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Ros Pesman

Ros Pesman
Ros Pesman is professor emeritus in the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry at the University of Sydney. She is the author of Duty Free: Australian Women Abroad (1996) and co-editor of Australians in Italy: Lives and Impressions (2008).

Ros Pesman reviews 'Making And Breaking Australian Universities: Memoirs of an academic life in Australia and Britain 1936–2004' by Bruce Williams

May 2006, no. 281 01 May 2006
I first met Sir Bruce Williams as a wise and wry voice in sceptical register at meetings of the Senate and its Finance Committee at the University of Sydney in the late 1990s. His service to these bodies followed a distinguished career as an academic, economist, university administrator and adviser to governments on policy formulation and implementation in higher education, science and technology. ... (read more)

Ros Pesman reviews 'The Cambridge Companion to Travel Writing' edited by Peter Hulme and Tim Youngs, and 'Venus in Transit: Australia’s women travellers' by Douglas R.G. Sellick

May 2003, no. 251 25 October 2022
In our postmodern age, when everything travels and travel is a metaphor for everything, travel and travel writing have become the subject of intense scholarly interest and debate. Travel, once largely the domain of geographers, and travel writing, previously relegated to the status of a sub-literary genre, now engage attention from literary studies, history, anthropology, ethnography, and, most fr ... (read more)

Ros Pesman reviews 'A Castle in Tuscany: The remarkable life of Janet Ross' by Sarah Benjamin

February 2007, no. 288 01 March 2007
From the mid-nineteenth century, the city of Florence and its surrounding hills were home to a large expatriate community in which the British were both prominent and visible – in the English tearooms and English pharmacy, in the waiting rooms of the English doctors and bankers, in the pews of the English Church. The foreigners came to live in a better climate and at less expense, to discover th ... (read more)

Ros Pesman reviews 'My Other World' by Margaret Whitlam

May 2001, no. 230 01 May 2001
This book, My Other World, is in Margaret Whitlam’s words, ‘the story of my travels as the leader of group study tours around the world’ in the 1990s. It is also another episode in the life journey of a remarkable woman who has the capacity and the vitality to go on inventing new lives. Previously a swimming champion, social worker, suburban mother, prime minister’s and ambassador’s cons ... (read more)

Ros Pesman reviews 'Je Suis Australienne: Remarkable women in France, 1880–1945' by Rosemary Lancaster

February 2009, no. 308 01 February 2009
At the time that I was asked to review Rosemary Lancaster’s Je Suis Australienne: Remarkable Women in France, 1880–1945, I was reading American writer Helen Barolini’s Their Other Side: Six American Women and the Lure of Italy (2006). The books are similar: five of Lancaster’s six chapters are devoted to individual women whose lives and experience, like those in Barolini, cover the period ... (read more)

Ros Pesman reviews 'From a Distant Shore: Australian Writers in Britain 1820–2012' by Bruce Bennett and Anne Pender

June 2013, no. 352 27 May 2013
From the earliest days of white settlement, Australians have made the voyage to Britain. Many stayed for long periods and some forever. Prominent among the more permanent residents were writers, prominent not only in terms of numbers but also because it was they who in large part created the stories and legends of Australians abroad. Some left without regret, lambasting their local world as ‘sub ... (read more)