Staff Directory

Assoc. Prof. Hannah Forsyth Name: Assoc. Prof. Hannah Forsyth
Associate Professor (Australian History)
+612 9701 4621
Organisational Area
Faculty of Education and Arts
History & Archaeology (NSW)
Mary MacKillop Place(Bldg.540 - 7 Mount Street, North Sydney NSW 2060)-Level 2-Room2.16
Biographical Information

Dr Hannah Forsyth is a historian of work, education and capitalism at ACU where she has taught global history, historiography, history of capitalism, politics and Australian Indigenous History. She was an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) Fellow 2017-2019.

She is the author of A History of the Modern Australian University and is currently working towards a new book Virtue Capitalists: the rise and fall of the professional class in the Anglo world c.1870-2008 contracted to Cambridge University Press.

Hannah is a regular contributor to the media, in newspapers like The Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald as well as Griffith Review, Inside Story, The Conversation and London's Times Higher Education. Hannah has has discussed her work during numerous media interviews with outlets such as The Monthly, Business Insider and on ABC radio.

In 2020, Hannah gave the University of New England's Russel Ward Lecture, which can be viewed at




Forsyth, H. (2023). Virtue Capitalists: The Rise and Fall of the Professional Class in the Anglophone World c.1870-2008 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)

Forsyth, H. (2014). A History of the Modern Australian University (Sydney: NewSouth Publishing).

Edited Collections

Capitalism: New Histories from Australia Edited by Hannah Forsyth and Sophie Loy-Wilson, special issue of Labour History November 2021

Peer Reviewed Articles

Forsyth, H. (2023), "Education as economic stimulus in the human capital century", History of Education Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. 

Claire Wright and Hannah Forsyth (2021), 'Managerial Capitalism and White-Collar Professions: Social Mobility in Australia's Corporate Elite' Labour History 121.

Forsyth, H. and Michael P.R. Pearson 'Engineers and Social Engineering: Professional/Trade Unions and Social Mobility' Labour History 120, 2021, 169-95.

Thomas, A., H. Forsyth, and A. Bonnell (2020) 'The dice are loaded': history, solidarity and precarity in Australian universities'  History Australia 17(1), pp.21-39.

Forsyth, H. (2019). 'Reconsidering women's role in the professionalisation of the economy: evidence from the Australian census 1881-1947' Australian Economic History Review 59:1, pp55-79

Forsyth, H and Jedidiah Evans (2019). 'Authentic assessment for a more inclusive history' HIgher Education Research and Development

Forsyth, H. and Altin Gavranovic (2018). 'The Logic of Survival: towards an Indigenous-centred history of capitalism in Wilcannia' Settler Colonial Studies 8(4), pp.464-488

Forsyth, H. (2018). 'Class, professional work and the history of capitalism in Broken Hill, c.1880-1910' Labor: Studies in Working-Class History  15:2, pp.21-47

Forsyth, H and Sophie Loy Wilson (2017). Seeking a New Materialism in Australian History Australian Historical Studies 48(2), pp.169-88 

Forsyth, H (2017). Post-war political economics and the growth of Australian university research, c.1945-65 History of Education Review 46(1), pp.15-32

Forsyth, H. (2015). Expanding Higher Education: institutional responses in Australia from the post-war era to the 1970s Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education, 51(3), 365-80

Forsyth, H.  (2014) 'The Russel Ward Case: Academic Freedom in Australia during the Cold War', History Australia 11 (3), pp.31-52

Forsyth, H. (2014) 'Dreaming of Higher Education' Southerly 74 (2), 119-42. Winner of the Deen de Bortoli Prize for Applied History, 2016.

Hobbins, P and Forsyth, H (2013). Mobilising medical knowledge for the nation, 1943-49, Health and History, 15(1), 59-79.

Forsyth, H. (2013). Negotiating the Benefits of Knowledge: International Networks and Technology in Australian Post-War Universities, History of Education Review, 42 (1)

Forsyth, H. (2011). Making night hideous with their noise: New Years Eve 1897. History Australia 8 (2), pp. 66-86.

Forsyth, H. (2010). Academic Work in Australian Universities in the 1940s and 1950s. History of Education Review 39 (1), pp. 38-50.

Forsyth, H, Pizzica, J, Laxton, R and Mahony MJ (2010). Distance Education in an era of eLearning. Higher Education Research and Development 29(1)

Forsyth, H., Laxton, R., Moran, C., van der Werf, J., Banks, R. and Taylor, R., (2008).Postgraduate Coursework in Australia: issues emerging from university and industry collaboration, Higher Education: Volume 57, Issue5 (2009), Page 641.

Forsyth, H. (2008) The Energy of the City: Marshall Berman and New Year's Eve in Sydney, Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 22 (2)

Forsyth, H. (2005) Sex, Seduction and Sirens in Love: Norman Lindsay's Women,
Antipodes: North American Journal of Australian Literature, 19(1)

Forsyth, H. (2003) SMALL IS BIG: the AWA tower and wireless monumentality, Continuum:
Journal of Media & Cultural Studies
, 17(4),


Book Chapters

Forsyth, H. (2022). Rethinking Class through the history of professions in Steven Threadgold and Jessica Gerrard (eds) Class in Australia Monash University Press, pp.77-92.

Forsyth, H. (2021). 'From progressive pedagogy to "capitalist fodder": The new universities in Australia' in Jill Pellew and Miles Taylor (eds). Utopian Universities: a global history of the new campuses of the 1960s Bloomsbury, pp.305-22

Forsyth, H. (2019). Census data on professions, war service and the universities 1911-1933 in Kate Darian-Smith and James Wagner (eds) Universities, Professions and the Great War Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.

Egerton, J. and H. Forsyth (2019). The Veterinary Profession in Kate Darian-Smith and James Wagner (eds) Universities, Professions and the Great War Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.

Egerton, J., Forsyth, H and Taylor, R (2016) 'Six Doctors of Veterinary Science' in J Egerton (ed) Veterinary Research at the University of Sydney: the first century (Sydney: University of Sydney Press).

Forsyth, H. (2015). Digital Cloisters in P. McGuinness (ed.) Copyfight (Sydney: NewSouth Publishing).

Forsyth, H. (2014) Disinterested Scholars or Interested Parties? The Public's Investment in Self-interested Universities in M. Thornton (ed.) Through a Glass Darkly: The Neoliberal University and the Social Sciences (ANU Press, Canberra).

Devonshire, E., Forsyth, H., Reid, S. and Simpson, J. (2013). The Challenges and Opportunities of Online Postgraduate Coursework Programs in a Traditional University Context.  J. Willems, B. Tynan and R. James (eds), Global challenges and perspectives in blended and distance learning. IGI Global.

Sherington, G. and Forsyth, H. (2012). Ideas Of A Liberal Education: An Essay On Elite And Mass Higher Education in Luciano Boschiero (ed), On The Purpose of a University Education: a history and examination of liberal education in Australia. Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing.

Forsyth, H. (2000). Mathematics and Computers: The Classifier's Ruse in Gary Locke and Kate Brown (eds) On the Theory and Practice of Archaeological Computing, Oxford, pp. 29-39.


Reference works:

Campbell, C. and Forsyth, H. (2014). Universities. Entry for the Dictionary of Educational History in Australia and New Zealand (DEHANZ),

Forsyth, H. (2011). New Year's Eve. Entry for the Dictionary of Sydney.


Popular Press Articles:

Forsyth, H The Long Road Home. Travel in the time of COVID-19. Griffith Review 8 April 2020

Contributor - Should you be working 100 hours a week? Times Higher Education 20 February 2020

Contributor - Academic Pet Peeves Times Higher Education 24 January 2019

Forsyth, H Two Cheers for the Pub Test Times Higher Education 13 December 2018

Contributor - Top Tips for Lectures Times Higher Education 18 October 2018

Forsyth, How Women Led the Rise of Professional Work in the Australian Economy The Conversation 16 August 2017 

Forsyth, H 'The long view: scholars assess the state of history' Times Higher Education February 15, 2018

Forsyth, H and Jedidiah Evans Casual exploitation must become history Times Higher Education 29 June 2017

Forsyth, H (2016) Why do we still hand out honorary academic titles? The Conversation 6 October 2016 

Forsyth, H. (2016). The Barkindji people are losing their mother, the drying Darling River

Forsyth, H. (2015). Group of Eights change of tack smacks of self-interest in John Watson (ed.) Politics, policy & the chance of change Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, originally published at

Forsyth, H. (2015). The mass university is good for equity, but must it also be bad for learning?

Forsyth, H. (2015). Malcolm Frasers life and legacy: experts respond

Forsyth, H. (2014). Fee deregulation is a bad idea, but our universities do need reform

Forsyth, H. (2014). Vice-chancellors vs the collegiate: who is right on deregulation? 28 October 2014

Forsyth, H. (2014). Gough Whitlam's life and legacy: experts respond

Forsyth, H. (2014). How Leaders Lost their Way The Australian 1 October 2014

Forsyth, H. (2014). Maybe free university didn&rsquot improve access for all, but neither will fee deregulation

Forsyth, H. (2014). It's not just about student fees it's about institutionalised inequality

Forsyth, H. (2014). Commissioned article on Australia&rsquos uncapped system. Times Higher Education (UK), January 2014.

Forsyth, H. (2012). Money and old Tropes. Times Higher Education (UK).

Forsyth, H. (2011). How the Bridge became the centre of Festivities, Sydney Morning Herald New Years Eve liftout, 28 December 2011.

Forsyth, H. (2010). Why Unis shouldn't play the economics card, New Matilda 18 May 2010

Book Reviews:

Forsyth, H. (2017) Review of National Tertiary Education Union: a most unexpected union by John Michael OBrien, for History of Education Review

Forsyth, H. (2016). Review of Education, Culture and the Singapore Development State, History of Education Review Vol. 45 Issue: 2, pp.256-257

Forsyth, H. (2016). Review of New Tricks: Reflections on a Life in Medicine and Tertiary Education by Richard Larkins, Historical Records of Australian Science.

Forsyth, H. (2015). Review of Australia's Boldest Experiment by Stuart Macintyre, Inside Story

Forsyth, H. (2015). More than a Coffee Table Book, Review of University of the People by Mark Hutchinson, History Australia, 12(1), 270-2.

Forsyth, H (2014). Review of Cultures, Communities and Conflict: Histories of Canadian Universities and War edited by Paul Stortz and Lisa Panayotidis, History of Education Review, Vol. 43(1), 120 - 122

Forsyth, H (2013). Review of Seeking Wisdom: centenary history of the University of Western Australia, edited by Jenny Gregory, Australian Historical Studies 44(3), 485-6.

Forsyth, H. (2012). Once Were Radicals. Review of From New Left to Factional Left: fifty years of student activism at Sydney University by Alan Barcan. History Australia 9(2), 224-6.


  • Australian history
  • History of Capitalism
  • Class and race in history
  • Class and gender in history
  • Labour history
  • Australian Aboriginal history and Settler colonial studies
  • History of universities and education
  • Community-engaged history
  • History teaching
  • Higher education studies, especially social inclusion

2013 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Sydney

2011 - 2012 Project Manager, Cambridge HIstory of Australia

2009 - 2011 Tutor in History, University of Sydney

2008 - 2010: Educational Designer, LTC (formerly IATL), Australian Catholic University

2005-2008 Coordinator & Sub-Dean, Postgraduate Coursework, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney

2003-2005 Coordinator Postgraduate Coursework, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney

2002-2003 Project Officer, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney

Professional Memberships

Australian Historical Association (AHA)

Australia & New Zealand History of Education Society (ANZHES).

Australian Society for the Study of Labour History (ASSLH)

Labor and Working Class History Association (LAWCHA)


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