Dr Benjamin Mountford

Faculty of Education and Arts, National School of Arts and Humanities

Areas of expertise: global and imperial history; British history; Australian history

HDR Supervisor accreditation status: Full 

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-5429-2921

Phone: +61 3 5336 5413


ACU Ballarat Campus

My research focuses on global history, British and British imperial history, and Australian history. My main project at the moment, is a book on the impact of the nineteenth century gold rushes on Victorian Britain. My first book "Britain, China, & Colonial Australia" was published by Oxford University Press in 2016, and was later awarded the 2017 Prue Torney Fellows Award. I am the co-editor of two other books, "A Global History of Gold Rushes" (University of California Press, 2018) and "Fighting Words: Fifteen Books That Shaped the Postcolonial World" (Peter Lang, 2017), and a special issue of The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, "Making Connections: Essays in Honour of John Darwin" (2019). Before coming to ACU I held research fellowships at La Trobe University and the Huntington Library in California and lectureships at Federation University and the University of Buckingham. From 2008-15 I was at Oxford, where I was a Rae and Edith Bennett Travelling Scholar, a Beit Scholar in Commonwealth and Imperial History, a Research Associate at the Oxford Centre for Global History, and the first Michael Brock Junior Research Fellow in Modern British History.

Academia profile

Select publications


  • Mountford, Benjamin. (2016). Britain, China, and Colonial Australia Oxford University Press.

Book chapters

  • Mountford, Benjamin. (2018). The Pacific gold rushes and the struggle for order. In In B. Mountford and S. Tuffnell (Ed.). A Global History of Gold Rushes pp. 88 - 108 University of California.
  • Mountford, Benjamin and Tuffnell, Stephen. (2018). Seeking a global history of gold. In In B. Mountford and S. Tuffnell (Ed.). A Global History of Gold Rushes pp. 3 - 41 University of California.
  • Mountford, Benjamin. (2017). "the match is in the spinifex": the Gurindji walk off and frank hardy's the unlucky Australians. In In D. Davies, E. Lombard and B. Mountford (Ed.). Fighting Words: Fifteen Books That Shaped the Postcolonial World pp. 215 - 230 Peter Lang Publishing.
  • Davies, Dominic, Lombard, Erica and Mountford, Benjamin. (2017). Fighting words: books and the making of the postcolonial world. In In D. Davies, E. Lombard and B. Mountford (Ed.). Fighting Words: Fifteen Books That Shaped the Postcolonial World pp. 1 - 26 Peter Lang Publishing.
  • Mountford, Benjamin. (2015). "The interest of our colonies seems to have been largely overlooked": Colonial Australia and Anglo-Chinese relations. In In R. Bickers and J. Howlett (Ed.). Britain and China, 1840-1970: Empire, Finance and War pp. 84 - 102 Routledge.
  • Mountford, Ben and Reeves, Keir. (2009). Reworking the tailings: New gold histories and the cultural Landscape. In In J. Carey and C. McLisky (Ed.). Creating White Australia pp. 19 - 33 Sydney University Press.
Journal articles
  • (2019). Colonial Australia, the 1887 Colonial Conference, and the struggle for imperial unity. The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History. 47(5), pp. 912-942.
  • Fletcher, Robert S. G., Mountford, Ben and Potter, Simon J.. (2019). Making connections: John Darwin and his Histories of Empire. The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History. 47(5), pp. 801 - 814.
  • Mountford, Benjamin. (2017). Send Fook Shing: the Chinese detective in colonial Victoria. History Australia. 14(3), pp. 361 - 377.
  • Reeves, Keir and Mountford, Ben. (2011). Sojourning and settling: Locating Chinese-Australian history. Australian Historical Studies. 42(1), pp. 111 - 125.
  • Mountford, Ben. (2008). The Queen vs Ah Pew: Murder, mystery and controversy in colonial Castlemaine. Victorian Historical Journal. 79(1), pp. 39 - 59.
  • Reeves, Keir and Mountford, Ben. (2007). Court records and cultural landscapes: Rethinking the Chinese gold seekers in central Victoria. Provenance: The journal of Public Record Office Victoria. 6, pp. 30 - 41.

Accolades and awards

  • Menzies Australia Institute Bicentennial Fellowship, 2018-19
  • Huntington Library Mayers Visiting Fellowship, 2018
  • David Myers Research Fellowship, La Trobe University, 2017-18
  • Allan Martin Award, Australian Historical Association, 2017
  • Prue Torney Fellows’ Prize (for Britain, China, and Colonial Australia), 2017
  • M.G. Brock Junior Research Fellowship, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, 2012-15
  • Huntington Library Corpus Christi Exchange Fellowship, 2015
  • Oxford Beit Research Scholarship in Commonwealth History, 2011-12

Editorial roles

  • Editor, History Australia, 2022-24

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