Professor Carolyn Strange

Position: Professor
School and/or Centres: School of History

Position: Professor
School and/or Centres: School of History


Phone: (02) 612 52613

Location: Level 5, RSSS Building, 146 Ellery Cres


PhD, U.S. and Women's History (Rutgers, State University of New Jersey) M.A.,Canadian History (University of Ottawa) B.A. hons., European History (University of Western Ontario)

Researcher profile:

I have studied and taught in Canada, the U.S. and Australia. As a specialist in legal, social and cultural history my work focuses on the nineteenth and twentieth-century. I have worked in a variety of disciplines and inter-disciplinary fields, including gender studies, law, criminology, media studies and environmental studies. My research focuses on two clusters of issues: gender, sexuality, medicine, crime, and punishment; and place, memory and identity in modernity.

Through my publications, curatorial work, as well as conferences and public symposia I aim to bridge divides in scholarly communities and to reach out to the wider public.
My latest ARC Discovery Project Grant, awarded in November 2014, is an interdisciplinary team project that connects history with criminology, psychology and contemporary law enforcement. Through quantitative and qualitative methodologies it will interrogate the historical drivers of public perceptions of sex crime, as well as shifting policy responses to sexual offending, from the late-nineteenth to the late-twentieth century in Australia and Canada.

In 2011 I convened a public conference on 'Honour Killing across Culture and Time', which was the ANU Gender Institute's 'Signature Event' of 2011 (see In 2009 I convened a symposium, hosted at the National Museum of Australia (see In 2005 I convened the multi-disciplinary conference, 'Pain and Death: Politics, Aesthetics, Legalities', one outcome of which was a special issue of Humanities Research: .

From 2012 to 2015 I served as Adjunct Professor of Arts, Education and Creative Media at Murdoch University, Perth. From 2010 to 2016 I served as the external academic assessor for Lingnan University.

In 2017 I was appointed Visiting Professor in the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, York University, Toronto

My books and articles and creative outreach cover a wide range of issues. My primary focus is on crime, gender, and justice in modern Canadian, U.S. and British history.

In the recent past I have interrogated issues touching on the legal and cultural erosion of masculine familial prerogatives; the medicalisation of criminal responsibility; women’s growing use of law to advance individual and collective ambitions and citizenship aspirations; and the forging of an heroic national memory from deeply conflicted pasts.


Recent Books and Edited Collections:

The Death Penalty and Sex Murder in Canadian History (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2020)

Pardon and Parole: Discretionary Justice in New York, from the Revolution to the Depression (New York: New York University Press, 2016)

Honour Killing and Violence: Theory, Policy and Practice (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) [co-editors Robert Cribb and Christopher E. Forth]

Honour, Violence and Emotions in History (London: Bloombsbury Academic, 2014). [co-editors Aisha Gill and Karl Roberts]

Passing, Imitations, Crossings,special issue of Humanities Research, XV 3(2010) [Monique Rooney, co-editor]

Griffith Taylor: Visionary, Environmentalist, Explorer (Toronto: University of Toronto Press and Canberra, National Library of Australia, 2008) [Alison Bashford, co-author]

Pain and Death: Politics, Aesthetics and Legalities, special issue of Humanities Research, XV, 2(2007)

True Crime, True North: the Golden Age of Canadian Pulp Magazines (Vancouver: Raincoast Books, 2004) [Tina Loo, Co-author]

Recent Articles and Refereed Book Chapters:

'Inter-gender murder in NSW, 1901-1955: Reconsidering the laws of the fraternity', (with Fiona Fraser, Collin Payne) Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 54 2(2020): 160-178.

‘Where's the government on domestic violence?’, (with James Mortensen, 2020)

'Murderess or Miscarriage of Justice? A Case of Husband Poisoning in Early Federation New South Wales', (with Les Hetherington) Australian Historical Studies, 51 3(2020): 299-323.

[BOOK REVIEW] 'Civilizing Torture: An American Tradition', Journal of American History, 106 4 (2020): 1025-1026.

'The Passions of the Broken-Hearted: Patrick White and Spousal Homicide', Meanjin, 79 3(2020): 151-155.

'Inter-gender murder in NSW, 1901-1955: Reconsidering the laws of fraternity', (with Fiona Fraser, Collin Payne) Journal of Criminology, 54 2 (2020): 160-178.

'Femininities and Masculinities Looking backward and moving forward in Criminal Legal Historical Gender Research', in Markus D Dubber and Christopher Tomlins (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Legal History (United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2018): 221-243.

'Determining the Punishment of Sex Criminals in Confederation Era Canada: A Matter of National Policy', Canadian Historical Review, 99 4(2018): 541-562.

[BOOK REVIEW] 'Escape to prison: Penal tourism and the pull of punishment', International Criminal Justice Review, 27 1(2017): 73-75.

'Mercy', in Jo Turner, Paul Taylor, Sharon Morley, Karen Corteen, eds., A Companion to the History of Crime & Criminal Justice (Bristol: The Policy Press, 2017): 145-147.

'Pardon and Parole in Prohibition-Era New York: Discretionary Justice in the Administrative State', Osgoode Hall Law Journal, 54 3 (2017): 909-932.

Presidential Mercy: Obama's Trickle of Pardons, Sydney Morning Herald (2017)

'Beyond brutal passions: prostitution in early nineteenth-century Montreal - Book Review', Feminist Review, 113 1(2016): e8-e9.

"Mercy and Parole in Anglo-American Criminal Justice Systems from the Eighteenth to the Twenty-first Century," in Paul Knepper and Anja Johansen, eds., Oxford Handbook of the History of Crime and Criminal Justice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016): 573-96.

"The Battlefields of Personal and Public Memory: Commemorating the Battle of Saratoga (1777) in the late Nineteenth Century," Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, 14 2(April 2015): 194-221. 

"Sisterhood of Blood: The Will to Descend and the Formation of the Daughters of the American Revolution," Journal of Women’s History, 26, 3 (Fall 2014): 105-28.

"Quality Control and Digitised Cultural Artefacts: Mining for the Meanings of a Murder," (with Daniel McNamara, Ian Wood and Joshua Wodak) Digital Humanities Quarterly, 8 1(2014) [online:] 9084 words

"The Ambivalent Embrace of Kingly Power: Executive Clemency in Mid-Nineteenth Century American Political Thought," American Political Thought, 3 1( 2014): 64-94.

“History off the books at the Australian National University: Preparing postgraduate students for history at large,” History Australia, 10 3(December 2013): 264-269.

'Never to be Released?', Criminal Law Journal, 36 6 (2012): 395-6 (featured in Thompson Reuters 'Journals Talk: A community of Legal Posts, Papers and Personalities')

'Reconsidering the "Tragic" Scott Expedition: Cheerful Masculine Home-making in Antarctica,1910-13', Journal of Social History 46 1(Fall, 2012): 66-89.

‘Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange as Art against Torture’, Crime, Media and Culture, 6 3(December 2010): 267-84 [republished with minor amendments in Michael Flynn and Fabiola Fernandez Salek, eds., Screening Torture (New York: Columbia University Press) forthcoming 2011

'How did women's war relief in the Spanish-American War alter traditions of female benevolence and pave the way for women's formal military service?', Women and social movements in the United States 1600-2000, 15 2(September, 2011)

‘The Unwritten Law of Executive Justice: Pardoning Patricide in Reconstruction-era New York’, Law and History Review, 28 4(November 2010): 891-30

‘The Personality of Environmental Prediction: Griffith Taylor as Latter-Day Prophet’, Historical Records of Australian Science, 21 2(December 2010):133-48 

‘Transgressive Transnationalism: Griffith Taylor and Global Thinking’, Australian Historical Studies, 41 1(2010): 25-40.

‘Eugenics in Canada: a checkered History’, in Alison Bashford and Philippa Levine, eds., Eugenics: a World History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010) (Jennifer Stephen, co-author): 523-38.

‘A Case for Legal Records in Women’s and Gender History’, Journal of Women’s History, 22 2(June 2010): 144-8.

‘Griffith Taylor’s Antarctica: Science, Sentiment and Politics’, Polar Record, 46 236(2009): 65-74.

‘Thinking Historically about Public Health’, Medical Humanities, 33 (December 2007): 87-92 (co-author Alison Bashford).

‘The Shock over Torture: A Historiographical Challenge’, History Workshop Journal, 61 (2006): 135-52.

‘Hybrid History and the Re-trial of the Painful Past’, Crime, Media and Culture, 2 2(2006): 197-215

‘Postcard from Plaguetown: Mediating Exoticism in SARS-struck Toronto’, in Alison Bashford, ed., Medicine at the Border: Disease, Globalization, and Security, 1850 to the present (London: Palgrave, 2006): 219-39

Recent Exhibits and Related Creative Productions:

Parricide! A Murder Close to Home [producer and writer; radio documentary, ABC Hindsight, July 2012]

Griffith Taylor Speaks on Australian National Problems (dvd, 3 mins 20 sec., National Library of Australia, 2010) YouTube:

‘Griffith Taylor: Global Geographer’ (Macleay Museum, University of Sydney, June-Nov, 2009)

Griffith Taylor: Global Geographer (museum catalogue) (Sydney: Macleay Museum, 2009)

Griffith Taylor: Prophet and Pariah (National Library of Australia, Nov. 2008-March 2009)

Violent Ends: the Arts of Environmental Anxiety (National Museum of Australia, June 2009)

Current Research Projects:

My next book project, a study of the relation between murder, sex, and the death penalty in Canada, from Confederation to abolition, will extend my interdisciplinary approach, which integrates political, social, cultural and legal history. The research is supported by a 2014 ARC Discovery Grant.

My most recent monograph, Discretionary Justice: Pardon and Parole in New York, from the Revolution to the Depression (New York University Press) consolidated my reputation as an expert in the history of criminal justice. 

This book was one of several outcomes from my 2010 ARC Discovery Grant. Two further outcomes of that grant were edited volumes.

With Robert Cribb and Christopher E. Forth, I edited and contributed to Honour, Violence and Emotions in History (London: Bloombsbury Academic, 2014).

With Aisha Gill and Karl Roberts I edited and contributed to Honour Killing and Violence: Theory, Policy and Practice (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

In 2012 I was named the 'Mentor of the Year' in the College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU.

In 2012 I was awarded the New York State Archives Hackman Research Residency Fellowship to undertake research on this project.

In 2013 the New York State Archives and Library Trust named me their 'Researcher of the Year'.

In 2014 I was awarded a fellowship from the Huntington Library, California, to study papers concerning the politics of pardoning in the nineteenth century.

In 2016 I was honoured to be recognised as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

Since my arrival at ANU in 2004 I have delivered numerous graduate training and skills workshops. I have designed and led graduate workshops at numerous universities, including the University of Sydney, Murdoch University and Warwick University's Institute of Advanced Study.

In the undergraduate program I teach HIST2232, 'Crime and Justice: Historical Dilemmas'. This course is also open to students studying in ANU's Criminology program, administered through the School of Sociology. I also teach HIST2238: 'Human Rights in History'.

I have also taught HIST2213, 'Masculinities  in Western History'.

Previously, I designed and convened the School of History's graduate research coursework programme, including 'The Craft of History', 'Effective and Ethical Research', 'Thesis Preparation', and 'The Professional Historian'.

Updated:  28 September 2022/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications