About Professor Kirsten McKenzie

Professor Kirsten McKenzie’s research interests include: Social status and settler identity in the British empire, with particular reference to the Cape colony and New South Wales; and scandal and gender issues.

Professor McKenzie began teaching Australian History in the Department in 2002. She has a BA (Hons) and an MA from the University of Cape Town and completed her DPhil at Magdalen College, Oxford in 1997. She moved to Australia in 1998, taking up a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Queensland. Since then she has also taught at the University of New South Wales.

Current projects

  • Personal Liberty, British Identity and Surveillance in the Antipodes, 1780s - 1830s (ARC Discovery Project 2011-2013)
  • Changing models of social status and political power at the Cape of Good Hope: the cross-colonial connections of William Edwards/Alexander Lockaye
Areas or research supervision
Topics in Australian history generally, particularly social and cultural history, gender history, and colonial Australia

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

Selected publications


A Swindler's Progress: Nobles and Convicts in teh Age of Liberty
(University of New South Wales Press, 2009 and Harvard University Press 2010)

Scandal in the Colonies: Sydney and Cape Town, 1800-1850 (University of Melbourne Press, 2004; reprinted 2005)

Articles and Book Chapters

Opportunists and Impostors in the British Imperial World: The Tale of John Dow, Convict, and Edward, Viscount Lascelles’ in Desley Deacon, Penny Russell and Angela Wollacott (eds) Transnational Lives: Biographies of Global Modernity, 1700 - Present (Palgrave Macmillan: New York, 2010)

‘Being Modern on a Slender Income: Picture Show and Photoplayer in early 1920s Sydney.’ Journal of Women’s History, 22: 4 (2010), 114 – 136.

‘The Daemon Behind the Curtain: William Edwards and the Theatres of Liberty’ South African Historical Journal 61:3 (2009), 482 - 504

"Social mobilities at the Cape of Good Hope: Lady Anne Barnard, Samuel Hudson and the opportunities of empire, c. 1797-1824," in Tony Ballantyne and Antoinette Burton (eds) Moving Subjects: Gender, Mobility, and Intimacy in an Age of Global Empire (University of Illinois Press, Urbana, 2008)

"'My voice is sold, and I must be a Slave': Abolition, Industrialisation and the Yorkshire Election of 1807," History Workshop Journal, 64 (2007), 48-73

"Britain: Ruling the Waves," in Robert Aldrich (ed) The Age of Empires (Thames and Hudson, London, 2007)

"Dogs and the Public Sphere: the ordering of social space in early nineteenth-century Cape Town," in Sandra Swart (ed) Canis Africanis: A Dog History of South Africa (Brill, Netherlands, 2007)

"Performing the Peer: Status, Empire and Impersonation," History Australia 1, 2 (July 2004), 209-228