Winner of the 2020 Bill Cowan Barr Smith Library Fellowship

rachel harris

The University Library and the Cowan Grant are pleased to announce that Rachel Harris is the successful applicant for the 2020 Bill Cowan Barr Smith Library Fellowship.

The purpose of the award is to assist research postgraduates financially with uninterrupted time to work with the library’s collections.

Rachel has recently submitted her PhD thesis and is awaiting examination and conferral. Her research topic “In a State of War: Women’s Experiences of the South Australian Home Front, 1939-1945” considered the social, economic and gendered effects of World War II on the lives of South Australian women.

Rachel’s proposed research project will significantly extend the findings of her doctoral work. She will examine closely the social, economic, and gendered experiences of South Australian women in the workforce in the 1970s and 1980s, with a particular focus on working-class women and clerical workers, to ascertain just how much the working lives of South Australian women have changed, or not, across this period. The historical experiences of a group of South Australian women – ‘baby-boomers’ – who have not been studied to an appreciable extent by other scholars will be examined based on archival research and supplemented by women’s oral histories.

Rachel will draw on the substantial archive of the Women’s Studies Resource Centre held in Special Collections and Archives and supplemented by the Working Women’s Centre Archives held by the State Library of South Australia. She hopes to present her work at a national conference - the International Australian Studies Association Conference - and to write a series of articles to publish in highly-ranked and widely disseminated Australian history journals. Her overall aim is for this project to form the basis of a larger post-doctoral research project that explores women’s post-war factory work in Australia.

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