Staff profile - Joanna Cruickshank

Staff image

Dr Joanna Cruickshank

Position: Senior Lecturer In History
role description
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Arts and Education
Department: SHSS Arts & Ed
Campus: Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus
Phone: +61 3 522 72510 +61 3 522 72510



Joanna Cruickshank came to Deakin in 2007. Her PhD research, undertaken at the University of Melbourne, examined the way that eighteenth-century British people made sense of their experiences of suffering through the practice of writing and singing hymns. This research involved a particular focus on questions of gender.

Since coming to Deakin in 2007, Joanna has worked primarily on the history of religion in Australia, with a continuing focus on women's experience. Her research on women and Aboriginal missions has examined the way that religious belief shaped Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women's attitudes to race and gender as well as their relationships with each other. She is also interested in developing innovative approaches to the history of religion in Australia, with a new project underway on the place of public religious speech and sermons in colonial Australia.

Joanna's research on these topics informs and is shaped by the experience of developing and teaching units on Pacific, Indigenous and gender history.


  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Queensland, 1996
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne, 2007
  • Graduate Certificate of Higher Education, Deakin University, 2011

Professional activities

Reviews Co-editor, Journal of Religious History


Teaching Interests

AIH 205 (Sex and Gender in History); AIH 337 (Race, Science and Religion in Australasia); AIH 288 (Exploring Australia's Indigenous Pasts)


Awards and prizes

Outstanding Dissertation Award, Wesleyan Theological Society (US). (2008)

Ian Robertson Travel Prize (2005)
University Medal, University of Queensland (1996)


Research projects

Joanna is involved in a number of research projects which examine the role of religion in British and Australian history. These include studies of missionary women involved in Aboriginal missions, a history of sermons in the British world and colonial Australia and research on the religious understandings of colonial humanitarians.

Since 2011, Joanna has been part of a team awarded an ARC Linkage Grant for the "Minutes of Evidence" project, which examines the ways in which colonial and postcolonial societies have responded to injustice. At the heart of the project is a theatre performance, Coranderrk: We Will Show the Country, which consists entirely of the voices of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people who testified at the 1881 Parliamentary inquiry into Coranderrk Aboriginal station. Joanna's research within this project examines the religious convictions of the non-Aboriginal people who testified at the inquiry, particularly their understandings of justice.

Research interests

History of religion in Britain and Australia
Eighteenth-century Britain
Gender and religion
History of Christian missions

Research grants

Minutes of Evidence project: Promoting new and collaborative ways of understanding Australia's past and engaging with structural justice, ARC Collaborative - Linkage - Projects (2011-2014)

Women in Methodist History Research Award, United Methodist Church, USA (2009)
Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History Fellowship (2009)
British Academy Visiting Fellowship (2007-8)

Research page

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