I am a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics within the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. An oral historian, I conduct research engaging with religious discourses in memory and history. Interested in emotion in testimonial narration, I have explored how trauma studies intersects with feminist theology, with insights for memory studies. My PhD project, which resulted in a monograph published in 2020, discussed how the atomic bombing of Nagasaki marginalised an already discriminated-against community, the Catholics. Interviewing nine Catholic survivors of the bombing, I found that the ancestors of these interviewees were ‘Hidden Christians’, who had returned to Catholicism after two-hundred and fifty years of persecution by the shogunate. I am currently co-editing a book for a project in the area of Cultural Histories of Sense, tentatively entitled ‘Olfactory Cultures of Asia’. Other work includes a project on religious fundraising in history and another entitled ‘Loves and Loyalties in Imperial Japan’. I am preparing to launch new fieldwork in the boundaries of the Nagasaki region, which I intend to use in a comparative project in East Asia, most likely compared to Korea and China.


PhD in Historical Studies (Japanese) at Monash University 2018

MDiv University of Divinity, 2009

BA (Hons) Monash University, 1994

Other Publications

1.     McClelland, G. (2020) Dangerous Memory in Nagasaki: Prayers, Protests and Catholic Survivor Narratives. Asia’s Transformations Series, London and New York: Routledge. Available in 195 libraries around the world (WorldCat); Invited book talks include seven in 2019 in Japan, and three in Australia in 2020, associated with the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing. Discussed the book on Radio Australia on two separate occasions and on the “This Catholic Life” Podcast, Sydney.

2.     McClelland, G. (2020) Mary, Mothers, Lament and Feminist Theology: The Dead non-war heroes of Nagasaki. Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Indiana University Press. Scimago Q1 Journal in Religious studies.

3.     McClelland, G. and D. Chapman (2020) Silences: The Catholics, the Untouchables and the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb, Asian Studies Review, Special Focus on Modern Japan, 44:3, 382-400. This journal is Scimago Q1 Journal in History and Cultural Studies and the article itself has a current Altmetric of 10.

4.     McClelland, G. (2019) Echoes of the Past on the Atomic Field: Water please! The Asia-Pacific Journal/Japan Focus 17 (16). RG 0.6

5.     McClelland, G. (2018). Re-interpreting hansai: burnt offerings as the Nagasaki atomic bomb in D. W. Kim (ed) Colonial Transformation and Asian Religions in Modern History, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 230-260. 

6.     McClelland, G. (2017). The Mother of Sorrows as Hibakusha, in Elena Shabliy (ed) Representations of the Blessed Virgin Mary in World Literature and Art, 111-131.

7.     McClelland, G. (2016). Remembering the ruins of the Urakami Cathedral: Providence or Fifth Persecution? Journal of Religion in Japan, 5 (1), 47-69.

8.     McClelland, G. (2015). Guilt, Persecution and Resurrection in Nagasaki: Atomic Memories and the Urakami Catholic Community. Social Science Japan Journal 18 (2), 233-240.

9.     McClelland, G. (2015). Ground Zero Nagasaki: Stories. ERAS Journal 17 (1), 106-112.

10.   McClelland, G. (2011). Dangerous Memories and Mission in Nagasaki. Australian Journal of Mission Studies 5 (1), 19-26.

Blog Posts


    • Co-editor with Dr Hannah Gould, Tentative title: ‘Olfactory Cultures of Asia’ Collection

    • Contributor to Special Issue, Journal of Cultural Economy, ‘Religious Fundraising in History’

    • Contributor to ‘An Emotional Revolution: Loves and Loyalties in Imperial Japan’ Collection, University of California, Santa Barbara

    Gwyn McClelland

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