Dr Matthew Allen
Lecturer - Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education; School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Phone: +61 2 6773 2125
BA (Hons), History, University of Sydney; PhD, History, University of Sydney
Dr Matthew Allen is a Historian and Criminologist whose diverse research is all focused on the eighteenth and nineteenth-century British world and particularly colonial New South Wales. He is currently writing a history of alcohol in the colony which will explore the political symbolism of both celebratory drinking rituals and the regulation of public drunkenness in the period 1788-1856. Another major project, supported by a University Research Support grant and a BCSS Seed Grant, examines the changing nature of deviance in New South Wales through a quantitative and qualitative study of magistrates and summary justice in the era of gubernatorial government, c.1810-1850. He is also researching secularisation and the role of religious faith, and especially protestant dissent, in the emerging colonial public sphere, c.1820-1840. All of these projects share an interest in understanding the unique and extraordinary transition of New South Wales from penal colony to responsible democracy, and the way that this process was shaped by the conflict between liberal ideals and authoritarian controls within the British world.
History of crime and deviance; history of colonial NSW; history of popular culture; history of Australian politics; history of eighteenth and nineteenth-century Britain.
I’m especially interested in supervising students interested in the history of crime in the British world, broadly conceived. Interested students would identify a specific crime, or an aspect of policing and punishment and research its history within a specific jurisdiction and time period. For example, you could study the history of the criminalisation of marijuana in twentieth-century Australia, the history of vagrancy in nineteenth-century England, or the history of flogging in colonial NSW. If you have an interest in understanding the origins of our criminal justice system, feel free to contact me and discuss your ideas.
School of HASS Honours Coordinator
Book Review Editor, Journal of Australian Colonial History
UNE Representative, History Council of New South Wales
- “Convict Surveillance and Reform in Theory and Practice: Jeremy Bentham vs New South Wales”, Eyes and Ears of Power: Actors and phenomena in histories of surveillance, (Forthcoming with Routledge)
- “Problem Substances: Temperance and the Control of Addictive Drugs in Nineteenth Century Australia”, Social History of Alcohol and Drugs (under review)
- “Samuel Marsden: A Contested Life”, St John’s Cemetery Project (under review)
- “Convict Police and the Enforcement of British Order: Policing the Rum Economy in Early New South Wales,” Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, Online Pre-publication, January 8, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1177/0004865819896398.
- Lyn Wailes and Matthew Allen, “The Failure of Political Temperance: The Politics of No-License in Broken Hill, 1883-1914,” Journal of Australian Colonial History 21 (2019): 121–50. https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=856395696349055;res=IELAPA
- “Distilling Liberty: Reconsidering the Politics of Alcohol in Early New South Wales,” Australian Historical Studies 50, no. 3 (2019): 1–15, https://doi.org/10.1080/1031461X.2019.1604776
- ‘The Myth of the Flogging Parson: Samuel Marsden and Severity of Punishment in the Age of Reform’, Australian Historical Studies, 48 (2017), 486–501. https://doi.org/10.1080/1031461X.2017.1377269
- ‘The Underside of Responsible Government - Review of: Angela Woollacott, Settler Society in the Australian Colonies: Self-Government and Imperial Culture (Oxford University Press, 2015)’, History Australia, 14 (2017), 296–97. https://doi.org/10.1080/14490854.2017.1321050
- ‘The Politics of the Pew: Faith, Liberty, and Authority in a Sydney Church in 1828’, Journal of Religious History (2016), Online Early. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9809.12407
- ‘Grog by Tom Gilling: Building a Boozy Nation’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 December 2016. http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/grog-by-tom-gilling-building-a-boozy-nation-20161205-gt49bo.html
- ‘Curfews and Lockouts: Battles over Drinking Time Have a Long History in NSW’, The Conversation, 4 June 2016. http://theconversation.com/curfews-and-lockouts-battles-over-drinking-time-have-a-long-history-in-nsw-58220
- ‘Policing a free society: Drunkenness and liberty in colonial New South Wales’, History Australia 12, no. 2 (2015), 144–165. https://doi.org/10.1080/14490854.2015.11668574
- “Alcohol in Australia and New Zealand,” in Scott C. Martin (ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Alcohol: Social, Cultural, and Historical Perspectives, Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, 2015, vol. 1:195–197.
- 'Alcohol and Authority in Early New South Wales: The Symbolic Significance of the Spirit Trade, 1788-1808', History Australia, vol. 9, no. 3 (2012). https://doi.org/10.2104/ha-v9n3p
'Sectarianism, Respectability and Cultural Identity: The St Patrick's Total Abstinence Society and Irish Catholic Temperance in mid Nineteenth-Century Sydney,' Journal of Religious History, vol. 35, no. 3 (September 2011), 374-392. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9809.2011.01076.x
- ‘Commissioning Evidence: Deconstructing the Bigge Archive’, Colonialism and its Narratives: rethinking the colonial archive in Australia, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, December 2018.
- ‘Sober and Orderly – A Short History of Policing Public Drunkenness in New South Wales’, ANZ Society of Criminology Conference, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, December 2018.
- ‘Surveillance and Reform in Theory and Practice: Policing a Convict Colony, New South Wales, 1788-1809’, Eyes and Ears of Power. Surveillance, History, Privacy. University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, September 2018.
- ‘Toasting the Governor: Drinking as Political Performance in Colonial New South Wales’, Australian Historical Association Conference, Australian National University, Canberra, July 2018.
- ‘Popular Culture as Political Performance: The Meaning of Public Drinking in Colonial NSW’, NSW History Week 2017: Pop!, Camden Library, Sydney, September 2017
- ‘Counterfactual History’ – Exploring New Horizons in History Extension, Australian Independent Schools Conference Centre, Sydney, June 2017.
- ‘Samuel Marsden’s Neighbours – A Magistrate and the Construction of a Neighbourhood in Parramatta’, NSW History Week 2016: Neighbours, UNE Future Campus, Parramatta, September 2016.
- ‘Temperance and the Invention of Australian Masculinity’, Voyages & Visions: A Symposium in Honour of John Gascoigne and Ian Tyrell, University of NSW, Sydney, July 2016.
- ‘Bigge Data: Official Inquiry, Summary Offences and the Construction of Colonial Crime’, Digital Panopticon: Penal History in a Digital Age, University of Tasmania, Hobart, June 2016.
- ‘Samuel Marsden Lays Down the Law: Eighteenth-Century Justice in Nineteenth-Century New South Wales’, Law's Empire or Empire's Law? Legal Discourses of Colonies and Commonwealths, ANZ Law and History Conference, Coffs Harbour, December 2014.
- ‘Disorder and Disease: the Risks of Consuming Alcohol’, State, Society, Stigma: Rethinking Disease in a Global Age, Monash University, June 2014.
- ‘Drink and Deviance in Colonial NSW: Magistrates and the Construction of a Responsible Society’, Scholarly Musings, Mitchell Library, Sydney, May 2014.
- ‘Drunken gentlemen? Honour, respectability and drunkenness in Colonial NSW’, Crossing Cultures: Gender, Space and Honour in Colonial Societies, University of Sydney, Sydney, December 2013.
- ‘Social Mobility and the Transformation of Summary Justice in NSW, 1820-1840’, Motilities and Mobilisations, Australian Historical Association Conference, Wollongong, July 2013.