Selected Staff Publications

Ordinary Matters by Lorraine Sim
Lorraine Sim, Ordinary Matters: Modernist Women’s Literature and Photography, published by Bloomsbury, 2016

Ordinary Matters is the first major interdisciplinary study of the ordinary in modernist women's literature and photography. It examines how women photographers and writers including Helen Levitt, Lee Miller, Virginia Woolf and Dorothy Richardson envision the sphere of ordinary life in light of the social and cultural transformations of the period that shaped and often radically re-shaped it: for example, urbanism, instrumentalism, the Great Depression and war.

Ema the Captive by Cesar Aira
Chris Andrews (translator), Ema the Captive by Cesar Aira, pubished by New Directions, 2016

In nineteenth-century Argentina, Ema, a delicate woman of indeterminate origins, is captured by soldiers and taken, along with her newborn babe, to live as a concubine in a crude fort on the very edges of civilization. The trip is appalling (deprivations and rapes prevail along the way), yet the real story commences once Ema arrives at the fort. There she takes on a succession of lovers among the soldiers and Indians, before launching a grand and brave business

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross by Anne Jamison
Anne Jamison, E. Œ. Somerville and Martin Ross:  female authorship and literary collaboration, published by Cork University Press, 2016

This book explores the remarkable collaboration of one of the most prominent and successful female literary partnerships at work in the late nineteenth century; Irish authors, Edith Somerville (1858–1949) and Violet Martin/Martin Ross (1862–1915). Based on extensive and original archival research, it reorients traditional thinking about Somerville and Ross’s partnership and rethinks the collaboration beyond a purely domestic and personal affair.

Hazel Smith, The Contemporary Literature-Music Relationship, published by Routledge, 2016

This book explores the relationship between words and music in contemporary texts, examining, in particular, the way that new technologies are changing the literature-music relationship. It brings an eclectic and novel range of interdisciplinary theories to the area of musico-literary studies, drawing from the fields of semiotics, disability studies, musicology, psychoanalysis, music psychology, emotion and affect theory, new media, cosmopolitanism, globalization, ethnicity and biraciality. Smith also inspects the dynamics of improvisation and composition, and the different ways they intersect with performance.

Word Migrants by Hazel Smith Cover
Hazel Smith, Word Migrants, published by Giramondo, 2016

Hazel Smith's new poetry collection engages in a direct way with contemporary political and social issues – civil war and the flight of populations, oppressive regimes and the disappearance of dissidents, the unpredictable effects of climate change – relating these issues to the personal experience of death and dementia, abuse and disability and childlessness. The poems project intense psychological states of indecisiveness, anxiety, disorientation and guilt, making use of surreal conjunctions and metaphor to dramatise the sense of unease.  »Read More (opens in a new window)

A Guide to Berlin Book Cover

Gail Jones, A Guide to Berlin, published by Random House, 2015

A group of six international travellers, two Italians, two Japanese, an American and an Australian, meet in empty apartments in Berlin to share stories and memories. Each is enthralled in some way to the work of Vladimir Nabokov, and each is finding their way in deep winter in a haunted city. A moment of devastating violence shatters the group, and changes the direction of everyone's story. A Guide to Berlin traces the strength and fragility of our connections through biographies and secrets.

Roberto Bolaño's fiction coverChris Andrews, Roberto Bolaño's Fiction An Expanding Universe, published by Columbia University Press, 2014

Since the publication of The Savage Detectives in 2007, the work of Roberto Bolaño (1953-2003) has achieved an acclaim rarely enjoyed by literature in translation. Chris Andrews, a leading translator of Bolaño's work into English, explores the singular achievements of the author's oeuvre, engaging with its distinct style and key thematic concerns, incorporating his novels and stories into the larger history of Latin American and global literary fiction. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Modern Conspiracy cover
Chris Fleming and Emma A. Jane, Modern Conspiracy: the importance of being paranoid, published by Bloomsbury, 2014

Rather than seeing the imminent death of Enlightenment reason and a regression to a new Dark Age in conspiratorial thinking, Modern Conspiracy suggests that many characteristic features of conspiracies tap very deeply into the history of the Enlightenment: its vociferous critique of established authorities and a conception of political sovereignty fuelled by fear of counter-plots, for example. Perhaps, ultimately, conspiracy theory affords us a renewed opportunity to reflect on our very relationship to the truth itself. »Read More (opens in a new window)

When Sorrows Come Cover

Matt McGuire, When Sorrows Come, Published by Constable & Robinson, 2014

Belfast, 2am, Tomb Street. A young man lies dead in an alley. Cracked ribs, broken jaw, fractured skull. With the Celtic Tiger purring and the Troubles in their death throes, Detective Sergeant John O'Neill is called to investigate. Meanwhile O'Neill's partner, DI Jack Ward, a veteran troubles detective, is receiving death threats from an unknown source... When Sorrows Come is a brutal exposé of the criminal underworld in the new Northern Ireland. »Read More (opens in a new window)

The Swan Book coverAlexis Wright, The Swan Book, published by Giramondo, 2013

The Swan Book is set in the future, with Aboriginals still living under the Intervention in the north, in an environment fundamentally altered by climate change. The Swan Book has all the qualities which made Wright's previous novel, Carpentaria, a prize-winning best-seller. It offers an intimate awareness of the realities facing Aboriginal people; the energy and humour in her writing finds hope in the bleakest situations; and the remarkable combination of storytelling elements, drawn from myth and legend and fairy tale, has Oblivia Ethylene in the company of amazing characters like Aunty Bella Donna of the Champions »Read More (opens in a new window)

Samuel Beckett in Context CoverAnthony Uhlmann, Samuel Beckett in Context, published by Cambridge University Press, 2013

When Samuel Beckett first came to international prominence with the success of Waiting for Godot, many critics believed the play was divorced from any recognizable context. The two tramps, and the master and servant they encounter, seemed to represent no one and everyone. Today, critics challenge the assumption that Beckett aimed to break definitively with context, highlighting images, allusions, and motifs that tether Becket's writings to real people, places, and issues in his life.

Lime Green Chair CoverChris Andrews, Lime Green Chair, published by Waywiser Press, 2012

Prompted by episodes from life in urban Australia, or dreamt about, or constructed from curious fragments of language, or, most often, produced in all three ways, the poems of Lime Green Chair (winner of the Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize, 2011) are the work of an entirely distinctive and highly original writer. The poems range in tone from the comic to the elegiac, and in form from the 231-syllable "expanded sonnets" of parts I and III to the "short-story" poems of part II.

Matt McGuire Dark Dawn Book CoverMatt McGuire, Dark Dawn: Killing in cold light, published by Corsair, 2012

Acting Detective Sergeant John O'Neill stands over the body of a dead teenager. The corpse was discovered on the building site of a luxury development overlooking the River Lagan. Kneecapped then killed, the body bears the hallmarks of a punishment beating. But this is the new Northern Ireland - the Celtic Tiger purrs, the Troubles are over, the paramilitaries are gone. So who is the boy? Why was he killed?

Chris Fleming Book Cover

Chris Fleming (co-editor), Violence Desire and the Sacred, published by Continuum, 2012

Violence, Desire and the Sacred presents the most up-to-date inter-disciplinary work being developed with the ground-breaking insights of René Girard's mimetic theory. The collection showcases the work of outstanding scholars in mimetic theory and how they are applying and developing Girard's insights in a variety of fields. Girard's mimetic insight has provided a fruitful way for different disciplines, such as literature, anthropology, theology, religion studies, cultural studies, and philosophy, to engage on common anthropological ground, with a shared understanding of the human person.

Kate Fagan First Light Book Cover Kate Fagan, First Light, published by Giramondo, 2012

First Light observes the details of the world with curious and restive attention. It explores the threshold between things and words, seeking out places where music and language are equal in charting human experience. Some poems sample from other writers to create new works, often as gifts for friends. Some meditate on the tipping point between poetry and prose, or revisit established forms, such as sonnets and love letters, to stage a conversation between poetry and song.

Anthony Uhlmann Thinking in Literature Book CoverAnthony Uhlmann Thinking In Literature, published by Continuum, 2011

Thinking in Literature examines how the Modernist novel might be understood as a machine for thinking. It begins with a theoretical analysis, via Deleuze, Spinoza and Leibniz, of the concept of thinking in literature, and sets out three crucial elements to the process of developing an aesthetic expression: relation; sensation; and composition. Uhlmann then uses these elements to examine the aesthetic practice of three major Modernist writers: James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Vladimir Nabokov.

Gail Jones Five Bells Book CoverGail Jones Five Bells, published by Random House, 2011

On a radiant day in Sydney, four people converge on Circular Quay, site of the iconic Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Each of the four is haunted by memories of the past: Ellie is preoccupied by her experiences as a girl, James by a tragedy for which he feels responsible, Catherine by the loss of her beloved brother in Dublin and Pei Xing by her imprisonment during China's Cultural Revolution. Told over the course of a single Saturday, Five Bells describes vividly four lives which chime and resonate. By night-time, when Sydney is drenched in a rainstorm, each life has been transformed.

Melinda Jewell The Representation of Dance in Australian Novels

Melinda Jewell The Representation of Dance in Australian Novels, Peter Lang Academic Publishers, 2011

This book is an analysis of the textual representation of dance in the Australian novel since the late 1890s. It examines how the act of dance is variously portrayed, how the word 'dance' is used metaphorically to convey actual or imagined movement, and how dance is written in a novelistic form.

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Dimitris Vardoulakis The Doppelganger Book CoverDimitris Vardoulakis The Doppelganger, Fordham University Press, 2010

This is the first significant study of the doppelgänger's influence on philosophical thought. Reading literature philosophically and philosophy as literature, Vardoulakis examines authors such as Franz Kafka, Maurice Blanchot, and Alexandros Papadiamantes and philosophers such as Immanuel Kant, Walter Benjamin, and Jacques Derrida to show how the doppelgänger emerges as a hidden element both in conceptions of subjectivity and in philosophy's relation to literature.

Badiou and Cinema Book Cover Alex Ling Badiou and Cinema, Edinburgh University Press, 2010

Alex Ling employs the philosophy of Alain Badiou to answer the question central to all serious film scholarship: 'can cinema be thought?' Treating this question on three levels, the author first asks if we can really think what cinema is, at an ontological level. Secondly, he investigates whether cinema can actually think for itself; that is, whether or not it is truly 'artistic'. Finally, he explores in what ways we can rethink the consequences of the fact that cinema thinks.' In answering these questions, the author uses well-known films to illustrate Badiou's philosophy. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Melissa Deitz Watch This Space Book CoverMelissa Deitz Watch This Space: The Future of Australian Journalism, Cambridge University Press, 2010

With traditional print media sinking under shrinking readerships, redundancies and declining advertising revenue, the imminent death of 'quality' journalism is being prophesied by academics, publishers and journalists. Are we losing a vital public sphere for interrogating those in power and creating local and national communities? Or is a moribund media status quo getting a long overdue shake up? Milissa Deitz argues that far from being the grave digger, the internet is in fact reinventing and reinvigorating 'citizen journalism'. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Chris Andrews Monsieur Pain book cover Chris Andrews translator Monsieur Pain by Roberto Bolaño, published by New Directions, 2010

Paris, 1938. The Peruvian poet César Vallejo is in the hospital, afflicted with an undiagnosed illness, and unable to stop hiccuping. His wife calls on an acquaintance of her friend Madame Reynaud: the Mesmerist Pierre Pain. Pain, a timid bachelor, is in love with the widow Reynaud, and agrees to help. But two mysterious Spanish men follow Pain and bribe him not to treat Vallejo, and Pain takes the money. Ravaged by guilt and anxiety, however, he does not intend to abandon his new patient, but then Pain's access to the hospital is barred and Madame Reynaud leaves Paris....

Lorraine Sim The Patterns of Ordinary Experience Book CoverLorraine Sim Virginia Woolf: The Patterns of Ordinary Experience, published by Ashgate, 2010

In her timely contribution to revisionist approaches in modernist studies, Lorraine Sim offers a reading of Virginia Woolf's conception of ordinary experience as revealed in her fiction and nonfiction. Contending that Woolf's representations of everyday life both acknowledge and provide a challenge to characterizations of daily life as mundane, Sim shows how Woolf explores the potential of everyday experience as a site of personal meaning, social understanding, and ethical value.

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Chris Andrews Nazi Literature in the Americas book coverChris Andrews translator Nazi Literature in the Americas by Roberto Bolaño, published by New Directions, 2009

Chris Andrews has translated the first of Roberto Bolaño's books to reach a wide public. When it was published by Seix Barral in 1996, critics in Spain were quick to recognize the arrival of an important new talent. The book presents itself as a biographical dictionary of American writers who flirted with or espoused extreme right-wing ideologies in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It is a tour de force of black humor and imaginary erudition.

Ehsan Azari Lacan and the Destiny of Literature Book Cover Ehsan Azari Lacan and the Destiny of Literature, published by Continuum, 2009

In contemporary academic literary studies, Lacan is often considered impenetrably obscure, due to the unavailability of his late works, insufficient articulation of his methodologies and sometimes stereotypical use of Lacanian concepts in literary theory. This study aims to integrate Lacan into contemporary literary study by engaging with a broad range of Lacanian theoretical concepts, often for the first time in English, and using them to analyse a range of key texts from different periods.

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Hazel Smith The Erotics of Geography Book CoverHazel Smith The Erotics of Geography, published by Tin Fish Press, 2008

Hazel Smith, author of the creative writing text, The Writing Experiment, shows us how it's done in this spirited book of performance poems, collages, elegies, meditations, explorations of gossip, uncertain identities, bodies and the city, to say nothing of "acts of omission." An accompanying cd-rom includes new media and performance works by Hazel Smith and Roger Dean.

Chris Andrews translator Amulet by Roberto Bolaño, published by New Directions 2008

Amulet is a monologue, like Bolaño's acclaimed debut in English, By Night in Chile. The speaker is Auxilio Lacouture, a Uruguayan woman who moved to Mexico in the 1960s, becoming the "Mother of Mexican Poetry," hanging out with the young poets in the cafés and bars of the University. She's tall, thin, and blonde, and her favorite young poet in the 1970s is none other than Arturo Belano (Bolaño's fictional stand-in throughout his books).

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Gail Jones Sorry, published by Vintage Australia, 2007Gail Jones Sorry Book Cover

In the remote outback of Western Australia during World War II, English anthropologist Nicholas Keene and his wife, Stella, raise a lonely child, Perdita. Her upbringing is far from ordinary: in a shack in the wilderness, with a distant father burying himself in books and an unstable mother whose knowledge of Shakespeare forms the backbone of the girl's limited education. Emotionally adrift, Perdita becomes friends with a deaf and mute boy, Billy, and an Aboriginal girl, Mary. Perdita and Mary come to call one another sister and to share a very special bond. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Chris Peterson Kindred Specters Book Cover

Chris Peterson Kindred Specters, University of Minnesota Press, 2007

Probing Derrida's notion of spectrality as well as Orlando Patterson's concept of "social death," Christopher Peterson examines how death, mourning, and violence condition all kinship relations. Tracing the connections between kinship and mourning in American literature and culture, Peterson argues that socially dead "others" can be reanimated only if we avow the mortality and mourning that lie at the root of all kinship relations. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Sara Knox The Orphan Gunner Book CoverSara Knox The Orphan Gunner, published by Giramondo, 2007

The Orphan Gunner is an unconventional romance set in bomber command in Lincolnshire during the Second World War. Evelyn and Olive grew up together in the Canabolas Valley near Orange. They are in England at the outbreak of war: Evelyn as a pilot in the Air Transport Auxiliary, Olive in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. They're joined by Evelyn's brother Duncan, a novice gunner in Lancaster L-Love, flying bombing raids over Germany. »Read More (opens in a new window)

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Alexis Wright Carpentaria Book Cover Alexis Wright Carpentaria, published by Giramondo, 2006

Winner of the 2007 Miles Franklin Award. This novel's portrait of life in the precariously settled coastal town of Desperance centres on the powerful Phantom family, leader of the Westend Pricklebush people, and its battles with old Joseph Midnight's renegade Eastend mob on the one hand, and the white officials of Uptown and the neighbouring Gurfurrit mine on the other. Wright's storytelling is operatic and surreal: a blend of myth and scripture, farce and politics. The novel teems with extraordinary characters... »Read More (opens in a new window)

Anthony Uhlmann Samuel Beckett and the Philosophical Image Book Cover Anthony Uhlmann Samuel Beckett and the Philosophical Image, Cambridge University Press, 2006

Beckett often made use of images from the visual arts and readapted them, staging them in his plays, or using them in his fiction. Anthony Uhlmann sets out to explain how an image differs from other terms, like 'metaphor' or 'representation', and, in the process, to analyse Beckett's use of images borrowed from philosophy and aesthetics. This study, first published in 2006, carefully examines Beckett's thoughts on the image in his literary works and his extensive notes to the philosopher Arnold Geulincx. »Read More (opens in a new window)

Hazel Smith The Writing Experiment Book Cover Hazel Smith The Writing Experiment, published by Allen & Unwin, 2005

The Writing Experiment demystifies the process of creative writing, showing that successful work does not arise from talent or inspiration alone. Hazel Smith breaks down writing into incremental stages, revealing processes that are often unconscious or unacknowledged, and shows how they can become part of a systematic writing strategy.

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Novel Translated

Centre Member Alexis Wright has had her novel Carpentaria translated into Chinese. ››Read More