Monash is among the leading centres for historical research in Australia.  It is known widely for its scholarship in several distinctive areas, which include: the history of urban life, religion and culture in a range of different historical periods; the importance of local history and the changing meaning and importance of neighbourhood and place in social, cultural and political terms; biography, memory and life writing, focusing on questions about the relationships between individual lives and broader historical patterns; the relationship between memory, history and community; the study of European empire in Asia; the importance of gender and sexuality; questions about colonialism and race; and the nature of history in public arenas beyond the academy.

SOPHIS researchers have won numerous research grants including twenty ARC Discovery Grants, two Australian Professorial Fellowships, two Future Fellowships, three Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards and several ARC Linkage Grants.  Some of these are listed below.  They have also received numerous fellowships from leading universities including Cambridge, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Harvard, John Hopkins, the Max Planck Institute, Oxford and Princeton and funding bodies including the  Mellon Foundation.  This research has resulted in the publication of a large number of monographs, many by prestigious university presses such as Cambridge, Chicago, Johns Hopkins and Oxford.  Some recent publications can be seen here. SOPHIS academics also edit leading refereed journals such as South Asia (ranked A* by the ERA) and book series such as I Tatti Studies and Brepols’ Europa Sacra.

Postgraduate students enjoy a rich teaching and research environment and a staff with strong interests in a range of historical subjects. Regular seminars are held, giving staff, postgraduate students and visitors the opportunity to present their current research and learn of the research of others.


  • This project examines Australia’s overseas military communities, which saw over 100,000 Australian service personnel and their families reside in Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong between 1945 and 1988. By undertaking the first detailed analysis of these communities as major sites of cultural contact, the project seeks to integrate the experiences of service personnel, their ... Read more
  • Current Research (Assoc. Professor Peter Howard) Peter is working on a number of projects related to “cultures of belief in Renaissance Florence”, funded by an ARC Discovery Grant. He has recently completed a contribution to a volume in honour of Professor Charles Zika, a long-time mentor at the University of Melbourne.  Peter’s chapter explores the trial ... Read more
  • Current Research (Dr. Susie Protschky) Susie is editor of a new collection of essays titled Camera Ethica: Lenses on Modernity, Civilisation and Being Governed in Late-Colonial Indonesia, currently under review with Amsterdam University Press. The volume includes essays by Susie Protschky, Jean Gelman Taylor, Rudolf Mràzek, Henk Schulte Nordholt, Pamela Pattynama, Karen Strassler, Paul Bijl and ... Read more
  • Current Research (Dr. Adam Clulow) Adam’s first monograph, The Company and the Shogun: The Dutch Encounter with Tokugawa Japan, will be published by Columbia University Press later this year. The book, which comes out of Adam’s dissertation research, examines the seventeenth century encounter between the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and Tokugawa Japan. The Company was ... Read more
  • Current Research (Dr. Megan Cassidy-Welch) Megan’s third book is entitled Remembrance Projects: War Memory and the Crusades, 1215-1250. This book is the first sustained study of war remembrance in premodern European culture. It concerns a pivotal moment in the history of crusading and in the development of thinking about war remembrance in Europe, particularly focussing on ... Read more
  •  ARC Grants ARC Linkage: Imagining Poverty: Conceptualising and Representing Poverty and the Poor in Mendicant Inspired Literature, Preaching and Visual Art 1220–1520 Chief investigators: Professor Constant J Mews (Monash University); Dr Peter F Howard (Monash University); Dr Anne M Scott (University of Western Australia); Dr Janice M Pinder (Monash University); Dr Claire F Renkin (MCD Specialist University); Father ... Read more