Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Order and Disorder: Madness in Penal New South Wales

November 25, 2017 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm


Madness was a feature of the colony of New South Wales from the start: sailors, convicts, soldiers, and free men and women. But how did they manage this madness? And what effect did that have on colonial society?

Dr Dunk’s talk will explore the strangeness of the colony through the ways it dealt with madness: locking up convicts in an open gaol, because they were ill, and confining free colonists in a place where freedom was definitive. It charts the development of lunatic asylums and lunacy law within a climate of suspicion of illness, and the political sensitivity of madness in both convict and free populations.

Dr James Dunk is a historian and writer living in Sydney. He is a Research Associate at the University of Sydney and has taught at Australian Catholic University, the University of Sydney and St Paul’s College. He is working on a book on the history of madness in colonial Australia, drawn from his thesis ‘The Politics of Madness in a Penal Colony: New South Wales, 1788-1856’, which was awarded in 2016. An essay based on one of its chapters won the Jill Roe Prize of the Australian

Join the Moruya and District Historical Society as they host Dr James Dunk for this Speaker Connect talk.

This event is free but bookings are essential. Please book online.

Afternoon tea will be provided following Dr Dunk’s presentation.

Proudly presented as part of the History Council of NSW’s Speaker Connect program for 2017, supported by Create NSW.


November 25, 2017
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Event Tags:
, , , ,

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.