Dr Frances M Clarke
BA (Hons) La Trobe PhD JohnsH
A18 - Brennan MacCallum Building
The University of Sydney
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I was awarded my PhD by Johns Hopkins University in 2002. I then worked as a researcher at the American Historical Association in Washington DC for a year, before taking up a lectureship in the History Department at Sydney University. Since that time, I have taught units covering a range of topics in American history, from the colonial era through to the turn of the twentieth-century. My teaching was recognized in 2005 with a Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Teaching Award. In 2011, my monograph War Stories: Suffering and Sacrifice in the Civil War Northjointly won the AHA’s Biennial Hancock Prize for the best first book in any field of history. My current research concerns the relationship between youth and militarism over the course of American history.
- Nineteenth-century US 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
Topics in nineteenth-century US history; the American Civil War and Reconstruction; war and memorialisation; gender and race relations in American history.
I am currently supervising MA and PhD studentswho work on a range of topics, including undercover investigative journalism in the US; divorce court reporting in Australia and the UK before WWII; the rise of evangelicalism in Australia; and US-China bilateral relations in the 1970s and 80s.
In 2011, I began collaborating with Rebecca Jo Plant (University of California, San Diego) on a jointly-authored article, “‘The Crowning Insult’: Federal Racism and the Gold Star Mother Pilgrimages of the Early 1930s,” which has been accepted for publication by the Journal of American History.
The following year, we started research for a much larger study, which will examine 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, this project will map 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.
Awards and honours
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, 2005
- 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; Andrew W Mellon Foundation (USA)/Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship.
- Child Soldiers: The Militarization of American Youth; Clarke F; Barra Foundation/Barra Foundation International Fellowship.
- 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.
- 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)