Associate Professor Ann Genovese


Ann Genovese is an Associate Professor at the Melbourne Law School. For over twenty years, in a variety of projects, she has been researching and writing on the relationships between jurisprudence and historiography. This work addresses the epistemological resonance and dissonance between Law and History as disciplines and practices; the nature of legal archives and the responsibilities of custodians and writers towards them; and the sources, forms and techniques necessary to show how Australian people have lived with their law, since 1950. In her theoretical and methodological writing, and her empirical projects, Ann has argued that particular attention be paid to the political experiences of settler colonialism, and of feminism, that have provided the greatest challenges to Australian law in our own time. She has explored these interrelated conceptual, methodological and empirical concerns across multiple sites and projects, and her work has been integral to the establishment of an emergent field - contemporary histories of Australian jurisprudence. While the immediate subject matter of this research is the condition of contemporary Australia, these histories and jurisprudences address persons, places and events as they engage the national, transnational and international conduct of lawful relations. Her projects have included: histories of indigenous litigation, histories of Australia told through public trials, histories of Australian feminist jurisprudence, the methodological enquiries into the role of expert cognate disciplinary witnesses in our courts, and responsibilities of courts as archival institutions.

Ann has collaborated with leading scholars from law, history, feminist theory and indigenous studies, as well as with members of the judiciary and profession. She has been the successful recipient of ARC funding on several projects, most recently The Court as Archive (with Kim Rubenstein at ANU and Trish Luker at UTS).

Ann's publications include: Rights and Redemption (UNSWP, 2008), (with Ann Curthoys and Alex Reilly), which has been widely reviewed , is included in many courses across disciplines, and has been cited by the High Court in Northern Territory of Australia v Arnhem Land Aboriginal Land Trust [2008] HCA 29 (30 July 2008); Sovereignty: Frontiers of Possibility (with Julie Evans, Patrick Wolfe, and Alexander Reilly) (UHP, 2013), and is the editor of two special editions of Griffith Law Review (2014, 2015) commemorating the thirtieth anniversaries of the Koowarta v Bjelke Petersen and The Commonwealth v Tasmania.

Ann is Director of the Australian Legal Histories research programme, Institute for International law and the Humanities (IILAH); and with Shaun McVeigh and Peter Rush, Director of the Legal Biographies research programme, (IILAH), which seeks to reinvigorate the study of official and unofficial lives lived with law, as a matter of jurisprudence and historiography. She is an Advisory Board Member of University of Melbourne Archives; and a member of the editorial board of Australian Feminist Law Journal . She has been a Visiting Research fellow at the Centre for Public Law and Public Policy, University of Adelaide Law School; the Humanities Research Centre, ANU; Kent Law School. She is an Adjunct Professor at the UTS Faculty of Law.

Prior to joining the MLS, Ann worked at the Justice Research Centre, Law Foundation of NSW, conducting interdisciplinary research, and also taught in Law and Humanities faculties at UTS and UNSW.


The Melbourne JD


Other Faculty and University Responsibilities

JD Selection Committee, 2015-

Member, Melbourne University Archives Advisory Board, 2010-

Memberships and Affiliations

Institute of International Law and The Humanities

Editorial Collective, Australian Feminist Studies

Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society

View Detailed Profile