Grace Karskens is Professor of History in the School of Humanities and Languages at the University of New South Wales. Her research areas include Australian colonial history, urban history, cross-cultural history and environmental history. Grace is interested in promoting historical understandings and awareness to wide audiences and has served as a Trustee of the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales and of the Dictionary of Sydney. Her books include Inside the Rocks: The Archaeology of a Neighbourhood and the multi-award winning The Rocks: life in early Sydney. Her latest book, The Colony: A History of Early Sydney won the 2010 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for non-fiction and the US Urban History Association's prize for Best Book 2010. Grace was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2010. At the moment she is completing her next book People of the River to be published by Allen & Unwin.

Subject areas

Publications

Books
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Karskens GE, 2009, The Colony: A history of early Sydney, 1st, Allen & Unwin, Sydney
2009
Karskens GE, 1999, Inside the Rocks: the archaeology of a neighbourhood,, Original, Hale and Iremonger Publishers, Sydney
1999
Karskens G, 1991, Holroyd A Social History of Western Sydney, UNSW Press
1991
Karskens GE, 1988, Cox's Way: An Historical and Archaeological Study of Cox's Road and Early Crossings of the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, 1, Lands Department of New South Wales, Sydney
1988
Book Chapters
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Stockton E; Karskens G; Jackson M, 2019, ''Yellomundee: A Human Landscape'', in Knox K; Stockton E (ed.), , Blue Mountain Education and Research Trust, Lawson NSW, pp. 33 - 44
2019
Stockton E; Karskens G; Jackson M, 2019, ''Yellomundee: A Human Landscape'', in Knox K; Stockton E (ed.), Aboriginal Heritage of the Blue Mountains: Recent Research and Reflections, edn. 1, Blue Mountain Education and Research Trust, Lawson NSW, pp. 33 - 44
2019
Karskens G, 2017, '‘On the Rocks – A Brief History’', in Dunn, J; Peake B; Piscopo A (ed.), Sirius, edn. 1, Piper Press, Sydney, pp. 10 - 11
2017
Karskens G, 2017, '‘On the Rocks – A Brief History’', in Dunn, J; Peake B; Piscopo A (ed.), , Piper Press, Sydney, pp. 10 - 11
2017
Karskens GE, 2013, 'The early colonial presence 1788-1822', in Bashford A; Macintyre S (ed.), The Cambridge History of Australia, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, pp. 91 - 120,
2013
Karskens GE, 2012, 'Naked Possession: Building and the Politics of Legitimate Occupation in Early New South Wales, Australia', in Shammas C (ed.), European Expansion and Indigenous Response, Brill Academic Publishers, Leiden, pp. 325 - 357
2012
Karskens GE, 2010, 'Introduction', in Ashton P; Butler Bowden C; Cossu A; Johnson W (ed.), Painting the Rocks: The Loss of Old Sydney, edn. first, HIstoric Houses Trust of New South Wales, Sydney, pp. 11 - 13
2010
Karskens GE, 2006, 'Making City Lives: Urban Achaeology and Australian Social, Cultural and Urban history', in Green A; Leech R (ed.), Cities in the World 1500-2000, edn. 1, Maney, UK, pp. 269 - 281
2006
Karskens GE, 2003, 'The archaeology of cities: what is it we want to know?', in Murray T (ed.), Exploring the modern city: recent approaches to urban history and archaeology, edn. First, Historic Houses Trust (NSW), Sydney, pp. 87 - 111
2003
Karskens GE, 2001, 'Small things, big pictures: new perspectives from the archaeology of Sydney`s rocks neighbourhood', in Mayne A; Murray T (ed.), The archaeology of urban landscapes: explorations in slumland, edn. Original, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 69 - 85
2001
Karskens GE, 1998, ''The Great North Road: Historical Overview Convict Trail Project, 1998, 6-28', in Banks L (ed.), Exploring the Great North Road: 1998 Forum Papers, edn. 1, Convict Trail Project Inc, Sydney, pp. 6 - 28
1998
Karskens GE, 1998, 'Sydney', in Davison G; Hirst J; Macintyre S (ed.), Oxford Companion to Australian History, edn. 1, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, pp. 623 - 624
1998
Karskens GE, 1992, 'Spinning Yarns: An Oral History of Working Life at Bonds Cotton Spinning Mill, Pendle Hill, 1923-1988', in Shields J (ed.), All Our Labours: Oral Histories of Working Life in Twentieth Century Sydney, edn. 1, UNSW Press, Sydney, pp. 10 - 46
1992
Karskens GE, 1989, 'The House on the Hill: The State Conservatorium and `First Class Music' in New South Wales', in Coltheart L (ed.), Significant Sites: History and public works in New South Wales, edn. 1, Hale & Iremonger, Sydney, pp. 121 - 141
1989
Karskens GE, 1987, 'Between City and Country: 1920s Concord', in Kelly M (ed.), Sydney: City of Suburbs, edn. 1, UNSW Press, Sydney, pp. 125 - 148
1987
Conference Papers
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Karskens GE, 2006, 'Urban People, Urban Places, Urban Resilience: A paper in honour of Pat Troy', in Vulnerability in Australian Cities: Towards Sustainability and Security, Vulnerability in Australian Cities: A Symposium in Honour of Pat Troy, Brisbane, pp. 1 - 20, presented at Vulnerability in Australian Cities: A Symposium in Honour of Pat Troy, Brisbane, 05 May 2006 - 05 May 2006,
2006
Karskens GE, 2005, 'State of Australian Cities Environment Stream: Rapporteur's Report', in State of Australian Cities 2005, Urban Research Program, Griffith University, Brisbane, pp. 1 - 5, presented at State of Australian Cities 2005, Brisbane, 30 November 2005 - 02 December 2005,
2005
Karskens GE, 2003, 'The Sydney Gazette and early Sydney: exploring the 'lived' town', in Kirkpatrick R (ed.), Papers from the Australian Newspaper Press Bicentenary Symposium, Australian Newspaper History Group and State Library of New South Wales, Sydney, pp. 34 - 50, presented at Australian Newspaper Press Bicentenary Symposium, Sydney, -
2003
Karskens GE, 2001, 'Crucial Fragments: Archives and Urban Social History', in Proceedings of the Convergence: Joint National Conference of the Australian Society of Archivists and Records Management Association of Australia, NSW Society of Archivists and Records Managements Association of Australia, Hobart, September 2001, presented at Convergence: Joint National Conference of the Australian Society of Archivists and Records Management Association of Australia, Hobart, September 2001, -
2001
Karskens GE, 1988, 'We Thought it was Fantastic! Concord, Sydney in the 1920s', in Bairstow D (ed.), Archaeology of Colonisation: Australia in the World Context, Australian Society for Historical Archaeology, Sydney, pp. 187 - 201, presented at Australian Society for Historical Archaeology Conference, Sydney, -
1988
Edited Books
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Karskens GE; Rogowsky M, (eds.), 2004, Histories of Green Square, 1, Sydney City Council and School of History, UNSW, Sydney,
2004
Journal articles
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Karskens G, 2019, '‘Life and death on Dyarubbin: reports from the river’', Griffith Review, pp. 102 - 106
2019
Karskens G, 2019, 'Nah Doongh's Song', Australian Book Review, vol. 413, pp. 31 - 37
2019
Karskens G, 2019, '‘Life and death on Dyarubbin: reports from the river’', Griffith Review, pp. 102 - 106
2019
Parkes R; Ross S; Sobotkova A; Evans T; Crook P; Lupack S; Karskens G; Leslie F; Merson J, 2018, '‘Ruined Castle Shale Mining Settlement, Katoomba NSW: Report on a Pilot Survey’', Australasian historical archaeology : journal of the Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology, vol. 36, pp. 86 - 92
2018
Karskens G, 2018, 'Correspondence, Mark McKenna’s, ‘Moment of Truth: History and Australia’s Future’', Quarterly Essay, pp. 112 - 114
2018
Parkes R; Ross S; Sobotkova A; Evans T; Crook P; Lupack S; Karskens G; Leslie F; Merson J, 2018, '‘Ruined Castle Shale Mining Settlement, Katoomba NSW: Report on a Pilot Survey’', Australasian historical archaeology : journal of the Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology, vol. 36, pp. 86 - 92
2018
Karskens G, 2018, 'Correspondence, Mark McKenna’s, ‘Moment of Truth: History and Australia’s Future’', Quarterly Essay, pp. 112 - 114
2018
Karskens GE, 2018, 'Fire in the forests? Exploring the human-ecological history of Australia’s first frontier', Environment and History,
2018
Karskens GE, 2017, 'Phillip and the Eora: Governing race in New South Wales', The Sydney Journal, vol. 5, pp. 39 - 55,
2017
Karskens GE, 2016, 'Floods and Flood-mindedness in Early Colonial Australia', Environmental History, vol. 21, pp. 315 - 342,
2016
Karskens GE, 2015, 'The Governor and his convict architect: Alisdair McGregor’s A forger’s progress and Luke Slattery’s The First Dismissal', Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age,
2015
Karskens GE, 2014, 'The Blue Mountains Crossings: New Histories from the Old Legends', Journal of Australian Colonial History, vol. 16, pp. 197 - 225,
2014
Karskens GE, 2013, 'Seeking Sydney from the ground up: foundations and horizons in Sydney's history', Sydney Journal, vol. 4, pp. 180 - 203,
2013
Karskens GE, 2013, 'The settler evolution: space, place and memory in early colonial Australia', Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, vol. 13, pp. 1 - 21,
2013
Karskens GE, 2013, 'All that is Solid: Castlereagh 1999', RCC Perspectives, pp. 9 - 12,
2013
Karskens GE, 2011, 'Review of Alan Frost, Botany Bay: The Real Story, in Sydney Morning Herald, 19-20 February, 2011', Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age,
2011
Karskens GE, 2011, 'Archival Riches: Review of Anna Johnston, The Paper War: Morality, Print Culture and Power in Colonial New South Wales', Australian Book Review, pp. 67 - 68,
2011
Karskens GE, 2011, 'What is a gentleman to do? Penny Russell’s Savage or Civilised? and Lucy Sussex’s, Saltwater in the Ink', Australian Literary Review
2011
Karskens GE, 2011, '‘Red coats, blue jackets, black skin: Aboriginal men and clothing in the early colonial New South Wales’', Aboriginal History, vol. 35, pp. 1 - 36
2011
Karskens GE; Waterhouse R, 2010, ''Too sacred to be taken away': Property, Liberty, Tyranny and the 'Rum Rebellion'', Journal of Australian Colonial History, vol. 12, pp. 1 - 22
2010
Karskens GE, 2010, 'Review of Tiffany Shellam, Shaking hands on the fringes', Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. 96, pp. 103 - 105,
2010
Karskens GE, 2010, 'Review of Craig Wilcox, Red Coat Dreaming: How colonial Australia embraced the British Army', ReCollections (Canberra), vol. 5,
2010
Karskens GE, 2010, 'Barangaroo, a woman worth remembering', Sydney Morning Herald,
2010
Karskens GE, 2009, 'The Rocks', The Sydney Journal, vol. 2, pp. 117 - 123
2009
Karskens GE, 2009, 'Review of ‘The Melbourne Story’ exhibition, Museum of Victoria', ReCollections (Canberra), vol. 4,
2009
Karskens G, 2009, 'The melbourne story', ReCollections, vol. 4
2009
Karskens GE; Gaynor A; Dovers S; Mullins S; Brown S; Goodall H; Frawley J, 2008, 'Can Environmental History Save the World?', History Australia, vol. 5, pp. 1 - 24
2008
Brown S; Dovers S; Frawley J; Gaynor A; Goodall H; Karskens G; Mullins S, 2008, 'Can Environmental History Save the World?', History Australia, vol. 5, pp. 03.1 - 03.24,
2008
Karskens GE, 2008, 'Review of Hamish Maxwell-Stewart, Closing Hell’s Gates: The Death of a Convict Station', Tasmanian Historical Studies, vol. 13, pp. 155 - 156
2008
Karskens GE, 2007, 'Review of an exhibition at Museum of Sydney: `Bridging Sydney`', reCollections: Journal of the National Museum of Australia, vol. 2, pp. 1 - 2,
2007
Karskens G, 2007, 'Water dreams, earthen histories: Exploring urban environmental history at the Penrith Lakes Scheme and Castlereagh, Sydney', Environment and History, vol. 13, pp. 115 - 154,
2007
Karskens GE, 2006, 'Nefarious Geographies: Convicts and the Early Sydney Environment', Tasmanian Historical Studies, vol. 11, pp. 15 - 27,
2006
Karskens GE, 2006, 'Resurrecting Chapman', Australian Jewish Historical Society Journal, vol. 18, pp. 8 - 21
2006
Karskens GE, 2005, 'Review of Seamus O’Hanlon, Together apart: Boarding house, hostel and flat life in pre-war Melbourne', Australian Historical Studies, vol. 37, pp. 178 - 179
2005
Karskens GE, 2005, '`This spirit of emigration`: the nature and meanings of escape in early New South Wales', Journal of Australian Colonial History, vol. 7, pp. 1 - 34
2005
Karskens GE, 2005, 'Review of Pat Jalland, Australian ways of death: A social and cultural history 1840-1918', Journal of Religious History, vol. 29, pp. 200 - 202
2005
Karskens GE, 2005, 'Together apart: Boarding house, hostel and flat life in pre-war Melbourne', Australian Historical Studies, vol. 37, pp. 178 - 179
2005
Karskens GE, 2004, 'Review of Anthony Scott, Tuggerah Lakes – way back when.', Labour History: a journal of labour and social history, vol. 84
2004
Karskens GE, 2003, 'Tourists and pilgrims: (re)visiting the Rocks', Journal of Australian Studies, vol. 79, pp. 29 - 38
2003
Karskens GE, 2003, 'Revisiting the world view: the archaeology of convist households in Sydney`s Rocks neighbourhood', Historical Archaeology, vol. 37, pp. 34 - 55,
2003
Karskens GE, 2003, 'Raising the dead: attitudes to European human remains in the Sydney region c1840-2000', Islands of Vanishment - Historic Environment, vol. 17, pp. 42 - 48
2003
Lawrence S; Karskens G, 2003, 'Historical archaeology in the antipodes', Historical Archaeology, vol. 37, pp. 1 - 5,
2003
Karskens G, 2003, 'Tourists and pilgrims: (Re)visiting the rocks', Journal of Australian Studies, vol. 27, pp. 29 - 38,
2003
Lawrence S; Karskens G, 2003, 'Historical archaeology in the Antipodes - Introduction', HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY, vol. 37, pp. 1 - 5,
2003
Karskens G, 2002, 'Tales of Sydney and the Telling of Sydney Histories', Journal of Urban History, vol. 28, pp. 778 - 792,
2002
Karskens GE, 2002, 'Islands of vanishment, Port Arthur - Conference report', Phanfare, vol. 190, pp. 9 - 10
2002
Karskens GE, 2002, 'Frontier conflict conference, National Museum of Australia', Phanfare, vol. 186, pp. 3 - 4
2002
Karskens GE, 2002, 'Engaging artefacts: urban archaeology, museums and the origins of Sydney', Humanities Research, vol. IX, pp. 36 - 56
2002
Karskens GE, 2001, 'Review of Marc Serge Riviere (translator and editor), The Governor's Noble Guest: Hyacinthe de Bougainville's Account of Port Jackson 1825', Journal of Australian Colonial History
2001
Karskens GE, 2001, 'Voices from the Harbour’s Edge: Memory, Place and the Heritage of Modernity', The Central Coast Geographer, vol. 8, pp. 39 - 47
2001
Karskens GE, 2001, 'Banished and reclaimed', Meanjin, pp. 26 - 43
2001
Karskens GE, 2000, 'Review of Andrew Brown-May, Melbourne Street Life', Australian Historical Studies, vol. 114,
2000
Karskens GE, 2000, 'Engaging artefacts: urban archaeology, museums and the origins of Sydney', Tasmanian Historical Studies, pp. 39 - 64
2000
Karskens GE; Mackay R, 1999, 'Historical archaeology in Australia: historical or hysterical? Crisis or creative awakening:', Australasian Historical Archaeology, vol. 17, pp. 110 - 115
1999
Karskens GE, 1998, 'Death was in his Face: Dying, Burial and Remembrance in Early Sydney', Labour History: a journal of labour and social history, vol. 74, pp. 21 - 39,
1998
Karskens GE, 1997, 'Crossing Over: Reflections of the Integration of History and Archaeology at the Cumberland/Gloucester Street Site, the Rocks 1994-1996', Public History Review, vol. 5-6, pp. 30 - 48
1997
Karskens G, 1997, 'The dialogue of townscape: The rocks and Sydney, 1788-1820', Australian Historical Studies, vol. 27, pp. 88 - 112,
1997
Karskens GE, 1995, '`Declining Life: On the Rocks in Sydney'', Australian Cultural History, vol. 14, pp. 63 - 75
1995
Karskens GE; Thorp W, 1992, 'Archaeology and History in Sydney: Towards Integration and Interpretation', Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. 78, pp. 52 - 75
1992
Karskens GE, 1992, 'Public History, Academic History: The Common Ground', Public History Review, vol. 1, pp. 14 - 25
1992
Karskens GE, 1987, 'Kirribilli House Bathing Pool and Early Harbourside Pools in Sydney : A Brief Overview', Australian Society for Historical Archaeology Newsletter - Research Bulletin, pp. 3 - 4
1987
Karskens GE, 1986, 'Defiance, Deference and Diligence: Three Views of Convicts in N.S.W. Road Gangs', Australian Journal of Historical Archaeology, vol. 4, pp. 17 - 28,
1986
Karskens GE, 1985, 'The Construction of the Great North Road N.S.W., 1826-1936 October, 1985, 102-111', Transactions of the Institution of Engineers - Multidisciplinary, vol. GE 9, pp. 102 - 111
1985
Karskens GE, 1984, 'The Convict Road Station Site at Wisemans Ferry : An Historical and Archaeological Investigation', Australian Journal of Historical Archaeology, vol. 2, pp. 17 - 26
1984
Karskens GE, 1982, 'As good as any in England - The background to the construction of the Great North Road, N.S.W.', Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. 68, pp. 192 - 204
1982
Other
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Karskens GE, 2017, Review of Liz Connor, Skin Deep: settler impressions of Aboriginal women’,
2017
Karskens GE; Butler-Bowden C, 2015, Painting Old Sydney, Dictionary of Sydney - Cultural Ribbon Foreshores History Project, Sydney,
2015
Karskens GE, 2015, Barangaroo and the Eora Fisherwomen, Dictionary of Sydney - Cultural Ribbon Foreshores History Project, Sydney,
2015
Spedding J (ed.), 2015, Appin Massacre, Dictionary of Sydney - NSW Office of Environment and Heritage Aboriginal Heritage Project,, Sydney,
2015
Karskens GE, 2015, Manly Cove, Kai’ymay, Dictionary of Sydney - NSW Office of Environment Aboriginal Heritage Project, Sydney,
2015
Creigh S (ed.), 2014, Harbour life: tracing early Sydney’s watery history, The Conversation, Sydney,
2014
Karskens , 2014, A spectre haunting William Street: Nicole Foreshew, born in darkness before dawn., Monash University Publishing, Melbourne,
2014
Karskens GE, 2012, Shifting the shape of Australian history: convicts, the early colonial period and the making of Australia: The 2012 Allan Martin Lecture, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra
2012
Karskens GE, 2012, Shifting the Shape of Australian History, School of History, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra
2012
Spedding J (ed.), 2011, The myth of Sydney’s Foundational Orgy, Dictionary of Sydney, Sydney,
2011
Reports
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Karskens GE, 1999, The Cumberland/Gloucester Streets Site, The Rocks: Archaeological Investigation Report Volume 2 New Perspectives from the Rocks (Main Report), Godden Mackay Logan P/L, Sydney, The Cumberland/Gloucester Streets Site, The Rocks: Archaeological Investigation Reports, 1
1999