Woman Bashford, Alison Caroline (1963 - )


Written by Sharon M. Harrison, The University of Melbourne

Alison Bashford is leader in the history profession, who has made a significant contribution to the history of colonial science and medicine. Her early work focused on British imperial and Australian histories, while more recently she has researched connections between historical geography, world history and environmental history.

Bashford was born in 1963 and was educated at the University of Sydney. She graduated with a BA (Hons), receiving a University Medal in recognition of her academic accomplishments. Bashford was awarded her PhD by the University of Sydney in 1996 for her thesis Nursing bodies: the gendered politics of health in Australia and England, 1860-1910.

In addition to her position as Professor of Modern History at the University of Sydney, Bashford has held fellowships at Edinburgh University, Warwick University, and University College, London. In 2009/2010 she was Chair of Australian Studies at Harvard University, where she taught in the History of Science Department. On her return she was awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship to undertake research on 'Climate Change and the History of Environmental Determinism' (2011-2014), and in 2013 was elected to the Vere Harmsworth Chair of Imperial and Naval History at the University of Cambridge.

Bashford's research focuses on the history of modern science in Australia and Britain, especially infectious disease management, and its relation to governance and colonialism. Her books include Purity and Pollution: Gender, Embodiment and Victorian Medicine (1998); Imperial Hygiene: A Critical History of Colonialism, Nationalism and Public Health (2004); Griffith Taylor: Visionary, Environmentalist, Explorer, co-authored with Carolyn Strange (2008); and Life on Earth: Geopolitics and the World Population Problem (in press). She is the editor of Pacific Histories: Ocean, Land, People (in press), co-edited with David Armitage; The Cambridge History of Australia, 2 vols, (forthcoming), co-edited with Stuart Macintyre and was awarded the Cantemir Prize, 2011, for The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics (2010), co-edited with Philippa Levine.

Alison Bashford was elected to the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2010. At the University of Sydney she was founding convenor of the Medical Humanities Program, founding Co-Director of the Nation Empire Globe research group, and Dean of Graduate Studies (Acting) and currently serves on the Australian Academy of Science's National Committee for History and Philosophy of Science.

Additional sources: q.

Published Resources

Edited Books

  • Who's Who in Australia, Crown Content, Melbourne, Victoria, 1927 - 2013. Details

Online Resources

See also