AustLit logo
Mark McKenna Mark McKenna i(A75206 works by)
Gender: Male
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


Mark McKenna has been Associate Professor in the Department of History at The University of Sydney, where his research focused on the history of Australian republicanism and monarchy, Australian historiography and biography, place and Aboriginal history. His book An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark won numerous prizes and awards, including the 2012 Prime Minister’s Prize for Non Fiction, the Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction (2012 NSW Premier’s Literary Award), the Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-Fiction (2011 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards), the 2011 Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards Prize for Non-Fiction, and the 2012 Adelaide Festival Award for Non-Fiction. He has held several distinguished positions overseas at the Australian Studies Centre in London, the Australian Studies Centre in Copenhagen, and University College, Dublin. In Australia, he was an ARC QEII Fellow in History at The Australian National University from 2000–05, before taking up the position of Senior Research Fellow in History at The University of Sydney in 2006. He has also been an ARC Future Fellow.

His publications include An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark (2011); This Country: A Reconciled Republic? (2004); Australian Republicanism: A Reader (2003, with Wayne Hudson); Looking for Blackfellas’ Point: An Australian History of Place (2002); and The Captive Republic: A History of Republicanism in Australia, 1788–1996 (1996).

In 2017, his From the Edge: Australia's Lost Histories was shortlisted for the Colin Roderick Award, the H.T. Priestley Medal, and the CHASS Australia Book Prize, and won the NSW Premier's Australian History Prize.

Source: The Australian Academy of the Humanities website

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon An Eye for Eternity : The Life of Manning Clark Carlton North : Melbourne University Press , 2011 Z1776387 2011 single work biography Manning Clark was a complex, demanding and brilliant man. Mark McKenna's compelling biography of this giant of Australia's cultural landscape is informed by his reading of Clark's extensive private letters, journals and diaries - many that have never been read before.

'An Eye for Eternity paints a sweeping portrait of the man who gave Australians the signature account of their own history. It tells of his friendships with Patrick White and Sidney Nolan. It details an urgent and dynamic marriage, ripped apart at times by Clark's constant need for extramarital romantic love. A son who wrote letters to his dead parents. A historian who placed narrative ahead of facts. A believer who flirted with Catholicism. A controversial public figure who marked slights and criticisms with deeply held grudges.

To understand Clark's life is to understand twentieth century Australia. And it raises fundamental questions about the craft of biography. When are letters too personal, comments too hurtful and insights too private to publish? Clark incessantly documented his life - leaving notes to the biographers he knew would pursue his story. He had a deep need to be remembered and this book means he will now be understood in an unforgettable way.' (Publisher's blurb)
2012 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's History Prize Australian History Prize
2012 winner New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction
2012 winner Prime Minister's Literary Awards Non-Fiction
2012 shortlisted National Biography Award
2012 winner Festival Awards for Literature (SA) Award for Non-Fiction
2011 winner Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Non-Fiction
2011 shortlisted Colin Roderick Award
2011 shortlisted Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Non-Fiction
2011 shortlisted 'The Nib': CAL Waverley Library Award for Literature
2011 co-winner 'The Nib': CAL Waverley Library Award for Literature The Alex Buzo Shortlist Prize
2011 nominated Walkley Award Best Non-Fiction Book
2011 winner Queensland Premier's Literary Awards Best Non-Fiction Book
y separately published work icon Looking for Blackfellas' Point : An Australian History of Place Sydney : University of New South Wales Press , 2002 Z1035628 2002 single work non-fiction (taught in 1 units)

'Blackfellas' Point' lies on the Towamba River in south-eastern New South Wales. As the river descends rapidly from its source on the Monaro plains, it winds its way through state forest, national park and farming land. Around twenty-five kilometres before it reaches the sea, just south of Eden, it passes through Towamba, the small village in which Mark McKenna now owns eight acres of land. Mark's land looks across the river to Blackfellas' Point , once an Aboriginal camping ground and meeting place.'

Looking for Blackfellas' Point is a history that begins by looking across the river to arc of bush that is Blackfellas' Point. From there, Mark McKenna's gaze pans out - from the history of one place he knows intimately, to the history of one region and, ultimately, to the history of Australia's quest for reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.'

2003 winner New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Book of the Year
2003 winner New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction
2002 shortlisted Colin Roderick Award Announced in 2003
Last amended 12 Oct 2017 16:14:00
Needs updating?
Update Update by email
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: