About Professor Stephen Garton

Professor Garton's research interests include: nineteenth and twentieth century social and cultural history, particularly Australian, but also British and American, with specific focus on crime, incarceration, medicine, masculinity and sexuality.

Professor Stephen Garton is Professor of History and Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor. He is the author of five books and over sixty articles, chapters and encyclopaedia and historical dictionary entries in such areas as the history of madness, psychiatry, crime, incarceration, masculinity, eugenics, social policy, poverty, returned soldiers, masculinity and sexuality. Although much of his research focuses on Australia he has researched and published work in relation to British and American history. This research concentrates on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries although on occasion he has ranged more widely. In addition to being a fellow of a number of learned academies and societies he was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2003 for services to Australian history. From 2001 to 2009 Professor Garton was Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Key research areas include:

  • Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Social and Cultural History – particularly Australia, also Britain and America
  • History of Medicine
  • History of Crime and Incarceration
  • History of Sexuality
  • History of Masculinity
Areas of teaching and research supervision
  • Australian, British and American social and cultural history, with specific focus on crime, incarceration, medicine, masculinity and sexuality.
Other professional contributions
  • Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities
  • Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia
  • Fellow of the Royal Australian Historical Society

For more details see: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/history/staff/profiles/garton.shtml

Selected publications


(with Shane White, Stephen Robertson and Graham White) Playing the Numbers: Gambling in Harlem Between the Wars, Harvard University Press, Cambridge Mass., 2010, pp. 299.
*Winner NSW Premier’s Prize for General History 2011

Medicine and Madness: Insanity in NSW 1880-1940 (1988)

Out of Luck: Poor Australians 1788-1988 (1990)

The Cost of War: Australians Return (1996)

Histories of Sexuality: Antiquity to Sexual Revolution (2004)

Book Chapters

‘The Black Eagle of Harlem’ (with Shane White, Stephen Robertson and Graham White) in W. Fitzhugh Brundage (ed.), Beyond Blackface: African Americans and the Creation of American Popular Culture, 1890-1930, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 2011, 291-314.

‘Eugenics in Australia and New Zealand: Laboratories of Racial Science’ in Alison Bashford and Philippa Levine (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics, Oxford University Press, New York, 2010, 243-57.

‘The Envelope, Please’ (with Shane White, Stephen Robertson and Graham White) in James W. Cook, Lawrence B. Glickman & Michael O’Malley (eds), The Cultural Turn in US History: Past, Present & Future, Chicago University Press, Chicago, 2008, 121-52.

‘Wild Follies and Ostentatious Displays’: Reflections on Alexander the Great in Asia and the Question of Collective Memory’ in Himanshu Prahba Ray and Dan Potts (eds), Memory as History: The Legacy of Alexander in Asia, Aryan Books International, New Delhi, 2007, 1-15.

‘Crime, Prisons and Psychiatry: Reconsidering Problem Populations in Australia, 1890-1930’ in Peter Becker and Richard Wetzell (eds), Criminals and their Scientists: The History of Criminology in International Perspective, Cambridge University Press and German Historical Institute Washington DC, New York, 2006, 231-51.


This Harlem Life: Black Families and Everyday Life in the 1920s and 1930s’ (with Stephen Robertson, Shane White and Graham White), Journal of Social History, vol.44, no.1, Fall, 2010, 97-122.

‘Criminal Propensities: Psychiatry, Classification and Imprisonment in New York State 1916-1940’, Social History of Medicine, vol. 23, no. 1, April, 2010, 79-97.

‘Seeking Asylum: Why the asylum might still have a role in mental health care’, Health & History, vol. 11, no.1, 2009, 25-45.

‘“Fit Only for the Scrap Heap’: Rebuilding Returned Soldier Manhood in Australia after 1945’, Gender & History, vol. 20, no. 1, April 2008, 48-67.