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Emeritus professor, The University of Melbourne

Emeritus Professor Peter McPhee teaches and writes about the history of modern France at the University of Melbourne. He is also Chair of the History Council of Victoria.

Professor McPhee was educated at Colac High School, Caulfield Grammar School, and the University of Melbourne, where he completed a BA (Hons 1st Class), Dip.Ed., MA (Hons 1st Class) and PhD. He taught at La Trobe University 1975-79 and the Victoria University of Wellington 1980-86 before returning to the University of Melbourne, where he has held a Personal Chair in History since 1993.

He has published widely on the history of modern France. In 1999 he also published a biography of the former Chancellor Roy Douglas ('Pansy') Wright. His most recent books are Robespierre: a Revolutionary Life (2012) and Liberty or Death. The French Revolution (2016).

Professor McPhee was Deputy Dean and Acting Dean of the School of Graduate Studies in 1994-96, then Head of the Department of History in 1996-99. He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1997 and in 2003 he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. He was an Officer of the Academic Board 1999-2003 and its President in 2002-03. He became Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) in 2003 before being appointed the University's first Provost in 2007. He retired in 2009, but remains an active researcher and teacher. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012.


  • –present
    Professorial Fellow, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne


Member of the Order of Australia, Centenary Medal