Kathy Mae Min is the author of Cronulla Revisited: Visualising Australian Masculinity in the Cronulla Riots of 2005, recently published in Volume 8 Number 1 of History in the Making.
As part of the third installment of our ‘Author in Focus’ blog, Kathy discusses the inspiration behind her article.
How did you come to the topic for your History in the Making article?
As someone who is not Australian, I had never heard of the Cronulla riots until I studied in Sydney in 2019. As I researched the riots, I was shocked by the images and videos of unrestrained violence, captured a mere decade and a half ago. Perhaps naively, I couldn’t believe something like the Cronulla riots could happen with such sharp proximity, in both time and distance, to my present as a student at Usyd. This paper is my way of making sense of the heavy constellation of historical themes represented by Cronulla—the thorny and oft-violent spacial politics of the beach, local articulations of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab sentiments circulating within and beyond Australia, intersections of whiteness, masculinity, and xenophobia—in conjunction with the visceral nature of Cronulla’s imagery.
What’s your writing process?
My writing process is very much a work in progress! For now, my process consists of filling in a large document with research notes; attempting to distill my notes into a coherent, structured argument; spending far too much time fixating on how to phrase particular sentences and words; and finally, reading, re-reading, and re-reading. Some other tactics I use include changing up the font and reading out loud as I proofread, as well as finding different work spaces to write in (something that was much easier pre-COVID!).
Kathy Mae Min recently graduated from Yale University, where she majored in history with an emphasis in empires and colonialism. In 2019, she studied abroad at the University of Sydney, where she focused her coursework on Asian Australian history, Indigenous Studies, and migration to Australia. Kathy is passionate about the study of history as means of informing activism and social justice movements. In her free time, she enjoys trying new recipes, singing, and watching copious amounts of Netflix.