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Personal profile


Peter Doyle is an author of fiction and non-fiction books. He has a Bachelor of Arts (Communications) from UTS and a PhD from Macquarie University. He is a musician with a long association with the Sydney blues, rockabilly, country and pub rock scenes. He is also a (sometimes) exhibiting visual artist.

Peter's books include the novels The Big Whatever (2015), Get Rich Quick (1996), Amaze Your Friends (1998) and The Devil's Jump (2001) and the non-fiction titles Echo and reverb: fabricating space in popular music recording, 1900-1960 (2005), City of Shadows (2005) and Crooks Like Us, (2009). He has also written essays, feature articles, reviews and short pieces for Meanjin, Heat, The Conversation, The BulletinHQ and The Sydney Morning Herald and has been a columnist for Max and Sydney City Hub.

He is the winner of two Ned Kelly Awards, (for Best First Crime Novel, 1997, and Best Crime Novel, 1998). In 2011 he received a Ned Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award.

In the early 2000s Peter worked as a guest curator at the Justice & Police Museum in Sydney, for whom he curated the exhibitions 'Crimes of Passion' (2002-2003) and 'City of Shadows: inner city crime and mayhem, 1912-1948' which examined inner-Sydney in the first half of the twentieth century via police crime and accident scene photographs. That work led to the publication City of shadows: Sydney police photographs, 1912-1948, and in 2009, Crooks Like Us. In 2013 Peter curated the exhibition Suburban Noir at the Museum of Sydney.

In 2015 he curated a major exhibition at the State Library of NSW, Pulp Confidential: Quick and Dirty Publishing from the 40s and 50s and in 2018 presented Peter Chapman Cover Art at Macquarie University Gallery.  

Peter has made short films, including Slasher Patrol, a documentary which goes behind the scenes in the so-called ‘Kingsgrove Slasher’ case of 1959.

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Police Arts & Humanities
Crime Arts & Humanities
Popular music Arts & Humanities
Sound Arts & Humanities
Curatorship Arts & Humanities
Artist Arts & Humanities
Music Arts & Humanities
Underworld Arts & Humanities

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Projects 2007 2017

Research Outputs 1991 2019

Hard looks: faces, bodies, lives in early Sydney police portrait photography

Doyle, P., 2019, Photography and ontology: unsettling images. West Brett, D. & Lusty, N. (eds.). New York ; London: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, p. 56-71 16 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

Portrait Photography
Victorian Era
Everyday Use

Showing off: taking popular music research into the museum

Doyle, P., 2019, Remembering popular music's past: memory-heritage-history. Istvandity, L., Baker, S. & Cantillon, Z. (eds.). London ; New York: Anthem Press, p. 115-129 15 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

Foreword: through beatnik eyes

Doyle, P., 2017, Girl gangs, biker boys and real cool cats: pulp fiction and youth culture, 1950 to 1980. McIntyre, I. & Nette, A. (eds.). Oakland, California: PM Press, p. 7-10 4 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript/introductionResearchpeer-review

Reverb, acousmata, and the backstage musical

Doyle, P., 25 May 2017, The Routledge companion to screen music and sound. Mera, M., Sadoff, R. & Winters, B. (eds.). New York ; London: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, p. 577-589 13 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


Historical Records, National Constructions: The Contemporary Popular Music Archive

Baker, S., Doyle, P. & Homan, S., 1 Jan 2016, In : Popular Music and Society. 39, 1, p. 8-27 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

collective memory