Dr Dolly MacKinnon
Dr Dolly MacKinnon


Associate Professor in Early Modern History

Contact Details:

Office: E334, Forgan Smith Building (1)
Phone: +61 7 3365 6369
Email: a.mackinnon@uq.edu.au
UQ Researchers profile


BMus, Melbourne University
GradCert (Higher Education), QUT
PhD, Melbourne University


HIST1400 The Medieval and Early Modern World
HIST2411 Witchcraft & Demonology
HIST2412 British Isles: 1500-1700
HIST3303 Trafficking Bodies

Research Interests:

Early modern history: mental and physical landscapes; soundscapes, material culture and cultural heritage; graffiti; sensual histories; the slave trade; and representations of early modern history in twentieth-century children’s fiction.
Histories of psychiatry; material culture and museums; soundscapes; cultural heritage; post mortems in prisons and asylums; Scottish medical education and asylum and prison doctors in the Diaspora.

Current Research Projects:

Early modern soundscapes of gender, politics and identity; early modern sensual histories; psychiatric museum collections; post mortems in nineteenth-century Australian prisons and asylums.

ARC Grants:

ARC Discovery Project (2007-2011) - $238,568. Chief Investigator, with Professor Elizabeth Malcolm (University of Melbourne) and Dr John Waller (Michigan State University). Project: ‘A History of psychiatric Institutions and community care in Australia, 1830-1990’). See online database, Australian Psychiatric Care: A History of Psychiatric Institutionalisation and Community Care in Australia c.1811-c.1990 http://www.ahpi.esrc.unimelb.edu.au/researchteam.html.
ARC Linkage Project (2009-2012) - $149,000. Chief Investigator, with Dr Nurin Veis (Museum Victoria) and Professor Elizabeth Malcolm (University of Melbourne). Project: ‘Reading the Objects: Developing Online Personal Stories from Australia’s ‘Museums of Madness’, 1780-1980’.
ARC Associate Investigator (2012-2013) - Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (University of Western Australia, & University of Queensland Node). Project: ‘‘Emotional Landscapes: English and Scottish battlefield memorials 1638-1936’.
ARC Discovery Project (2014-2016) - $300,000. Chief Investigator, with Dr Megan Cassidy-Welch (Monash University). Project: ‘War and Remembrance in England and Scotland 1200-1700’.

Selected Recent Publications:

  • 2014 Earls Colne’s Early Modern Landscapes (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate).
  • 2011 (Co-editor with Catharine Coleborne) Exhibiting Madness in Museums: Remembering Psychiatry through Collections and Display (New York: Routledge).
  • 2009 (Co-editor with Ros Bandt and Michelle Duffy) Hearing Places: Sound, Place, Time and Culture (2007; Newcastle, England: Cambridge Scholars Publishing), with audio CD. (HC & PB).
  • 2003 (Co-editor with Catharine Coleborne) ‘Madness’ in Australia: Histories, Heritage, and the Asylum. (St. Lucia, Queensland: University of Queensland Press/API Network).
Journal articles, book chapters, proceeding papers and reviews
  • 2011 ‘‘That brave company of shadows’: Gender, National Identity, and the Formation of Children’s British History in Alison Uttley’s A Traveller in Time’, Women’s History Review, M. Spongberg and C. Tuite (eds) Special Issue: Women and the Writing of British History.
  • 2011 ‘Snatches of music, flickering images, and the smell of leather: the material culture of recreational pastimes in psychiatric collections: Scotland and Australia’in Catharine Coleborne and Dolly MacKinnon (eds) Exhibiting Madness (New York: Routledge), pp. 84-100.
  • 2011 “Bodies of evidence’: Dissecting Madness in Nineteenth-century Australia’ in Sarah Ferber and Sally Wilde (eds) The Body Divided: Human Beings and Human ‘Materials’ in the History of Medical Science (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate), pp. 75-108.
  • 2009 ‘‘Amusements are provided’: Asylum Entertainment and Recreation in Australia and New Zealand c.1860-c.1945’, in G. Mooney and J. Reinarz (eds), Permeable Walls: Historical Perspectives on Hospital and Asylum Visiting (Wellcome Trust Centre, London: Clio Medica/Rodopi series), pp. 267-88.
  • 2008 “Charity is worth it when it looks that good’: Rural Women and Bequests of Clothing in Early Modern England’in Stephanie Tarbin and Susan Broomhall (eds) Women, Identities and Political Cultures in Early Modern Europe (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate), pp. 79-93.
  • 2008 ‘I have now a book of songs of her writing’: Scottish families, orality, literacy, and the transmission of musical culture c1500-c1800’, in J. Nugent and E. Ewan (eds) Finding the Family in Medieval and Early Modern Scotland (Ashgate: Aldershot, UK), pp. 35-48.
  • 2007 ‘Hearing the English Reformation: Earls Colne, Essex’, in R. Bandt, M. Duffy, and D. MacKinnon (eds), Hearing Places: Sound, Place, Time and Culture (Newcastle, England: Cambridge Scholars Publishing), pp. 255-67.
  • 2006 ‘Music, Madness, and the Body: Symptom and Cure’, Sander L. Gilman (ed.), History of Psychiatry: Special Issue 17(1): 9-21. 2004 ‘Women and Family Business in England, Wales and the Colonies c1500-1800: Constructing a Model for Historical Analysis’, Lilith: A Feminist History Journal, 20th Anniversary 13: 117-126.
  • 2003 ‘The godly family of the seventeenth century, and John Howard’s Australia’ in D. Bird, T. White, and W. Were (eds) Future Imaginings: Gender and Families in the Twenty-First Century (Nedlands, WA: Institute of Advanced Studies and University of Western Australia Press), pp. 101-16.
  • 2003 ‘“Hearing madness”: the soundscape of the asylum’, in C. Coleborne and D. MacKinnon (eds) ‘Madness’ in Australia: Histories, Heritage, and the Asylum (St. Lucia, QLD: University of Queensland Press/API Network), pp. 73-82.
  • 2003 ‘“The Trustworthy Agency of the Eyes”: Reading Images of Music and Madness in Historical Context’, Dolly MacKinnon and Catharine Coleborne (eds), Health & History, Special Issue: Histories of Psychiatry after Deinstitutionalisation: Australia and New Zealand 5(2): 123-49.
  • 2003 (Co-author with Catherine Manathunga), ‘Going Global with Assessment: What to do when the dominant culture’s literacy drives assessment’ in R. James and K. Mok (eds) Higher Education Research and Development: Special Issue: Going Global: The Internationalisation of Higher Education in the Asian Region 22(2): 131-144.
  • 2001 ‘“Poor senseless Bess clothed in her rags and folly”: Early Modern Women, Madness, and Song in Seventeenth-Century England’, Parergon 18(3): 119-151.

Other Activities and Service:

  • Treasurer, Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (Inc.)
  • Joint Book Review Editor, Journal of Health and History (Australian and New Zealand Society for the History of Medicine)


  • Australian Historical Association
  • Australian Musicology Society
  • Australian and New Zealand Medieval and Early Modern Studies
  • Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine
  • Australian Society of Archivist Incorporated (Professional Member)
  • British Association of Local History
  • British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies
  • Essex Archaeology and History Society
  • Friends of Historic Essex



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