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Colonial Quarantine: Spatialisation and materialisation at the North Head Quarantine Station in Sydney, Australia

Author(s): Peta Longhurst

Year: 2014

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Summary

Established in 1835, the North Head Quarantine Station was intended to quell the spread of contagion amongst incoming immigrants and existing residents in Sydney, Australia. This paper seeks to position the Quarantine Station as one component of a colonial practice of institutionalisation. The site’s major institutional goal was the prevention of disease transmission. However, by considering the practice of quarantine within an imperial context, it is possible to see the broader implications of its public health function. Through quarantine, colonial and national identities were formed and Australia and its citizenry were imagined and defined. Whereas quarantine was largely abandoned internationally, in Australia it persisted; at the federation of the new nation in 1901, quarantine was the sole major public health power granted to the Government in the constitution. Within this colonial context, this paper will consider the spatial and material expression of quarantine and its enduring legacy in the shaping of a nation.


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Cite this Record

Colonial Quarantine: Spatialisation and materialisation at the North Head Quarantine Station in Sydney, Australia. Peta Longhurst. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436685)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-12,10

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America