Professor Lisa Ford

Professor Lisa Ford


BA(Hons 1)/LLB(Hons 1)/MA (UQ), MA, MPhil, PhD (Columbia)

Arts,Design & Architecture
School of Humanities & Languages

A graduate of Columbia University in New York, Professor Ford is a legal historian whose work centres on ideas and practices of order in the post-1763 British Empire and the early national United States. She is the prize-winning author of three monographs: Settler Sovereignty: Jurisdiction and Indigenous People in America and Australia, 1788-1836 (Harvard UP, 2010); Rage for Order: The British Empire and the Origins of International Law, 1800-1850 (Harvard UP, 2016), co-authored with Professor Lauren Benton; and The King's Peace: Law and Order in the British Empire (Harvard UP, 2021). Professor Ford has also co-edited two books: with Tim Rowse, Between Indigenous and Settler Governance (Routledge 2013); and with Peter Cane and Mark McMillan, The Cambridge Legal History of Australia (Cambridge UP, 2022).

She is currently working on two ARC-funded projects: a collaborative study of British Imperial Commissions of Inquiry, from 1819-1840 (DP180100537) and a pan-imperial study of declarations of martial law, 1700-1900 (FT190100232).

+61 2 9385 3669
349 Morven Brown
  • Books | 2021
    Ford L, 2021, Introduction: The King’s Colonial Peace and its Legacies, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA,
    Books | 2021
    Ford L, 2021, The King's Peace Law and Order in the British Empire, Harvard University Press
    Books | 2016
    Benton L; Ford L, 2016, Rage for Order: The British Empire and the Origins of International Law, 1800-1850, Harvard University Press
    Books | 2013
    Ford L, 2013, Between Indigenous and Settler Governance, Ford L; Rowse T, (ed.), Routledge, London
    Books | 2010
    Ford L, 2010, Settler Sovereignty: Jurisdiction and Indigenous People in America and Australia, 1788-1836, 1, Havard University Press, Cambridge, MA
  • Book Chapters | 2022
    Cane P; Ford L; McMillan M, 2022, 'Editor's Introduction', in Cane P; Ford L; McMillan M (ed.), The Cambridge Legal History of Australia, Cambridge University Press, pp. 1 - 16,
    Book Chapters | 2022
    Ford L; Roberts D, 2022, 'Settlement and Dispossession', in Cane P; Ford L; McMillan M (ed.), The Cambridge Legal History of Australia, Cambridge University Press, pp. 305 - 327
    Book Chapters | 2021
    Benton L; Ford L, 2021, 'Empires and the Rule of Law', in The Cambridge Companion to the Rule of Law, Cambridge University Press, pp. 101 - 118
    Book Chapters | 2020
    Benton L; Ford L, 2020, 'Legal Panics, Fast and Slow: Slavery and the Constitution of Empire', in Edelstein D; Geroulanos S; Wheatley N (ed.), Power and Time Temporalities in Conflict and the Making of History, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 295 - 316
    Book Chapters | 2017
    Ford L, 2017, 'Protecting the Peace on the Edges of Empire: Commissioners of Crown Lands in New South Wales', in Protection and Empire: A Global History, Cambridge University Press, pp. 175 - 193
    Book Chapters | 2014
    Ford L, 2014, 'Law', in Armitage D; Bashford A (ed.), Pacific Histories: Ocean, Land, People, edn. Original, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke and New York,
    Book Chapters | 2013
    Benton L; Ford L, 2013, 'Magistrates in Empire: Convicts, Slaves, and the Remaking of the Plural Order in the British Empire', in Legal Pluralism and Empires, 1500-1850, edn. Original, New York University Press, New York and London, pp. 173 - 198,
    Book Chapters | 2013
    Ford L, 2013, 'Locating Indigenous Self-Determination in the Margins of Settler Sovereignty: An Introduction', in Ford L; Rowse T (ed.), Between Indigenous and Settler Governance, Routledge, London, pp. 1 - 11,
    Book Chapters | 2013
    McHugh P; Ford L, 2013, 'Settler Sovereignty and the Shapeshifting Crown', in Ford L; Rowse T (ed.), Between Indigenous and Settler Governance, Routledge, London, pp. 23 - 34,
    Book Chapters | 2013
    Roberts D; Ford L, 2013, 'Expansion, 1820-1850', in Macintyre ABS (ed.), The Cambridge History of Australia : Volume 1 Indigenous and Colonial Australia, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, pp. 121 - 148,
    Book Chapters | 2012
    Ford L, 2012, 'Locating indigenous self-determination in the margins of settler sovereignty: An introduction', in Between Indigenous and Settler Governance, pp. 1 - 11,
    Book Chapters | 2012
    McHugh P; Ford L, 2012, 'Settler sovereignty and the shapeshifting Crown', in Between Indigenous and Settler Governance, pp. 23 - 34,
    Book Chapters | 2010
    Ford L, 2010, 'The Pig and the Peace: Transposing Order in Early Sydney', in Dorsett S; Hunter I (ed.), Law and Politics and British Colonial Thought: Transpositions of Empire, edn. Original, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, pp. 169 - 186
    Book Chapters | 2009
    Ford L, 2009, 'Before Settler Sovereignty and After Aboriginal Sovereignty: New South Wales in Global Perspective', in Attwood B; Griffiths T (ed.), Frontier, Race, Nation: Henry Reynolds and Australian History, edn. 1, Australian Scholarly Publishing, North Melbourne, pp. 185 - 208
  • Edited Books | 2022
    Cane P; Ford L; McMillan M, (eds.), 2022, The Cambridge Legal History of Australia,
  • Journal articles | 2022
    Ford L, 2022, 'Sovereignty and the Problem of Order in Belize, 1763-1821', Forum Historiae Iuris, pp. 1 - 23,
    Journal articles | 2022
    McKenzie K; Ford L, 2022, 'A Dance of Crown and Parliament: Empire and Reform in the Age of Liverpool', The English Historical Review, 137, pp. 1606 - 1632,
    Journal articles | 2021
    Doherty S; Ford L; McKenzie K; Parkinson N; Roberts D; Halliday P; Laidlaw Z; Lester A; Stern P, 2021, 'Inquiring into the corpus of empire', Journal of World History: official journal of the World History Association, 32,
    Journal articles | 2021
    Ford L; Parkinson N, 2021, 'Legislating Liberty: Liberated Africans and the Abolition Act, 1806–1824', Slavery and Abolition,
    Journal articles | 2021
    Parkinson N; Doherty S; Ford L, 2021, 'A Commissioner’s Day: Quantitative approaches to the study of evidence in royal commissions of inquiry', Digital Scholarship in the Humanities,
    Journal articles | 2021
    Roberts DA; Ford L, 2021, 'Editorial', Australian Historical Studies, 52, pp. 467 - 469,
    Journal articles | 2020
    Ford L; Roberts DA, 2020, 'The Convict Peace: The Imperial Context of the 1833 Convict Revolt at Castle Forbes', The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History,
    Journal articles | 2019
    Ford L, 2019, 'Old histories and weak states: a reflection on ‘Thinking the Empire Whole’', History Australia, 16, pp. 646 - 650,
    Journal articles | 2018
    Benton L; Ford L, 2018, 'Island Despotism: Trinidad, the British Imperial Constitution and Global Legal Order', Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 46, pp. 21 - 46,
    Journal articles | 2016
    Booth K; Ford L, 2016, 'Ross v Chambers: Assimilation law and policy in the Northern Territory', Aboriginal History, 40, pp. 3 - 25,
    Journal articles | 2016
    Ford L; Roberts DA, 2016, '‘Mr Peel’s Amendments’ in New South Wales: Imperial criminal reform in a distant penal colony', Journal of Legal History, 37, pp. 198 - 214,
    Journal articles | 2015
    Ford L; Roberts D, 2015, '"Legal Change, Convict Activism and the Reform of Penal Relocation in Colonial New South Wales: The Port Macquarie Penal Settlement, 1822–26"', Australian Historical Studies, 46, pp. 174 - 190,
    Journal articles | 2014
    Ford L; Roberts DA, 2014, 'New South Wales penal settlements and the transformation of secondary punishment in the nineteenth-century British Empire', Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, 15, pp. n/a,
    Journal articles | 2014
    Ford L, 2014, 'Antislavery and the Reconstitution of Empire', Australian Historical Studies, 45, pp. 71 - 86,
    Journal articles | 2011
    Brawley SS; Clark J; Dixon C; Grolman L; Ross S; Upton SI; Ford L, 2011, 'Applying standards to tertiary-level history: Policy, challenges and the After Standards project', History Australia, 8, pp. 177 - 194
    Journal articles | 2011
    Ford L, 2011, 'Thinking big about New South Wales history: colonial law in global perspective.', Australian Bar Review, 34, pp. 204 - 213
    Journal articles | 2008
    Ford L; Salter B, 2008, 'From Pluralism to Territorial Sovereignty: The 1816 Trial of Mow-watty in the Superior Court of New South Wales', Indigenous Law Journal, 7, pp. 67 - 86
    Journal articles | 2008
    Ford L, 2008, 'Indigenous Policy and its Historical Occlusions: The North American and Global Contexts of Australian Settlement', Australian Indigenous Law Review, 12, pp. 69 - 80
    Journal articles | 2006
    Ford L, 2006, 'Empire and Order on the Colonial Frontiers of Georgia and New South Wales', Itinerario: journal on the history of European expansion and global interaction, 3, pp. 95 - 113
    Journal articles | 1999
    Ford L, 1999, 'Heroes, Villains and Wicked Priests: Authority and Story in the Histories of Simon Schama', Clio - a Journal of Literature History and the Philosophy of History, 29, pp. 23 - 46

  • FT190100232, Empire of Emergency (2020-2024) (future fellow), a study of martial law in the British Empire from 1700-1900
  • DP180100537, Inquiring into Empire (2018-2022) (lead CI), a study of the colonial commissions of inquiry that remade the British Empire after the Napoleonic Wars, 1819-1840
  • DE120100593, Protecting the Peace (2012-2017) (DECRA fellow), a study of protection and legal reform in the British Empire, 1800-1840
  • DP110103832, Convicts, Empire and Order (2011-2013) (sole CI), a study of peace keeping and everyday ordering in the British Empire, 1760-1840
  • LE180100048, Foundations of the Common Law Library (Austlii, 2018)
  • LE150100051, The Australasian Legal History Libraries, Stage II (Austlii, 2015)
  • LE120100062, The Australian Legal History Library (Austlii, 2012)
  • Australian Learning and Teaching Council, After Standards: The Future of History (2011-2012)

  • The Robert E. Dalton Award from the American Society of International Law for Outstanding Contribution in the Field of Foreign Relations Law (2023) 
  • The Dean's Monograph Award (2017)
  • The Crawford Medal for Outstanding Contribution to the Humanities by an Early Career Scholar (2012)
  • The Littleton-Griswold Prize awarded by the American Historical Association for the best book in any subject on the history of American Law and Society (2010)
  • The New South Wales Premier's History Award (General category) (2010)
  • The Thomas J. Wilson Prize for the best first book manuscript in any field to be published by Harvard University Press (2010)
  • The Bancroft Dissertation Prize for the best American Studies Dissertation submitted to Columbia University in 2007 (2008)

My Teaching

2023: Slavery and its Legacies
2022: Convenor of Honours, School of Humanities
2022: The Humanities, then and now
2022: Research Skills in the Humanities
2018: Deputy Head of School (Education)
2017: Convenor of History and Area Studies Group
2014-2015: Slavery and Freedom
2010-11: Australia: Protest & Memory
2009-11; 2018: Introduction to History: The Big Picture (World History)
2009: Winners & Losers
2009: Welfare & Poverty in Australian History