Penny Russell

Professor Penny Russell

  • Post Nominals: FAHA
  • Fellow Type: Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 2012
  • Section(s): History


Penny Russell’s research seeks out the political intricacies of gender and class, race and colonisation that lie in private writing and the intimacies of social encounters. She is fascinated by snobs and social climbers, scandals large and small, and the mysterious ways people lived, loved and learned in times past. Her main field of interest lies in the social experience of colonisation in nineteenth-century Australia.

Her most recent book, Savage or Civilised?: Manners in Colonial Australia (2010) won the New South Wales Premier’s Award for Australian History and was shortlisted for four other awards in 2011, including the Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History.

From 2009-12 she was editor, with Richard White, of History Australia, the official journal of the Australian Historical Association.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.