Dr Dolly MacKinnon

Honorary Associate Professor

School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences


Associate Professor Dolly MacKinnon is an Honorary Associate Professor in Early Modern History at The University of Queensland. Her research background spans history and music, and her cultural history research, teaching, and service concentrate on the marginalized and institutionalized by analysing the mental, physical (including material culture) and auditory landscapes of past cultures.

Dolly won the inaugural Arts Faculty Research Excellence Award for Senior Researchers (2011) at The University of Queensland. Dolly was also awarded a UQ New Staff Research Fund (2011), a University of Queensland Promoting Women Fellowship (2014), and an inaugural Faculty Fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities (2015), Faculty of HASS, UQ.

She is an Associate Investigator (2012 & 2016) with the Australian Research Council Centre for Excellence for the History of Emotions (The University of Queensland/The University of Western Australia), and a guest musician for the following projects:​

  1. ARC CHE AI Project 2012: Emotional Landscapes: English and Scottish battlefield memorials 1638-1936
  2. ARC CHE AI Project 2016: Soundscapes of Emotion: bell ringing in England c1500-c1800
  3. One of the guest artists with the Baroque Orchestra for ARC CHE Public Performances (2013) of Pepusch's Venus and Adonis, The University of Queensland Art Museum, Saturday 23 November 2013, 2.30pm Tuesday 26 November 2013, 6.30pm. Musical Director: Donald Nicolson, Producer: Jane Davidson, Soloists, and Chorus. The Orchestra was The Badinerie Players joined by guest artists from across Australia. [You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS0KcYfAC-8]

Dolly's international research is demonstrated by her consistent collaborative grant successes including multiple ARC (both Linkage and Discoveries) projects, and an international Marsden Fund-Royal Society of New Zealand, totaling just under 1 million dollars.

Her most recent ARC grants include the following:

  • ARC Discovery Grant ($249,000) with Professor ELizabeth Malcolm (The University of Melbourne) and Dr John Waller (Michigan State University).

Project: ‘A History of psychiatric Institutions and community care in Australia, 1830-1990’). See online database, Australian Psychiatric Care: A History of Psychiatric Institutionalisation and Community Care in Australia c.1811-c.1990 (http://www.ahpi.esrc.unimelb.edu.au/researchteam.html) (2007-2011);

  • ARC Linkage Grant ($149,000) with Professor ELizabeth Malcolm & Dr Nurin Veis (Museum Victoria) (2009-2012) at The University of Melbourne.
  • ARC Discovery Grant ($300,000) with Megan Casidy-Welch (Monash University) analysing 'Battlefields of memory: places of war and remembrance in medieval and early modern England and Scotland' (2014-2016).

Dolly has written and co-edited five books, over thirty chapters and journal articles, and has edited two Special Journal Issues. Her monograph is entitled Earls Colne's Early Modern Landscapes (Farnham, Surrey:Asghate, 2014). She has co-edited Madness in Australia: Histories, Heritage and the Asylum (St. Lucia: UQP, 2003) and Exhibiting Madness: Exhibiting Madness: Remembering Psychiatry through Collections and Display (New York: Routledge, 2011) both with Professor Catherine Coleborne, and Hearing Places: Sound, Place, Time and Culture [Paperback 2007 and hardback 2009 editions] (2007; Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009), co- edited with Dr Ros Bandt and Dr Michelle Duffy, and containing a CD of Sound Examples.

Tribute to Dr D E Kennedy (1928-2021), written by Dolly MacKinnon, Alexandra Walsham, Amanda Whiting and Wilf Prest, for the FORUM, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, The University of Melbourne (28 October 2022). See https://blogs.unimelb.edu.au/shaps-research/2022/10/28/dr-donald-edward-kennedy-1928-2021/

Edinburgh World Heritage, Heritage Fund, and Making Lasting Impressions Greyfriars Kirkyard [Edinburgh, Scotland] Online Conference:

2021 (26 June) “Belief, burial, tombs and tourists: the past and future of Greyfriars Kirkyard’, hosted by the Edinburgh World Heritage, Heritage Fund, and Making Lasting Impressions Greyfriars Kirkyard [Edinburgh, Scotland]. Invite Speaker: ‘‘'Halt Passengers take head what thou dost see": Scottish Covenanter commemoration, Greyfriars, and its echoes today’, (20 min pre-recorded and live online presentation and question time).

Museum Exhibition:

2015 Exhibition: “Wunderkammer: The strange and the curious”:

11 July – 13 September 2015, University of Queensland Art Museum. Curated by Dolly MacKinnon, Emily Poor (Honours Student), and Michelle Helmrich organised to coincide with the Australian and New Zealand Association of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (ANZAMEMS) 10th Biennial Conference to be held at The University of Queensland (14–18 & 20 July 2015).

Wunderkammer is inspired by those eclectic collections of objects that first emerged in the late sixteenth century known as ‘Cabinets of curiosity’, which included natural marvels, religious relics, works of art, and antiquities, among other things. These objects were often gathered on expeditions and trading voyages, and reveal the fascinations and preoccupations of the Age of Discovery. Wunderkammern were intended to be a microcosm of the broader world and are acknowledged as Early Modern precursors to the contemporary museum. An exhibition in two parts, the first comprises objects that embody a Medieval or Early Modern (c. 600–1800) aesthetic. It includes scientific and medical instruments, religious paraphernalia, coins, illuminated manuscripts and contemporary artworks drawn from across The University of Queensland’s collections.

Pre-concert Lecture, Melbourne Recital Centre, South Bank, Melbourne & CD notes:

2015 Royal Consort and the History of Emotions. Pre-consort lecture and performance.

Presented by ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions and Latitude 37 (early music ensemble), Melbourne Recital Centre, South Bank, Melbourne. Free event marking the release of their latest recording for ABC Classics, Royal Consorts. With stunning music from the time of the English Civil War period. This event offers an opportunity to learn about the repertoire from the artists and the music’s historical context with Dr Dolly MacKinnon, The University of Queensland, Associate Investigator, Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions) in a conversational-style talk, including performance excerpts by Latitude 37 from this exciting new ABC Classics CD.

Historical Consultant:

SBS Who Do You Think You Are ? (for 2018 & 2019 episodes)

Research Interests

  • Research Interests :
    Early modern soundscapes and landscapes, material culture, and cultural heritage; Histories of psychiatry; material culture and museums; Histories of children and youth in early modern war.
  • Research Projects & ARC Grants:
    1) Children and Youth -Early Modern War and conflict (England and Scotland) 2) ARC Discovery Project (2014-2016) - ‘War and Remembrance in England and Scotland 1500-1700’. 3) ARC CHE AI (2016) - Soundscapes of Emotion: Bell ringing in England c1500-c1800


  • Postgraduate Diploma in Education, Queensland University of Technology
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne
  • Bachelor of Music, University of Melbourne


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Featured Publications


Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision