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Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow 2020-2023, Research School of Humanities and the Arts, Australian National University

Dr Elisa deCourcy is an art historian, with a specialisation in early photography and associated media. Elisa's work largely examines photo histories, including but going beyond European and American metropoles, assessing cultures of experimentation and appropriation. From 2016-2019 she was the Research Fellow on 'Heritage in the Limelight: The magic lantern in Australia and the world' ARC Discovery Project run out of the School of Art and Design, ANU. During this period she also worked on a second Discovery Project, 'Curating Photography in the Age of Photosharing' (2015-2019), co-administered between ANU and RMIT. In 2018 she was awarded a Harry Ransom Fellowship from the University of Texas at Austin and an Australian Academy of the Humanities Publishing Subsidy Award in 2019. Both of these grants contribute to an extended book project 'Empire, Early Photography and Spectacle: the global career of showman daguerreotypist J.W. Newland', co-authored with Martyn Jolly, to be released by Routledge in November 2020. Her scholarship is informed by deep archival research, practice-led investigation and a re-thinking of digital design for photographically-centred heritage collections.

From April 2020 she will be an Australian Research Council DECRA fellow on her own project 'Capturing Foundational Australian Photography in a Globalising World' also based at ANU.


  • –present
    Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow 2020-2023, Australian National University

Grants and Contracts

  • 2020
    Capturing foundational Australian photography in a globalising world DE200101322
    Primary Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council