Staff Profile

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Career Summary

Biography

Dr Nancy Cushing is a Senior Lecturer in Australian history in the School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle, based at the Ourimbah Campus. Her primary research area is Australian environmental history, in particular human animal relations, with a secondary interest in the history of Newcastle.

 

Cushing brings an immigrant's perspective to the Australian past seeking to understand why and how particular cultural forms emerged. In these investigations, she places importance on the relationship between non-Indigenous Australians and the natural environment.  Her current project, funded by a Merewether Scholarship from the State Library of NSW, examines choices about meat eating in colonial Australia from this human animal relations perspective.  Past projects have included work on Australian beach cultures, the fight against air pollution in Newcastle and the range of relations between humans and other animals in Australia, from pet keeping to captive animal displays.

 

Her 2010 book, coauthored with Kevin Markwell, Eric Worrell and the Australian Reptile Park, traced the life and work of early celebrity naturalist Eric Worrell, placing his own adventures in the context of contemporary attitudes towards Australian wildlife, especially the generally disparaged reptiles. The book charts important shifts in the second half of the twentieth century as the status of Australian native animals was transformed from curiosity or unwanted pest to icon.

 

Another research strand is the history of Newcastle. Curiosity about the gulf between her own experience of Newcastle as a pleasant beachside city and the prevailing national stereotype of it as heavily polluted and relentlessly industrial inspired Cushing's 1995 thesis "Creating the Coalopolis: Perceptions of Newcastle 1770 - 1935." Ongoing interest in the history of Newcastle has led to projects on beaches and surf lifesaving, including a chapter in the centenary history of surf life saving, and on air pollution in Newcastle. Cushing is a founder with Julie MacIntyre of the Newcastle Hunter Studies group which holds an annual symposium in conjunction with Newcastle Art Gallery and co editor, with James Bennett and Erik Eklund, of the collection Radical Newcastle, to be published by New South Press in 2015.

 

Nancy Cushing is Program Convenor for the Bachelor of Arts and BA (Hons). She was Deputy Dean of Students for the Ourimbah and Sydney Campuses from 2008 to 2011. She is a member of the NSW Working Party for the Australian Dictionary of Biography and of the executive council of the NSW History Council. 

 

Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Newcastle, 13/10/1995
  • Master of Museum Studies, University of Toronto
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours)(History), Dalhousie University - Canada

Research

Research keywords

  • Air Pollution
  • Environmental History
  • Food studies
  • Human/Animal Relations
  • Newcastle

Research expertise

My field is Australian environmental history, in particular human animal relations. My PhD treated the history of Newcastle and I maintain an interest in local and urban history expressed in ongoing research into the history of air quality in the city undertaken with Assoc. Professor Howard Bridgman; and co editorship with James Bennett and Erik Eklund (Federation University) of the Radical Newcastle collection, to be published in 2015. I have co written a number of pieces on human animal relations with Associate Professor Kevin Markwick of Southern Cross University including our 2010 book, Snake-bitten: Eric Worrell and the Australian Reptile Park (UNSW Press). Currently, my main project brings together interests in human animal relations and food studies by examining choices around meat eating in colonial Australia.

I have supervised a number of theses at the Masters and Doctoral level. Completed topics include

  • memorials to the Blue Mountains explorers
  • diet in the early Sydney settlement
  • historic houses on the Central Coast
  • the James Fletcher site in Newcastle

My current supervisions include:

  • the impact of early governors on planning in NSW
  • a history of missions to seamen in British colonial ports in the later nineteen century
  • the role of the Newcastle industrial hub in the 1930s and 40s
  • preparations for WWII in NSW
  • the role and impact of the University of Newcastle's Open Foundation Program
  • a history of the squatting movement in Sydney's Glebe in the 1970s
  • the women's movement in Newcastle in the 1970s and 80s
  • the operation of community amongst coal miners in the late twentieth century

Fields of Research

CodeDescriptionPercentage
210303Australian History (Excl. Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander History)80
210399Historical Studies Not Elsewhere Classified20

Memberships

Body relevant to professional practice.

  • Member - Australian Historical Association

Other

  • Member - Australian Dictionary of Biography NSW Working Party

Appointments

Editor of Exhibition Reviews
History Australia (Australia)
01/09/2003 - 01/12/2005

Invitations

The Voyage of the Platypus, 1947: The Role of the Naturalist in International Diplomacy
Australian Historical Association Conference, Australia (Conference Presentation - non published.)
2008
The Song of the Snake: Eric Worrell and the Environmental Sensibilities of the 1950s
Australian Historical Association Biennial Conference, Australia (Conference Presentation - non published.)
2006

Collaboration

Research

Nancy's research interests lie in the fields of cultural and environmental history and food studies. These range from aspects of the history of Newcastle, including its long battle against poor air quality, to the nature of relations between humans and Australian animals in a variety of contexts: captive animal displays, entertainment, pet keeping and consumption.

She published a book with Assoc. Professor Kevin Markwell of Southern Cross University in 2010 entitled, Snake-bitten: Eric Worrell and the Australian Reptile Park (UNSW Press). She currently has in production a collection of works on Radical Newcastle, co edited with her colleague James Bennett and Professor Erik Eklund of Federation University. This book is the result of several years of collaboration by 30 contributors from within and outside the academy and will be a valuable contribution to Newcastle historiography. Another project is a special issue of the Journal of Australian Colonial History on Newcastle and the Hunter Region, to be co edited with DrsJulie Macintyre and David Roberts of UNE. Nancy's current research project, funded by the State Library of NSW's 2013 Merewether Scholarship, is a history of meat eating in colonial Australia which will be published as a monograph in 2016.

Administrative

Administrative expertise

I am the program convenor for the Bachelor of Arts and BA (Hons). The BA is a large program with over 1000 students enrolled in our fifteen major areas of study. As program convenor, I welcome students each year and offer ongoing advice on their degree, making general announcements and responding to individual queries. I am responsible for ensuring that the degree conforms to the requirements of AQF level 7 and that all students are supported to fully engage in the degree.

As convenor of the School's largest program, I am a member of the School's Teaching and Learning committee and work closely with the Deputy Head of School (Teaching and Learning). I take on associated roles such as mentor to other staff members within the University's management system and coordinator of the School's Open Day film fest.

In the past, I have served as Deputy Dean of Students for the Ourimbah and Sydney Campuses and the Honours convenor for the School at the Ourimbah Campus.

I am a member of the Australian Historical Association, and sit on the NSW working party for the Australian Dictionary of Biography and the NSW History Council.

Teaching

Teaching keywords

  • Australian cultural history
  • Environmental history
  • Heritage studies
  • Urban history

Teaching expertise

My teaching is in the area of Australian cultural and environmental history. I enjoy the challenge of introducing up to 300 first year students to the fascinating history of Australia each year in HIST1051, the Australian Experience. At upper level, I offer a number of courses which reflect my own research interests, on Australian cities, environmental history and history and heritage. For honours studies, I provide a special study on imaginings of the 1950s in Australia.

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Highlighted Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2006Cushing NE, Huntsman L, 'A National Icon: Surf lifesaving and Australian society and culture', Between the Flags: one hundred summers of Australian surf lifesaving, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney 1-21 (2006) [B1]
2002Cushing NE, 'The Pacific Highway and Australian Modernity', Departures: how Australia reinvents itself, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne 44-51 (2002) [B1]
2009Cushing NE, 'Australia's smoke city: Air pollution in Newcastle', Australian Economic History Review, 49 19-33 (2009) [C1]

Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.

Book (1 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2010Markwell K, Cushing NE, Snake-bitten: Eric Worrell and the Australian Reptile Park, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 240 (2010) [A1]

Chapter (8 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2013Cushing NE, Markwell K, 'From Snake Handlers to Wildlife Entrepreneurs', Venom: Fear, Fascination and Discovery, Medical History Museum, University of Melbourne, Melbourne 57-63 (2013) [B1]
2013Cushing NE, Markwell K, 'Snakes in the Twentieth-century Australian Imagination', Venom: Fear, Fascination and Discovery, Medical History Museum, University of Melbourne, Melbourne 51-56 (2013) [B1]
2011Cushing NE, Markwell K, 'I can't look: Disgust as a factor in the zoo experience', Zoos and Tourism: Conservation, Education, Entertainment?, Channel View Publications, Bristol, UK 167-178 (2011) [B1]
2011Cushing NE, 'Rosie's Secret', Making Film and Television Histories: Australia and New Zealand, I. B. Tauris, London 275-279 (2011) [B2]
2008Clark J, Cushing NE, Oakley R, 'Competing voices on the road: Seeking pleasure and representing death on the Pacific Highway', Shop till you Drop: Essays on Consuming and Dying in Australia, Southern Highlands Publishers, Normanhurst, New South Wales 106-121 (2008) [B1]
2006Cushing NE, Huntsman L, 'A National Icon: Surf lifesaving and Australian society and culture', Between the Flags: one hundred summers of Australian surf lifesaving, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney 1-21 (2006) [B1]
2002Cushing NE, 'The Pacific Highway and Australian Modernity', Departures: how Australia reinvents itself, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne 44-51 (2002) [B1]
1998Cushing NE, 'Our History Our Valley', Riverchange, Newcastle Region Public Library, Newcastle 3-36 (1998) [B1]
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Journal article (12 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2012Boom K, Ben-Ami D, Croft DB, Cushing NE, Ramp D, Boronyak L, ''Pest' and Resource: A Legal History of Australia's Kangaroos', Animal Studies Journal, 1 17-40 (2012) [C1]
2010Cushing NE, Markwell K, ''Watch out for these killers!': Newspaper coverage of the Sydney Funnel Web Spider and its impact on antivenom research', Health and History, 12 79-96 (2010) [C1]
2009Cushing N, Markwell K, 'Platypus diplomacy: animal gifts in international relations', JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIAN STUDIES, 33 255-271 (2009) [C1]
2009Markwell K, Cushing NE, 'The serpent's stare meets the tourist's gaze: Strategies of display at the Australian Reptile Park', Current Issues in Tourism, 12 475-488 (2009) [C1]
2009Cushing NE, 'Australia's smoke city: Air pollution in Newcastle', Australian Economic History Review, 49 19-33 (2009) [C1]
2009Cushing NE, 'Balancing Biography and Institutional History: Eric Worrell¿s Australian Reptile Park', Public History Review, 16 78-91 (2009) [C2]
2007Cushing NE, 'The mysterious disappearance of maize: Food compulsion and food choice in colonial New South Wales', Food, Culture and Society, 10 109-130 (2007) [C1]
2007Cushing NE, 'The road behind us: the Pacific Highway, Sydney to Brisbane, as a heritage corridor', Historic Environment, 20 21-25 (2007)
2005Boissonneault M-F, Gladstone W, Scott PB, Cushing NE, 'Grey Nurse Shark Human Interactions and Portrayals:A Study of newspaper portrayals of the Grey Nurse Shark from 1969-2003', Electronic Green Journal, Winter 2005 Online (2005) [C1]
1999Cushing N, 'A Day at the Coast: Gender, Work and Holiday Making on the New South Wales Central Coast', Journal of Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, 4 3-11 (1999) [C1]
1998Cushing NE, 'Coalopolis to Steel City: Perceptions of Newcastle 1797-1859', Journal of Australian Studies, 57 61-71 (1998) [C1]
1998Cushing NE, 'Timbertown, A Review', Locality, 9, #1 13-18 (1998) [C3]
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Conference (6 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2009Cushing NE, Markwell K, 'The zoo-goer's grimace: Fear and loathing in the zoo experience', A World of Popular Entertainments Conference Proceedings, Callaghan, NSW (2009) [E3]
2008Cushing NE, Markwell KW, ''Don't by-pass Gosford': The Car, the Australian Reptile Park and the promotion of tourism on the New South Wales Central Coast, 1959 - 80', Seachange: New and Renewed Urban Landscapes: 9th Australasian Urban History/Planning History Conference Proceedings, Caloundra, QLD (2008) [E1]
2008Cushing NE, Markwell KW, 'The Voyage of the Platypus, 1947: The role of the naturalist in international diplomacy', Locating History. Australian Historical Association Biennial Conference. Abstracts, Melbourne, VIC (2008) [E3]
2007Boissonneault M-F, Gladstone W, Scott PB, Cushing NE, 'Grey nurse shark human interactions and portrayals: A study of newspaper portrayals of the grey nurse shark from 1969-2003', Animals and Society II: Considering Animals. Handbook, Hobart (2007) [E3]
2002Cushing N, '"Urban Space in the Suburbs, The Pacific Highway and Sydney's Upper North Shore"' (2002) [E1]
2002Cushing N, 'Urban Space in the Suburbs: The Pacific Highway and Sydney''s Upper North Shore', Suburbia, A conference, Sydney (2002) [E4]
Show 3 more
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants9
Total funding$60,868

- Indicates that the researcher may be seeking students for this project.

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

2013 (1 grants)

The Skeleton at the Feast: Australian animals as food and non food in the colonial period$12,000
Funding Body: Library Council of NSW

Project Team
Doctor Nancy Cushing
SchemeRole
Merewether ScholarshipChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$12,00020132013
GNo:G1301342

2008 (1 grants)

Australian Historical Associtation Biennial Conference, University of Melbourne, 7/7/2008 - 10/7/2008$545
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Nancy Cushing
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$54520082008
GNo:G0189261

2005 (2 grants)

Equity Research Fellowship Round 1 2005$27,262
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Nancy Cushing
SchemeRole
Equity Research FellowshipChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$27,26220052005
GNo:G0184854

Australia ICOMOS, Corrugations, The Romance and Reality of Historic Roads, 25-27 November 2005$435
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Nancy Cushing
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$43520052005
GNo:G0185947

2004 (1 grants)

Rations and gender in colonial Australia$2,500
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Nancy Cushing
SchemeRole
Project GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$2,50020042004
GNo:G0183446

1998 (1 grants)

A Cultural History of the Pacific Highway.$2,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Nancy Cushing
SchemeRole
Project GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$2,00019981998
GNo:G0177226

1996 (2 grants)

Directory of Historians$9,800
Funding Body: 1997 Bicentenary Historical Research Projects

Project Team
Doctor Nancy Cushing
SchemeRole
Research GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$9,80019961996
GNo:G0176317

1st Annual Australian Identities: History, Culture & Environment Conference - Dublin, Ireland - 3-6/7/96$1,326
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Nancy Cushing
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$1,32619961996
GNo:G0176218

1995 (1 grants)

Creating the Coalopolis: Perceptions of Newcastle, 1770 to 1935.$5,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Nancy Cushing
SchemeRole
New Staff GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$5,00019951995
GNo:G0175971
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Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions9
Total current UoN Masters EFTSL0.3
Total current UoN PhD EFTSL2.45

For supervisions undertaken at an institution other that the University of Newcastle, the institution name is listed below the program name.

Current Supervision

CommencedProposed
Completion
ProgramSupervisor TypeResearch Title
20142020PhD (History)Co-SupervisorThe women's movement in Newcastle in the 1970s and 1980s through the lens of Josephine Conway's archives
20132017M Philosophy (History)Principal SupervisorThe Making of the Newcastle Industrial Hub 1930-1945: Economic Depression, War and Newcastle's Industrial Revolution
20132017PhD (History)Co-SupervisorEarly Seamen's Missions in Australia
20132017PhD (History)Principal SupervisorAustralian Urban Squatters of the 1970's: Establishing and Living a Radical Lifestyle in Suburban Sydney.
20102015PhD (History)Principal SupervisorThe Socio-Political Motivations of Urban Planning Legislation in NSW 1778-1979
20092014PhD (History)Co-SupervisorMemory, Work and Community at Teralba
20082017PhD (History)Co-SupervisorMilitary and Civil Defence Planning in South-Eastern Australia, 1932-1945
20082016PhD (History)Co-SupervisorThe History and Impacts of the Open Foundation Program on the Hunter and Central Coast Regions
20072007 History
University of Adelaide
Sole SupervisorConvicts to Cultural Conviction

Past Supervision

YearProgramSupervisor TypeResearch Title
2014PhD (History)Principal Supervisor"...here is an Asylum open..." Constructing a Culture of Government Care in Australia 1801 - 2014
2007M Arts (Humanities) [R]Sole SupervisorDo Historic Houses Have a Future? An Exploration of the Factors Which Contribute to or Detract From the Recognition, Appreciation and Formal Heritage Protection of Historic Houses in the Central Coast Region
2004PhD (Humanities)Principal SupervisorFounding Fathers and Foundering Myths: Monuments to Explorers in the Blue Mountains New South Wales
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Dr Nancy Cushing

Work Phone(02) 4348 4055
Fax(02) 4348 4075
Email
PositionSenior Lecturer
School of Humanities and Social Science
Faculty of Education and Arts
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Focus AreaHistory
Office
HO1.06,
Humanities Office,
Ourimbah
10 Chittaway Road
Ourimbah NSW 2258
Australia
URL:www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/nancy-cushing