Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Technology Sydney
Website URL
criminal justice history, gender history, historical criminology
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Alana Piper is a Chancellors Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Public history at UTS. Her current project (2018-) uses digital history to map the lives and criminal careers of Australian offenders across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her research interests draw together the social and cultural history of crime with gender history, legal history and the digital humanities.

Alana received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Queensland in 2014 for a thesis examining female involvement in Australian criminal subcultures across the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Between 2014 and 2018, Alana was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the ARC Laureate Fellowship project, The Prosecution Project, a digital humanities initiative that looked at the history of the criminal trial in Australia.

Alana has published widely in prestigious international journals, including the Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Women’s History ReviewJournal of Social HistoryCultural and Social HistoryHistory Workshop JournalLaw & History Review and Journal of Legal History. The interdisciplinary nature of her work means her research has also appeared in forums such as the Australian and New Zealand Journal of CriminologyUNSW Law Journal and Criminal Law Journal.

Alana is also founder and managing co-editor of the Australian Women’s History Network blog VIDA.

Recent Publications

Alana Piper, “Victimization narratives and courtroom sexual politics: Prosecuting male burglars and female pickpockets in Melbourne, 1860-1921,” Journal of Social History (published online April 2018,

Alana Piper, “‘Us girls won’t put one another away’: Relations among Melbourne’s prostitute pickpockets, 1860-1920,” Women’s History Review 27, no. 2 (2018): 247-265.

Alana Piper and Victoria Nagy, “Versatile offending: Criminal careers of female prisoners in Australia, 1860-1920,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 48, no. 2 (2017): 187-210.

Alana Piper, “Book thieves: Theft and literary culture in nineteenth and twentieth-century Australia,” Cultural and Social History 14, no. 2 (2017): 257-273.

Alana Piper and Mark Finnane, “Access to legal representation by criminal defendants in Victoria, 1861-1961,” UNSW Law Journal 40, no. 2 (2017): 638-663.

Alana Piper and Mark Finnane, “Defending the accused: The impact of legal representation on criminal trial outcomes in Victoria, Australia 1861–1961,” Journal of Legal History 38, no 1 (2017): 27-53.

Alana Piper, “To judge a thief: How the background of thieves became central to dispensing justice, Western Australia, 1921-1951,” Law & History 4, no. 1 (2017): 113-144.

Alana Piper and Lisa Durnian, “Theft on trial: Prosecution, conviction and sentencing patterns in colonial Victoria and Western Australia,” Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology 50, no. 1 (2017): 5-22.

Mark Finnane and Alana Piper, “The Prosecution Project: Understanding the changing criminal trial through digital tools,” Law and History Review 34, no. 4 (2016): 873-891.

Alana Piper, “‘Woman’s special enemy’: Female Enmity in Criminal Discourse during the Long Nineteenth Century,” Journal of Social History 49, no. 3 (2016): 671-692.

Alana Piper, “Medical treatment of alcoholism in turn-of-the-century Brisbane,” in Brisbane Diseased: Contagions, Cures and Controversy, Alana Piper ed. (Brisbane: Brisbane History Group and Boolarong Press, 2016): 131-148.

Alana Piper, “Prosecuting medical quackery: Foreign practitioners, pseudo-medicine and cancer curers,” in Brisbane Diseased: Contagions, Cures and Controversy, Alana Piper ed. (Brisbane: Brisbane History Group and Boolarong Press, 2016): 215-238.

Alana Piper, “‘I’ll have no man’: female families in Melbourne’s criminal subcultures, 1860–1920,” Journal of Australian Studies 39, no. 4 (2015): 444-460. {Highly commended, John Barrett prize, open category}

Melissa Bellanta and Alana Piper, “The appearance of a flash prostitute: Brisbane prostitutes’ street style ca. 1870-1910,” in Remotely Fashionable: A Story of Subtropical Style, Nadia Buick and Madeline King eds. (Brisbane: The Fashion Archives, 2015).

Alana Piper, “The special jury in Australia,” Criminal Law Journal 39, no. 4 (2015): 218-220.

Alana Piper, “Women’s work: The professionalisation and policing of fortune-telling in Australia,” Labour History 108 (2015): 1-16.

Melissa Bellanta and Alana Piper, “Looking flash: disreputable women’s dress and ‘modernity’, 1870-1910,” History Workshop Journal, 78, no. 1 (2014): 58-81.

Alana Piper, “‘A Menace and an Evil’: Fortune-telling in Australia, 1900-1918,” History Australia 11, no. 3 (2014): 53-73. {Highly commended, Mary Bennett prize}

Alana Piper, “The Scales of Justice,” Criminal Law Journal 38, no. 6 (2014): 384-386.

Alana Piper, “‘I go out worse every time’: Connections and corruption in a female prison,” History Australia 9, no. 3 (2012): 129-150.

Alana Piper, “All the waters of Lethe: An experience of female alcoholism in federation Queensland,” Queensland Review 18, no. 1 (2011): 85-97.

Alana Piper, “‘A growing vice’: The Truth about Brisbane girls and drunkenness in the early twentieth century,” Journal of Australian Studies 34, no. 4 (2010): 485-497.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Expertise by Chronology
5, 8
Expertise by Topic
Gender, Law, Sexuality, Women