Dr Briony Neilson

DR. BRIONY NEILSON is an historian of France and New Caledonia with a focus on Criminal Justice History, French History, the History of Crime and Punishment, incarceration, penal colonisation, convictism and settler colonialism. Dr. Neilson is a convenor, lecturer and tutor in history and criminology at the University of New South Wales and tutor at the University of Sydney, where she was awarded her PhD in 2012. Previously, Dr. Neilson has also taught at Deakin University and the University of Paris III (Sorbonne-Nouvelle), France and is also a professional translator and editor. Currently, she is Assistant Editor of H-France Salon, a multimedia journal for the scholarly study of French history and culture.

Age of Morality: Youth and Criminal Responsibility in Third Republic France, 1877–1914, her book manuscript, is currently in preparation.


  • ‘“Moral Rubbish in Close Proximity”: Strategies of Distance in New Caledonia and Australia, c. 1853–1897,’ International Review of Social History, (currently under review).
  • with Michael A. McDonnell, “‘No Evidence But Their Own Words’: Revolutionary War Veterans and the Struggle for Recognition,” Journal of the Early Republic(forthcoming, 2019).
  • “Convict Suffering and Salvation in New Caledonia and Australia: The Life and Writing of French Bagnard Poet Julien de Sanary,” French‐Australia Review, (forthcoming, 2019).
  • “Settling Scores in New Caledonia and Australia: French Convictism and Settler Legitimacy,” Australian Journal of Politics and History, Vol. 64, No. 3 (September 2018): 391–406.
  • “Histoire coloniale: Le bagne,” in Peter Brown and Jean‐Yves Faberon (eds), 101 mots pour comprendre l’Australie (Noumea: Centre de documentation pédagogique de Nouvelle‐Calédonie, 2018), pp.54‐5.
  • “The Paradox of Penal Colonization: Debates on Convict Transportation at the International Prison Congresses 1872–1895,” French History and Civilization, Vol. 6, 2015, pp. 198–211.
  • “Youth, Literacy and Social Emancipation in Third Republic France: The ‘Crime de Jully,’” Crime, History & Societies, Vol. 18, No. 1 (2014), pp. 81–100.
  • with Robert Aldrich, “Introduction” French History and Civilization, Vol. 4 (2010) https://h-france.net/rude/vol4/
  • with Alecia Simmons, Sophie Loy-Wilson, Jemima Mowbray and Elizabeth Todd, “Introduction,” Ex Plus Ultra: Postgraduate eJournal of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) International Network in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, Vol. 1 (2009), http://explusultra.wun.ac.uk


  • PhD (History) University of Sydney (2012)
  • Postgraduate Certificate of Editing and Electronic Publishing Macquarie University (2012)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons I) History, Major in French, University of New South Wales (2003)


Follow Dr. Briony Neilson on Twitter@Briony_Neilson