Dr Nancy Cushing is a Senior Lecturer in Australian history in the School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle, based at the Ourimbah Campus. Her primary research area is Australian environmental history, in particular human animal relations, with a secondary interest in the history of Newcastle.
Her current project, funded by a Merewether Scholarship from the State Library of NSW, examines choices about meat eating in colonial Australia from this human animal relations perspective. Past projects have included work on Australian beach cultures, the fight against air pollution in Newcastle and the range of relations between humans and other animals in Australia, from pet keeping to captive animal displays.
Another research strand is the history of Newcastle which has led to projects on beaches and surf lifesaving, including a chapter in the centenary history of surf life saving, and on air pollution in Newcastle. Cushing is a founder with Julie MacIntyre of the Newcastle Hunter Studies group which holds an annual symposium in conjunction with Newcastle Art Gallery and co editor, with James Bennett and Erik Eklund, of the collection Radical Newcastle, to be published by New South Press in 2015.
Nancy Cushing is Program Convenor for the Bachelor of Arts and BA (Hons). She was Deputy Dean of Students for the Ourimbah and Sydney Campuses from 2008 to 2011. She is a member of the NSW Working Party for the Australian Dictionary of Biography and of the executive council of the NSW History Council.