Biography Visitors

Ira Nadel, June-July 2016

Ira Nadel held a Visiting Fellowship 1 June -31 July 2016. He is an American-Canadian biographer and literary critic, professor of English at the University of British Columbia and winner of the 1996 Medal for Canadian Biography. His publications include Leon Uris, Life of a Bestseller (2010), scholarly editions of texts and edited collections on novelists. He has also considered biography as a form in works such as Biography, Fiction Fact & Form (1984) and Victorian Biography, A Collection of Essays from the Period (1986) and most recently Modernism’s Second Act, A Cultural Narrative (2013). He is currently completing a critical life of Virginia Woolf and working on wider issues of biography.
While a visiting fellow at the centre Ira attended the NCB’s True Biographies of Nations conference as part of his comparative study of the Australian and Canadian dictionaries of biography.

Elizabeth Ewan, June -July 2016

Elizabeth Ewan held a Visiting Fellowship 20 June-15 July 2016. She is a professor of history at the Centre for Scottish Studies, Department of History, University of Guelph, Canada. She is the co-editor of The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women (2006) which is currently being revised as well as books on Children and Youth in Premodern Scotland (2015) and The Shaping of Scottish Identities: Family, Nation, and the Worlds Beyond (2011).
While a visiting fellow at the centre Elizabeth gave a paper at the NCB’s True Biographies of Nations conference and discussed with ADB staff, and ANU staff and students more broadly, issues to do with women, representation and national dictionaries.

David Day, 2014

David Day is a prolific historian and has taught in universities in Britain, Ireland, Australia and Japan. Most recently, his international history of Antarctica was published in Australia by Random House in 2012, by Oxford University Press in Britain and the United States, and will soon be published in China. In 2013 his book, Flaws in the Ice: In Search of Douglas Mawson, was published by Scribe and will this year be published in Britain and the U.S.

In terms of biography  he has written prize-winning biographies of former prime ministers, John Curtin (1999), Ben Chifley (2001) and Andrew Fisher (2008) and is currently writing a biography of Paul Keating. In 2009 he was the Seymour Biography Lecturer, giving a paper on 'Writing Political Lives: Curtin, Chifley, Fisher.'  While a visiting fellow at the ANU he gave a number of papers: 'Triumph and Tragedy: Douglas Mawson in Antarctica' to the School of History seminar; 'Writing Paul Keating' to the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, Canberra Region Branch; and 'Writing Australian Prime Ministers as Children' in the NCB's Biography Workshop series.

Jeremy Popkin, July - August 2012

Jeremy D. Popkin held a Visiting Fellowship, 17 July-15 August 2012. He is the T. Marshall Hahn, Jr. Professor of History at the University of Kentucky, USA. Popkin's scholarly interests include the history of the French and Haitian revolutions and autobiographical literature. His publications include You are all free: the Haitian Revolution and the Abolition of Slavery (2010), Revolutionary News: The Press in France, 1789-1799 (1990) and History, Historians and Autobiography (2005).

As a visiting fellow he participated in the meeting of the International Auto/Biography Association (IABA) and worked closed with those involved in life-writing studies, including Paul Arthur, Rosalind Kennedy, Margareta Jolly, Brij Lal, and Barbara Caine. He gave a public seminar and held a workshop discussion with the staff of the Australian Dictionary of Biography project.  

Margaretta Jolly, June - August 2012 

Margaretta Jolly held a Visiting Fellowship at the NCB in June-August 2012. She is the director of the Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research at the University of Sussex, England. Margaretta is the author of In Love and Struggle: Letters in Contemporary Feminism and winner of the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association UK Book Prize. Her ongoing research is in the field of Life Story and the Contemporary Archive.

While at the NCB she gave a public seminar on ‘A New Archive of Feeling: The Women’s Liberation Oral History Project’. Her visit coincided with the July 2012 International Auto/Biography Association (IABA) conference which was co-hosted by the NCB, the Research School of Social Sciences and the Humanities Research Centre. As a member of the IABA management committee and the Director of IABA 2010, Margaretta was a full participant in the conference and gave a paper on digital archiving.

While in Australia she was also able to visit research colleagues at the University of Wollongong and reinvigorated contacts with Professor Freadman at La Trobe University, Professor Thomson at Monash University and Professor Caine at the University of Sydney.

Lawrence Goldman, January - March 2012

Lawrence Goldman held a Visiting Fellowship from 26 January to 25 March 2012. He was a Fellow and Tutor in History at St. Peter’s College, Oxford, and Editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Dr Goldman’s publications include Science, Reform and Politics in Victorian Britain: The Social Science Association 1857-1886 (CUP, 2002) and Dons and Workers: Oxford and Adult Education Since 1850 (OUP, 1995). He edited the collection The Blind Victorian: Henry Fawcett and British Liberalism (CUP, 1989) and has published articles in journals including the English Historical Review, Past and Present, and The Historical Journal. He came to the NCB to work on his biography of the British socialist, educationist and historian, R. H. Tawney, and to compare notes with Melanie Nolan and the staff of the Australian Dictionary of Biography in his capacity as the Editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, the compendium of biographical information on 58,000 figures from British history.

He gave three seminars to ADB staff in which many aspects of both biographical dictionaries – academic, administrative, technical and promotional – were discussed and compared to mutual advantage. He also gave one of the weekly departmental seminars to the ANU historical community on ‘The political thought of R. H. Tawney’ and attended all of the others during his period as a fellow. He made valuable contact with several of the faculty in History including (in addition to Professor Nolan), Pat Jalland, Frank Bongiorno, Barry Smith, and Kynan Gentry with whom he shares research interests. He was also able to assist two doctoral students in the department working on topics in modern British History, both of whom visited him later at Oxford. His biography, The Life of R. H. Tawney, was published the next year (London, Bloomsbury Academic, 2013). In October 2014, Dr Goldman became the Director of the Institute of Historical Research at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. He has been editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography since 2004, in which post he will be succeeded by Sir David Cannadine.

Philip Carter, December 2010

Dr Philip Carter is publication editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

He has also written 275 biographies and theme articles for the ODNB since 2004. During his fellowship at the NCB, Dr Carter will discuss ways in which the ODNB and the Australian Dictionary of Biography might collaborate in the future, and will give a public talk on 'What Happened Next? The Oxford DNB, 2005-10' at the ANU on 16 December.


Neville Kirk, October - December 2009

Neville Kirk is Professor of Social and Labour History at Manchester Metropolitan University in England. An acknowledged expert in the field of labour history, he is on the steering committe of the international research group, 'Labour and Globalization' based at the University of Toronto, Canada, and is a member of the Advisory Boards of Labour History Review, The Society for the Study of Labour History, Labour History and International Labor and Working Class History. He also edited the Lives of the Left series of labour biographies and co-edited the Dictionary of Labour Biography.

During his stay at the NCB, Neville worked on his project 'Approaches to Transnational Labour History: Biographies Agencies and Ideas'. 

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