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Sean Scalmer

University of Melbourne


Sean Scalmer studied political economy and political science at the University of Sydney, before undertaking a PhD on intellectuals and class in the Australian labour movement. He worked as a research fellow in the Department of Politics, Macquarie University (1998-2004), then as a Lecturer in Sociology (2004-2006) at the same University.

He joined the School of Historical Studies at the University of Melbourne in 2007. Sean’s major interests are in the histories of social movements, class, and democracy. He is the author of a number of books in these fields, including Dissent Events (UNSW Press, 2002), Activist Wisdom (with Sarah Maddison) (UNSW Press, 2006), The Little History of Australian Unionism (The Vulgar Press, 2006), Gandhi in the West: The Mahatma and the Rise of Radical Protest (Cambridge University Press, 2011), On the Stump: Campaign Oratory and Democracy in the United States, Great Britain and Australia (Temple University Press, 2017), and Democratic Adventurer: Graham Berry and the Making of Australian Politics (Monash University Press, 2020). He has also edited six books. Sean is currently working on a transnational history of ‘direct action’ as a form of politics.

Professor Scalmer is also a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.

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