Dr Frances M Clarke
BA (Hons) La Trobe PhD JohnsH
A18 - Brennan MacCallum Building
The University of Sydney
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|Fax||+61 2 9351 3918|
After receiving my PhD from Johns Hopkins University in 2002, I worked for a year as a researcher for the American Historical Association in Washington DC before taking up a lectureship in Sydney University’s History Department. Since that time, I have taught courses on a range of topics in American history, from the colonial era through to the turn of the twentieth century, as well as courses dealing more broadly with the history of war, gender relations, and Victorianism. In 2005, my teaching was recognized with a Faculty of Arts Teaching Award. My teaching and research areas are strongly interlinked. The latter includes a focus on the American Civil War and Reconstruction, interpretations of war, and, more recently, the history of childhood. My first monograph, War Stories: Suffering and Sacrifice in the Civil War North jointly won the AHA’s biennial Hancock prize for the best first book in any field of history. I subsequently began several collaborative projects with Rebecca Jo Plant, a specialist on twentieth-century U.S. history. The first project concerned a little-known civil rights protest over the segregation of black gold star mothers in interwar America, which was published in the Journal of American History in 2015. Our second project concerns the relationship between childhood and militarism in America from the Revolution to the modern era.
- Nineteenth-century U.S. history
- Civil War and Reconstruction
- War, Trauma, and Memory
- The political, cultural, and social history of warfare
- Gender and race relations in America
- History of childhood
- Cultural history
Teaching and supervision
- HSTY1023: Emerging Giant, The Making of America
- HSTY2656: A House Divided, The American Civil War
- HSTY2629: Sex and Scandal
- HSTY2657: American Cultural History
- HSTY2628: Boom! The History of War
- HSTY4011: Victorian Culture
- HSTY3093: Race & Gender in America I
- HSTY3094: Race & Gender in America II
- HSTY4011: American Utopias
- Experiences and Memories of War
- Historiography and Historical Thought
Topics in nineteenth-century US history generally, especially the American Civil War and Reconstruction; war and memorialisation; gender and race relations in American history.
I am currently supervising MA and PhD students who work on a range of topics, including US-China bilateral relations in the 1970s and 80s; race relations in Memphis before the Civil Rights era; gender and the U.S. media after 1950; and the history of divorce in Australia.
Current PhD Students
- Claire Selwood, “Divorce Law and Divorce Culture in New South Wales, 1900-1939.”
- Liz Ingleson, “The End of Isolation: Rapprochement, Globalisation and American Trade with China, 1972-1979.”
- Hollie Pich, “Policing Jim Crow: Black Memphis and the Race Line, 1880-1940.”
- Marama Whyte, “Women in Print: A History of Women Journalists and the Media after 1950.”
PhD and M.A. Completions
- 2016 Danielle Thyer, “Reporting the ‘Unvarnished Truth’: the Origins and Transformation of Undercover Investigative Journalism in Nineteenth Century New York,” PhD.
- 2015 Elizabeth Miller, “A Planting of the Lord: Contemporary Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity in Australia,” PhD.
- 2014 Lauren N. Haumesser, “Democratic Women in the Second Party System: 1824-1856,” M.A. (Res.)
- 2014 Adele McInerney, “The Idealisation of Haiti in the Black Press, 1827-160,” B.A. (Honours First Class).
- 2014 Christina White, “‘A Country so Clothed With Majesty, so Bathed in Perpetual Sunshine’: Women, Nature, and Manifest Destiny in 1850s California,” B.A. (Honours First Class).
- 2014 Eloise Atkin, “The Cuban Missile Crisis in American Memory,” B.A. (Honours Second Class).
- 2014 Rebekah Harris, “The Import of Thy Letter’: Joseph John Burney and Epistolary Humanitarianism, 1780-1850,” B.A. (Honours First Class).
- 2012 Mary Willet, “The Word of a Gentleman and the Oath of a Patriot: Military Parole in the American Civil War,” B.A. (Honours First Class).
- 2012 Lucienne Guyot, “‘Fighting My Way Through’: Northern Rural Women in the American Civil War,” B.A. (Honours First Class).
- 2012 Zoe Fitzgerald, “A Tale of Two Haitis: Representations of an Island Republic in the American Press,” B.A. (Honours First Class).
- 2012 Joshua Levin, “Much Ado About Nothing: British Non-Intervention During The American Civil War,” B.A. (Honours First Class). University Medal Winner.
- 2010 Matthew Ainsworth, “The Shifting Elements of Identity in Pre- and Post-Revolutionary America,” B.A. (Honours First Class).
- 2009 Katherine Connelly, “The Wide, Free World of Men: Gender and the Nineteenth-Century American Saloon,” B.A. (Honours First Class)
- 2009 Victoria Broomfield, “Tipped Off: The Controversial Early History of American Social Gratuities,” B.A. (Honours Second Class)
- 2009 Christopher Beshara, “The Hidden History of Black Militant Abolitionism in Antebellum Boston,” B.A. (Honours First Class). University Medal Winner.
- 2008 Richard L’Estrange, “No Fools Errand: Albion Tourgee’s Radical Understanding of Race, Education and Democratic Citizenship in the American South During Reconstruction and its Aftermath,” B.A. (Honours First Class)
- 2008 Julia Bowes, “The Fourth Art of Government: Eleanor Roosevelt’s Advice on Child Rearing Between 1930 and 1962.” B.A. (Honours First Class)
- 2008 Julia Wood, “The Evolution of the Dime Novel Western: The Impact of Social Darwinism in America, 1865-1888,” B.A. (Honours First Class)
- 2008 Eve Carroll Dwyer, “Putting the Man in Female Emancipation: Feminist Men and Manhood in the Woman’s Journal and the Early American Suffrage Movement,” B.A. (Honours First Class)
- 2008 Naomi Hart, “The Priceless, Perishing Souls of Our Poor Sailor Brothers,” B.A. (Honours First Class). University Medal Winner.
- 2007 Shane Greentree, “From Viragos to Feminists: The Reception and Legacy of Catherine Macaulay and Mary Wollstonecraft B.A.” (Honours Second Class)
- 2007 Vania Chew, “From Europe to America: Patriotic Womanhood and the Rise of the Athletic Revival,” B.A. (Honours First Class)
- 2007 Ryan Middlemas, “Fatal Attraction: Dark Tourism and Morbid Media in the American Civil War,” B.A. (Honours Second Class)
- 2007 Kate McKee, “Gossip, Rumours and Reputation: Identity in the American Civil War South,” B.A. (Honours First Class)
- 2007 Amy Satchell, “Staging Gender: How Theatre Helped to Define and Defend Men and Women of Antebellum New York,” B.A. (Honours First Class).
- 2005 Altin Gavronovic, “Masters of Lost Worlds: Southern Slave-holders sfter the Civil War,” B.A. (Honours First Class). University Medal winner.
- 2005 Poppy J. Bourne, “White Queen White Empire: True Womanhood & Imperialism at the Turn of the Nineteenth-Century,” B.A. (Honours First Class)
- 2005 Katherine Courtney, “The New Woman Comes Into Her Own: Women’s Suffrage Parading in New York City, 1910-1917,” B.A. (Honours First Class)
- 2005 Karen Gambian, “Motherhood and the Movement: Responses to the Declining Birth Rate in Australia and the United States 1890-1910,” B.A. (Honours First Class)
- 2004 Allison Blake, “John Brown’s Body: Northern Manhood and the Legacy of the Harper’s Ferry Raid,” B.A. (Honours First Class)
At the moment, I am working on two collaborative projects with Rebecca Jo Plant. The first examines the use of child soldiers and debates over youth and militarism in the U.S. from the Revolution to the current day. Exploring the way changing attitudes toward America as a military nation have intersected with evolving understandings of childhood and youth, our project will trace discussions taking place in multiple realms—in legislatures, courts, families, and the military, as well as among individuals. It will also provide the first comprehensive study of the hundreds of thousands of minors who served in the American military from the Revolution to the Cold War era, as well as analysing discussions around contemporary issues like the expansion of military-model public schools. Our second project focuses on similar themes but in a narrower period: the Civil War years, when vast numbers of boys and youths entered the service despite being under the required enlistment age.
Awards and honours
Association of Black Women’s Historians Letitia Woods Brown Article Prize for “‘The Crowning Insult’: Federal Racism and the Gold Star Mother Pilgrimages of the Early 1930s,” Journal of American History.
Berkshire Prize for the best article on women, gender & sexuality for "'The Crowning Insult': Federal Racism and the Gold Star Mother Pilgrimages of the Early 1930s," Journal of American History.
Joint winner of the Australian Historical Association's biennial Hancock Prize for best work of history by a first time author for War Stories: Suffering and Sacrifice in the Civil War North.
Awarded a Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Teaching Excellence Award.
- Child Soldiers: Militarism and American Youth; Clarke F, Plant R; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).
- Child Soldiers: Militarism and American Youth; Clarke F, Plant R; American Council of Learned Societies (USA)/ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship.
- Debating militarism & the use of child soldiers in America; Clarke F; DVC Research/Bridging Support Grant.
- Child Soldiers: The Militarization of American Youth; Clarke F; American Antiquarian Society/Lapides Fellowship.
- Child Soldiers: The Militarization of American Youth; Clarke F; Newberry Library/Newberry Library Short Term Collaborative Fellowship.
- Child Soldiers: The Militarization of American Youth; Clarke F; Andrew W Mellon Foundation (USA)/Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship.
- Child Soldiers: The Militarization of American Youth; Clarke F; Barra Foundation/Barra Foundation International Fellowship.
- Lincoln and the Gendered Implications of Free labor Ideology; Clarke F; University of Sydney/Research Support.
- Citizenship in Civil War America; Clarke F; United States Studies Centre/United States Studies Centre Fellowship.
- The shape and meaning of voluntarism in the civil war north; Clarke F; DVC Research/Research and Development Scheme: Newly Appointed Staff (NAS).
Remembering the Revolution: Memory, History, and Nation Making from Independence to the Civil War (University of Massachusetts Press, 2013)
War Stories: Suffering and Sacrifice in the Civil War North (The University of Chicago Press, 2011)