Iain McCalman

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Iain McCalman
Full name Iain Duncan McCalman
Born (1947-11-06) 6 November 1947 (age 67)
Nyasaland, Africa
Institutions University of Sydney
Australian National University
Alma mater Australian National University (BA, MA)
Monash University (PhD)
Thesis A Radical Underworld in London: Thomas Evans, Robert Wedderburn, George Cannon and Their Circle, 1800–35 (1984)
Doctoral students
Peter Stanley
Main interests
British and European social history
Notable awards
Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (1992)
Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (1992)
Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (1996)
Federation Fellowship (2003)
Officer of the Order of Australia (2007)

Iain Duncan McCalman AOFAHAFASSA (born 6 November 1947) is an Australian historian, and a research professor at the University of Sydney. He is a specialist in eighteenth-century and early-nineteenth British and European history and has a particular interest in popular culture and low life. He was born in Nyasaland, Africa and was educated in Zimbabwe and Australia.


McCalman was President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities from 2001–2004, and is also a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. In 2007 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for "service to history and to the humanities as a teacher, researcher and author, and through administrative, advocacy and advisory roles in academic and public sector organisations."[1]


McCalman's 2003 book, The Seven Ordeals of Count Cagliostro, Flamingo (also HarperCollins, US and Random House, UK 2003), explores the life of the celebrated and infamous alchemist, magician, freemason, and global identity of the eighteenth century, Alessandro Cagliostro.

'Darwin's Armada', published in 2009, the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, examines the sea voyages of four naturalists, Darwin himself, Joseph Hooker, Thomas Huxley, and Alfred Wallace, and their subsequent roles in the controversy surrounding the publication of On the Origin of Species.

The Reef: A Passionate History: The Great Barrier Reef from Captain Cook to Climate Change will be published by Scientific American Books in May 2014.


  1. ^ "Search Australian Honours" (http). Honours – Australian Government. Retrieved 10 February 2008. 

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