Early life and education
McCalman was born in Richmond, Victoria, daughter of Laurie Brian McCalman and Hélène Ulrich. She won a scholarship to Methodist Ladies' College, Kew. She received a Bachelor of Arts with Honours from the University of Melbourne in 1970 and a Doctor of Philosophy in 1976 from the Australian National University for her thesis, "Respectability and Working-Class Radicalism in Victorian London: 1850–1890: A Contribution to the Debate".
McCalman returned to the University of Melbourne in 1993 on a four-year Australian Research Council Fellowship. Since then she has fulfilled many roles within that university. Firstly she became a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Health and Society. In 2000 she was appointed Reader in the History and Philosophy of Science at the same centre. She was appointed Professor in Public Health in 2003. Her work since 2011 has been at the Centre for Health and Society, in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health.
McCalman gave the third Sir John Quick Bendigo Lecture in 1996. She spoke on "Towns and Gowns : The Humanities and the Community". La Trobe University established this annual lecture in recognition of Quick's work towards Federation and election as Bendigo's first Federal Member of Parliament.
Frank Moorhouse, in his 2004 Griffith Review essay, "Welcome back Bakunin – Life chances in Australia: some notes of discomfort", referred to McCalman's 1993 book, Journeyings as "classic study of privilege". By analysing the individuals in the Australian Who's Who 1998, McCalman showed that private schools dominated, that the "old boys club" prevailed.
Honours and recognition
- Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, 1993
- Walkley Awards for Journalism, short-listed for Editorial and Opinion category, 1997
- Media Award from the College of Educational Administration (Vic), for outstanding contribution to public discourse on education, 1999
- Centenary Medal, 2001, "for service to Australian society and the humanities in the study of the history of health"
- Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, 2005
- Appointed honorary doctor by Umeå University, Sweden, 2015
- Awarded title, Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor, University of Melbourne, 2016.
- Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), 2018 Australia Day Honours, "for eminent service to education, particularly in the field of social history, as a leading academic, researcher and author, as a contributor to multi-disciplinary curriculum development, and through the promotion of history to the wider community."
- Struggletown: Public and Private Life in Richmond 1900–1965, Melbourne University Press, 1984, ISBN 0522842461; 2nd ed., Hyland House, 1998, ISBN 1864470488
- A hundred years at Bank Street: Ascot Vale State School, 1885–1985, with research by Janet Kershaw et al., Ascot Vale State School, 1985, ISBN 0958971609
- Who Went Where in Who's Who 1988: The Schooling of the Australian Elite, co-authored with Mark Peel, History Department, University of Melbourne, 1992, ISBN 0732503108
- The 1990 Journeyings survey: a statistical portrait of a middle-class generation, co-authored with Mark Peel, History Department, University of Melbourne, 1993, ISBN 0732506069
- Journeyings: The Biography of a Middle-Class Generation 1920–1990, Melbourne University Press, 1993, ISBN 052284569X
- Solid Bluestone Foundations and Rising Damp : The Fortunes of the Melbourne Middle Class, 1890–1990, History Department, University of Melbourne, 1994, ISBN 0732507081
- Sex and Suffering: Women's Health and a Women's Hospital, the Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne 1856–1996, Melbourne University Press, 1998, ISBN 0522848370; Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999, ISBN 9780801862267
- On the World of the Sixty-Nine Tram, Melbourne University Publishing, 2006, ISBN 9780522852134
- "The originality of ordinary lives", in Creating Australia : Changing Australian History, edited by Wayne Hudson & Geoffrey Bolton, Allen & Unwin, 1997, ISBN 1863735607
- "Well-being in Australian Children", in No Time to Lose : The Wellbeing of Australia's Children, edited by Sue Richardson and Margot Prior, Melbourne University Publishing, 2005, ISBN 9780522852233
- "Blurred Visions", in Why Universities Matter : A Conversation About Values, Means and Directions, edited by Tony Coady. Allen & Unwin, 2000, ISBN 1865080381
|1984||Victorian Premier's Award for Australian Studies||Struggletown||Melbourne University Press, 1984|
|1985||Fellowship of Australian Writers' Local History Award|
|1985||Ernest Scott Prize, University of Melbourne|
|1992||Max Crawford Medal, Australian Academy of the Humanities|
|1993||The Age Book of the Year (joint winner)||Journeyings||Melbourne University Press, 1993|
|1993||The Age Non-fiction Book of the Year|
|1999||NSW Premier's History Awards in Community and Regional History||Sex and Suffering||Melbourne University Press, 1998|
|1999||Victorian Community and Local History Award, best publication category winner|
- Harrison, Sharon M. "McCalman, Janet Susan (1948 – )". The Encyclopedia of Women & Leadership in the Twentieth-Century. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
- "Prof Janet McCalman". University of Melbourne. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- McCalman, Janet (1975). Respectability and working-class radicalism in Victorian London: 1850–1890: a contribution to the debate / by Janet McCalman. Trove Books, National Library of Australia (Thesis). Retrieved 27 January 2018.
- McCalman, Janet. "Towns and Gowns : the Humanities and the Community" (PDF). La Trobe University. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- "Who was Sir John Quick?". La Trobe University. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
- Moorhouse, Frank; Schultz, Julianne (editor) (2004). Welcome back Bakunin, in Webs of Power. Queensland: Griffith University. ISBN 0733313868. Retrieved 27 January 2018.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- "MCCALMAN, Janet Susan". Australian Honours Search Facility, Dept of Prime Minister & Cabinet. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
- "Australian historian appointed honorary doctor at Umeå University". Faculty of Arts, Umeå University. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
- "Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor – Professor Janet McCalman". The University of Melbourne. 22 September 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
- "McCALMAN, Janet Susan". Australian Honours Search Facility, Dept of Prime Minister & Cabinet. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
- "Ernest Scott Prize List of all winners" (PDF). University of Melbourne. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
- Schreuder, Deryck; Mulvaney, John (27 January 1993). "Why Learning Has Taken on a Human Face". The Canberra Times. p. 21. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
- "Janet McCalman". AustLit. The University of Queensland. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
- Kennedy, Louise (28 November 1993). "Lit Bits". The Canberra Times. p. 26. Retrieved 27 January 2018.