Associate Professor James Curran

BA PhD Sydney
Associate Professor, Department of History and the US Studies Centre

A18 - Brennan MacCallum Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 2988
Fax +61 2 9351 3918

Website Phonebook Entry

Biographical details

James Curran teaches Australian political, intellectual, cultural and diplomatic history. His current research, funded by an ARC Discovery Project (2010-2012), explores the history of the Australia/US Alliance from Nixon's 1969 Guam Doctrine to the early 1980s, with a particular focus on how each country formulated Asia policy in that period. A book from this study, tentatively titled ?Whitlam and Nixon at war?, is contracted to Melbourne University Press (MUP) and will be published in 2014. Curran is also working on a history of the 1971 Springbok Rugby tour to Australia. His first book, The Power of Speech (MUP, 2004) was shortlisted for both the Victorian Premier?s Literary Awards and the NSW Premier?s History Prize, while The Unknown Nation-Australia After Empire (MUP, 2010) co-authored with Stuart Ward from the University of Copenhagen, was shortlisted for the Prime Minister?s Australian History Prize in 2011. His latest book is Curtin?s Empire (CUP, 2011).

From 2010-2012 he is a joint appointment with the United States Studies Centre at the university. In 2010 he was the DFAT/ Fulbright Professional Scholar in Australia-US Alliance Studies, based at Georgetown University in Washington DC.

Prior to joining the university, Curran served in various roles in the Australian Public Service. From 2002 to 2005 he worked as a Policy Adviser in the Department of The Prime Minister and Cabinet, serving in both its Social Policy and International Divisions. From 2005 to 2007, he was an intelligence analyst at the Office of National Assessments. From time to time, he writes articles for the press, some of which are listed below. He has also offered commentary on both ABC and Commercial radio and television.

In 2013 Curran will be the Keith Cameron Professor of Australian History at University College Dublin.

Teaching and supervision

  • HSTY2611: America in World Affairs: A History
  • HSTY2687: Alliance: A History of Australia/US Relations
  • HSTY2677: Australia: Politics and Nation
  • HSTY2676: Australia and the World
  • HSTY7000 (MA Course) American-Australian relations

In the media

Public Commentary

  • 'Marshall Green: America's Mr Asia', American Review (no 12, 2013). To be republished in Passport - The Newsletter of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (January 2014).
  • 'No more pommy-bashing', Spectator Australia, 26 January 2013.
  • 'God Save Australia's Fair Matilda', Self-Improvement Wednesday on ABC 702 with Richard Glover, 12 September 2012.
  • 'Dear Mr President': What did Gough Whitlam say to upset Richard Nixon?, The Monthly, August 2012.
  • 'Abbott's risky Doublespeak Diplomacy', The Australian, 26 July 2012.
  • Australian Political Culture’, on Self Improvement Wednesday, on ABC 702 with Richard Glover, 4 April 2012,
  • The Eagle Down Under’, China/US Focus, 11 January 2012.
  • ‘Access Anxiety’, Australian Literary Review, September 2011 (on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the ANZUS treaty)
  • ‘Empire Champion’, Australian Literary Review, March 2011.
    ‘Stranded in the Wake of Empire’ (with Stuart Ward), Australian Literary Review, May 2009.
  • ‘Identity Issues in an Era of Change’ (with Stuart Ward), Sydney Morning Herald, 4 May 2010.
  • ‘Just a day like any other’ (with Stuart Ward), The Weekend Australian, 23 January 2010.
  • ‘Australia still obsessed with access to world power’, Sydney Morning Herald, 1 April 2009.
  • ‘By their Australia Days shall ye know them’, The Spectator, 28 January 2009.
  • ‘The US waits for words of unity and renewal’, The Newcastle Herald, 20 January 2009.
  • ‘Rudd is right to clock up the frequent flier miles’, The Spectator, 3 December 2008
  • ‘Leaders old and new debate identity’s birth’, The Spectator, 19 November 2008
  • ‘Keating’s ancient history’, The Australian, 14 November 2008
  • Rudd’s wartime roleplay is his link with History’, The Spectator, 29 October 2008
  • ‘Are we asking too much of Luhrmann Film?’ (With Stuart Ward), Sydney Morning Herald, 18 November 2008
  • ‘Stirring Speeches Maketh the Man’, The Australian, 8 September 2008
  • ‘Don’t fault no-nonsense political talk’, The Australian, 20 December 2007

PhD and master's project opportunities

Selected grants

2010

  • Australian/American Relations in the Era of the New Nationalism; Curran J; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).

Selected publications

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Books

  • Curran, J. (2011). Curtin's Empire. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Curran, J., Ward, S. (2010). The Unknown Nation: Australia After Empire. Carlton, Australia: Melbourne University Press.
  • Curran, J. (2004). The Power of Speech: Australian Prime Ministers Defining the National Image. Australia: Melbourne University Press.

Book Chapters

  • Curran, J. (2014). Australia is, and always has been, a pliant ally - a lapdog - that too readily follows the US: The Case Against (forthcoming). In Daniel Baldino (Eds.), Australian Foreign Policy: The Key Debates. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Curran, J. (2013). Republican Reset: The Lessons of History and a Way Ahead. In Benjamin T Jones & Mark McKenna (Eds.), Project Republic: Plans and Arguments for a New Australia, (pp. 141-154). Melbourne: Black Inc.
  • Curran, J. (2012). 'The World Changes': Australia's China Policy in the Wake of Empire. In James Reilly and Jingdong Yuan (Eds.), Australia and China at 40, (pp. 22-43). Sydney: University of New South Wales (UNSW) Press.
  • Curran, J. (2010). The 'New Line in the Strand': John Armstrong and the 'New Nationalism'. In Carl Bridge, Frank Bongiorno and David Lee (Eds.), The High Commissioners: Australia's Representatives in the United Kingdom, 1910-2010, (pp. 164-181). Barton: WHH Publishing.

Journals

  • Curran, J. (2014). Beyond the Euphoria: The politics of the American-Australian Alliance during the Cold War (forthcoming). Journal of Cold War Studies.
  • Curran, J. (2014). The Dilemmas of Divergence: The Crisis in American-Australian Relations, 1972-1975 (forthcoming). Diplomatic History.
  • Curran, J. (2013). Australia at empire's end: Approaches and arguments. History Australia, 10(3), 23-35.
  • Curran, J. (2010). L’Australie, le Japon et l’heritage de la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Vingtieme Siecle - Revue d'histoire, 107, 115-129.
  • Curran, J. (2009). 'An Organic Part of the Whole Structure': John Curtin's Empire. The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 37(1), 51-75. [More Information]
  • Curran, J. (2008). 'Australia Should Be There': Expo '67 and the Search for a New National Image. Australian Historical Studies, 39(1), 72-90.
  • Curran, J. (2002). The "Thin Dividing Line": Prime Ministers and the Problem of Australian Nationalism, 1972–1996. Australian Journal of Politics and History, 48(4), 469-486.

Reference Works

  • Curran, J. (2007). Australia-Britain. (Vol. 1, pp. 66-69).

2014

  • Curran, J. (2014). Australia is, and always has been, a pliant ally - a lapdog - that too readily follows the US: The Case Against (forthcoming). In Daniel Baldino (Eds.), Australian Foreign Policy: The Key Debates. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Curran, J. (2014). Beyond the Euphoria: The politics of the American-Australian Alliance during the Cold War (forthcoming). Journal of Cold War Studies.
  • Curran, J. (2014). The Dilemmas of Divergence: The Crisis in American-Australian Relations, 1972-1975 (forthcoming). Diplomatic History.

2013

  • Curran, J. (2013). Australia at empire's end: Approaches and arguments. History Australia, 10(3), 23-35.
  • Curran, J. (2013). Republican Reset: The Lessons of History and a Way Ahead. In Benjamin T Jones & Mark McKenna (Eds.), Project Republic: Plans and Arguments for a New Australia, (pp. 141-154). Melbourne: Black Inc.

2012

  • Curran, J. (2012). 'The World Changes': Australia's China Policy in the Wake of Empire. In James Reilly and Jingdong Yuan (Eds.), Australia and China at 40, (pp. 22-43). Sydney: University of New South Wales (UNSW) Press.

2011

  • Curran, J. (2011). Curtin's Empire. New York: Cambridge University Press.

2010

  • Curran, J. (2010). L’Australie, le Japon et l’heritage de la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Vingtieme Siecle - Revue d'histoire, 107, 115-129.
  • Curran, J. (2010). The 'New Line in the Strand': John Armstrong and the 'New Nationalism'. In Carl Bridge, Frank Bongiorno and David Lee (Eds.), The High Commissioners: Australia's Representatives in the United Kingdom, 1910-2010, (pp. 164-181). Barton: WHH Publishing.
  • Curran, J., Ward, S. (2010). The Unknown Nation: Australia After Empire. Carlton, Australia: Melbourne University Press.

2009

  • Curran, J. (2009). 'An Organic Part of the Whole Structure': John Curtin's Empire. The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 37(1), 51-75. [More Information]

2008

  • Curran, J. (2008). 'Australia Should Be There': Expo '67 and the Search for a New National Image. Australian Historical Studies, 39(1), 72-90.

2007

  • Curran, J. (2007). Australia-Britain. (Vol. 1, pp. 66-69).

2004

  • Curran, J. (2004). The Power of Speech: Australian Prime Ministers Defining the National Image. Australia: Melbourne University Press.

2002

  • Curran, J. (2002). The "Thin Dividing Line": Prime Ministers and the Problem of Australian Nationalism, 1972–1996. Australian Journal of Politics and History, 48(4), 469-486.

For support on your academic profile contact .