The Centre for the History of European Discourses was incorporated in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities in August 2015.

The information in this website is therefore out of date but retained for archival and staff purposes.

The Centre's academic staff are supervising a number of doctoral candidates. To contact the postgraduates on the list below, click on the appropriate name. For recent graduates see below.

Michelle Aroney

  • Past Degrees: BA Hons Class I (UQ)
  • Supervisors: Prof. Peter Harrison & Prof. Philip Almond
  • Area of Research: The western world has typically been characterised by a long-term shift towards secularisation, both culturally and academically. My project aims to be part of larger historical work that questions the validity and completeness of this grand narrative. My research explores the relations between religion, science and secularisation in respect of understandings about the human soul in seventeenth and eighteenth century Britain. I seek to answer two related questions: (1) was there a shift in expertise on the soul from religious and philosophical authorities to secular and ‘scientific’ ones? and (2) did understandings of the soul become less ‘religious’ as they became more ‘scientific’? The premise of this study is that there was not so much a handover of authority on the soul so much as an acknowledgement that the subject was shared territory and that information could be gathered from various perspectives and conceptual frameworks. 

Sarah Bartels

  • Past Degrees: BA (Hons) (UQ)
  • Supervisor:  Prof. Phil Almond
  • Area of Research:  I am currently studying for a PhD in history and completed my confirmation milestone in October of last year. My thesis is a work of cultural and religious history, outlining and analysing views and representations of the Devil in Victorian England. It examines the contrasts and tensions between doctrinal, creative, and popular views of the Devil and showcases the intersections, which existed in nineteenth-century England, between belief, doubt, and imaginative endeavour. The topic of the Devil provides a way of examining, in microcosm, the Victorians'complex and frequently ambivalent relationship with religion and supernatural. 

Steven Gil

  • Past Degrees:  BA Hons Class I (UQ)
  • Supervisor:  Prof. Phil Almond
  • Area of Research:  My thesis analyses the ways in which science fiction television represents science and works through cultural debates about the status and role of scientific knowledge. Within this study, the history of science’s incorporation into and influence on narrative fiction is also examined. I am broadly interested in the cultural history of science, science fiction, and the impact of science on popular epistemology.

Kim Hajek

  • Past Degrees: BSc Hons Class I (Physics) UQ, BA Hons Class I (French Language and Literature) UQ
  • Supervisors: Prof. Peter Cryle & Prof. Tim Mehigan
  • Area of Research: My thesis investigates the cultural and intellectual history of medical research into hypnotism in France, during its 'golden age' at the end of the nineteenth century. In particular, I am interested in how researchers attempted to construct hypnotism as a proper positivist science, akin to Physics or Chemistry, and in possible dialogue over this question between scientific and literary texts. My work mainly involves close reading of key scientific texts to elucidate the issues at stake in claiming and defending hypnotism’s scientificity. Literary representations of hypnotism are probed and contrasted with the scientific texts in order to ask whether scientific and literary discourses interacted in any meaningful way around the notion of a serious scientific hypnotism.

Pete Jordan

  • Past Degrees: BE (Hons) (QUT), PhD (Cornell), MDiv (Duke)
  • Supervisor: Prof. Peter Harrison
  • Area of Research: My research focuses on the intersections of Christian theology and the new natural philosophies in seventeenth-century England. I am especially interested in the history of atheism, as well as the evolution of Christian thinking on such topics as divine providence in light of debates between rival philosophies of nature. 

Andrea Josipovic

  • Past Degrees: MA (Cologne), MCouns (UQ)
  • Supervisors: Prof. Peter Cryle & Prof. Karen Healy 
  • Area of Research: The aim of my thesis is to bring together current research and child protection practises regarding female sexual offending with nineteenth century discourse examining and developing classifications of mental disorders. Central to my discussion is the emergence of sexuality as a concept and discourse on femininity. The implicit nature of female perpetrated child sexual abuse has led to massive discrepancy between females convicted of a sex crime against children and the number of victims acknowledging sexual abuse by a female.  With exploring formative ideas around the constitution of child sexual abuse perpetrated by women, the cultural focal point of the inquiry will be on the influence of Western European Countries such as the United Kingdom, France and Germany. Marrying the genealogical development of an intellectual history of female perpetrated child sexual abuse with an exploration of how specific work practices and policies have come into being, an understanding is thought of how social work practice is applied in context. The way discourse is used, both ordering and shaping cognitive frameworks and building a conglomerate of ideas around the probability of women sexually abusing children, will be examined in detail.

Joshua Klose

  • Past Degrees:  Bach Law Hon (UQ); BA (UQ); Grad. Dip. Legal Prac. (ANU)
  • Supervisor:  Dr. Tom Aechtner
  • Area of Research:  Since the publication of The Genesis Flood (1961), young-earth creationists have developed an elaborate epistemology rooted in conservative protestant doctrines of God and scripture. This framework focuses on the primeval events of a recent creation in six days, the fall, the flood of Noah and the Tower of Babel – not only because the Bible explicitly describes these events but because they are central pillars in the theological structure of salvation-history. This thesis will examine how creationists recognise miracles in these events and attempt to link them with scientific data. That study will draw out the intractable difficulties of deriving scientific implications from a framework punctuated by supernatural interventions of uncertain scope.

Irena Larking

  • Past Degrees:
  • Supervisors:  Prof. Phil Almond & Dr. Dolly MacKinnon
  • Area of Research:  My thesis explores a cultural history of the English Reformation c. 1450 - 1662, focusing on the diocese of Norwich. Its central question is how people practiced their faith within the context of the parish church during this period and how this changed over time. In order to analyse this change I examine how parish churches were fabricated: what objects were used or not used, destroyed or replaced; how was the church space used and by whom, and how did individuals or groups of individuals interact with each other within that space; what ceremonies were conducted for the purpose of worship, and how did the objects and the use of space employed for such purposes affect the experience of those that worshiped within its walls? By looking at the physical objects, space and ceremony of parish churches, it is hoped that a greater degree of insight can be gained into what the process of the English Reformation meant for communities and how this played out in practice.

Martyn Lloyd

  • Past Degrees: BA (QUT), BA (Hons) (UQ)
  • Supervisors: Prof. Peter Cryle & Dr. Aurelia Armstrong
  • Area of Research: My dissertation will examine the Enlightenment foundations of the philosophy of the Marquis De Sade. Sade’s thought is deeply embedded in that of the French Enlightenment a fact which was overlooked by the twentieth century avant garde who used Sade’s oeuvre for to their own purposes and generally without considering its historical situation. My project will therefore entail a close reading of eighteenth century philosophy including: Condillac, Helvétius, Diderot, d’Alembert, d’Holbach, La Mettrie and Voltaire. It will also entail a major study of Rousseau who was arguably both Sade’s principal inspiration and antagonist. Critical to this project will be an investigation of the genre of the conte philosophique and the manner in which it can be understood to operate as a nexus between philosophy and literature. Tangential to my dissertation is research on the philosophy of Michel Foucault with a focus on the “middle” and “late” periods.

Sheilagh O'Brien

  • Past Degrees:
  • Supervisor:  Prof. Phil Almond
  • Area of Research:  Finding Witches in ‘a world turn’d upside down’: The East Anglia Witch Trials, 1645-1648.

James Ungureanu

  • Past Degrees: BA(Hons) (UCD), MA(magna cum laude) (TIU)
  • Supervisors: Prof. Peter Harrison & Dr. Ian Hesketh
  • Area of Research: I am interested in narratives of "conflict" between science and religion in Victorian Britain. I am specifically interested in the impact of John William Draper's History of the Conflict between Religion and Science (1874) and Andrew Dickson White's two-volume History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom (1896) on the British public after their respective publications. My research focuses on how information and opinions concerning the conflict narrative were developed, defined, and disseminated throughout the social fabric of Victorian Britain. My research seeks to answer questions like the following: What did various classes of British society know about the alleged conflict between science and religion? To what extent did they consider it important? What attitudes did they take towards it? In what way were their attitudes influenced by established ideas and beliefs? What parts were vigorously controverted or contested? What parts were uncontested? What repercussions did the narrative have on historical interpretations? On historiographers of science? What arguments were used in support of the narrative, and which of them were considered most important? 


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Recently graduated Phds supervised by CHED staff

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