Dr Amanda Laugesen

Director, Australian National Dictionary Centre
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: + 61 2 6125 0474

Areas of expertise

  • Australian History (Excl. Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander History) 210303
  • North American History 210312
  • Lexicography 200407
  • Cultural Studies 2002

Research interests

The history of Australian English; history of the book, reading, and publishing; library history;  US and Australian cultural and intellectual history; social and cultural history of war


Associate Professor Amanda Laugesen is Director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre, ANU. She completed her PhD in the History Program at the ANU in 2000, and subsequently worked as a research editor at the Australian National Dictionary Centre, ANU, as well as undertaking teaching in the History Department. She produced two lexical monographs for Oxford University Press (Convict Words: the Language of the Australian Convict Era and Diggerspeak: the Language of Australians at War) while working at the ANDC, as well as working on a number of other projects relating to the history of Australian English. Amanda was appointed as a Lecturer in History at the University of Southern Queensland in 2004, and Lecturer in History and American Studies at Flinders University in 2006. She has extensive teaching experience in US, Australian, and World History, and has experience in the development of postgraduate and online course design and delivery. Since taking over as Director of the ANDC, she has co-edited the seventh edition of the Australian Pocket Oxford Dictionary (2013) and the third edition of the Australian Primary Dictionary (2015). She was Managing Editor of the second edition of the Australian National Dictionary (2016)
is co-editor of the fifth edition of the Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary (2017).

Amanda's research includes numerous books and articles in the areas of historical memory, the history of reading, libraries and publishing, cultural history (with a particular interest in the cultural history of war), the history of Australian English, and lexicography. Recent books are Furphies and Whizzbangs: Anzac Slang from the Great War (2015) and Boredom is the Enemy: the Intellectual and Imaginative Worlds of Australian Soldiers in the Great War and Beyond (2012). The latter is a study of Australian soldiers’ experiences of education and entertainment during wartime.  Her current research areas include: cultural history of Australian English and slang; cultural history of war; and the global history of publishing, libraries and literacy. The monograph Taking Books to the World: American Publishers and the Cultural Cold War, a study of American publishers in the developing world, was published in 2017.

Researcher's projects

Current research projects and interests include: a cultural history of attitudes to language in Australia; language, sound and war; a biography of the Australian writer Henrietta Drake-Brockman; and the global history of publishing, libraries and literacy.



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Updated:  09 December 2023 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers