• Research • Research • Faculty • Conal Condren
prof. dr. Conal Condren
EMERITUS SCIENTIA PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES:
HONORARY PROFESSOR, CENTRE FOR THE HISTORY OF EUROPEAN DISCOURSES, UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND.
Born: London, 1944
Education: London University, LSE: B.Sc. (1962-65); M.Sc. (1965-66); Ph.D (1968-69)
Assistant Lecturer, London University (UCR), 1967, (PhD scholarship held over for 1967); Lecturer, Political Science, UNSW, 1970; Senior Lecturer, 1977; Associate Professor, 1985; Professor, 1990. Scientia Professor, 2002, Emeritus, 2006
Vice-President, Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 1984-86; 1988-89; Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, 1990; Fellow of The Australian Academy of the Social Sciences, 2001; Invited to Life membership of the Collingwood Society; Associate Scholar, Erasmus Centre for Early Modern Studies, University of Rotterdam; Centenary Medal, 2003; Honorary Professor, Centre for the History of European Discourses, University of Queensland, 2007-
Consulting and Editorial Board Positions
History of Political Thought; Contemporary Political Theory; Parergon; Episteme
Various plenary & keynote addresses at conferences in Australia & overseas; Convegno internazionale su Marsilio da Padova, Padua, 1979; Vice Chancellor’s Lecture tour of the New Zealand Universities, 1988; Symposia at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 1985, 2000; The Interdisciplinary Research Centre University of Bielefeld, 1999; Wolfenbuttel Library, 2001; German Historical Studies, London, 2002; Erasmus University of Rotterdam, 2006, 2007
Fellow Clare Hall, 1990; Overseas Fellow Churchill College, Cambridge, 1995-96; Francis Bacon Foundation Fellow, The Huntington Library, 2003; Seminar director, The Folger Shakespeare Library, May-June, 2007; Member of Clare Hall and Churchill (current)
Competitive Grants Held
Australian Research Grants Council Awards, 1982, 1984; Several University NSW Arts Faculty awards; ARC Large Grants for 2000-2002; 2004-2006; No unsuccessful applications
Research and Publications
I work both as a political philosopher and intellectual historian. Chronologically my work has ranged from the 14th to 18th centuries and within this period I have concentrated mainly on persons and problems seen as raising broader issues. I have developed my own approach to the nature and study of intellectual history (Books: 2, 4, 5, 7; Papers B: 10, 11; C: 21, 23, 30, 31). This has required the integration of materials beyond the boundaries of 'politics' or 'theory' (Papers C: 19) and the layering of different types of context (Books: 5). My work has continuity of theme and places emphasis on pragmatics (word use and change) and historical interpretation as elucidated in the overview given for The Academy of the Humanities in 1999 (Papers B: 12). I have also published in non-historical areas of political theory/philosophy (Papers B: 13; C: 28). One major work was largely taken up with the logical analysis of interpretative concepts, (Books: 2; see also Papers B: 1, 2, 11, 23; C: 28, 31, 35, 36). In the next phase of research, I intend to focus more formally on theoretical issues arising from my historical work to develop a general account of political language change.
My major studies will be:
• A monograph (c. 80,000 words) on the role of metaphor in the creation and transformation of political vocabularies, (Works in progress: 2). This book has been planned for a long time (Books: 2, Preface) and has already given rise to several historically based forays (Books: 3, Conclusion; 4, Pt.1; 7, ch.10; Papers C: 22, 27, 30, 31). It concerns what I take to be the fundamental issue in the study of politics and its history, namely the manner in which the world is organised and accepted as political or non-political. As a theoretical model it will be tested against modern materials I have long been collecting.
• A volume of essays comprising new and revised work on the interpretation of intellectual history, rhetoric and word use in politics.
• A volume of essays on Shakespeare and the ethics of office.
• A monograph on Scriblerian satire as an exploration of the philosophic persona.
1) Three Aspects of Political Theory: On the Confusions and Reformation of an Expression, Macmillan, Melbourne, 1979, pp. 92, originally in The Pieces of Politics, ed. R. Lucy, 1975
2) The Status and Appraisal of Classic Texts: An Essay on Political Theory, its Inheritance and on The History of Ideas, Princeton University Press, NJ, 1985, pp. xiii + 293 + index
3) George Lawson's Politica and the English Revolution, Cambridge University Press, 1989, pp. xviii + 204 + index (paperback edition, 2002)
4) The Language of Politics in Seventeenth-Century England, Macmillan, UK, 1994, pp. xi + 206 + index
5) Satire, Lies and Politics: The Case of Dr Arbuthnot, Macmillan, UK, 1997, pp. xii + 185 + index
6) Thomas Hobbes. Twayne, New York, 2000, pp. xix + 176 + index
7) Argument and Authority in Early Modern England: The Presupposition of Oaths and Offices, Cambridge, University Press, 2006, pp. x +390 + index
1) Altro Polo: A Volume of Italian Renaissance Studies, edited with Roslyn Pesman Cooper, The May Foundation for Italian Studies, Sydney, 1982
2) The Political Identity of Andrew Marvell, edited with A.D. Cousins, London, Scolar Press, 1990, pp. ix + 212 + index
3) Politica Sacra et Civilis, (George Lawson, 1660 & 1689), Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought, Cambridge, University Press, 1992, pp. li + 275 + index (paperback ed. for China, 2003)
4) The Philosopher in Early Modern Europe: The Nature of a Contested Identity, edited with Stephen Gaukroger and Ian Hunter, Cambridge, University Press, 2006, pp. xii + 275 + index
5) ‘The Persona of the Philosopher in the Eighteenth Century’, edited with S. Gaugroger & I. Hunter, Intellectual History Review, 18, 3, (2008)
6) Shakespeare and Early Modern Political Thought, edited with David Armitage and Andrew Fitzmaurice, Cambridge: University Press, 2009
Published Papers: Contributions to Collections, Anthologies, etc.
1) 'An Historiographical Paradox', in N. Wright and F. McGregor eds., European History and Its Historians, AHMEME, Adelaide, 1977, pp. 85-96
2) The Quest for a Concept of "Needs"', in R. Fitzgerald ed., Human Needs and Politics, Oxford and Sydney, Pergamon Press, 1977, pp. 244-60
3) 'Marsilius of Padua and Machiavelli’, in R. Fitzgerald ed., Comparing Political Thinkers, Oxford and Sydney, Pergamon Press, 1980, pp. 94-115
4) 'More and Socrates', (with A.C. Condren), in Fitzgerald, ibidem, pp. 76-93
5) 'Socrates and More: The Limits of Comparison and Symbolic Potency' (with A C Condren), in B. Byron and D. Grace eds., Essays on the Icon: Quincentennial Essays on St. Thomas More, Melbourne, Dove, 1981, pp. 109-29
6) 'Political Theory', in D. Aitkin ed., Surveys of Australian Political Science, Canberra, Allen and Unwin for The Australian Academy of the Social Sciences, 1985, pp. 36-85
7) 'Settlement and Resistance Reconsidered: An Aporetic Reading of Lawson's Politica', in Gordon Schochet ed., Religion, Resistance, and Civil War, Proceedings of The Folger Institute Center for the History of British Political Thought, 1500-1800, vol. 3, Washington DC, 1990, pp. 201-220
8) ‘Christopher Hill and the English Revolution: A Sceptical Decoding of Significances', in J.O. Ward and S.M. Mukherjee eds., Revolutions as History, Sydney Association for the Study of Society and Culture, 1989, pp. 31-37
9) 'Casuistry to Newcastle: William Cavendish's Advice to Charles II at the Restoration', in Q. Skinner and N. Phillipson eds., Political Discourse in Early Modern Britain, Cambridge UP, 1993, pp. 164-188
10) 'Intellectual History', in D. Schreuder, ed., The Humanities and a Creative Nation: Jubilee Essays, Canberra, The Australian Academy of the Humanities, 1995, pp. 263-273
11) 'Anachronism and Political Theory', in Andrew Vincent ed., Political Theory: Ideology, Tradition and Innovation, Cambridge UP, 1997, pp. 45-66
12) 'Image, Text and Language: Historicising the History of Political Thought', in Bruce Bennett ed., Australia Between Cultures, Canberra, Australian Academy of the Humanities, 1999, pp. 92-98
13) 'English Historiography and the Invention of Britain and Europe', in J. Milfull ed., Britain in Europe, London, Ashgate, 1999, pp. 11-27
14) 'George Lawson (1598-1678)', in William Baker & Kenneth Womack eds., The Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 213: Pre-Nineteenth Century Book Collectors and Bibliophiles, Boston, Bruccoli Clark Layman, 1999, pp. 215-220
15) ‘The Problem of Audience, Office and the Language of Political Action in Lawson’s Politica and Hobbes’s Leviathan’, in Widerstandsrecht in der frühen Neuzeit, R. von Friedeburg ed., Beihefte der Zeitschrift für historische Forschung 26, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, 2002, pp. 287-303
16) ‘Trust, Lies and Politics’, in D. Burchell & A. Leigh eds., The Prince’s New Clothes, Sydney, UNSW Press, 2002, pp. 145-154
17) ‘Historicism and the Problem of Renaissance "Self-Fashioning"’, in Philippa Kelly ed., The Touch of the Real, Perth, UWA Press, 2002, pp. 105-124
18) ‘Natura naturans: the Topos of Natural Law in the Writings of Thomas Hobbes’, in Ian Hunter & David Saunders eds., Natural Law &Civil Sovereignty: Moral Right and State Authority in Early Modern Political Thought, London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2002, pp. 61-75
19) ‘The Office of Rule and the Rhetorics of Tyrannicide in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: an Overview’, in R. von Friedeburg ed., Murder and Monarchy, London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, pp. 48-72
20) Biographical essays for the New Dictionary of National Biography (each c. 1,000 words), entries for:
a) Richard More (d. 1643); b) Samuel More (d. 1662); c) George Lawson (d. 1678); d) Richard More the younger (d. 1698)
21) ‘Historical Epistemology and the Pragmatics of Patriotism in Early Modern England’, in R. von Friedeburg ed., Patrioten und Patriotismus, Wiesbanden, Harrassowitz Verlag, 2005, pp. 67-90
22) ‘Curtailing the office of the priest: Two seventeenth-century views of the Causes and Functions of Heresy’, in I. Hunter, J. C. Laurson and Cary Nederman eds., Heresy in Transition: Transforming Ideas of Heresy in the Medieval and Early Modern World, Aldershott, Ashgate, 2005, pp. 115-28
23) ‘Introduction’ with S. Gaukroger & Ian Hunter, The Philosopher in Early Modern Europe, pp. 1-16
24) ‘The persona of the philosopher and the rhetorics of office in early modern England’, ibidem, pp. 66-89
25) ‘Specifying the subject in early modern autobiography’, in R. Bedford, L. Davis and P. Kelly eds., Early Modern Autobiography: Theories, Genres, Practices, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 2006, pp. 35-48
26) ‘Radicalism Revisited’, in Glenn Burgess and Matthew Festenstein eds., English Radicalism, 1550-1850, Cambridge, University Press, 2007, pp. 311-37
27) ‘Marvell’s ‘Horatian Ode on Cromwell’s Return from Ireland’ and the context of the Engagement Controversy’, in Andrew Lynch and Anne M. Scott eds., Renaissance Poetry and Drama in Context, Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008, pp. 257-67
28) ‘Responsibility and the Rhetorics of Capability’, in Public Office and Personal Demands: Capability in Governance in the Seventeenth Century Dutch Republic, eds. Jan Hartman, Jaap Nieuwstraten and Michel Reinders, Cambridge: Scholars Press, 2009, pp. 237-51
29) ‘Unfolding ‘the Properties of Government’: The Case of Measure for Measure and the History of Political Thought’, in Shakespeare and the History of Early Modern Political Thought, Armitage, Condren & Fitzmaurice eds., pp. 157-75
30) ‘Introduction’, with David Armitage and Andrew Fitzmaurice, ibidem, pp. 1-22
Published Papers: Journal Articles (* signals unrefereed publications)
1)* 'The Rhodesia "Settlement"', (with A.C. Condren), in Current Affairs Bulletin, 48, 10, (1972), pp. 302-4
2)* 'Philosophy and History in the History of Philosophy', in Quadrant, 17, 5-6, (1973), pp. 24-27
3) 'The Death of Political Theory: The Importance of Historiographical Myth', in Politics, 9, 2, (1974), pp. 46-49
4) 'On Interpreting Marsilius of Padua's Use of St Augustine', in Augustiniana, 25, (1975), pp. 217-22
5) 'Marsilius of Padua's Argument from Authority: A survey of its significance the Defensor Pacis' in Political Theory, 5, 2, (1977), pp. 205ff.
6) 'Marsilius of Padua and the Poverty of Traditionalism', in Il Pensiero Politico, 11, (1978), pp. 393-96
7) 'George Lawson and the Defensor Pacis: On the Use of Marsilius in Seventeenth-Century England', in Medioevo, 6, (1980), pp. 595-617
8) 'Dame Alice More as Xanthippe, in Moreana, 64, (1980), pp. 59-64
9) 'Democracy in the Defensor Pacis: On the English Language Tradition of Marsilian Interpretation', in Il Pensiero Politico, 13, 3, (1980), pp. 301-16
10) 'Sacra Before Civilis: On the Ecclesiastical Politics of George Lawson', in The Journal of Religious History, 11, (1981), pp. 524-35
11) 'Resistance and Sovereignty in Lawson's Politica: An Examination of Professor Franklin, His Chimera', in The Historical Journal, 24, 3, (1981), pp. 673-81
12) 'The Image of Utopia in the Political Writings of George Lawson (1657): A Note on the Manipulation of Authority', in Moreana, 69, (1981), pp. 101-5
13) 'Authorities, Emblems and Sources: Reflections on a Rhetorical Strategy in the History of History', in Philosophy and Rhetoric, 15, (1982), pp. 170-186
14) 'Rhetoric, Historiography and Political Theory: Aspects of the Poverty Controversy Reconsidered', in The Journal of Religious History, 14, (1984), pp. 15-34
15) 'Ideas and The Model of Political Events: A problem in the Historicity of the History of Ideas', in Political Science, (1984), pp. 53-66
16) 'The Political bibliography of the Settlement Controversy of 1659-60: An Initial Computer Study', (with A.C. Condren), in The Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Bulletin, 9, 3, (1985), pp. 108-111
17)* 'A "Cloath" of Fading Colours: Hume, Reid and the Inheritance of `contract', in The Bulletin of the Australian Society for Legal Philosophy, 10, 37, (1986), pp. 643-74
18) 'Cornwallis' Paradoxical Defence of Richard III: A Machiavellian Discourse on Morean Mythology', in Moreana, 24, 94, (1987), pp. 5-24
19) 'More Parish Library, Salop.' (appendix with F. Carlton), in Library History, (1987), pp. 141-162
20) 'Confronting the Monster: George Lawson's reactions to Hobbes's Leviathan', in Political Science, 40, (1988), pp. 67-83
21) 'From Premise to Conclusion: Some Comments on Professional History and the Incubus of Rhetorical Historiography', in Parergon ns, 6, Festschrift for Sir Geoffrey Elton, (1988), pp. 5-18
22) 'The Renaissance as Metaphor: Some Significant Aspects of the Obvious', in Parergon ns, 7, (1989), pp. 91-105
23) 'Radicals, Conservatives and Moderates in Early modern Political Thought: A Case of Sandwich Islands Syndrome?', in History of Political Thought, 10, 3, (1989), pp. 525-542
24) 'On the Rhetorical Foundations of Leviathan', in History of Political Thought, 11,4, (1990), pp. 703-20
25) 'The Australian Commonwealth and a Little Republican Virtue', in Legislative Studies, 6, 2, (1990), pp. 31-34
26) ‘Professor Franklin on George Lawson's Politica and the English Revolution--A Rejoinder', in History of Political Thought, 12, (1991), pp. 561-65
27) 'Foucault's Cave: The Reification of Power and the legacy of Early modern Political Thought', in Common Knowledge, 3, 3, (1995), pp. 20-38
28) 'Code Types: Functions and Failings and Organisational Diversity', in Business and Professional Ethics Journal, 14, 4, (1996), pp. 1-18
29) 'The Making of Richard Hooker's Political Reputation, 1600-1950', in The Journal of Religious History, 21, 1, (1997), pp. 35-59
30) 'Liberty of Office and its defence in Seventeenth-Century Political Argument', in History of Political Thought, 18, 3, (1997), pp. 460-82
31) 'Fragmented Continuities: Reflections on Metaphor, Narrative Construction and the Early modern Historian', in Parergon ns, 15, 2, (1998), pp. 115-44
32) 'Sidney Godolphin and the Free Rider', in Business and Professional Ethics Journal, 17, 4, (1998), pp. 5-19
33) 'The Date of William Cavendish's Letter of 'Advice' to Charles II', Parergon ns, 17, 2, (2000), pp. 147-50
34) ‘Between Social Constraint and the Public Sphere: Methodological Problems in Reading Early-Modern Political Satire’, Contemporary Political Theory, 1.1. (2002), pp. 79-101
35) ‘A Reflection on the Problem of Anachronism in Intellectual History’, Scientia Poetica, Band 8, (2004), pp. 288-293
36) ‘English Historiographical Revisionism, ‘Cambridge School’ intellectual history: Some Aspects of the Problem of Contextualisation’, International Journal of Public Affairs, 2, (2006), pp. 19-28
37) ‘Introduction: The Persona of the Philosopher in the Eighteenth Century’ (with Ian Hunter), Intellectual History Review, 18, 3, (2008), pp. 315-17
38) ‘Defining Parody and Satire: Australian Copyright Law and its New Exception’ part 1, with Jessica Milner Davis, Sally McCausland and Robert Phiddian, Media and Arts Law Review, 11, 2008, pp. 273-92
38a) ‘Defining Parody and Satire’ part 2, ibidem, 13 (2008) pp. 401-21
39) ‘Public, private and the idea of the ‘Public Sphere’ in early-modern England’, Intellectual History Review, 19, 1 (2009), pp. 15-28
40) ‘Understanding Shakespeare’s perfect prince: Henry V, the ethics of office and the French Prisoners’, in The Shakespearean International Yearbook, 9, (2009), pp. 195-213
1) Comparison and Theoretical Fluidity: Three Studies in Political Theory', in Politics, 10, 2, (1975), pp. 210-14
2) 'Images of the Species and its Crisis', in Quadrant, 23, 5, (1979), pp. 59-62
3) 'Religion and Political Principle: New Studies on the Political Theory of the English Revolution', in Politics, 2, 18, (1983), pp. 117-20
4) The Paradoxes of Re-Contextualisation in Early-Modern Intellectual History, in The Historical Journal, 1994, pp. 225-31
5) 'The Little Lettered Hobbes,' in Parergon ns, 15, 1, (1997), pp. 161-69
6) 'Negotiating Property' in Journal of Early modern History: Contacts, Comparisons, Contrasts, 2, 2, (1998), pp. 203-9
I have reviewed for the following: The Australasian Journal of Politics and History; The Cambridge Review; The European Legacy; History of Political Thought; Hobbes Studies; The Journal of Ecclesiastical History; The Journal of the History of European Ideas; The Journal of Modern History; The Journal of Religious History, Parergon ns; Political Theory; The Political Theory Newsletter; Political Science; Quadrant; The Review of Politics; The Sixteenth-Century Journal; Teaching History
Journalism & Non-Professional Publications
Sydney Morning Herald (11 articles); The Australian (2 articles); The Bulletin (1 article); The Australian Quarterly (1 article); The Political Theory Newsletter (2 pieces), one reprinted in Campus Review Weekly, one accepted for The Open Road.
1) ‘The Perplexities of Satire’, Journal of Humour Studies, (2009)
2) ‘Sovereignty’ (8,000 words) in Peter Anstey, ed. The Oxford Companion to the History of Seventeenth-Century English Philosophy, Oxford UP, 2010
Works in Progress
1) Crossing Over: Metaphor and Concept Formation in Politics (book; see above, overview of research & publications)
2) Scriblerian satire of the philosophic persona, draft of a short monograph, c. 30,000 words
3) Methodology and the history of philosophy: speech act and persona (paper given at Prato May 2008)
4) 'Logic and Rhetoric in the use of models in the social sciences' (paper planned, not written, may end up as part of Works in Progress 1)
5) Shakespeare’s Richard II: the ethics of office, scepticism and the symbolism of the Garden
6) ‘Sovereignty’ essay for The Oxford Companion to Seventeenth-Century English Philosophy, ed. P. Anstey
7) ‘Milton and Tyranny’ invited contribution for seminar at University of Queensland, August, 2008
8) ‘Humour and the history of early modern philosophy: Hobbes, his critics and the paradox of contextualisation’
Professional Ethics MA School of Philosophy UNSW, team taught, minor involvement; Political Satire and Parody, co-taught pre-honours seminar; Early Political Texts, upper level seminar subject close study of pre-modern political texts; Methodology of research and thesis writing, fourth year honours seminar; Shakespeare and Politics, fourth year honours seminar; Early modern British political thought, various lecture and seminar courses; Renaissance politics in Italy & England, co-taught upper level seminar; Culture and Tradition, team-taught interdisciplinary first year seminar; Ideology, lecture course; Textual interpretation, seminar; MA in Nineteenth Century studies, team teaching the core subject on historiographical and scientific movements; The Renaissance, team-taught interdisciplinary seminar; Corruption and Integrity in Public life, team taught lecture course, minor involvement; Occasional lectures and seminars at other universities in History, Philosophy, English, Fine Arts, and Government
BA Hons theses: the majority of my students received Firsts, and most of these gained graduate scholarships for study in Australia or Britain. Three of my students have been University medalists.
Supervision MA or PhD theses (in chronological order) on:
• The human needs theory of Christian Bay;
• The political thought of Thomas More;
• The Use of Kuhnian theory in the Political Sciences (MA);
• The ecclesiology of Archbishop James Ussher (co-supervised, Prof. J.Gascoigne, History);
• The notion of crisis in academic literature between 1918-1940 (ANU PhD thesis);
• Epideictic rhetoric (MA);
• Republican argument in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Australia;
• Michael Oakeshott's reading of Thomas Hobbes;
• Economic development and Americanisation in post-Second World War Australia and its impact on political language;
• The medical writings of the satirist Bernard de Mandeville.
All but the most recent of the candidates have got academic appointments. Substantial publications have come directly from all the PhD theses I have supervised, except the last.
Administration, Faculty and University
Previous: Foundation Director of the Humanities Research Program, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, 1997-2001. Resigned for health reasons. This involved establishing and administering a variety of schemes to develop and reward research activity across the Faculty including programs of teaching release, visiting fellowships, and subventions for publications and conferences. I also chaired the management committees of a number of the Faculty's Research Centres.
• Chair, School Committee, Politics and International Relations, 2001-5.
• Head of School, 1991-95; Faculty Promotions Committees; various Faculty Standing committees;
• University Research Management Committee (1991-4); University Working Party on post-graduate resources, 1994;
• Academic Board of University, 1994-5; Postgraduate Studies committee of the Academic Board, 1994-5; Policy Advisory Committee, 1995;
• Staff Association Executive, 1971 (nominated replacement for Dr Adam Graycar).
A member of various special and standing committees for the following universities: Charles Sturt; Sydney; Macquarie (Politics Review); New England. Invited reports written for ANU on The History of Ideas Unit, and the HRC.
• Chair, Editorial committee of ANZAMRS for most of the time in which its journal Parergon ns was being established internationally under Dr.(now Professor) Elizabeth Jeffreys as Editor. (See Honours, above);
• Editor of The Political Theory Newsletter for several years; Working party for reform and amalgamation of The Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Renaissance Studies with the Australasian Historians of Medieval and Early modern Europe, now The Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies.
Conference and Seminar organization
• Committee member for The Network of Early European Research
• Seminar Director, Shakespeare and the History of Political Thought, Folger Shakespeare Library, May-June, 2007
• Co-organiser (with Stephen Gaukroger, Ian Hunter, ‘Subject, Persona, Office: Methodological issues in the history of philosophy’, Symposium, Prato, May, 2008
• American Shakespeare Association, seminar on Hamlet and political theory, with Prof Shannon Stimson, Berkeley, Washington, April, 2009
• Committee member for International Committee of Historical Sciences, Conference UNSW 2005.
• Humanities Research Centre, ANU, (July, 2006) Shakespeare & Political Thought, international symposium, jointly with David Armitage, Harvard, and Andrew Fitzmaurice,
• Sydney Australian Political Studies Association Conference, 1973, 1989
• Organiser for the participation and program of the Australian Historians of Medieval and Early Modern Europe in the first National Conference of Historians in Australia.
• Thomas Hobbes Seminar and exhibition, University of NSW 1988.
• Political Discourse in Early Modern Europe, HRC, ANU, 1989
• committee member for UNSW Arts and Social Sciences Faculty Conference (2002) The Origins of Modernity: European Thought, 1543-1789, (UNSW Faculty Conference 2002).
• Founder, Sydney History of Ideas Group, (1980-1988).
• The Republican Concept of Freedom Symposium, co-sponsored HRC & RSSS, ANU, 1994.
• Co-organiser of week long seminar on Early Modern (largely scientific) thought with Prof Stephen Gaukroger, Philosophy, Sydney and Dr John Sutton, Philosophy, Macquarie University, July 1999.
Sailing, pottery, fictional writing (co-author, with Aoise Stratford of prize-winning play; novel with potential agent, second novel part drafted)