History, Heritage And Archaeology

Klaus Neumann held teaching and research positions at universities in Germany and Australia, and worked as an independent historian in Australia and New Zealand. He has written extensively about public memories in postwar Germany; colonial history and memory in Papua New Guinea; immigration, refugee and asylum seeker policies; civilian internment; the eruption of the Rabaul volcano; and New Zealand forestry, among other topics.

Neumann has edited or written ten books, including Not the Way It Really Was (1992), Shifting Memories (2000) and Refuge Australia (2004), winner of the 2004 Human Rights Award (Non-Fiction). His most recent books include Across the Seas (2015), about Australia’s historical response to refugees, which won the 2016 CHASS Australia Prize, and Historical Justice and Memory (2015), co-edited with Janna Thompson and published by University of Wisconsin Press.

Neumann has also written radio plays and numerous articles, and is a regular contributor to Inside Story. A suite of Inside Story articles he published in 2015–16 about European and Australian responses to refugees was shortlisted for a 2017 Australian Migration and Settlement Award (“journalism excellence” category).

In 2010, Neumann initiated the Historical Justice and Memory Research Network (now: Historical Dialogues, Justice, and Memory Network,, which has brought together hundreds of leading scholars in transitional justice studies, memory studies, peace and conflict studies, and moral and political philosophy from a range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

Most recently, Neumann has been working on five issues: (i) policy and public responses to refugees and asylum seekers in Europe and Australia; (ii) historical justice; (iii) the politics of compassion; (iv) the evolution of the right to asylum; and (v) multicultural national history and the representation of linguistically and culturally diverse communities in national and state libraries.

Currently, Neumann is working for the Hamburger Stiftung zur Förderung von Wissenschaft und Kultur and writing a book about German responses to refugees and asylum seekers.

  1. Neumann, K 2015 Across the Seas: Australia’s Response to Refugees: A History, Collingwood: Black Inc.
  2. Neumann, K, J Thompson, eds 2015 Historical Justice and Memory, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
  3. Neumann, K 2014 “History, memory, justice”, In A Companion to Global Historical Thought, eds P Duara, V Murthy and A Sartori, Hoboken: Wiley Blackwell.
  4. Neumann, K 2016 “German debts: entangled histories of the Greek–German relationship and their varied effects.” German Politics and Society, vol. 34, no. 3: 77-99.
  5. Neumann, K 2009 “When history isn’t made but happens: memories of victimhood in Halberstadt (Germany).” Memory Studies vol. 2, no. 1: 171-194.