About Associate Professor James Curran

Associate Professor James Curran's current research interests include a study of Australian nationalism in the wake of the British empire, twentieth century Australian political culture, Australia’s ties with Asia from the 1970s and Australia-US relations in the post-war period.

Associate Professor Curran's current research, funded by an ARC Discovery Project (2010-2012), explores the history of the Australia/US Alliance from Nixon's 1969 Guam Doctrine to the early 1980s, with a particular focus on how each country formulated Asia policy in that period. A book from this study, tentatively titled ‘Whitlam and Nixon at war’, is contracted to Melbourne University Press (MUP) and will be published in 2014. Curran is also working on a history of the 1971 Springbok Rugby tour to Australia. His first book, The Power of Speech (MUP, 2004) was shortlisted for both the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and the NSW Premier’s History Prize, while The Unknown Nation-Australia After Empire (MUP, 2010) co-authored with Stuart Ward from the University of Copenhagen, was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Australian History Prize in 2011. His latest book is Curtin’s Empire (CUP, 2011).
From 2010-2012 he is a joint appointment with the United States Studies Centre at the university. In 2010 he was the DFAT/ Fulbright Professional Scholar in Australia-US Alliance Studies, based at Georgetown University in Washington DC.

Prior to joining the university, Curran served in various roles in the Australian Public Service. From 2002 to 2005 he worked as a Policy Adviser in the Department of The Prime Minister and Cabinet, serving in both its Social Policy and International Divisions. From 2005 to 2007, he was an intelligence analyst at the Office of National Assessments. From time to time, he writes articles for the press, some of which are listed below. He has also offered commentary on both ABC and Commercial radio and television.

In 2013 Curran will be the Keith Cameron Professor of Australian History at University College Dublin.

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

Selected publications


Curtin’s Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2011)

The Unknown Nation: Australia After Empire (co-authored with Stuart Ward) (Melbourne University Press, 2010). Shortlised for the 2010-11 Prime Minister’s Australian History Prize.

The Power of Speech: Australian Prime Ministers Defining the National Image
(Melbourne University Press, April 2004) Shortlisted for the NSW Premiers Prize for Australian History for 2005 and the Victorian Premier’s 2004 Literary Award for a First Book in History.

'The Dilemmas of Divergence: The Crisis in American-Australian Relations, 1972-75', Diplomatic History, (accepted for publication, forthcoming)

"An Organic Part of the Whole Structure": John Curtin’s Empire', Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History (March 2009)

'"Australia Should be There": Expo 67 and the Search for a New National Image', Australian Historical Studies 131 (March 2008)

Entry on 'Australia-Britain', Oxford Companion to Australian Politics (2007).

'"The Thin Dividing Line": Prime Ministers and the problem of Australian nationalism, 1972-1996'. Australian Journal of Politics and History, vol. 48, no. 4 (December 2002)

'Bonjoor Paree: The First AIF in Paris, 1916-19'
Journal of Australian Studies, No.1, 1999.