Dr Meg Foster

Mary Bateson Research Fellow, Newnham College

Dr Meg Foster is an award-winning historian of banditry, settler colonial and public history, and the Mary Bateson Fellow at Newnham College.

Meg's current research project explores the connection between British highway robbery and Australian bushranging. She is an intersectional historian who has experience working across race, class and gender histories as well as imperial, colonial, ethnographic and public histories.

Meg has published widely, contributing articles to Law and History ReviewRethinking History and Public History Review as well as Australian Historical Studies, where her most recent piece won the Aboriginal History Award from the History Council of New South Wales. Meg has also contributed book chapters to publications by Routledge, Bloomsbury Academic and Australian Scholarly Publishing. Combined with reviews, newspaper articles, blog posts, tv, radio and artistic collaborations, Meg has a breadth of experience engaging academic and public audiences, and a passion for making connections between history and the contemporary world. 

Her first book, Boundary Crossers: the hidden history of Australia's other bushrangers, was published with NewSouth (University of New South Wales Press) in 2022.


Boundary Crossers: the hidden history of Australia's other bushrangers (Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 2022).

Journal Articles

‘Protecting the Colony from its People: bushranging, vagrancy and social control in colonial New South Wales’, Law and History Review (November 2022).

with Toni Burton, Mark Finnane, Carolyn Fraser, Peter Hobbins and Hollie Pich, ‘A History of Now: historical responses to COVID-19’, Public History Review vol. 27 (2020), pp. 86-115.

‘The Forgotten War of 1900: Jimmy Governor and the Aboriginal People of Wollar’, Australian Historical Studies vol. 50, no. 3 (2019), pp. 1-16 (winner of the 2018 Aboriginal History Award from the History Council of NSW).

‘Drawing the Historian Back into History: creativity, writing and The Art of Time Travel’, Rethinking History, vol. 22, no. 1 (2018), pp. 137-153.

‘Online and Plugged In? Public History and Historians in the Digital Age,’ Public History Review, vol. 21 (2014), pp. 1-19 (winner of the Deen De Bortoli Award in Applied History, 2015). Republished in 2018 for Public History: A National Journal of Public History (China) 公众史学.

Book Chapters

'The Other Bushrangers', in Nancy Cushing (ed.), A History of Crime in Australia: Australian Underworlds (London: Routledge, forthcoming December 2022).

‘Unprecedented Times?: COVID-19 and the lessons of history’, in Paul Ashton and Paula Hamilton (eds.), The Australian History Industry (Sydney: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2022).

‘Approaching Public History’ in Paul Ashton and Alex Trapeznik (eds.), What is Public History Globally? working with the past in the present (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019), pp. 159-172.

‘Murder for White Consumption? Jimmy Governor and the bush ballad’ in Yu-ting Huang and Rebecca Weaver-Hightower (eds.), Archiving Settler Colonialism: culture, race, and space (Oxon: Routledge, 2018), pp. 173-189.

with Paul Ashton, ‘Public Histories’ in Sasha Handley, Rohan McWilliam and Lucy Noakes (eds.), New Directions in Social and Cultural History (London: Bloomsbury, 2018), pp. 151-170.

Review Articles

Pathfinders: a history of Aboriginal trackers in New South Wales by Michael Bennett’, Aboriginal History vol. 43 (2020).

‘Texture, Light and Sound: a sensory history of early Sydney’, Australian Historical Studies vol. 51, no. 3 (2020), pp. 344-347.

‘Another Way to Enter the Past’, History Australia, vol. 13, no. 4 (2016), pp. 632-633.

The Public History Reader edited by Hilda Kean and Paul Martin’, Public History Review, vol. 21 (2014), pp. 102-104.

Public-Oriented Publications

‘The Bushrangers We Forgot’, History: The Magazine of the Royal Australian Historical Society, no. 151 (March 2022), pp. 6-8.

‘On Time: reflections on temporality and COVID-19’, Overland Literary Journal (9 November 2021),  available at: https://overland.org.au/2021/11/on-time-reflections-on-temporality-and-covid-19/

‘“The Whole Picture: the colonial story of the art in our museums and why we need to talk about it” by Alice Procter’, Australian Book Review no. 422 (June-July 2020), available at: https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/abr-online/current-issue/818-arts/6524-meg-foster-reviews-the-whole-picture-the-colonial-story-of-the-art-in-our-museums-and-why-we-need-to-talk-about-it-by-alice-procter

'Bugg, Mary Ann (1835-1905)’, People Australia: Australian Centre of National Biography, 2019, available at: http://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/bugg-mary-ann-29654

‘Inclusive Pedagogy at the Modern British Studies Conference, University of Birmingham, 3-5 July 2019’, Cambridge Gender and Sexuality History Workshop Blog, 2 August 2019, available at: https://genderandsexualityhistory.news.blog/2019/08/02/inclusive-pedagogy-at-the-modern-british-studies-conference-university-of-birmingham-3-5-july-2019/

‘How “The Captain’s Lady” Created Her Own Legend’, Inside Story, 8 March 2019, available at: https://insidestory.org.au/how-the-captains-lady-created-her-own-legend/

‘Counternarratives of Empire and the Oceania Exhibition’, History Workshop Online, 25 February 2019, available at: http://www.historyworkshop.org.uk/counter-narratives-of-empire-and-the-oceania-exhibition/

with Jason Phu, ‘The Artist, the Historian and the Case of the Chinese Bushranger’, Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), 7 November 2018, available at: https://www.mca.com.au/stories-and-ideas/artist-historian-and-case-chinese-bushranger/

‘A closer look into the life of Australian bushranger, William Douglas’, News from the Menzies Centre, King’s College London, 7 March 2018, available at: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/ahri/centres/menzies/news/News.aspx

‘Heroes, Identity and the Realm of History’, Journal of the History of Ideas Blog, 14 March 2018, available at: https://jhiblog.org/2018/03/14/heroes-identity-and-the-realm-of-history/