Below is a list of academic staff and HDR students involved with the Feminist Research Network at UOW and their interests


For more information about Melissa, click here.

As a novelist, I am interested in representation within a literary context. Feminism has influenced my work because it’s provided a grounding for how I view notions of representation. My early work was informed by Judith Butler’s notions of subjectivity and how that translated to a literary context. My current work is especially conscious of empathetic imagining, point-of-view and notions of voice as I write multiple perspectives. Publications include She Played Elvis (Allen and Unwin, 2009) and What the Ground Can’t Hold(Picador Australia, 2013).


All of my recent and current research is located in the areas of women’s history and feminist history. My PhD research used bestselling fiction to produce a history of middle-class British women’s emotions during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I am currently writing a book for Routledge entitled Shame and Anti-Feminism, Britain, Ireland and Australia, 1890-1920. The book examines anti-feminist strategies of shaming disruptive feminists. More specifically, it looks at how different and often competing nationalist and imperialist priorities intersected with feminist campaigns in societies that were situated at different points along the British imperial spectrum. Other projects that I have worked on have included: historical approaches to the complicated relationship between gender and empire; the feminism and anti-feminism of early 20th century writer, Arnold Bennett; and, studies of the fin-de-siècle feminist icon, the New Woman.

Feminism and feminist theory (and especially feminist theories of the body) have informed my work since the beginning of my academic life. My MA thesis analysed three Jean Rhys novels using a feminist framework and my PhD dissertation focused on the intersection of feminism, nationalism, and modernism in Margaret Laurence’s Manawaka novels. Between 2000 and 2005, I taught in English Literature and Women and Gender Studies Programs in Canada and Australia. My main area of teaching and research is verbal and visual texts for young people (from picture books to graphic novels), with a focus on representations of social justice. While gender is often my starting point for analysing representations of injustices, my work attends to how gender intersects with other aspects of identity politics including race, class, sexuality, and ability. Feminist theory also informs my research project about emotions, ethics, and embodiment in series fiction and film for young people that features a human and monster romance (primarily vampires, fallen angels, and zombies).




The work I do reclaims the visceral as a denied facet of the interpretative practice in law, or more particularly, brings to the fore the physical responses that law does its best to avoid. Law’s interpretative practices are designed to deny the body through the adoption of tests, abstractions and doctrines which are deeply imbricated with an imagined thinking being. Even critical scholarship of the unconscious and the psychoanalytical in law cannot imagine a response solely within the physical, but my work draws on the theatrical and its encounters to re-read how the legal actor encounters its subject, focussing on the way case law is read and interpreted. By making law’s actors a bodily actor, I read the visceral back into law’s abstractions itself, rather than reading the body merely as a subject of law, I use a paradoxical feminist legal backstory to construct new accounts of law’s interpretative practices.


I work in linguistics and discourse analysis, with a particular emphasis on Systemic Functional Linguistics. Much of my research is on communication and interaction in health care, and I’ve recently started working on discourses about animals. Some work focuses on images and/or body alignment (proxemics) as well as linguistic meaning. Across these projects I’m concerned with how agency and identity are construed, and ultimately with improving the lives of humans and animals as a result of questioning our habitual ways of saying and doing things. Each of these aspects of my work either explicitly takes feminist lines of thinking or bumps into feminism in an unintended way, and I’m interested in teasing out some knots there. I’m also currently co-supervising a PhD thesis on Olga Masters and constructions OF femininity in her writing.



I am a DCA candidate and lecturer and tutor in the School of the Arts, English and Media at the University of Wollongong. A published author, my first book, Knockabout Girl: A Memoir (HCA 2007), told the story of my year spent living in remote Australia. My doctoral project, titled ‘Re-Telling Belonging: Exploring Place, Race and Community through Memoir’, has centred on the writing of a memoir of Taree (NSW), my hometown. The work engages with Critical Race and Whiteness Studies, theories of decolonisation and emplacement, the interplay of public memory, oral history and anecdote, and recuperative writing. I am also completing an Australia Council funded creative nonfiction project on local swimming pools, ‘The Swimming Pool Diaries’.

For more information about Nan, click here.


I research in disability legal issues drawing on critical legal and political theory, critical disability studies and feminist theory. I am interested in the material and discursive intersections between disability, sexuality, gender, race and criminality. My current projects include an (1) the Family Court’s jurisdiction over sterilisation as the regulation of legal violence against females with disability and (2) how police describe and respond to reports of violence against women with disability who are already known to police as offenders. I am engaged in domestic and international law reform developments in disability law, and have made recent submissions to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in relation to the development of its general comment on Article 12 (legal capacity) of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs inquiry into involuntary or coerced sterilisation of people with disabilities in Australia. I am also a board member on the Women in Prison Advocacy Centre which engages in mentoring and systemic advocacy in relation to women in the criminal justice system (

JODIE STEWART is a PhD candidate and tutor in the faculty of Laws, Humanities and the Arts at UOW, Bega. Jodie is documenting the development of the Bundian Way shared history project as an important and potentially recuperative public history initiative. Pathways into History: Exploring the Contemporary Aboriginal Past on the Bundian Way, examines how various community members and visitors to the pathway, which stretches from the coast to the high country, think about, evaluate and understand the Aboriginal past via tactile and bodily encounters with Aboriginal cultural landscapes. Jodie is also the co-founder of the Bega Research Hub, an inclusive space designed to champion research and support higher degree research students on the NSW far south coast.

My central area of research interest is maternal and child health. I am particularly interested in issues of reproductive health, women’s preparation and control of their own reproductive health and choice, and health policies which impact the ability of women to be informed consumers of reproductive healthcare in a way which promotes their own well-being, as well as that of family and children. I am a research evaluator by training and trade, and have evaluated numerous government programs which impact reproductive decision making for girls and boys, women and men.

I mostly research and supervise around youth media and youth cultural practices. I teach at undergraduate level around these topics and around microsociology and social interaction. I am also interested in research on the contemporary organisation of the university and how the institution administratively imagines particular kinds of persons: as students, sessional staff, academics and so on. In all of these areas, gender plays a fundamental role. Feminism is very important to me, and to how I believe humanities and social sciences research and pedagogy should be understood and practiced.

I’m an English Literature academic; my main area of research is reception theory. I bring together theories from a number of fields to come up with new models for how readers, contexts and texts interact in specific reading practices. I draw on second-wave feminist criticism both as a methodology and as a case study, showing how institutional power works to legitimate particular meanings and particular kinds of reading. I love second-wave feminist theory and fiction. I am also interested in: Gender itself as a practice of reception, following Butler’s model of gender as constituted by imitation (a key literary term, too).Cross-gender identification in reading and (re)writing, particularly in slash fiction (m/m erotica written by women).The erotics of reception (following Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text). I draw particularly on queer and trans* theory here to complicate generational models of reception (as legacy) and of pleasure (as productive).