The 2023 Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society will welcome the following keynote speakers to the University of Southern Queensland.
Featherstone’s research focuses on sexual violence in Australia’s recent past. Her work interrogates the ways historical attitudes inform attitudes towards sexual assault in both the past and the present. She has published widely on sexual crimes, including sexual assaults on women, child sexual abuse, and rape in marriage.
Featherstone is the author of three monographs: Sexual Violence in Australia, 1970s-1980s: Rape and Child Sexual Abuse (2021); Sex Crimes in the 1950s (co-authored with Andy Kaladelfos, 2016); and Let’s Talk About Sex: Histories of Sexuality in Australia from Federation to the Pill (2011).
Currently, Featherstone is the lead investigator on a UQ Strategic Investment grant entitled “Sexual Violence and the Limits of Consent”, an interdisciplinary project which brings together researchers from across The University of Queensland to examine the possibilities and problems of affirmative consent. She was recently awarded an ARC DP, “Responding to Sexual Harm: An Australian Historical Criminology Approach”, with Andy Kaladelfos (UNSW), Yorick Smaal (Griffith University) and Bianca Fileborn (University of Melbourne).
Piper’s research interests draw together the social and cultural history of crime with criminological, legal and digital humanities approaches. A leading historian on the role of gender in the processes of crime and criminal justice, she is currently an investigator on the ARC Discovery project "Sex and the Australian Military, 1914-2020" (2021-2023). Her other ongoing research project, Criminal Characters, uses digital history and citizen science to chart the lives and criminal careers of Australian offenders across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Piper has authored over 40 academic publications, including in a range of high-ranking international journals such as the Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Women’s History Review, Journal of Social History, History Workshop Journal, Law & History Review, and Journal of Legal History. With Ana Stevenson, she produced the edited collection Gender Violence in Australia: Historical Perspectives (2019).
Previously, Piper was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Griffith University, working on The Prosecution Project which investigated the history of the criminal trial in Australia through the compilation of large-scale data on criminal prosecutions from across the Supreme Courts of Australia from the courts’ inceptions through to the late twentieth century.