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Professor Deborah Oxley

BA, MA, PhD, FRHistS
University Academic Fellow since 2007
Professor of Social Science History
My key research interests: Height and health in history; Body mass - a new frontier in anthropometrics; Micro-economics of the household; Penal transportation to Australia; Coercive labour systems; Colonial Australian development; Crime and punishment in Great Britain and Ireland.
Professor Deborah Oxley
  • Background

    • University Lecturer in Social History (from 2007)
    • VCs Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Economics (1994-6); ARC Research Fellow in Economic History (1997-2000); ARC Senior Research Fellow in Economic History (2000-1); Lecturer then Senior Lecturer in Social Science and Policy (2002-5); and finally Adjunct Associate Professor in Economics, University of New South Wales (from 1994 to 2007)
    • Lecturer in Economic History, University of Melbourne (from 1990 to 1993)
    • Undergraduate and Postgraduate, New South Wales (from 1982 to 1989)
  • Research interests

    • Study of Australian convicts (including gender studies, comparative coercive labour systems, labour markets, colonial economic development, and migration)
    • Nineteenth-century Britain and Ireland, focussing on the impact of economic change on the economy and society; in particular, the microeconomics of the household, living standards, health and welfare, and the history of crime and punishment
  • Selected publications

    • (with Sara Horrell and David Meredith), ‘Measuring misery: Body mass, ageing and gender inequality in Victorian London’, Explorations in Economic History 46(2009), pages 93–119.
    • (with David Meredith), ‘Contracting convicts: The convict labour market in Van Diemen’s Land 1840-1857’, Australian Economic History Review (2005).
    • ‘Living standards of women in prefamine Ireland’, Social Science History (2004).
    • ‘“The seat of death and terror”: Urbanisation, stature and smallpox’, Economic History Review (2003).
    • (with Sara Horrell), ‘Work and prudence: Household responses to income variation in nineteenth-century Britain’, European Review of Economic History (2000).
    • Convict maids: The forced migration of women to Australia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).
  • Teaching and supervision

    • Convenor of the M.Sc. and M.Phil. degrees in Economic and Social History, teaching in several of the core courses
    • An Advanced Paper on the history of Crime and Punishment
    • Undergraduate course on quantitative methods for historians
    • Biometric measures of wellbeing in history
    • The family
    • Crime and punishment
    • Australian colonial history, especially labour and demographic
  • Research awards and grants

    • Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship: Weighty Matters (from 2014 to 2017).
    • Collaborative: AHRC Digital Transformations: The Digital Panopticon (from 2013 to 2016).