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Peter McPhee

Melbourne Graduate School Of Education
French Revolution
arts & humanities
social sciences
history: european; understanding the past of other societies
political science
government & law
life sciences & biomedicine
Peter McPhee's Profile Picture

Peter McPhee

Melbourne Graduate School Of Education
Primary Interest
History of modern France
Peter McPhee's Profile Picture

Peter McPhee


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 was appointed to a Personal Chair in History in1993.

He has published widely on the history of modern France, notably A Social History of France 1780-1880 (London, 1992), Revolution and Environment in Southern France, 1780-1830 (Oxford, 1999), Living The French Revolution 1789-1799 (Basingstoke, 2006), and Robespierre: a Revolutionary Life (2012). In 1999 he published a biography of the former Chancellor Roy Douglas ('Pansy') Wright. His most recent book is 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. In the same year he became an inaugural 'Universitas 21' Teaching Fellow. 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 Chair of Melbourne University Publishing 2012-17. He received a Centenary Medal for services to education in 2003 was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012. He is currently Chair of the History Council of Victoria, the State's peak body for history.

Scholarly Works

Displaying the 103 most recent scholarly works by Peter McPhee.


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Honours, Awards and Fellowships


Member of the Order of Australia


FASSA - Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia


FAHA - Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities






Honorary Supervisor

Melbourne Graduate School Of Education

Chair, Victorian Curriculum And Assessment Authority Board

Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority

Member, Societe D'Histoire De La Revolution De 1848 (Paris)

Societe d'histoire de la Revolution de 1848 (Paris)

Member, Societe D'Etudes Robespierristes (Paris)

Societe d'Etudes Robespierristes (Paris)

Member, Society For The Study Of French History (England)

Society for the Study of French History (England)

Member, Centre D'Histoire Contemporaine Du Languedoc-Mediterranien Et Du Roussillon (Montpellier, France)

Centre d'histoire contemporaine du Languedoc-Mediterranien et du Roussillon (Montpellier, France)

Member, Institute For The Study Of French-Australian Relations

Institute for the Study of French-Australian Relations

Member, History Institute Of Victoria

History Institute of Victoria

Member, Australian Historical Association

Australian Historical Association



Bachelor of Arts

University of Melbourne

Graduate Diploma in Education

Institution not known

Master of Arts

Institution not known

Doctor of Philosophy

Institution not known