Professor Joy Damousi AM FASSA FAHA

Dean of Arts/Director of the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences

Joy Damousi

Areas of expertise: intellectual history; gender history; history of emotions; internationalism; refugees; humanitarianism; migration history; war and memory

HDR Supervisor accreditation status: Full


Phone: +61 3 9953 3721


Location: ACU Melbourne Campus

Professor Joy Damousi is Director of the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences and Dean of Arts. She is an award-winning scholar of memory and war, the history of emotions, and migration history in relation to refugees, humanitarianism and internationalism. She is one of Australia’s most distinguished historians and public intellectuals, and a leader in the humanities in Australia and internationally. She is the author of numerous books, including The Labour of Loss: Mourning, Memory and Wartime Bereavement in Australia (Cambridge, 1999); Living with the Aftermath: Trauma, Nostalgia and Grief in Post-war Australia (Cambridge, 2001); Freud in the Antipodes: A Cultural History of Psychoanalysis in Australia (UNSW Press, 2005; winner of the Ernest Scott Prize) and Colonial Voices: A Cultural History of English in Australia 1840-1940 (Cambridge 2010). Her current research includes war, trauma and post-war Greek migration to Australia; sound and the two world wars; and child refugees and war. Joy was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2022 Queen's Birthday Honours in recognition of her significant service to social sciences and the humanities, to history, and to tertiary education.

Explore Joy's journey through Australian history

Select publications

  • Damousi, J. (2020). Humanitarianism and Child Refugee Sponsorship. The Spanish Civil War and the Global Campaign of Esme Odgers. Journal of Women's History, 32 (1), 111.
  • Damousi, J. & Smart, J. (Eds.) (2019) Contesting Australian History: Essays in Honour of Marilyn Lake. Monash University Publishing.
  • Damousi, J. (2019). From humanitarian “Charity” to “Justice”: the Australian Foster Parents Plan and Fostering Refugees in Asia during the 1970s. Australian Journal of Politics & History, 65(4), 549. DOI: 10.1111/ajph.12625
  • Damousi, J. (2019) Out of ‘Common Humanity’: Humanitarianism, Compassion and Efforts in Australia to Assist Jewish Refugees in the 1930s. Australian Historical Studies, 50(1), 81-98. DOI: 10.1080/1031461X.2018.1541096
  • Damousi, J. & O’Brien, P. (eds.) (2018) League of Nations. Histories, Legacies and Impact. Melbourne University Publishing.
  • Damousi, J. (2018) The Campaign for Japanese-Australian Children to enter Australia, 1957-1968: A History of Post-War Humanitarianism. Australian Journal of Politics and History, 64(2), 211-226. DOI: 10.1111/ajph.12461
  • Damousi, J. (2017) Building "healthy happy family units': Aileen Fitzpatrick and reuniting children separated by the Greek Civil War with their families in Australia, 1949-1954. History of the Family, 22(4), 466-484 DOI: 10.1080/1081602X.2016.1275738
  • Damousi, J. (2017) Mothers in War: "Responsible mothering", children, and the prevention of violence in twentieth century war History and Theory. History and Theory, 56(4), 119-134 DOI: 10.1111/hith.12041
  • Damousi, J. (2017) Gender and Mourning. In Grayzel, S. & Proctor, T. (eds.) Gender and the Great War. Oxford University Press. Part of ISBN: 9780190271084
  • Dwyer, P. & Damousi, J. (2017) Theorizing Histories of Violence. History and Theory, 56(4), 3-6 DOI: 10.1111/hith.12034
  • Damousi, J. (2016) Sounds and silence of war: Dresden and Paris during World War II. In Damousi, J. & Hamilton, P. (eds.) A Cultural History of Sound, Memory, and the Senses. Routledge. DOI: 10.4324/9781315445328
  • Damousi, J. (2016) Memory and Migration in the Shadow of War Australia's Greek Immigrants after World War II and the Greek Civil War. Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 9781107115941


  • ARC Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Fellowship, $2,472,756 (‘Child Refugees and Australian Internationalism, 1920 to the present’ 2014–2019)
  • ARC Discovery Project $260,000 (‘Hell Sounds: The Soundscape of War, 1914–1945’), Chief Sole CI
  • ARC Linkage Grant $150,000 (‘Comedy: No laughing matter: identifying and preserving the history of comedy in Melbourne, 1960s–1980s’, 2013–2015), Co-CI
  • ARC Discovery Grant $626,000 (‘Making the Case: The Case Study Genre in Sexology, Psychoanalysis and Literature’, 2010–2103) Co-CI
  • ARC Discovery Grant $367,972 (‘Greek War Stories: Trans-nationalism, war trauma and migration’, 2010–2012) Chief Sole CI

Accolades and awards

  • ARC Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Fellowship - 2014
  • Australian Historical Associatation Ernest Scott Prize for 'Freud in the Antipodes: A Cultureal History of Psychoanalysis in Australia' (UMSW Press) – 2006
  • Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities – 2004
  • Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia – 2004

Appointments and affiliations

  • President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities
  • President of the Australian Historical Association
  • Director of the Australian Council of Learned Academies Limited
  • Professor of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne
  • Member of History Council of Victoria

Editorial roles

  • Gender and History; Women's History Review; Labour History;

Grant agency review panel

Professor Damousi has served as Chair of the Humanities and Creative Arts panel for Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) and Chair of the Humanities and Creative Arts panel for the Australian Research Council (ARC) College of Experts.

Public engagement

  • Rutledge, D. (Host). (2019, August 14). Why the Humanities? The Philosophers Zone. [Audio episode]. ABC Radio National.
  • 2016: Public Lecture: 'History of Child Refugees', The University of Queensland.
  • 2015: Public Lecture: ‘Child Refugees and Australian Internationalism’, The University of Melbourne.
  • 2015: Fred Alexander Public Lecture: Hell Sounds, Birdsongs and Zeppelins: Emotions, Memory and the Soundscape of the Great War, The University of Western Australia.
  • 2010: Public Lecture: ‘Greek War Stories: Migration, War Trauma and Intergenerational War Stories Alex Condos Memorial Lecture, Brisbane.


Visit us

Level 3, 250 Victoria Parade
East Melbourne, Victoria, 3002

Mailing address

115 Victoria Parade
Fitzroy, Victoria, 3065