Prof. Peter Spearritt
Prof. Peter Spearritt


Emeritus Professor
Member, University of Queensland Press Board

Contact Details:




BA(Hons), Sydney University
PhD, Australian National University


Urban history, Australian iconography, coastal development, public space, world cities.

Research Interests:

Coastal urbanisation and Australian capital cities, the conservation of natural and built heritage, the water, energy and transport crisis in south-east Queensland.

Current Research Projects:

ARC linkage grant on Historical Atlas of Queensland, with Queensland Museum.

Selected Recent Publications:

Journal articles, book chapters, proceeding papers and reviews
  • Sydney’s Century: A History, UNSW Press, 2000. 316pp.
  • Holiday Business: Tourism in Australia since l870, MUP, 2000, 370pp, with Jim Davidson.
  • ‘The commercialisation of public space’ in P.Troy ed Equity, Environment, Efficiency, MUP, 2000, pp.81-96.
  • Seeing Brisbane 1881-2001, Brisbane Institute, 2002, 50pp, editor.
  • ‘Can Brisbane remain a sub-tropical city’, Queensland Review, Nov. 2003, pp.25-36.
  • Electrifying Sydney, Energy Australia, 2004, 136pp, with George Wilkenfeld.
  • ‘Positioning: on site and in situ’ in G. Davison and K. Webber eds., Yesterday’s Tomorrows: The Powerhouse Museum and its Precursors, University of NSW Press, 2005, pp.240-253.
  • ‘Brisbane’ in P. Beilharz and T.Hogan eds, Relocating Sociology: Place, Time and Division, Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • The Sydney Harbour Bridge: A Life, 75th anniversary edition, UNSW Press, 2007, 178pp.
  • Kenneth Macqueen’s coastal landscapes’ in R.Dezuanni (ed), Making it Modern: the watercolours of Kenneth Macqueen, Queensland Art Gallery, 2007, pp.40 47. 
See full list of publications.

Other Activities and Service:

  • Executive of Queensland Shelter
  • Executive Director, The Brisbane Institute (2001-2006)
  • Co-curator of Seeing Brisbane (Brisbane City Gallery 2002), The 200 kilometre City: Noosa to the Tweed (Museum of Brisbane 2004-5), Defending the North (UQ Art Museum, 2005-6)
  • Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, Australia
  • Supervisor for RHD students

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