. 322-338. ISBN 9781743240465.

“Language and Memory in Aboriginal and Settler Australia.” In Forme Della Memoria E Dinamiche Identitarie Nell’antichità Greco-Romana, ed. M. Giangiulio A. Baroni, E. Migliario. Trento: Università degli Studi di Trento, 2012, pp. 267-278. ISBN 978-88-8443-447-0.

“Catholic Feminism: Pain, Prayer and Paradox.” In Preachers, Prophets and Heretics: Anglican Women’s Ministry, ed. Janet Scarfe Elaine Lindsay. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 2012, , pp. 224-251. ISBN 978 174223 337 6.

“A Leader without Authority: Consuelo De La Cruz Batiz and Missionary Women at New Norcia.” In Seizing the Initiative: Australian Women Leaders in Politics, Workplaces and Communities, ed. Rosemary Francis, Patricia Grimshaw and Ann Standish. Melbourne: eScholarship Research Centre, The University of Melbourne, 2012, pp. 72-88,. ISBN 978-0-7340-4797-7.

“Cloistering the Mission: Abbot Torres and Changes at New Norcia 1901-1910.” Australasian Catholic Record 89, no. 1 (January 2012): pp. 13-25. . ISSN 0727-3215.

Research Profile

For more details please visit Katharine’s research profile here and find copies of her publications in the University research repository here.