The Hansen Trust

The Hansen Trust has been established, in perpetuity, to transform the teaching of History at the University of Melbourne.

It aims to develop and instil a passion for History within students and the broader community, to deepen student engagement with their learning, to emphasise the importance of this field of study, and to support a range of initiatives in the Faculty of Arts to build excellence and innovation in teaching and learning programs.

The Trust supports:

  • an endowed professorship in the field of History called The Hansen Chair in History
  • a five-year senior lectureship in the field of History called The Hansen Senior Lecturer in History
  • 3 five-year lectureships in the field of History called The Hansen Lecturers in History
  • one or more annual scholarships for students who are undertaking a PhD in history called the Hansen Scholarship

The Trust aims also to promote appreciation of the lifelong value and relevance of an education in History, and to nurture a passion for History in the broader community by raising the public visibility of History education.

Professor Mark Edele
Professor Mark Edele

The Hansen Chair in History

Professor Mark Edele is a historian of the Soviet Union and its successor states, in particular Russia. A former Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow and a former Deputy Head of the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies (SHAPS) at The University of Melbourne, he is the inaugural Hansen Professor in History in SHAPS.

He currently also serves as Deputy Associate Dean (Academic Performance), overseeing performance management and promotion processes in the Faculty of Arts and leading a review of workloads and the working environment. He was trained as a historian at the Universities of Erlangen, Tübingen, Moscow and Chicago. His publications include Soviet Veterans of the Second World War (2008), Stalinist Society (2011), Stalin’s Defectors (2017), Shelter from the Holocaust: Rethinking Jewish Survival in the Soviet Union (with Atina Grossmann and Sheila Fitzpatrick, 2017), The Soviet Union. A Short History (2019), Debates on Stalinism (2020); and, with Martin Crotty and Neil Diamant, The Politics of Veteran Benefits in the Twentieth Century. A Comparative History (2020). His latest book, entitled Stalinism at War. The Soviet Union in World War II, will be published in 2021.

He is a Chief Investigator on ARC Discovery Grant DP200101728, "KGB Empire: State Security Archives in the former Eastern Bloc," (December 2020-December 2023); and ARC DP200101777, "Aftermaths of War: Violence, Trauma, Displacement, 1815-1950," (June 2020 – June 2024). He teaches the histories of the Soviet Union, of the Second World War, and of dictatorship and democracy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

A history of Russian and Soviet studies at the University of Melbourne is available here.

Dr Jenny Spinks
Dr Jenny Spinks

The Hansen Senior Lectureship in History

Dr Jenny Spinks joined the History program at the University of Melbourne in 2017 after four years at the University of Manchester, where she was Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History. She teaches and publishes on the history of early modern northern Europe, with a special focus on print culture, supernatural beliefs, disasters and wonders. She has co-curated exhibitions on the apocalypse and on magic, witches and devils in the early modern world from a global perspective. Jenny will be making a major contribution to the teaching of early modern and medieval history, and in 2017 will lead the subjects ‘Medieval Plague, War and Heresy’ and ‘The Long History of Globalisation’.

Dr Una McIlvenna
Dr Una McIlvenna

The Hansen Lectureships in History

Dr Una McIlvenna joined the University of Melbourne in 2017 from the University of Kent, where she was until recently a Lecturer in Early Modern Literature. Una researches the early modern tradition of singing the news, using a comparative approach across multiple European languages. She is currently writing a book titled Singing the News of Death: Execution Ballads in Europe 1550-1900, which explores the use of song to inform the public about crime and punishment. Una is a specialist in court studies and is the author of Scandal and Reputation at the Court of Catherine de Medici (Routledge, 2016). About her appointment, Una says, ‘I’m very excited to be joining such an impressive group of scholars at Melbourne, and so grateful that the Hansen Trust has made this possible’. Una’s teaching will be in the area of early modern and renaissance studies, and in 2017 will also include a subject on the history of sexualities.

Dr Sarah Walsh
Dr Sarah Walsh

Dr Sarah Walsh received her BA from Boston College and both her MA and PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park. She was a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Race and Ethnicity in the Global South ARC Project at the University of Sydney between 2013 and 2017. The following year she served as a Research Fellow in the COLOUR OF LABOUR Project at the Universidade de Lisboa. Most recently, she was a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Roots of Contemporary Issues Program at Washington State University. Her first book, The Religion of Life: Eugenics, Race, and Catholicism in Chile, is under contract at University of Pittsburgh Press. She has also published articles in the Catholic Historical Review, History of Science, and the Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies.

The overall question that informs both Dr Walsh's teaching and research is: how do prejudice and discrimination based on human difference (race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, ability) maintained in intellectual systems which explicitly reject those concepts? In other words, her research is interested in better understanding how systemic oppression continues to flourish in modern democracies that typically celebrate diversity and rely on notional equality for all. In particular, she examines the role that science and medicine play in this process.

Dr Walsh’s teaching interests include: Latin American history (with particular emphasis on the Southern Cone), the history of science and medicine (especially outside the United States and Europe), race and ethnicity in the Global South, and gender and sexuality studies.

Dr Julia Bowes headshot
Dr Julia Bowes

Dr Julia Bowes joined SHAPS as Hansen Lecturer in US History on 1 July 2021 and will be teaching HIST20071 American History: 1945 to Now in Semester 2/2021. Originally from Sydney, Julia completed her PhD at Rutgers University in 2018 and her doctoral thesis, Invading the Home: Children, State Power, and the Gendered Origins of Modern Conservatism, 1865–1933, was awarded the 2019 Lerner Scott Prize for Best Dissertation in US Women’s History by the Organization of American Historians. Julia joins SHAPS from the University of Hong Kong where she was an Assistant Professor. Learn more