Woman Caine, Barbara (1948 - )

Australian Research Council Professorial Fellowship

2 April 1948
Johannesburg, South Africa
Alternative Names
  • Sussman (Maiden)

Written by Sharon M. Harrison, The University of Melbourne

Barbara Caine is a leader in the history profession, who has made a significant contribution to women's history, biography and life writing and the history of feminism.

Caine was born on 2 April 1948 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her parents were Donald Charles Caine and Peggy Jean Sussman. Her family settled in Australia in 1960. Caine was educated at the University of Sydney, graduating with a BA in 1969 and receiving a prestigious University Medal. In 1976 she was awarded an MPhil from the University of Sussex for her thesis George Henry Lewes and the role of critic in Victorian England (1976). She was awarded her PhD by Monash University.

Barbara Caine was Associate Professor in the History Department at the University of Sydney from 1991 to 1995 and was the first Director of the Women's Studies Centre. While her early research and teaching centered on questions of gender and sexuality within a late modern European framework, and particularly on the history of feminism, in more recent years she has focused on questions about autobiography and biography and more broadly about the many different ways to approach the individual life within history. She was appointed to a Professorial Chair at Monash University in 1995, where she coordinated a Masters program in Biography and Life Writing and also served as Head of the School of Historical Studies. In 2007 Caine was awarded a prestigious Australian Research Council Professorial Fellowship for History and the Individual Life: Autobiography, Biography and the history of the self in the British World c 1750 1980 (2008-2012). She returned to the University of Sydney at the beginning of 2011 to take up an appointment as Head of the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry.

Caine is the author of a several books including Biography and History (2010); Bombay to Bloomsbury: the Stracheys, c 1850-1950 (2005); Gendering European History, co-authored with Glenda Sluga (2000), which has been translated into Italian, Spanish and Swedish; Companion to women's historical writing, with Mary Spongberg and Ann Curthoys (2005); English Feminism, c1780-1970 (1997); Transitions: new Australian feminisms, with Rosemary Pringle (1995), Victorian Feminists (1992); and Destined to be Wives: The Sisters of Beatrice Webb (1986).

She was the President of the Australian Women's Studies Association from 1991 to 1992 and elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities in 1995, serving as the Academy's Vice President from 2002 to 2005. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (London) and the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. Her partner is Larry Boyd; they have one daughter and one son.

Published Resources

Book Sections

  • Masselos, Jim and Pesman, Roslyn Cooper, 'Marjorie Jacobs', in Caine Barbara; Fletcher, Brian; Miller, Meg; Pesman, Ros; and Schreuder, Deryck (eds), History at Sydney, 1891 - 1991: Centenary Reflections, Highland Press, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, 1992, pp. 63 - 68. Details

Online Resources

See also