Professor Penny Russell

PhD Melbourne BA Hons Monash, Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities
Bicentennial Professor of Australian History, Chair, Department of History

A18 - Brennan MacCallum Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 2362
Fax +61 2 9351 3918

Website Phonebook Entry

Biographical details

Penny Russell’s research seeks out the political intricacies of gender and class, race and colonisation that lie in private writing and the intimacies of social encounters. She is fascinated by snobs and social climbers, scandals large and small, and the mysterious ways people lived, loved and learned in times past. Her main field of interest lies in the social experience of colonisation in nineteenth-century Australia. Her most recent book, Savage or Civilised? Manners in Colonial Australia (NewSouth 2010) won the NSW Premier’s Award for Australian History and was shortlisted for four other award in 2011, including the Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History. From 2009 to 2012 she was editor, with Richard White, of History Australia, the official journal of the Australian Historical Association. In 2012 she was elected to the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Penny has a particular interest in the craft of history writing. She is drawn to history by its unique combination of imaginative reconstruction and hard evidence, the way story telling is enriched by analysis, while analysis unfolds through story. Writing lies at the heart of the discipline of history, and Penny strives in her teaching and research supervision to encourage students to wield the curious power of words. She has received both the SUPRA 'Supervisor of the Year' award and the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Higher Research Degree Supervision. Penny is currently Chair of the Department of History.

Research interests

  • Status and manners in colonial Australia
  • Travel, gender and imperialism in nineteenth-century Australia and Britain
  • Biography, life writing, subjectivity

Teaching and supervision

  • Australian nineteenth- and twentieth-century history, with a particular interest in 'intimate' history: family and relationships, love and marriage, the minutiae of social life, the politics of gender
  • Travel, gender and imperialism in nineteenth-century Australia and Britain
  • Biography, life writing, subjectivity
  • Scandal

PhD and master's project opportunities

Selected grants

2012

  • Empires of Honour: Violence and Virtue in Colonial Societies, 1750-1850; Worden N, Russell P; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).

2005

  • A history of manners:savagery and civility in colonial Australia; Russell P; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).

2004

  • A history of manners in Australia; Russell P; DVC Research/Research and Development Scheme: Research and Development (R&D).

2003

  • The Romance of the Franklins: Marriage, myth and manhood; Russell P; DVC Research/Research and Development Scheme: Research and Development (R&D).

Selected publications

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Books

  • Russell, P. (2010). Savage or Civilised? Manners in Colonial Australia. Sydney: University of New South Wales (UNSW) Press.
  • Russell, P. (1994). A Wish of Distinction: Colonial Gentility and Femininity. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.

Edited Books

  • Deacon, D., Russell, P., Woollacott, A. (2010). Transnational Lives: Biographies of Global Modernity, 1700-present. Houndsmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Deacon, D., Russell, P., Woollacott, A. (2008). Transnational Ties: Australian Lives in the World. Canberra: ANU E Press.
  • Russell, P. (2005). Australia's History: Themes and Debates. Sydney: University of New South Wales (UNSW) Press.
  • Russell, P. (2002). This Errant Lady: Jane Franklin's Overland Journey to Port Phillip and Sydney 1839. Australia: National Library of Australia.

Book Chapters

  • Russell, P. (2013). Gender and colonial society. In Alison Bashford, Stuart Macintyre (Eds.), The Cambridge History of Australia: Volume 1: Indigenous and Colonial Australia, (pp. 462-486). New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Russell, P. (2010). 'Citizens of the World?': Jane Franklin's Transnational Fantasies. In Desley Deacon, Penny Russell and Angela Woollacott (Eds.), Transnational Lives: Biographies of Global Modernity, 1700-present, (pp. 195-208). Houndsmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Deacon, D., Russell, P., Woollacott, A. (2010). Introduction. In Desley Deacon, Penny Russell and Angela Woollacott (Eds.), Transnational Lives: Biographies of Global Modernity, 1700-present, (pp. 1-11). Houndsmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Lake, M., Russell, P. (2010). Miss Australia. In Melissa Harper, Richard White (Eds.), Symbols of Australia, (pp. 91-97). Sydney: University of New South Wales (UNSW) Press.
  • Deacon, D., Russell, P., Woollacott, A. (2008). Introduction. In Desley Deacon, Penny Russell and Angela Woollacott (Eds.), Transnational Ties: Australian Lives in the World, (pp. xiii-xxi). Canberra: ANU E Press.
  • Russell, P. (2005). Private Writings. In Spongberg, Mary; Curthoys, Ann and Caine, Barbara (Eds.), Companion to Women's Historical Writing, (pp. 427-437). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Russell, P. (2005). Unsettling settler society. In Lyons, M and Russell, P (Eds.), Australia's History: Themes and Debates, (pp. 22-40). Sydney: University of New South Wales (UNSW) Press.
  • Russell, P. (2004). Almost Believing: The Ethics Of Historical Imagination. In Stuart Macintyre (Eds.), The historians Conscience: Australian historians on the ethics of history, (pp. 106-117). Melbourne: Melbourne University Publishing.
  • Russell, P. (2003). Cultures of distinction. In Teo, H. M. and White, R. (Eds.), Cultural History in Australia, (pp. 158-171). Sydney: University of New South Wales (UNSW) Press.
  • Russell, P. (2002). 'Behold another Sheba Comes'. In Penny Russell (Eds.), This Errant Lady: Jane Franklin's Overland Journey to Port Phillip and Sydney 1839, (pp. 1-23). Australia: National Library of Australia.
  • Russell, P. (2002). Introduction and annotations. In Penny Russell (Eds.), This Errant Lady: Jane Franklin's Overland Journey to Port Phillip and Sydney 1839. Australia: National Library of Australia.
  • Russell, P. (2002). Melbourne 1-5 April 1839. In Penny Russell (Eds.), This Errant Lady: Jane Franklin's Overland Journey to Port Phillip and Sydney 1839, (pp. 25-34). Australia: National Library of Australia.
  • Russell, P. (2002). The Brash Colonial: Class and Comportment in Nineteen-century Australia. In Royal Historical Society (Eds.), Transactions of the Royal Historical Society: Sixth Series: volume 12, (pp. 431-453). Uk: Cambridge University Press.
  • Russell, P. (2002). Voyage Home. In Penny Russell (Eds.), This Errant Lady: Jane Franklin's Overland Journey to Port Phillip and Sydney 1839, (pp. 197-208). Australia: National Library of Australia.

Journals

  • Russell, P. (2012). 'A Silly Quarrel About a Sore Knee'? Defending Honour in a Professional Dispute, Sydney 1846. Health and History, 14(2), 46-73. [More Information]
  • Russell, P. (2012). Emma Darwin: A Victorian Life. Victorian Studies, 54(2), 326-328.
  • Russell, P. (2012). Girl in a Red Dress: Inventions of Mathinna. Australian Historical Studies, 43(3), 341-362. [More Information]
  • Russell, P. (2011). An Edwardian Summer (Exhibition Review). reCollections: A journal of museums and collections, 6(1), 1-4.
  • Nye, A., Hughes-Warrington, M., Roe, J., Russell, P., Deacon, D., Kiem, P. (2011). Exploring historical thinking and agency with undergraduate history students. Studies in Higher Education, 36(7), 763-780.
  • Nye, A., Hughes-Warrington, M., Roe, J., Russell, P., Peel, M., Deacon, D., Laugeson, A., Kiem, P. (2009). Historical thinking in higher education: Staff and student perceptions of the nature of historical thinking. History Australia, 6(3), 73.1-73.16.
  • Russell, P. (2009). Life's Illusions: The "Art" of critical biography. Journal of Women's History, 21(4), 152-156.
  • Russell, P. (2009). Unhomely Moments: Civilising domestic worlds in colonial Australia. The History of the Family, 14(4), 327-339. [More Information]
  • Russell, P. (2005). Wife Stories: Narrating Marriage and Self in the Life of Jane Franklin. Victorian Studies, 48(1), 35-57.
  • Russell, P. (2004). A Woman Of The Future? Feminism And Conservatism In Colonial New South Wales. Women's History Review, 13(1), 69-90.
  • Russell, P. (2004). An Improper Education? Jane Griffin's Pursuit Of Self-Improvement And ''Truth'', 1811-12. History of Education, 33(3), 249-265.
  • Russell, P. (2004). Empathy, Imagination And Feminist History. Lilith: A Feminist History Journal, 13, 1-11.
  • Russell, P. (2004). Imagining Romance: Geneva 1816. Australian Feminist Studies, 19(43), 9-18.
  • Russell, P. (2004). Ornaments Of Empire. History Australia, 1(2), 196-208.
  • Russell, P. (2003). Antipodean Queen of Sheba. Meanjin, 62(4), 161-167.

Magazine / Newspaper Articles

  • Russell, P. (2002). On the Road. National Library of Australia News.

Reference Works

  • Russell, P. (2006). Manners and Formality. In Thomson and Gale (Eds.), Scribner’s Encyclopedia of Europe 1789-1914. Charles Scribners & Sons Publishing.

2013

  • Russell, P. (2013). Gender and colonial society. In Alison Bashford, Stuart Macintyre (Eds.), The Cambridge History of Australia: Volume 1: Indigenous and Colonial Australia, (pp. 462-486). New York: Cambridge University Press.

2012

  • Russell, P. (2012). 'A Silly Quarrel About a Sore Knee'? Defending Honour in a Professional Dispute, Sydney 1846. Health and History, 14(2), 46-73. [More Information]
  • Russell, P. (2012). Emma Darwin: A Victorian Life. Victorian Studies, 54(2), 326-328.
  • Russell, P. (2012). Girl in a Red Dress: Inventions of Mathinna. Australian Historical Studies, 43(3), 341-362. [More Information]

2011

  • Russell, P. (2011). An Edwardian Summer (Exhibition Review). reCollections: A journal of museums and collections, 6(1), 1-4.
  • Nye, A., Hughes-Warrington, M., Roe, J., Russell, P., Deacon, D., Kiem, P. (2011). Exploring historical thinking and agency with undergraduate history students. Studies in Higher Education, 36(7), 763-780.

2010

  • Russell, P. (2010). 'Citizens of the World?': Jane Franklin's Transnational Fantasies. In Desley Deacon, Penny Russell and Angela Woollacott (Eds.), Transnational Lives: Biographies of Global Modernity, 1700-present, (pp. 195-208). Houndsmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Deacon, D., Russell, P., Woollacott, A. (2010). Introduction. In Desley Deacon, Penny Russell and Angela Woollacott (Eds.), Transnational Lives: Biographies of Global Modernity, 1700-present, (pp. 1-11). Houndsmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Lake, M., Russell, P. (2010). Miss Australia. In Melissa Harper, Richard White (Eds.), Symbols of Australia, (pp. 91-97). Sydney: University of New South Wales (UNSW) Press.
  • Russell, P. (2010). Savage or Civilised? Manners in Colonial Australia. Sydney: University of New South Wales (UNSW) Press.
  • Deacon, D., Russell, P., Woollacott, A. (2010). Transnational Lives: Biographies of Global Modernity, 1700-present. Houndsmills: Palgrave Macmillan.

2009

  • Nye, A., Hughes-Warrington, M., Roe, J., Russell, P., Peel, M., Deacon, D., Laugeson, A., Kiem, P. (2009). Historical thinking in higher education: Staff and student perceptions of the nature of historical thinking. History Australia, 6(3), 73.1-73.16.
  • Russell, P. (2009). Life's Illusions: The "Art" of critical biography. Journal of Women's History, 21(4), 152-156.
  • Russell, P. (2009). Unhomely Moments: Civilising domestic worlds in colonial Australia. The History of the Family, 14(4), 327-339. [More Information]

2008

  • Deacon, D., Russell, P., Woollacott, A. (2008). Introduction. In Desley Deacon, Penny Russell and Angela Woollacott (Eds.), Transnational Ties: Australian Lives in the World, (pp. xiii-xxi). Canberra: ANU E Press.
  • Deacon, D., Russell, P., Woollacott, A. (2008). Transnational Ties: Australian Lives in the World. Canberra: ANU E Press.

2006

  • Russell, P. (2006). Manners and Formality. In Thomson and Gale (Eds.), Scribner’s Encyclopedia of Europe 1789-1914. Charles Scribners & Sons Publishing.

2005

  • Russell, P. (2005). Australia's History: Themes and Debates. Sydney: University of New South Wales (UNSW) Press.
  • Russell, P. (2005). Private Writings. In Spongberg, Mary; Curthoys, Ann and Caine, Barbara (Eds.), Companion to Women's Historical Writing, (pp. 427-437). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Russell, P. (2005). Unsettling settler society. In Lyons, M and Russell, P (Eds.), Australia's History: Themes and Debates, (pp. 22-40). Sydney: University of New South Wales (UNSW) Press.
  • Russell, P. (2005). Wife Stories: Narrating Marriage and Self in the Life of Jane Franklin. Victorian Studies, 48(1), 35-57.

2004

  • Russell, P. (2004). A Woman Of The Future? Feminism And Conservatism In Colonial New South Wales. Women's History Review, 13(1), 69-90.
  • Russell, P. (2004). Almost Believing: The Ethics Of Historical Imagination. In Stuart Macintyre (Eds.), The historians Conscience: Australian historians on the ethics of history, (pp. 106-117). Melbourne: Melbourne University Publishing.
  • Russell, P. (2004). An Improper Education? Jane Griffin's Pursuit Of Self-Improvement And ''Truth'', 1811-12. History of Education, 33(3), 249-265.
  • Russell, P. (2004). Empathy, Imagination And Feminist History. Lilith: A Feminist History Journal, 13, 1-11.
  • Russell, P. (2004). Imagining Romance: Geneva 1816. Australian Feminist Studies, 19(43), 9-18.
  • Russell, P. (2004). Ornaments Of Empire. History Australia, 1(2), 196-208.

2003

  • Russell, P. (2003). Antipodean Queen of Sheba. Meanjin, 62(4), 161-167.
  • Russell, P. (2003). Cultures of distinction. In Teo, H. M. and White, R. (Eds.), Cultural History in Australia, (pp. 158-171). Sydney: University of New South Wales (UNSW) Press.

2002

  • Russell, P. (2002). 'Behold another Sheba Comes'. In Penny Russell (Eds.), This Errant Lady: Jane Franklin's Overland Journey to Port Phillip and Sydney 1839, (pp. 1-23). Australia: National Library of Australia.
  • Russell, P. (2002). Introduction and annotations. In Penny Russell (Eds.), This Errant Lady: Jane Franklin's Overland Journey to Port Phillip and Sydney 1839. Australia: National Library of Australia.
  • Russell, P. (2002). Melbourne 1-5 April 1839. In Penny Russell (Eds.), This Errant Lady: Jane Franklin's Overland Journey to Port Phillip and Sydney 1839, (pp. 25-34). Australia: National Library of Australia.
  • Russell, P. (2002). On the Road. National Library of Australia News.
  • Russell, P. (2002). The Brash Colonial: Class and Comportment in Nineteen-century Australia. In Royal Historical Society (Eds.), Transactions of the Royal Historical Society: Sixth Series: volume 12, (pp. 431-453). Uk: Cambridge University Press.
  • Russell, P. (2002). This Errant Lady: Jane Franklin's Overland Journey to Port Phillip and Sydney 1839. Australia: National Library of Australia.
  • Russell, P. (2002). Voyage Home. In Penny Russell (Eds.), This Errant Lady: Jane Franklin's Overland Journey to Port Phillip and Sydney 1839, (pp. 197-208). Australia: National Library of Australia.

1994

  • Russell, P. (1994). A Wish of Distinction: Colonial Gentility and Femininity. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.

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