Specialisation: History, Biography, Women's Studies, Literature
Professor Susan Magarey was for 17 years foundation Director of the Research Centre for Women’s Studies at the University of Adelaide, and for 20 years from 1985 founding Editor of Australian Feminist Studies (Routledge), an international journal published four times a year. She was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her work in establishing a new academic field: Women’s Studies.
Her biography of Catherine Helen Spence, Unbridling the tongues of women (1985), won the Walter McRae Russell Award; it was republished in 2010 with a new Introduction. She has fostered biography-writing in other publications, including ‘Three Questions for Biographers: Public or Private? Individual or Society? Truth or Beauty?’, Journal of Historical Biography (Canada) no.4, Autumn 2008, and with a prize of $2,000 established in 2005, for the best work of biography by a woman – the new Magarey Medal. With Kerrie Round, she wrote a biography of Roma Flinders Mitchell, Roma the First, published in 2007, with a new revised imprint published in 2009.
Her most recent publications include Dangerous Ideas: Women’s Liberation, Women’s Studies, Around the World (University of Adelaide Press), 2014 www.adelaide.edu.au/press,‘Women’s Liberation was a Movement, Not an Organisation’, Australian Feminist Studies, vol.29, no.82, December 2014, and ‘Beauty Becomes Political: Beginnings of the Women’s Liberation Movement in Australia’, Australian Feminist Studies, vol.33, no.95, March 2018.
Her publications include Passions of the first-wave feminists (2001), ‘When it changed: the beginnings of Women’s Liberation in Australia’ in David Roberts and Martin Crotty (eds), Turning Points in Australian History (2008), ‘”to Demand Equality is to Lack Ambition”: Sex Discrimination Legislation — Contexts and Contradictions’ in Margaret Thornton (ed.) Sex Discrimination in Uncertain Times (2010), and eight collections of articles including Women in a Restructuring Australia: Work and Welfare (1995) with Anne Edwards and Debutante Nation: Feminism Contests the 1890s (1993) with Sue Rowley and Susan Sheridan. She is writing a history of the Australian Women’s Liberation Movement.
Walter McRae Russell Award 1985
Dangerous Ideas: Women’s Liberation – Women’s Studies – Around the World (Adelaide University Press) Adelaide, 2014
Unbridling the tongues of women: a biography of Catherine Helen Spence. 1985, with a new introduction and revisions, 2010.
Roma the First: A Biography of Dame Roma Mitchell (Wakefield Presa) Adelaide, 2007, revised imprint 2009, with Kerrie Round.
Passions of the First Wave Feminists (University of New South Wales Press), Sydney, 2001.