Dr Béatrice Bijon is a scholar of English literature and women’s history, based in Canberra at the Australian National University. She is presently Co-Director of the Menzies Australia Institute. In her native France she was Senior Lecturer in English literature and history at the University of Saint-Etienne, Lyon (2002-2012).
She is editor or co-editor of several volumes on travel writing and world literature, including In-Between Two Worlds: Travel Narratives by Female Travellers and Explorers, 1850-1945 (2009) and The Production of Strangeness in Postcolonial Literatures (2010). Bijon was awarded a Harold White Fellowship at the National Library of Australia in 2011 where she researched the transnational links between Australian and British campaigners for women’s suffrage. Her research led to the publication of Suffragistes et Suffragettes: la conquête du droit de vote des femmes au Royaume-Uni et aux Etats-Unis (co-written with Claire Delahaye) (2017).
Drawing on her study of the Australian feminist Bessie Rischbieth, she curated ‘Deeds Not Words’ (2018), a National Library of Australia exhibition that marked the centenary of women in Britain getting the right to vote. Bijon has been researching in Aboriginal communities in Arnhem Land, northern Australia, since 2012. This led to her involvement in the feature documentary film Etched in Bone (2018), of which she was co-director and co-producer. The film examines the theft of human remains by the 1948 American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land and their eventual repatriation. Etched in Bone was short-listed for the New South Wales Premier’s History Awards and has been aired on national television in Australia and screened at film festivals internationally.
Her present projects include work on the memorialisation of women’s activism and the life-work partnership of the photographer Axel Poignant and visual anthropologist Roslyn Poignant.