New Head of School for HPI

2 June 2021
Associate Professor Lisa Featherstone
Associate Professor Lisa Featherstone.

Congratulations to Associate Professor Lisa Featherstone, who has been appointed Head of School for Historical and Philosophical Inquiry for a one-year term starting 1 July 2021.

No stranger to the School, Associate Professor Featherstone has been on the School Executive since 2015 and is currently Deputy Head of School and History Convenor.

She is a gender historian whose work focuses on sexuality, medicine, and the law. Her current work, on sexual violence in our recent past, considers ideas of trauma and agency for women and children.

It has most recently won significant start-up support from the Research Support Program Allocation 3 and is in the running for a Collaborative Research Initiative through the Global Challenges Institute.

Associate Professor Featherstone has published widely on sexual assault, and is the author of two monographs, with another currently in press.
Her work has been funded by an ARC DP, “Sexual Offences, Legal Responses and Public Perceptions, 1880s-1980s,” and a range of other grants for both research and teaching.

She teaches in the History of Sexuality and Australian History, and is passionate about the student experience, and making the humanities both exciting and relevant for our students. For the duration of her appointment as Head of School, Associate Professor Featherstone will be designated Professor of History.

Professor Megan Cassidy-Welch’s significant contributions to the School, the Faculty, and the History discipline are to be recognised.  Under Professor Cassidy-Welch’s direction as Head of School, HPI has reset its scholarly, financial, reputational, and cultural environment.

Professor Cassidy-Welch adroitly led the School through its septennial Review in the second half of 2018. On its heels, she set goals for research quality and quantity, and created a mentoring system for external grant applications. On the T&L side, Professor Cassidy-Welch initiated collaborative teaching that reaches far beyond HASS, engaging Philosophy staff with courses in Science, EAIT and Medicine.

Her own teaching is similarly innovative, with a new collaborative place-based course on The Middle Ages that uses digital resources to map the events, geographies and cultures that interacted from 1000-1500. The development of this course was supported by a grant from ITaLI – and the grant should surprise no one who knows Professor Cassidy-Welch’s astounding record with the ARC: she boasts a 100 per cent success rate.

Her own research has proceeded alongside her role as HoS, with an enviable stream of books, book chapters, reviews, and articles over the past four years. Professor Cassidy-Welch was elected to the Royal Historical Society in 2019, and in 2020 was awarded the title of McCaughey Chair of History: the oldest named chair at UQ.

Professor Cassidy-Welch's service has extended beyond the School, with appointment to the Central Academic Promotions Committee; she also founded the Women and Power network, to support collaboration and mentoring across disciplines.