Emeritus Professor Jill Julius Matthews

BA (Hons) Adelaide PhD Adelaide
Professorial Fellow, HRC, RSHA
College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Culture, Gender, Sexuality 200205
  • Screen And Media Culture 200212
  • Biography 210304
  • Australian History (Excl. Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander History) 210303
  • Historical Studies 2103

Research interests

History of modernity, sexuality, popular culture especially silent and pornographic film, Australian social and cultural history, feminist history.


Jill came to the ANU in 1984, after teaching History at Flinders, Adelaide, Sydney and Wollongong universities. Appointed to the Women's Studies Program, she became inaugural Director of the Centre for Women's Studies in 1995. In 1997, she took up an appointment in the History Department. From 2008-10, she was Head of the School of Social Sciences in the Faculty of Arts. From 2011-13, she was Head of the School of Cultural Inquiry, Research School of Humanities and the Arts, CASS.

In 1993, she was co-Convenor of one of the most popular theme programs at the Humanities Research Centre, 'Sexualities and Culture'. She has been a Convenor of the Australian Network for Research in Women's History, and was a Ministerial appointee to the first Board of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. She has been awarded Research Fellowships at the State Library of NSW and the NFSA. Her book Dance Hall and Picture Palace won the inaugural award for best monograph from the Film and History Association of Australia and New Zealand, and was short-listed for the Queensland Premier's Literary Award for History. She recently won an award for excellence in supervision from the College of Arts and Social Sciences.

She retired from the ANU at the beginning of 2014. Since then shewas Convenor of the 2014 HRC Conference: "History, Cinema, Digital Archives", and co-edited a special issue of Feminist Media Histories on "Archives and Archivists" (2016).

Researcher's projects

Jill's field of research covers histories of: modernity; popular culture;  sexuality; silent cinema; pornography. Australian and transnational cultural, social and gender history.


Past student projects


2018      Fiona Fraser, 'A City for Music Lovers: Creating a Classical Music Culture in Sydney 1889-1939.'  (This began in 2005 as a Musicology PhD exegesis which then separated out into two PhDs, the first in Music, Capital: A Contemporary Opera in Two Acts, awarded 2015; the second, this History dissertation, awarded 2018)

2016      Susan Ford, ‘Conceptions of Space in Homer and Herodotus'

2009       Melissa McEwen, ‘The Construction of the 1960s in Feature Films of the 1980s’

2006       Silke Andris, ‘Essential Challenges: The (Re-)Making of the Body in Women’s Boxing’

2001       Judith Ion, ‘”She Gave Me That Look”. Narratives of Same-Sex Desire (and the Impact of Feminism) in Canberra 1965-85’

2000       Michael Flood, ‘Lust, Trust and Latex. Why Young Heterosexual Men Don’t Use Condoms’

1999       Eleanor Cohen, ‘”Man or the Maddened Beast?” Male Sexuality and Coming of Age in Australia 1918-1938’

1997       Helen Keane, ‘What’s Wrong with Addiction?’

1997       Berenice Carrington, ‘Pekina, An Ethnography of Memory. An Ethnographic Interpretation of Women's Lives in a Small, Insular Farming Community’

1991       Mandy Leveratt, ‘The Relationship Between Socialism and Feminism in England 1883-1921’

1984-6    Wendy Harcourt, ‘The Medical Discourse Relating to Women's Bodies in Late Nineteenth Century Australia, Melbourne 1870-1910’

1984-5    Elizabeth Plumridge, ‘New Zealand Women Painters 1890-1914. The Negotiation of Circumstance’


1990-3    Cordelia Hull, ‘”The Best Place in the Commonwealth”. The Lives of Mothers in Post War Canberra’


1988       Cordelia Hull, ‘The Modern Home-Maker. Housework and Motherhood in 1920s Australia’


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

Return to top

Updated:  27 May 2022 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers