Dr Hannah Forsyth - Nat Sch of Arts (Faculty of Education and Arts)

Fully accredited supervisor - Can supervise as principal supervisor


Dr Hannah Forsyth is a historian of work, education and capitalism at ACU where she teaches modern history, historiography and Australian Indigenous History. She is the author of A History of the Modern Australian University and is currently working towards a new book, tentatively entitled Virtue Capitalism on the history of professions in Australia and globally. Hannah was an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) Fellow 2017-2019.

Hannah is a regular contributor to the media, in newspapers like The Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald as well as Griffith Review, Inside Story, The Conversation and London's Times Higher Education. Hannah has has discussed her work during numerous media interviews with outlets such as The Monthly, Business Insider and on ABC radio.

In 2020, Hannah gave the University of New England's Russel Ward Lecture, which can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eca0B_66_c4


Phone :4621 (Strathfield)
Email :Hannah.Forsyth@acu.edu.au
URIs : Staff Directory ProfilePersonal Website

Research Interests

Australian History ; Labour history ; Historiography, History and Theory ; History of Education ; Australian Aboriginal History ; Settler Colonial Studies ; History of Capitalism ; History teaching and historical consciousness ; Social Inclusion in higher education ;

Methods Expertise

Intellectual History ; oral history ; archival research ; Surveys, Interviews, focus groups ; Community-engaged research ; Census and statistics ; Economic history ; Cultural History ;

Research Projects

Current Projects

  • Grease Monkeys: a history of mechanics in Australia (Michael Pearson) (PhD) (Principal Supervisor)
  • Wayiwari Ngurambang Waluwin: a fancy idea for bringing country into good order (Jennifer Newman) (PhD) (Principal Supervisor)
  • Are we all middle class now? A history of professions in Australia 1881-2001 - DE170100466 (Hannah Forsyth DECRA) (PhD) (Principal Supervisor)

Selected Publications


Reconsidering women's role in the professionalisation of the economy: evidence from the Australian census 1881-1947, in Australian Economic History Review: an Asia-Pacific journal of economic, business and social history

Authentic assessment for a more inclusive history - co-author Jedidiah Evans, in Higher Education Research & Development 38:4, 748-761


Class, professional work and the history of capitalism in Broken Hill, c.1880-1910, in Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas 15:2

'The Logic of Survival: towards an Indigenous-centred history of capitalism in Wilcannia' - co-author Altin Gavranovic, in Settler Colonial Studies 8(4), pp.464-488


Seeking a New Materialism in Australian History - co-author Sophie Loy-Wilson, in Australian Historical Studies 48(2), pp.169-88

Post-war political economics and the growth of Australian university research, c.1945-65 , in History of Education Review 46(1), pp.15-32


'A Scholarship of Social Inclusion in higher education: why we need it and what it should look likea??, in Higher Education Research and Development 34:1, 219-222 (with Annette Cairnduff)

Expanding higher education: institutional responses in Australia from the post-war era to the 1970s, in Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education 51(3), 365-80


The Russel Ward Case: academic freedom in Australia during the Cold War , in History Australia 11(3)

A History of the Modern Australian University, in NewSouth Publishing

Dreaming of Higher Education - Winner of the Deen de Bortoli Award for Applied History, in Southerly 74 (2), pp.119-42

Disinterested Scholars or Interested Parties? The Public's Investment in Self-interested Universities, in in M. Thornton (ed.) Through a Glass Darkly: The Neoliberal University and the Social Sciences (ANU Press, Canberra)


Mobilising medical knowledge for the nation, 1943-49 - co-author Peter Hobbins, in Health and History, 15(1), 59-79.

Negotiating the Benefits of Knowledge: International Networks and Technology in Australian Post-War Universities , in History of Education Review, 42 (1)


Ideas Of A Liberal Education: An Essay On Elite And Mass Higher Education, in On The Purpose of a University Education: a history and examination of liberal education in Australia. Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing.


Making night hideous with their noise: New Year's Eve 1897, in History Australia 8 (2), pp. 66-86.


Academic Work in Australian Universities in the 1940s and 1950s, in History of Education Review 39 (1), pp. 38-50.


The Energy of the City: Marshall Berman and New Yeara's Eve in Sydney, in Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 22 (2), pp. 241-54.


Sex, Seduction and Sirens in Love: Norman Lindsay's Women, in Antipodes: North American Journal of Australian Literature, 19 (1), pp. 58-69.


SMALL IS BIG: the AWA tower and wireless monumentality, in Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 17 (4), pp. 419-432

Other information

Deen de Bortoli Prize for Applied History, $5,000, History Council of New South Wales, 2016

Margaret George Award for emerging scholars, $10,000, National Archives of Australia, 2011

ACURF, $125,000 for Australia Since the Second World War (with Noah Riseman, Maggie Nolan and Melissa Bellanta), 2014-2016.

APH/CAL award $2,000 for Australian Policy and History, 2012.

University of Sydney Grant, 2012: $25,000 for history research project 'Taking a longer view of widening participation: toward a history of social inclusion in higher education in Sydney, c.1945-1975'.

University of Sydney grant of $35,000 grant to consider aspects of historical consciousness and social inclusion in history teaching at school and at university (with Mike McDonnell and Tim Allender), 2011-2012.