Fellows Detail

Emeritus Professor Alison Mackinnon AM

BA, DipEd (Melbourne), MEd, PhD (Adelaide), PhD (Hon) (Umea University, Sweden)

Elected: 2005

Discipline: History

Specialisation: Women's history, educational history, women's studies, fertility decline.


Emeritus Professor Alison Mackinnon, AM, professor of history and gender studies, was the Foundation Director of the Hawke Research Institute at the University of South Australia.  Her major research focus is women’s history particularly the education of women and girls which she researches in both historical and contemporary contexts.  Her most recent book, Women, Love and Learning: the double bind, (2010) concerns women graduates of the 1950s and early 60s in both Australia and the US.  Other areas of interest include biography and population studies, particularly the impact of education on women’s family formation patterns, careers and their fertility and the ways in which these issues are dealt with in demography, anthropology and women’s history.


  • Foundation Director, Hawke Research Institute
  • Kerstin Hesselgren guest professorship (an appointment of the Swedith Social Science Research Council)
  • Board Member, International Federation for Research in Women’s History (IFRWH)
  • President, History Council of South Australia
  • President, Australia and New Zealand History of Education Society (ANZHES).
  • Emeritus Professor, University of South Australia 2006.



2010           Women, Love and Learning: the double bind, Bern, Peter Lang.

2010           Hope: the everyday and imaginary worlds of young people on the margins (with Simon Robb, Patrick O’Leary and Peter Bishop) Adelaide, Wakefield Press.

2009           The Hawke Legacy: towards a sustainable society? (edited with Barbara Comber and Gerry Bloustien)  Wakefield Press.

                   Harvey Graff, Alison Mackinnon, Bengt Sandin, Ian Winchester (eds) Understanding Literacy in its historical contexts: socio-cultural history and the legacy of Egil Johansson, Nordic Academic Press (Lund)

2007           Emily Potter, Alison Mackinnon, Stephen McKenzie, Jennifer McKay: Fresh Water: new perspectives on water in Australia, Melbourne, Melbourne University Press.


1997           Love and freedom: professional women and the reshaping of personal life, Cambridge and Melbourne, Cambridge University Press, 298 pp. Winner 1997 NSW Premiers Literary Award for literary and cultural criticism.




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