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Patricia O’Brien

Patricia O’Brien

Patricia O’Brien is a historian, author, analyst and commentator on Australia and Oceania. She is a faculty member in Asian Studies at Georgetown University and in the Department of Pacific Affairs, Australian National University, and is Adjunct Faculty in the Pacific Partners Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington DC

Patricia O’Brien is a wide-ranging historian and analyst of Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. She is the author of “Tautai: Sāmoa, World History and the Life and Ta’isi O. F. Nelson” (2017), “The Pacific Muse: Exotic Femininity and the Colonial Pacific” (2006), and is co-editor of “League of Nations: Histories, Legacies and Impact” (2018) and numerous other works. She was the resident Australian and Pacific historian at Georgetown University, Washington DC from 2000-2013, the Jay I. Kislak Fellow in American Studies at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress in 2011, and the J. D. Stout Fellow in New Zealand Studies at Victoria University Wellington in 2012. From 2014-2019 she was an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in the School of History, Australian National University, Canberra.

In 2020, she returned to Georgetown University’s Asian Studies Program to teach on Pacific pasts, presents, and futures. As well as ongoing historical writing and research, she has done analysis, podcasts, and media commentary on Pacific-related topics, from Samoa’s constitutional crisis (she is also co-editing a book on this complex topic), regional relations with Papua New Guinea, U.S. atomic testing in the Marshall Islands, the current Compact of Free Association negotiations, the AUKUS agreement and COVID-19 in the Pacific and U.S.-based Pasifika communities. In 2021, she also joined the Australian National University’s Department of Pacific Affairs as a visiting fellow and the Pacific Partners Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington DC.


Posts by Patricia O’Brien
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