Dr Jenni Caruso
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Dr Jenni Caruso is an Eastern Arrente woman whose personal experience is that of being a member of the Stolen Generations. The principles which underly her teaching are that all Australians should have access to information and the sharing of knowledge on Aboriginal history in this nation. Her practice is to share that knowledge in a culturally safe environment where students are able to engage with the topics without fear of being seen as "asking the wrong thing" or being "politically incorrect in order to ensure a positive learning experience for students.
Jenni's academic career has followed its own pattern with her gaining her undergraduate and honours levels as a mature age student while lecturing in Indigenous Cultures and History, and Indigenous Histories of the Twentieth Century. Jenni has recently graduated in Doctoral studies with her PhD thesis titled "Dream Phantasy of a Utopia" which investigates and brings to light the political interactions between church, state and academia in the setting up of the Methodist Overseas Half-Caste Children's Mission of Croker Island.
Jenni's teaching focuses on introducing students to an Aboriginal perspective of Australian history looking at the impacts of anthropology on public policy, the effects of child removal policies on Aboriginal Australians and the relationship of those impacts on the status of Aboriginal people in contemporary society, political activism by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians in bringing about shifts in policy and the importance of self-determination in 'closing the gap' in inequities faced by Aboriginal people.
Jenni's work is expanding into working with staff on the ways in which colonisation continues to inform academic approaches to writing on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and in particular Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who are often not only 'first in family' to study at the higher education level, but who are also impacted by the levels of socio-economic and political disadvantage faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Her efforts are directed towards ensuring a culturally and intellectually safe learning and teaching space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, which will also inform pedagogical approaches to content to ensure that students can complete their studies.
Jenni's commitment to Indigenous Education in the University was recognised through the inaugural Vice Chancellor's award for an Aboriginal staff member in the University.
2018 Graduated: Doctoral Degree of Philosophy (History) Thesis Title “Dream Phantasy of A Utopia. The Making of the Methodist Overseas Half-Caste Mission of Croker Island: A Personal History.”
2007 - Current PhD Candidature –History (University of Adelaide)
2005 Honours (2nd Class) History (University of Adelaide)
2001 Bachelor of Arts – Cultural Studies (University of Adelaide)
1998 Diploma of Arts – Aboriginal Education (UniSA) (Academic Merit Award)
1989 SACE Certificate – Ingle Farm High School
Jenni's research interests focus on the Stolen Generations and the ways in which policies around the removal of half-caste children were informed and scaffolded by the notions of the power of 'being white' and the deficits of 'being Aboriginal'. A growing focus is to exand the body of work around the Jenni is also engaging in cross-disciplinary conversations around the ingrained eugenicist underpinnings of those policies, expanding her research into the interwar transferrence of eugenicist ideologies from Europe to Australian policies of half-caste child removal.
While grounded in the discipline of history, due to the characteristics of intersectionality which are anchored in every single aspect of the lives of Aboriginal people, Jenni's work is broadening into other discipline areas.
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Entry last updated: Thursday, 9 Aug 2018
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