1. Kansas State University
  2. »Division of Communications and Marketing
  3. »K-State Today
  4. »Q&A with Fulbright Scholar Julie McIntyre

K-State Today

January 21, 2020

Q&A with Fulbright Scholar Julie McIntyre

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

As part of the national Fulbright Scholar Program, K-State's Oz to Oz Fulbright Scholars Seminar brings senior research scholars to campus to build and develop international partnerships and friendships.

Free and open to the public, Julie McIntyre, senior lecturer in history at the University of Newcastle, Australia, will present "Modern wines scientific intermediaries: viticultural extension officers in New South Wales, Australia, from the 1890s to the 1990s" as part of the Oz to Oz Fulbright Scholars Seminar at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22,  in the Town Hall of Leadership Studies Building. McIntyre directs the Centre for 21st Century Humanities at Newcastle, which hosts the Wine Studies Research Network of international scholars in the humanities and social sciences.

This Q&A gives the university community an opportunity to learn more about the scholar speaker and reinforces the importance of mutual understanding and education of diverse research topics.

What is your field of study?

My research into the history of Australian winegrowing aims to inform a vitivinicultural future that is socially and environmentally as well as economically sustainable. My Fulbright research focuses on the emergence of modern grape and wine science. Scientific knowledge is an unexplored pillar of the histories of growth and continuity in communities focused on wine production and tourism.

How is the Fulbright scholarship helping you increase knowledge of this area?

For my scholar program, I am based at the Shields Library, University of California, Davis. This library holds the world's largest and most diverse archival collection on grape and wine science as well as the papers of wine writers and others who are integral to the modern global grape-wine-complex. The late UC Davis Viticulture & Enology Department member Harold Olmo was, from the 1950s to the 1970s, the leading figure in the Anglosphere in formulating and disseminating grape clones and cultivation practices. Through reading Olmo’s archive, I am piecing together the American-Australian exchange in grape and wine science during a formative binational era in winegrowing.

What drives your interest in your research?

I grew up in farming families within the extraordinary natural heritage of western and mid-northern New South Wales aware of the dispossession of Aboriginal people to create settler Australia. By focusing on winegrowing as a facet of the Australian past that was overlooked in national historiography, I have drawn attention to the formation of rural and regional communities in local environments and how these communities are interdependent with marginalized peoples and urban economies through trade and consumption in Australia and overseas.

Since the Fulbright helps to build collaborative relationships, in what areas do you want to collaborate with American researchers?

I am seeking collaboration with American agricultural/environmental historians and agricultural scientists to build understanding of the social and cultural depth of rural communities to inform their futures. During a recent three-year project on the multi-generational continuity of a wine region in eastern Australia, I kept asking myself 'how do I write this history in a way that shows what is lost, by whom, if this wine region ceases to exist?' Amid the current horrific drought and wildfires in Australia this question of what is lost is relevant for many agricultural regions. Climate change is a shared problem for all researchers concerned with the food, beverage and fiber industries.

Why did you accept the invitation to visit K-State?

K-State's focus on agriculture and extension is salient for my understanding of the dynamics of know-how in the vector of research and applied sciences, higher education and agricultural practice. K-State's location in the Midwest and Great Plains is also of interest to me. My next book is a global history of Australia for Princeton University Press, with a strong focus on how environment influences societies and economies. Kansas has a natural environment and agricultural history, including winegrowing, that is different to Australia and I'm keen to experience this difference!

McIntyre will be on the Manhattan campus from Tuesday, Jan. 21, to Friday, Jan. 24. Jeanette Thurston, Food Science Institute, is her K-State host. During her visit, McIntyre will speak with Eric Atkinson, host of Agriculture Today. That interview, as well as all other Fulbright scholar interviews, are posted on the K-State Research and Extension News page.