Staff profile - Tanja Luckins

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Dr Tanja Luckins

Position: Senior Lecturer In Australian Studies
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Arts and Education
Department: SHSS Arts & Ed
Campus: Melbourne Burwood Campus
Phone: +61 3 924 43937 +61 3 924 43937



I teach Australian Studies at the Burwood campus. Before joining Deakin in 2012, I was an ARC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Australian Centre, University of Melbourne and taught at RMIT and La Trobe Universities. I am principally a cultural historian whose work is characterised by an inter-disciplinary approach especially the use of diverse textual, visual and material sources in order to research and write the histories of people who do not fit into nationalist and modernist frameworks. My first book, The Gates of Memory (2004), based on my PhD, was a study of loss and memory and the Great War in Australia. It was methodologically wide- ranging, exploring material hitherto ignored such as asylum admission records and mourning black in order to analyse the gendered experiences and cultural expressions of loss and memory. Subsequent research has looked at the 1960s, food and drink cultures, and the pub in Australian history. I have presented this research in numerous public forums and publications including Go! Melbourne in the Sixties (with Seamus O’Hanlon, 2005), Dining on Turtles: Food Feasts and Drinking in History (with Diane Kirkby, 2007) and The Australian Pub (with Diane Kirkby and Chris McConville, 2010). This research stimulated investigations into the connections between food, drink and cosmopolitanism, which was then expanded into a larger project on the history of cosmopolitanism in Australia; this was awarded an Australian Research Council Fellowship (2008-2011).


  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Melbourne, 1988
  • Doctor of Philosophy, 2001
  • Graduate Certificate of Higher Education, Deakin University, 2013


International Australian Studies Association
Australian Historical Association
Royal Historical Society of Victoria

Professional activities

Book Review Editor, Journal of Australian Studies, (2012- )


Subjects and units currently teaching

AIA105 Visions of Australia: Time and Space 1700-2010

AIA106 Sex, Race and Australia's People

AIA200 Indigenous Australians in the 20th Century

Conferences and seminars

Porous Borders: The World in Australia, International Australian Studies Association biennual conference, Monash University, December 2012. 'Swinish Behaviour in the Swilling Hour', Australian National Homebrewing Conference keynote address, Melbourne, October 2012. Panel discussion on The Australian Pub, Sydney Writers Festival, May 2011 History of the Six Oclock Swill, public lecture, Victorian Section of the International Institute of Brewing and Distilling, Melbourne, July 2010. A Collective Conversation: Talking and Hearing the Cosmopolitan City 1900-1970, The Talk About Town conference, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, August 2009 Cosmopolitanism and being Australian, British Australian Studies Association biennial conference, University of London, September 2008 I allus has a latte at eleven: Cosmopolitanism, food and drink, Australian Historical Association Biennial Conference, Melbourne, July 2008 Mourning Black and the Great War in Australia, Black in Fashion: Mourning to Night exhibition, National Gallery of Victoria, April 2008 1968: Local and Global, Keynote Address, 1968: Forty Years On symposium, University of Melbourne, February 2008 History, Memory and Methodology: Recent Commentary on Anzac and Sentimental Nationalism, When the Soldiers Return conference, University of Queensland, November 2007 The Inner City Pub and Leisure, Globalisation, Gentrification and the Reinvention of the Inner City symposium, Monash University, Prato & Kings College, London, September 2007 Collecting Womens Memories, British Womens History Network 16th annual conference, University of Winchester, England, September 2007 GO! Melbourne in the Sixties, Lyceum Club, Melbourne, October 2006 A Time, A Place, An Idea: Melbourne in the Sixties, Royal Historical Society of Victoria, Melbourne, October 2006 The Australian War Memorial: The People and the Curators, Latrobe Probus Club, Melbourne, June 2006 Their Family Histories Liveth For Evermore: Remembering the Great War Dead, Don Grant Lecture, Victorian Association Family History Organisations, Melbourne, October 2005 Gendering Great War Loss, 20th International Congress of Historical Sciences, Sydney, July 2005 Mourning Black in a Comparative Context: A Response to Keith Jeffery, 20th International Congress of Historical Sciences, Sydney, July 2005 Researching Womens Memories, Family History forum, Monash University, April 2005 Collective Lamentations and National Sorrow: Mourning the Anzacs, National Museum of Australia forum, The Anzac Legend: What it Means to Me, Canberra, April 2005 The Gates of Memory: Woolloomooloo and the Great War, Feast by the Murray, Australian Historical Association regional conference, Mildura, September 2003 Time Gentlemen, Please: The End of Six O'clock Closing and the New Pub, GO! Melbourne in the Sixties conference, La Trobe and Monash universities, Melbourne, October 2002 Mourning, Women and the Great War in Australia, Frontlines: Gender, Identity and War conference, Monash University, Melbourne, July 2002 Crazed Grief?: The Asylum, Loss, Memory and the Great War in Australia, Lives, Stories, Narratives international conference, Monash University, Clayton, July 2000


Awards and prizes

Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2008-2011.

Commended, Victorian Community History Awards 2007, Collaborative/Community Work Award for Go! Melbourne in the Sixties, Circa, Melbourne, 2005.

Highly Commended, Fellowship of Australian Writers/National Literary Awards 2004, Melbourne University Publishing Award (non-fiction) for Gates of Memory: Australian Peoples Experiences and Memories of Loss and the Great War, Curtin University Books, Fremantle, 2004

Australian Historical Association Serle Award for best postgraduate thesis in Australian History, 2002, for The Gates of Memory: Loss, Mourning and the Great War in Australia, PhD, School of Historical Studies, La Trobe University, 2001.

Dwight Final Examination Prize - university medal for Fine Arts, University of Melbourne, 1987


Research projects

Cosmopolitanism in Australian history
The 1960s in Australia
Material culture and popular culture

Research interests

Australian cultural history
The 1960s
History and memory
Popular culture
Histories of food and drink
The cosmopolitan in Australian History

Research grants

Australian Research Council Post Doctoral Fellowship (2008-11), Australian Centre, University of Melbourne: 'A History of Cosmopolitanism in Australia'




The Australian Pub, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2010. (with D. Kirkby and C. McConville)

Dining on Turtles: Food Feasts and Drinking in History, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2007. (with D. Kirkby)

Go! Melbourne in the Sixties, Circa Books,   Melbourne, 2005. (with S. O'Hanlon)

The Gates of Memory: Australian People’s Experiences and Memories of Loss and the Great War, Curtin University Books, Fremantle, 2004.

Articles and chapters

‘“To make the past present, to bring the distant near”: Affective history and historical distance in The War That Changed Us’, Australian Historical Studies, vol. 46, no. 3, September 2015

‘Domesticating Cosmopolitanism: Charmian Clift’s women’s column in the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Herald in the 1960s’, History Australia, vol. 11, no. 3, December 2014.

‘Historiographic Foodways: A survey of food and drink histories in Australia’, History Compass, vol. 11, no 8, August 2013

‘Cosmopolitanism and the Cosmopolitans: Australia in the world, the world in Australia’, in S. Robinson and J. Ustinoff (eds) The 1960s in Australia: Power, people and politics, Cambridge, Newcastle, 2012.

‘Flavoursome Scraps of Conversation: Talking and hearing the cosmopolitan city, c1900s-1960s’, History Australia, vol. 7, no. 2, August 2010.

‘Collecting Women’s Memories: The Australian War Memorial, the next-of-kin and Great War soldiers’ diaries and letters as objects of memory in the 1920s and 1930s’, Women’s History Review, vol. 19, no. 1, February 2010.

‘Gentrification and Cosmopolitan Leisure in Inner-Urban Melbourne, Australia, 1960s-1970s’, Urban Policy and Research, vol. 27, no. 3, September 2009.

‘”Satan Finds Some Mischief”?: Drinkers’ responses to the six o’clock closing of pubs in Australia, 1910s-1930s’, Journal of Australian Studies, vol. 32, no. 3, September 2008.

‘Their Family Histories Liveth For Evermore: Remembering the Great War dead’, in The Don Grant Lecture, 1997-2006, Victorian Association of Family History Organisations, Melbourne, 2008.

‘Pigs, Hogs and Aussie Blokes: The emergence of the term “six o’clock swill”’, History Australia, vol. 4, no. 1, June 2007.

‘Competing for Cultural Honours: Cosmopolitanism, food, drink and the 1956 Olympics, Melbourne’, in D. Kirkby and T. Luckins (eds), Dining on Turtles: Food Feasts and Drinking in History, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2007.

‘Of Dining, Turtles and the Importance of History in Food and Food in History’, in D.Kirkby and T. Luckins (eds), Dining on Turtles: Food Feasts and Drinking in History, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2007. (with D.Kirkby and B. Santich)

‘”The Winnies and Pats…Brighten our Pubs”: Transforming the gendered spatial economy in the Australian pub, 1920-1970’, Journal of Australian Studies, no. 87, 2006. (with D.Kirkby)

‘”Time, Gentlemen, Please”: The end of six o'clock closing and the post-swill pub’, in T. Luckins and S. O'Hanlon (eds), Go! Melbourne in the Sixties, Circa Books, Melbourne, 2005.

‘Setting the Scene: The idea of the “Sixties”’, in T. Luckins and S. O'Hanlon (eds), Go! Melbourne in the Sixties, Circa Books, Melbourne, 2005. (with S. O'Hanlon)

Crazed With Grief?: The asylum and the Great War in Australia’, in C. Coleborne and D. MacKinnon (eds), 'Madness' in Australia: Histories, Heritage and the Asylum, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 2003.

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