AustLit logo


Inga Clendinnen Inga Clendinnen i(A33908 works by)
Born: Established: 17 Aug 1934 Geelong, Geelong City - Geelong East area, Geelong area, Geelong - Terang - Lake Bolac area, Victoria, ; Died: Ceased: 8 Sep 2016
Gender: Female
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.


Inga Clendinnen has spent her career as an archaeologist, anthropologist and historian, studying the lives of the Aztec Indians, the Mayans and other Latin American civilizations and theorising about their lives. She is the author of many books and essays on topics ranging from the histories of societies to the faith and beliefs of societies. From 1956 to 1965 and 1968, Clendinnen served as a Senior Tutor of History at University of Melbourne and as a lecturer, senior lecturer and reader at La Trobe University from 1969-1991. In 1987 Dr Clendinnen was the Arthur H. Aiton Memorial Lecturer at the University of Michigan and in 1988, her book Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan 1517-1571, won the Herbert Eugene Bolton Memorial Prize. In 1991 Clendinnen became a Doctor of Literature and has been an Emeritus Scholar at La Trobe University. (Source: The Australian Academy of the Humanities website)

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

2007 winner Mildura Writers' Festival Awards Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal
2007 recipient Australian Humanist of the Year Award
2006 recipient Order of Australia Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) For service to scholarship as a writer and historian addressing issues of fundamental concern to Australian society and for contributing to shaping public debate on conflicting contemporary issues.

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Agamemnon's Kiss : Selected Essays Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2006 Z1293120 2006 selected work essay

'The new selection of essays from one of Australia's finest historians and writers.Agamemnon's Kiss is a thrilling selection of essays by one of Australia's most celebrated writers. Inga Clendinnen writes about everything from the books that terrified her as a child to what history can teach us about ourselves and our own times. She describes visits to the beach and to a museum dedicated to the Holocaust. She recounts the experience of falling ill and the prospect of death. And she writes movingly about other people who have changed her own life. Many of the themes which are central to Clendinnen's work are teased out in Agamemnon's Kiss: the question of black/white relations in Australia, the way we think about the Holocaust and its perpetrators, and the investigative power of history. Clendinnen is not just a brilliant thinker. She writes brilliant sentences too, and in these essays her full mastery of language is everywhere evident.' (Publication summary)

2007 shortlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian General Non-Fiction Book of the Year
2007 shortlisted Kibble Literary Awards Nita Kibble Literary Award
Last amended 2 Mar 2020 16:57:21
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: