Associate professor, University of Newcastle

Dr Nancy Cushing is Associate Professor in Australian history in the School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle. 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 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 and the range of relations between humans and other animals in Australia, from pet keeping to captive animal displays. Her most recent co edited volume, Animals Count, was published by Routledge in 2018.

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 of the Global Newcastle research group and has published two books on the city, Radical Newcastle, co-edited with James Bennett and Erik Eklund and, with Howard Bridgman, Smoky City, a History of Air Pollution in Newcastle.

Cushing is a past convenor of the Australian and New Zealand Environmental History Network and member of the executive council of the NSW History Council.


  • –present
    Senior Lecturer in Australian History, University of Newcastle


  • 1995 
    University of Newcastle, PhD History