Rebecca Sheehan

Lecturer in History and Gender Studies, Dr

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Rebecca Sheehan is a lecturer in History and Gender Studies in the Department of History & Archaeology at Macquarie University, an Associate Member of the History Department at Harvard University, and a member of Macquarie’s Centre for Media History.

Dr Sheehan’s research takes an intersectional approach to analysing gender, sexuality, and race. Her publications range across related topics including women film directors in 1970s Hollywood, how Beyoncé has raised the intersectional consciousness of fans around the world, feminist intellectual history and friendships, teaching race in Australia, the American reception of Germaine Greer, boxing and masculinity, and rock music culture in the global 1970s. Her book-in-progress Rise of the Superwoman: How Sex Remade Gender in America’s Long 1970s (under contract with Harvard University Press) argues that contemporary expectations of women were formed in the 1970s. Committed to applying and communicating rigorous research beyond the university, she has written about and commented on gender, race, and popular culture for media outlets including the ABC, Triple J, Women in Pop, Mamamia, Marie Claire, Meanjin, The Conversation, Overland, and FBi Radio.

Committed to sexual safety for all, and to transforming culture to achieve that, Dr Sheehan has worked as a senior research consultant to Elizabeth Broderick, AO, on the Broderick Report into cultural change at Sydney University’s residential colleges. She is a member of Macquarie University’s Sexual Safety and Wellbeing Committee and an Advisory Group Member for Future Leaders for Gender Equality. With Toby Fattore, Kate Gleeson, and Alison Pullen she received a 2022 Macquarie University Research Acceleration Scheme to research “Minors on Campus.”

From 2017-2021, she was the program director of Gender Studies, and continues to teach core units in the Gender Studies major including “GEND1000 Freedom Dreams: Foundations in Gender Studies” and “GEND2030 Sex, Race, And Rock.” She is passionate about teaching and in 2019 received a Macquarie Faculty of Arts Student-Led Teaching Champion Award.  From 2009-2016 she was a founding member of the comprehensive teaching program at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney where she received a Teaching Excellence award in 2016.

Dr Sheehan has a PhD and MA in History with a specialisation in Gender Studies from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, where she received a Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. She was awarded a BA in English Literature and Linguistics from the University of New South Wales with Honours in History for which she received the History Prize and the Australian Society of Sports Historians National Dissertation Prize. She spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar at UCLA, served on the Executive Council of the American Studies Association, and was a Graduate Fellow of the Center for Law, Humanities, and Culture at USC. She was a recipient of a 2020 Harvard University Schlesinger Library Research Fellowship, a 2017 United States Studies Centre Travel Grant, and a 2015 Alvin Achenbaum Travel Grant from Duke University.

External positions

Associate Member, History Department, Harvard University

2021 → …

Honorary Associate, United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney



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