Discipline of History
Communities and nations need history to give dimension and meaning to the present, in the same way that individuals need memory to shape identity and make good decisions.
History at Adelaide equips you to think historically about the world, empowering you to understand who we are, how we got here, why we behave as we do, and how things change. We learn historical knowledge in the family, at home, on television and we use it every day to help us make decisions. Advances in historical knowledge by history researchers give depth and complexity to the histories we learn elsewhere, and in History at Adelaide we draw on that new research to enable our students to make better decisions in the workplace, in the public sphere, and even in everyday life.
Welcome to the Department of History.
Staff in The Department of History teach on a wide range of times and places, from the medieval to modern, and across Asia, the Americas, Australasia, and Europe. In first year, students will cover all of these times and places, using the themes of Empire and Revolution to give students a firm foundation in global histories. In following years, students select from a range of courses that offer historical knowledge and provide training in historiographical skills, sources and methods, analysis and interpretation, and writing and communication. Courses range from those that provide a firm grounding and understanding of national history, including Australian history, heritage and culture, not least Aboriginal history, to those that focus particular themes or topics, such as historical memory or the history of science. Throughout their degree, students will think about how change happens and the implications for the contemporary world.
With a strong emphasis on research, students at Adelaide learn how to apply their knowledge and to make better decisions. History provides a general education, covering topics as diverse as society, economy, politics, medicine, technology, family life, race, gender and class, material culture studies, religion and much more. Our graduates are therefore trained to make 360 degree assessments of their environment and to think broadly and reflectively about the widescale implications of different actions. In third year students apply the research skills they have learned across the degree in our Capstone course that consolidates our graduate attributes. At Honours, students research independently, preparing them for independent research, analysis and communication in the workplace or for further study.
Learn about a selection of our courses on these short videos. The following videos are for the courses - New York City in Revolution, Emotions in Historical Perspective; Plagues and Pandemics and Family, Memory, Identity.
Name Role Professor Rachel Ankeny Professor Professor Jennifer Clark Professor Associate Professor Katie Barclay Head of Department of Historical and Classical Studies
Associate Professor Vesna Drapac Associate Professor
Acting Head of Department
(Semester 2 2021)
Associate Professor Rob Foster Associate Professor
Acting Head of Department
(Semester 2 2021)
Professor Amanda Nettelbeck Professor Dr Gareth Pritchard Lecturer Associate Professor Paul Sendziuk Associate Professor
Dr Claire Walker Senior Lecturer
Emeritus Staff, Research Fellows and Titleholders
Name Role Karen Agutter Visiting Research Fellow Steven Anderson Visiting Research Fellow Merridee Bailey Visiting Research Fellow Prudence Black Visiting Research Fellow Margaret Susan Brock Visiting Research Fellow Emily Buddle Affiliate Associate Lecturer Jenni Caruso Visiting Research Fellow Robert Dare Visiting Associate Professor Michael Dietrich Visiting Professor Kylie Galbraith Visiting Research Fellow Michael Harding Visiting Research Fellow Rachel Harris Visiting Research Fellow Roger Knight Visiting Research Fellow Kristy Ann Kokegei Visiting Research Fellow David Lemmings Emeritus Professor Sabina Leonelli Adjunct Professor Robert Linn Visiting Research Fellow David Lockwood Visiting Fellow Jessica Loyer Visiting Research Fellow Thomas Mackay Visiting Research Fellow Susan Margaret Magarey Emeritus Professor Roderick (Rory) J. B. Muir Visiting Research Fellow Mark Neuendorf Visiting Research Fellow Bernard John O'Neil Visiting Research Fellow Carly Osborn Visiting Fellow Clare Parker Visiting Research Fellow Pauline Payne Visiting Research Fellow Wilfrid Prest Emeritus Professor Robin Prior Visiting Professor Barbara Santich Emeritus Professor Abaigeal Warfield Visiting Fellow Michael Walter Whiting Visiting Research Fellow Trevor Wilson Emeritus Professor ChingHwang Yen Emeritus Professor
The School of Humanities has a number of History scholarships and prizes available. Visit the Faculty of Arts for more information.
The Department of History has a vibrant research culture with a significant cohort of postgraduate researchers.
Our department has a particular strength in Australian history, including colonial conflict and peace-keeping, Aboriginal history and culture, contemporary political activism and citizenship, and migration.
Drawing on our world-class British studies collection, funded by the Benham Bequest, there is also a strength in early modern British history, particularly relating to women, gender, family life, emotion and law. Research on emotion is particularly the focus of the ARC Centre of Excellence in the History of Emotions, which has a node in the department.
Modern European history is well-represented and our researchers hold specialisms in political conflict and protest, rising nationalisms, and the world wars. Changing economies are critical for several of our researchers, underpinning histories of food production and ethics, business and global capitalism, and accounting across regions as diverse as the USA, UK and Australia. Our historical research is underpinned by an array of approaches, from material culture studies, film and art, to oral histories and ethnography, to databases and mapping, to an interrogation of the written form. Our culture is supported by regular seminars and workshops, postgraduate training, and early career mentorship.
Study with us
Explore the study options within the School of Humanities.
Find a researcher
Search for an expert in our database.
Partner with us
Learn how you can get involved and partner with our researchers.