Dr John Emerson

Dr John Emerson
 Position Publisher
 Org Unit University of Adelaide Press
 Email john.emerson@adelaide.edu.au
 Telephone +61 8 8313 4371
 Location Floor/Room 4 15 ,  Barr Smith Library ,   North Terrace
  • Biography/ Background

    John's formal studies are in French, specialising in cinema. He completed a postgraduate degree at the Université de Paris III - Sorbonne Nouvelle and a PhD at Adelaide comparing French and Australian representations of colonial history in contemporary cinema.

    In 2002 he was commissioned to write a series of books on South Australian legal history and the Law School has provided him with a base. The first two were published in 2006 (see list below). The most recent, a biography of poet and former Chief Justice John Bray, was published in 2015.

    With the support of the Vice-Chancellor and the University Library, John established the University of Adelaide Press in 2008, which publishes scholarly books by the University's staff.  He is currently the Director of the Press.

    John is also a Visiting Research Fellow with the Law school.

    Feature Article in The Australian Higher Ed 24 June 2015 on the achievement of 500,000 PDF downloads for the University of Adelaide Press.

  • Research Interests

    The South Australian legal profession, especially the bar and the judiciary.  French cinema.

  • Publications


    John published numerous articles and book chapters as postgraduate student in journals in Australia, France, Belgium, UK and USA.

    Since 2002 he has published around 100 articles in the Law Society's Bulletin and in The Advertiser on legal history topics, including biographical profiles of judges.

    Refereed Chapter

    'Did Blackstone get the Gallic Shrug?'. Chapter 12 in Wilfrid Prest (ed.) Blackstone and his Commentaries, Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2009 (pages 185-198).  Reprinted 2014.



    First Among Equals. Adelaide: University of Adelaide Barr Smith Press, 2006.

    History of the Independent Bar of South Australia. Adelaide: University of Adelaide Barr Smith Press, 2006.

    John Jefferson Bray: a Vigilant Life. Clayton: Monash University Publishing, 2015. Foreword by the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG


  • Professional Associations

    Association Culturelle Franco-Australienne

    Professional Historians Association (SA)

  • Community Engagement

    John Bray Law Network, University of Adelaide Alumni

    Editorial Committee, Law Society Bulletin, 2006-2012

The information in this directory is provided to support the academic, administrative and business activities of the University of Adelaide. To facilitate these activities, entries in the University Phone Directory are not limited to University employees. The use of information provided here for any other purpose, including the sending of unsolicited commercial material via email or any other electronic format, is strictly prohibited. The University reserves the right to recover all costs incurred in the event of breach of this policy.

Entry last updated: Tuesday, 9 Jan 2018

To link to this page, please use the following URL:  https://www.adelaide.edu.au/directory/john.emerson