Dr Lisa Featherstone
Dr Lisa Featherstone


Senior Lecturer in History
Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning
Integrity Officer

Contact Details:

Office: E329, Forgan Smith Building (1)
Phone: +61 7 3365 4164
Email: l.featherstone@uq.edu.au


BA (First Class Hons), PhD, Macquarie University


HIST2247 The Making of Modern Australia: Society & Culture Since 1901
WRIT3613 Making History

Research Interests:

I am an Australian historian primarily interested in the history of bodies, especially the history of sexuality and the history of reproduction.
I have published widely on sexuality, masculinity, childbirth, race and medicine, and child health. My book, Let's Talk About Sex (2011) explores a range of Australian sexualities in early twentieth century Australia. More specific case studies from this time period have been published in a range of journals, including The Journal of the History of Sexuality, Women's History Review, Australian Historical Studies and Australian Feminist Studies.With Amanda Kaladelfos, I am currently working on sexual crimes in 1950s Australia, which will result in a monograph in 2015, published with Melbourne University Publishing. I currently hold an ARC grant "Sexual Offences, Legal Responses and Public Perceptions: 1880s-1980s", with Amanda Kaladelfos (Griffith), Carolyn Strange (ANU) and Nina Westera (Griffith).

Current Research Projects:

Sex Crimes in the Fifties
Team: Lisa Featherstone (UQ) and Amanda Kaladelfos (Griffith)
The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual
Abuse has given national consciousness to the problematic treatment of sexual assault in Australia’s past. Yet we still have little knowledge of the policing, prosecution and punishment of sexual crimes in the past. Our book examines this history by investigating Australia in the 1950s. The 1950s has remained a decade with a nostalgic reputation for upholding the sanctity of the nuclear family. Fewer remember that it was this same decade that saw the sharpest rise in Australian history of arrests and prosecution of sexual assault and was the origin of many of our contemporary beliefs about sexual crimes. Using transcripts of 500 trials, Sex Crimes in the Fifties examine the full range of sexual assaults that came before the court, including rape, crimes against children, homosexuality and acts of indecency, to consider the ways sexual crimes was policed and treated, as well as the ways the wider public understood these offences.
Sexual Offences, Legal Responses and Public Perceptions: 1880s-1980s
Team: Lisa Featherstone (UQ), Amanda Kaladelfos (Griffith), Carolyn Strange (ANU), Nina Westera (Griffith)
Testimony of sexual abuse before the current Royal Commission has exposed the historic neglect and coverup of institutional offences. Yet, to unearth the deeper and wider dimensions of sexual offending requires scholarly historical analysis. This project uses qualitative and quantitative analysis to track how and why certain forms of sexual behaviour sparked public concern and provoked legal responses and public inquiries from the 1880s to the 1980s. Our systematic examination of these patterns through archival and published documents will test the relation between shifting community and political concerns and the conduct of criminal trials.
Selected Recent Publications

Other Activities and Service:

Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning, 2015
Integrity Officer, 2015

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