Associate Professor Barbara Baird

1990 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Biography

After completing my PhD about South Australian women's experiences of illegal abortion (before 1970), and almost a decade working and teaching at Flinders and Adelaide University, in 1999 I went to the University of Tasmania in Hobart where I coordinated the Gender Studies program for seven years. I have been in the discipline of Women's & Gender Studies at Flinders University since 2006.

I am currently the Co-Convenor of the South Australian Abortion Action Coalition (saaac, see saaac's goal is to improve SA women's access to abortion services and to normalise abortion as health care. We are pursuing the decriminalisation of abortion in SA.

I have been a regular contributor to the forum program in FEAST, Adelaide's LGBT cutural festival, since its inception in 1997. More recently I have also participated in queer (and abortion-focused) activities sponsored by the Migration Museum and Centre for Democracy.

In 2020 I am part of the collective which is orgnanising the Australian Women's & Gender Studies Associatoin biannual conference, to be held this year in Adelaide. I have twice, in 2007 and 2012, with Dr Damien Riggs, co-convened the annual conference of the Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association.

Since 2010 I have, with fellow feminist academics from UniSA and the University of Adelaide, co-convened the SA Women's & Gender Studies Annual Public Lecture

Research Interests

General interests: The cultural politics and histories of sexuality and reproduction in Australia; abortion; feminism in Australia; 'intersectional' approaches to gender and sexuality issues; representations of children and 'the child'; critical race and whiteness theories in Australian contexts; Indigenous studies; memory and representations of the past.

I am part of a research group with colleagues from Macquarie University that is investigating the history of 'sexual citizenship' in Australia since the late 1960s (ARC Discovery Project DP170100502 2017-2019). The case studies which have been my focus thus far include the establishment of legal abortion services in Australia in the 1970s, the LGBTIQ movement in C21st Australia (a juxtaposition of the campaign for marriage equaltiy and queer solidarity with asylum seekers in detention) and the campaign to support the Safe Schools scheme.

My other current project is an investigation of the history of the practice of abortion in Australia since the early 1990s.

My research focus over recent years has been the racialised nature of gender and sexuality politics during 'the Howard era' in Australia (1996-2007). This has generated numerous journal articles.

Supervised Students Successes

  • Nov 2012 Anitra Goriss-Hunter - Australian Women's & Gender Studies Association biennial prize for Best PhD thesis

Completed Supervisions

Principal Supervisions:
  • A Place in the Empire: Negotiating the Life of Gertrude Kenny (1)
  • The experience of 'floating sex workers' in Bangladesh (1)
  • The Gendered Newsroom: Embodied Subjectivity in the Changing World of the Media (1)
  • Uses of performance to prevent rape and sexual assault (joint with Drama) (1)
  • Wired and Dangerous: Maternal Bodies in Cyber(cultural)space (1)
  • Women filmmakers in post New Order Indonesia (jointly with Flinders Asia Centre) (1)
Associate Supervisions:
  • Representations of maids in Argentinian literature (joint with History) — Associate (1)
  • Spousal violence in Bangladesh: 'problem wives' and shelter homes (jointly with Social Work) (1)


  • Registered

Research Areas

  • Women's and gender studies

Supervisory Interests

  • History and cultural politics of sexuality and reproduction
  • Abortion and maternity
  • Feminist and queer approaches to Australian history
  • Critical race and whiteness studies in Australian contexts
  • Australian Indigenous studies


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