Professor Alison Bashford, FAHA
PhD BA (Hons) (Sydney)
Room 816 Brennan McCallum Building A18
+61 2 9351 3884
Alison Bashford is an historian of colonial science and medicine. Her early books focused on British imperial and Australian histories, over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and more recently she has researched connections between historical geography, world history, and environmental history. Four new books are in press for 2013: Life on Earth: geopolitics and the world population problem (Columbia University Press); Pacific Histories: Ocean, Land, People (Palgrave), co-edited with David Armitage; The Cambridge History of Australia, 2 vols (Cambridge University Press), co-edited with Stuart Macintyre.
In 2009 and 2010, Professor Bashford was Chair of Australian Studies at Harvard University, where she taught in the History of Science Department. She has held fellowships at Edinburgh University, Warwick University, and University College, London. In 2011 she was awarded a professorial research fellowship to undertake research on “Climate Change and the History of Environmental Determinism.”
Alison Bashford was elected to the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2010. She was awarded the Cantemir Prize, 2011, for The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics (co-edited with Philippa Levine).
In addition to her work within the Department of History at the University of Sydney, Alison Bashford was founding convenor of the Medical Humanities Program, founding Co-Director of the Nation Empire Globe research group, and Dean of Graduate Studies (Acting). She currently serves on the Academy of Science's National Committee for History and Philosophy of Science.
Alison Bashford's current research includes the history of immigration law over the long twentieth century; a study of Thomas Robert Malthus; and "Stories from the Sandstone: The Archaeology and History of Quarantine" in collaboration with Dr Annie Clarke and the Mawland Group, managers of the Quarantine Station, Sydney.
- Imperial history
- The history of modern medicine and science
- The history of gender
- Malthus and the New World
- Immigration restriction over the long twentieth century
- Environmental determinism in the mid twentieth century
- Stories from the Sandstone: The Archaeology and History of Quarantine
Life on Earth: Geopolitics and the World Population Problem (Columbia University Press, in press).
Griffith Taylor: Visionary, Environmentalist, Explorer (University of Toronto Press/National Library of Australia Press, 2008). Co-authored with Carolyn Strange.
Imperial Hygiene: A Critical History of Colonialism, Nationalism and Public Health (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004).
Purity and Pollution: Gender, Embodiment and Victorian Medicine (Macmillan, 1998).
Pacific Histories: Ocean, Land, People (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming). Co-edited with David Armitage.
The Cambridge History of Australia, 2 vols (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). Co-edited with Stuart Macintyre.
The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics (Oxford University Press, 2010). Co-edited with Philippa Levine.
Medicine at the Border: Disease, Globalization and Security from 1850 to the Present (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006).
Isolation: Places and Practices of Exclusion (Routledge, 2003). Co-edited with Carolyn Strange.
Contagion: Historical and Cultural Studies (Routledge, 2001). Co-edited with Claire Hooker. New edition: Contagion: Epidemics, history and culture from smallpox to anthrax (Pluto Press, 2003).
‘Modern Airs, Waters, and Places.’ Bulletin of the History of Medicine. Special issue: Winter 2012. Co-edited with Sarah W. Tracy.
'Anti-Colonial Climates: Physiology, Ecology, and Global Population, 1920s-50s,' Bulletin of the History of Medicine 86 (2012): 595–626.
'The Colonial History of the 1905 Aliens Act', Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History , 40 (2012): 409-37. Co-author C. Gilchrist.
'Malthus and Colonial History,' Journal of Australian Studies, 36, no. 1 (2012): 99-110.
'Living with Tuberculosis: The Prehistory of HIV/AIDS', The Lancet, 375, no. 9728 (2010): 1774-1775
'Population, Geopolitics and International Organizations in the Mid Twentieth Century', Journal of World History 19 (2008): 327-347
'World Population, World Health and Security: 20th century trends', Journal of Epidemiology and Population Health 62 (2008): 187-90
'Thinking Historically about Public Health', Medical Humanities, 33 (2007): 87-92. Co-authored with Carolyn Strange.
'World Population and Australian Land: demography and sovereignty in the twentieth century,' Australian Historical Studies, 38 (2007): 211-27
'Nation, Empire, Globe: the spaces of population debate in the interwar years', Comparative Studies in Society and History, 49, 1 (2007): 1-32
'Tuberculosis, migration, and medical examination: lessons from history', Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 60 (2006): 282-84. Co-authored with John Welshman.
'Global biopolitics and the history of world health', History of the Human Sciences, 18, 1 (2006): 67-88
'Immigration and Health: Law and regulation in Australia, 1958-2004', Health and History, 7, 1 (2005): 86-101
'Immigration and Health: law and regulation in Australia, 1901-1958', Health and History, 6, 1 (2004): 97-112. Co-authored with Sarah Howard.
'Public Pedagogy: sex education and mass communication in the mid twentieth century', Journal of the History of Sexuality, 13, 1 (2004): 71-99. Co-authored with Carolyn Strange.
'At the Border: contagion, immigration, nation', Australian Historical Studies, no. 120 (2002): 344-58
'Tuberculosis and Economy: Public Health and Labour in the Early Welfare State', Health and History, 4, 2 (2002): 19-40
'Asylum-seekers and national histories of detention', Australian Journal of Politics and History, 48, 4 (2002): 509-27. Co-authored with Carolyn Strange.
'Diphtheria and Australian Public Health: Bacteriology and its Complex Applications, 1890-1930', Medical History, 46 (2002): 41-64. Co-authored with Claire Hooker.
'Domestic Scientists: The Negotiation of Science and Gender in Early Twentieth Century Australia', Journal of Women’s History, 12, 2 (2000): 127-146
'Is White Australia Possible?' colonialism, race and tropical medicine', Ethnic and Racial Studies, 23 (2000): 112-135
'Epidemic and Governmentality: Smallpox in Sydney, 1881', Critical Public Health, 12 (1999): 301-16
'Quarantine and the Imagining of the Australian Nation', Health, 2 (1998): 387-402
?The Return of the Repressed: Feminism in the Quad?, Australian Feminist Studies, 13 (1998): 47-54
'George Knibbs' in Libby Robin, Sverker Sørlin, Paul Warde (eds), The Future of Nature: Documents of Global Change (Yale University Press, forthcoming, 2013).
'Insanity and Immigration Restriction' in Catherine Cox and Hilary Marland (eds) Migration, Health, and Ethnicity in the Modern World (Palgrave, forthcoming, 2013).
'Julian Huxley’s Transhumanism,' in Sorin Antohi and Marius Turda (eds) Crafting Humans: from genesis to eugenics and beyond (Goettingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, forthcoming, 2013).
'Science and Medicine in Twentieth Century Australia,' in Alison Bashford and Stuart Macintyre (eds) Cambridge History of Australia vol. 2 (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming, 2013). Co-authored with Peter Hobbins.
“Karl Haushofer’s Geopolitics of the Pacific Ocean” in Kate Fullagar (ed.) The Atlantic World in a Pacific Field: Effects and Transformations Since the Eighteenth Century (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars’ Press, 2012).
“The Great White Plague Turns Alien: Tuberculosis in Australia, 1901-2001” in Flurin Condrau and Michael Worboys (eds), Tuberculosis Then and Now (McGill Queens University Press, 2010).
“Internationalism, Cosmopolitanism, and Eugenics” in Alison Bashford and Philippa Levine (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010).
“Where Did Eugenics Go?” in Alison Bashford and Philippa Levine (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010).
'Australasia and Oceania' in Harold Cook, Anne Hardy and Sanjoy Bhattacharya (eds.), History and the Social Determinants of Health (Orient Longman: New Delhi, 2008), pp. 9-26.
'The Age of Universal Contagion: history, disease and globalization' in A. Bashford (ed.), Medicine at the Border (London and New York: Palgrave, 2006).
'Where is the border? Tuberculosis screening in Australia and the UK, 1950-2000' in A. Bashford (ed.), Medicine at the Border (London and New York: Palgrave, 2006). Co-authored with Ian Convery and John Welshman.
'Gender, Medicine and Empire’ in Philippa Levine, ed., Gender and Empire: The Oxford History of the British Empire, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004) pp. 113-33
'Isolation and Exclusion in the Modern World’ in Carolyn Strange and Alison Bashford, eds, Isolation: places and practices of exclusion (London and New York: Routledge, 2003) pp. 1-19. Co-authored with C. Strange.
‘Cultures of Confinement: tuberculosis, isolation and the sanatorium’ in Carolyn Strange and Alison Bashford, eds, Isolation: places and practices of exclusion (London and New York: Routledge, 2003) pp. 133-49
‘Foreign Bodies: vaccination, contagion and colonialism in the nineteenth century’ in Alison Bashford and Claire Hooker, eds, Contagion: historical and cultural studies (London and New York, Routledge, 2001) pp. 39-60
‘Leprosy and the Management of Race, Sexuality and Nation’ in Alison Bashford and Claire Hooker, eds, Contagion: historical and cultural studies (London and New York: Routledge, 2001) pp. 106-28. Co-authored with Maria Nugent.
'Contagion, Modernity and Postmodernity' in Alison Bashford and Claire Hooker, eds, Contagion: historical and cultural studies (London and New York: Routledge), 2001, pp. 1-12. Co-authored with Claire Hooker.
'Separatist Health: Meanings of Women's Hospitals, c. 1870-1930' in Lilian R. Furst (ed.), Climbing a Long Hill: Women Healers and Physicians (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky) 1997, pp. 198-220.
Over 2011-2014, Alison Bashford is an ARC Future Fellow and will not be teaching in the undergraduate program at the University of Sydney. In recent years, her courses have included
- Imperial History/World History - History Honours Seminar
- HSTY3099 Public and Private Life in Britain, 1707-1901
- HSTY2061 Medicine, Gender and History
- HSTY6988 Contagion: history and culture
Professor Bashford currently supervises doctoral candidates with interest and expertise in medical history; history of science; history of geography and colonialism.
Alexander Cameron-Smith, “Doctor Across Borders: Raphael Cilento and Public Health from Empire to the United Nations” (PhD, 2011)
Judith Bonzol, ““The other sort of witches”: cunning folk and supernatural illnesses in early modern England” (PhD, 2011)
Meg Parsons, “Spaces of Disease: the creation and management of Aboriginal health and disease in Queensland 1900-1970” (PhD, 2008)
Émile Paquin, “Social Hygiene in NSW, Ontario and Quebec: a comparative history of two organizations” (MPhil, 2008)
Gregory Ussher, “The Medical Gaze and the Watchful Eye: The Treatment, Prevention and Epidemiology of Venereal Disease in New South Wales, 1901-1925” (PhD, 2007)
Jennifer Germon, “Generations of Gender: past, present, potential” (PhD, 2006)
Rose Ellis, “For We are Young and Free: A critical study of Bee Miles” (PhD, 2005)
Kirsty McKenzie, “Becoming Autonomous: Orgasm, Autonomy, and Female Subjectivity” (PhD, 2002)
Suzanne Fraser, “On the Surface: Cosmetic Surgery, Gender and Culture in Australia” (PhD, 1999)
‘The History and Politics of the Anthropocene’, University of Chicago, 17–18 May 2013.
‘Writing National Histories in Transnational Times’, Australian Historical Association, Adelaide, July 2012 (with Christopher Bayly, Joyce Chaplin, David Armitage, Ann Curthoys, Stuart Macintyre).
‘Spaceship Earth: Malthus and the Anthropocene’, Consortium of Humanities Centers Annual Conference, ANU, 13 June 2012.
Invited Speaker, ‘Population, Knowledge, Order, Transformation: Demography and Politics in the Twentieth Century in Global Perspective’, German Research Council, University of Bremen, January 2012.
Invited Speaker, ‘Julian Huxley’s Transhumanism’, Crafting Humans Conference, Oxford University, September 2011.
Keynote Address, ‘Insanity and Immigration Restriction,’ ‘Health, illness and ethnicity: migration, discrimination and social dislocation’ Conference, University College, Dublin, June 2011.
'Population, Food, and Health: global problems in the twentieth century,' German Historical Institute, Washington DC, 10 June 2010.
'Hungry People and Empty Lands: Australia, Geopolitics, and the World Population Problem, c.1918-1954' University of Texas at Austin British Studies Seminar Series, 9 April 2010.
'Cosmopolitanism and International Eugenics' Department of the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, 4 Feb 2010.
Keynote Address, Australia and New Zealand Studies Association of North America Conference, Washington DC, 26 February 2010.
'Energy and Population: global policy in the mid twentieth century' Expertise for the Future: Histories of Predicting Environmental Change, Harvard University Center for the Environment, 16-17 November, 2009.
'Food, Soil, People: Geopolitics and the World Population Problem', International History Seminar Series, Harvard University, 4 November 2009.
'Waste and Population' University of Warwick, Institute of Advanced Study, May 2009.
Professor Bashford has convened many conferences over the last 15 years. Most recently, she convened with David Armitage "Pacific Histories: Ocean, Land, People" at Harvard University (November 17-18, 2012). In 2010, also at Harvard University, she led two conferences “Changing Climate: historians and hemispheres in conversation”, and, for graduate students from Australia, China, and Harvard, “Climate: science + humanities.” Previous conferences include "Medicine at the Border: the history, culture and politics of global health", University of Sydney, July 2004. "Isolation: places and practices of exclusion" at the University of Toronto, 2001 (with Professor Carolyn Strange); and "Contagion" at the University of Sydney, 1999 (with Dr Claire Hooker).