Thomas Mackay

Thomas Mackay

School of Humanities

Faculty of Arts


Dr Thomas Mackay is a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of History at the University of Adelaide. He specialises in modern American history, especially the history of American capitalism, the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era, and the histories of American social and democratic movements. Additionally, he is interested in twentieth-century Australian history, and general social and cultural histories.

My research explores historical processes of institutional legitimation, ideology formation, and mythologisation within 'capitalist' societies, particularly in the United States and Australia. Along these lines, my PhD thesis investigated the relationship between popular confidence issues and the rise of advertising and propaganda in US banking at the turn of the twentieth century. I am in the process of re-writing the manuscript into a book monograph, with the working title The Search for Confidence: A Cultural History of American Banking during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. Additionally, I have been collaborating on a project with Thomas C. Buchanan that examines corporate attempts to foster enterprise-friendly attitudes during the 'Golden Age' of Australian capitalism, i.e. the 1950s to the 1970s. This project thus far has resulted in articles in History Australia and the Journal of Australian Studies. I have also had sole-authored articles and book reviews published in Enterprise and Society, American Nineteenth Century History (ANCH), the Flinders Journal of History and Politics (FJHP), and the Australasian Journal of American Studies (AJAS).

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  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2018 Buchanan, T., & Mackay, T. (2018). The return of the steel octopus: free enterprise and Australian culture during BHP’s Cold War. History Australia, 15(1), 62-77.
    DOI
    2018 Buchanan, T., & Mackay, T. (2018). B.H.P.’s “Place in the Industrial Sun”: Whyalla in its Golden Age. Journal of Australian Studies, 42(1), 85-100.
    DOI
    2018 Mackay, T. (2018). Bank-wreckers, defaulters, and embezzlers: America's popular fear and fascination with the misappropriation of bank deposits during the gilded age and progressive era. Enterprise and Society, 19(1), 58-87.
    DOI
    2017 Mackay, T. A. (2017). Dead Pledges: Debt, Crisis, and Twenty-First Century Culture. By Annie McClanahan, 2017.. Australasian Journal of American Studies (AJAS), 36(1), 171-174.
    2015 Mackay, T. (2015). Making banks fit for the people: confidence, democracy, and the rise of banking alternatives in America, 1880–1914. American Nineteenth Century History, 16(3), 307-328.
    DOI
    2014 Mackay, T. (2014). Cultural abundance, economic scarcity: cultural studies, economics, and contemporary Australian history. Flinders Journal of History and Politics, 30, 84-110.
    2014 Mackay, T. A. (2014). Colonization and Its Discontents: Emancipation, Emigration and Antislavery in Antebellum Pennsylvania. By Beverly C. Tomek.. Australasian Journal of American Studies (AJAS), 33(1), 138-139.

I have been tutoring and marking at the University of Adelaide since 2013. I have taught for Empires in World History (HIST1108 2014, 2017), Revolutions that Changed the World (HIST1109 2015), Modern America: Capitalism and Democracy (HIST2062 2016), and Violence in the Modern World (HIST2090 2017). In addition to marking for these courses, I have also marked for Modern America: From the Civil War to Iraq (HIST2062 2013), Aboriginal Peoples and the Colonial World (HIST3052 2016), and Human Trafficking: Atlantic Trade to Contemporary (HIST3030 2017).


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