I am a historian of English-speaking (Anglophone) cultures across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Transformations in gender and sexualities affecting attributes, behaviors, and beliefs, – and their decisive political and cultural consequences – have always piqued my curiosity, especially as manifested in histories of sexualities, crimes, population patterns, medicine, and law. Such research has led me to focus on theorizing historical phenomena under-represented in extant evidence, passing “under the radar,” as it were, in turn leading to critical consideration of history’s disciplinary tenets and methods. Otherwise, I am committed to the methodological and ethical aspiration toward “portraiture” in historians’ representations of the past – and not only because I am a recovering portraitist! I serve as editorial board member and/or reader for several journals: Women’s History Review, Twentieth Century British History, The History of the Family, Men & Masculinities, Labour History, and History Australia.
- My book, Sex & Secrets: Crimes involving Australian Women since 1880 explored of power negotiations between the sexes, examining century-long changes in such practices as prostitution, infanticide, abortion, violence, sexual assaults, and prohibited sexual encounters, through criminal court, coroners’ police, and prison records.
- Victorian and Edwardian woman suffragists’ concerns with sexual exploitation led to my book-length study of Rose Scott (1847-1925), whose suffragism, pacifism, and law reform work revealed not only intellectual commonalities within Western feminism, but also the wider transnational porosity of gender and sexuality discourses.
- My book on reform Darwinist Progressive Era public intellectual, Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) – great-niece of Harriet Beecher Stowe and author of “The Yellow Wall-paper (1892) – placed the era’s feminism into the comparative context warranted by Gilman’s outsized influence on then-clamorous debates – from the evolution of biological sex differentiation to androcentrism in world religions.