AUHE Prize for
Literary Scholarship –
Previous Winners

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2021
Paul Giles
The Planetary Clock: Antipodean Time and Spherical Postmodern Fictions
Oxford University Press
Read the 2021 Judges Report

2020
Paul Sharrad
Thomas Keneally’s Career and the Literary Machine
Anthem Press, 2019
Read the 2020 Judges Report

2019
Guy Davidson
Categorically Famous: Literary Celebrity and Sexual Liberation in 1960s America
Stanford University Press, 2019
Read the 2019 Judges Report

2018
Ben Etherington
Literary Primitivism
Stanford University Press, 2017
Read the 2018 Judges Report

2017
Elizabeth McMahon
Islands, Identity and the Literary Imagination
Anthem Press, 2016
Read the 2017 Judges Report

2021 AUHE Prize for Literary Scholarship Announcement

The winner of the 2021 AUHE Prize for Literary Scholarship is Paul Giles, for The Planetary Clock: Antipodean Time and Spherical Postmodern Fictions (Oxford University Press).

The judges commented:

Among an impressively strong and diverse field of nominated books, The Planetary Clock is preeminent by virtue of its authoritative engagement with theory and its outstandingly transnational and interdisciplinary range. Paul Giles includes insightful close readings of numerous works from not only various literary genres but also cinema, music, and the visual arts. While overtly eclectic, the book pointedly foregrounds authors and texts from Australia and New Zealand, which have been hitherto under-represented in surveys of postmodernism. Giles emphasises the potential of a more extensively conceived antipodean perspective to disorient conventional western understandings of temporal and spatial relations. Exploring the various ways in which temporality has been represented in postmodernism, the book is also intended to illuminate “the wider discursive framework, indicating ways in which ecology and biogenetics as well as religion are reconstituted in aesthetic terms.” In part a meditation on the Anthropocene, The Planetary Clock convincingly demonstrates the ethical obligation of cultural studies (most broadly defined) to intervene in the world’s most urgent debates.

The judges also congratulate the authors whose works were shortlisted:

Anne Collett and Dorothy Jones: Judith Wright and Emily Carr: Gendered Colonial Modernity (Bloomsbury)

This book is remarkable for its comparison of two women in different countries, from different times, working in different artistic media as they struggled in similar ways against patriarchal and colonialist attitudes across time and oceans. It draws on considerable delving into biographical detail and presents a clear investigation of both Judith Wright and Emily Carr as they formed their unique artistic visions, each of which changed as they grew older. The disparate materials are held together by the feminist framework, a focus on modernism including a pertinent “triangulation” with the writing of Virginia Woolf, and by the authors’ own stories in which their mothers are honoured. This is a solid work of scholarship which remains engaging for the reader.

Tanya Dalziell, Gail Jones: Word, Image, Ethics (Sydney University Press)

This is the first monograph on one of Australia’s most polished contemporary writers of fiction. It provides a lucid coverage of Jones’s output that is overtly informed by theory but is nonetheless expressed in clear language. Dalziell identifies the major themes of Jones’s oeuvre thus far, her book being sensibly organised into the topics: Weather; Time; Reading and Writing; Image; and Modernity. She ably shows how the texts which she analyses “lace and loop” images into patterns, and points profitably to how Jones wrestles with questions of ethics, concerning who can tell another’s story and to what extent reconciliation with others and with the past is possible.

Andrew Dean, Metafiction and the Postwar Novel: Foes, Ghosts, and Faces in the Water (Oxford University Press)

In this work, Andrew Dean provides a refreshing and much-needed re-evaluation of postmodern metafiction, or fiction that self-consciously addresses its status as fiction. Dean’s provocative starting point is that metafiction has been misunderstood as a mode of irony that detaches authors from their historical and political contexts. Deftly mixing archival research, social analysis and close reading, Dean shows how metafiction is a mode of literary thinking that is rooted in the particular: in the “personal, local, intimate.” He provides incisive and clear-sighted analysis of how J. M. Coetzee, Janet Frame and Philip Roth use self-consciously literary practices in their fiction to negotiate their personal, political and historical situations. The book expands our understanding of metafiction by approaching the genre with new maturity.

Paul Hetherington and Cassandra Atherton, Prose Poetry: An Introduction (Princeton University Press)

In this comprehensive and illuminating introduction to a literary genre whose very descriptor may appear oxymoronic, the authors assert that prose poetry is “nothing less than the most important new poetic form to emerge in English-language poetry since the advent of free verse.” Although the book predominantly focuses on prose poetry produced in recent decades, the authors helpfully examine its antecedents in earlier forms of both poetry and prose. They suggest that prose poetry is flourishing in the present moment in a manner comparable to the emergence of the modern novel in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries – indeed, that prose poetry may be the literary form through which the challenging conditions of our times will most appositely be expressed.

David McInnes, Shakespeare and Lost Plays: Reimagining Drama in Early Modern England (Cambridge University Press)

Although David McInnes recommends that his book be read in conjunction with sections of the Lost Plays Database, of which he is a co-founder and editor, Shakespeare and Lost Plays independently offers a meticulously researched examination of a range of works which would have been familiar to London theatre audiences in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries but which, for a variety of reasons, have not survived. McInnes firmly challenges the conventional notion that the plays of this period which are no longer extant must have been inferior to those still accessible. He demonstrates how an awareness of the breadth of what was available to Shakespeare’s audiences refreshes our understanding of Shakespeare’s own works. As McInnes remarks, “Every extant play is deeply embedded in its repertorial moment”, being written and then performed not in isolation but rather within specific cultural and commercial contexts.

Matthew Sussman Stylistic Virtue and Victorian Fiction: Form, Ethics, and the Novel (Cambridge University Press)

Matthew Sussman fascinatingly connects two concepts that today’s reader would be more likely to oppose: style and virtue. Sussman’s striking claim in the book is that the verbal qualities of a text, even when considered separately from the text’s content, can have ethical or moral value. The book offers a new way of conceptualizing the ethical value of formalism by recovering how Victorian writers connected the ideas of virtue and style. One of its invaluable contributions to the field is to situate Victorian fiction in a long history of rhetorical criticism that takes Aristotle’s Art of Rhetoric as its source of inspiration. In chapters that are both philosophically robust and painstakingly researched, Sussman establishes how stylistic virtues resemble moral virtues in providing a characterological ideal. If there is a moral to this intricately argued book, it might be “art for virtue’s sake.”

Judging Panel: Heather Neilson (Chair), Chris Danta, & Paul Sharrad.

Call for Nominations for the 2022 AUHE Prize for Literary Scholarship

The Australian Universities Heads of English (AUHE) is calling for nominations for the 2022 AUHE Prize for Literary Scholarship, which will be awarded to the best book of literary scholarship published by an Australian-based author in the last twelve months.

Works eligible for the prize include single-author or co-written monographs, multi-authored books including edited collections, reference works, born-digital works equivalent to printed books, bibliographic works of substance and other forms of equivalent scholarly production. All forms of literary scholarship are acceptable, including critical, theoretical, empirical, historical, textual and so on. Interdisciplinary scholarship is not precluded though a work must engage with what is understood as books and writing in whatever form.

Nominated books need to have been published between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022.

The prize is decided by a panel of members nominated by the AUHE executive. This year the panel members are: Chris Danta, Tanya Dalziell, and Paul Giles. The winner will be announced at the time of the AUHE AGM, usually in late November or early December.

Please forward all nominations to the Chair of the judging panel, Chris Danta (c.danta@unsw.edu.au) by 5pm, 1st August 2022. Nominators should supply or ensure access to three copies of the nominated text. Either hard or electronic copies are acceptable, with electronic copies preferred. Authors may self-nominate. If nominating a book you have not authored, please contact the author of the text you are nominating to avoid duplicate entries. Publishers may also nominate books.

For any queries, please email the Chair of the judging panel.

Writing Tasmanian Lives Symposium

Launch and Winter Symposium – “Writing Tasmanian Lives”
22–24 June 2022 

CALL FOR PAPERS 

About us 

Writing Lives is a new research program based in the School of Humanities at the University of Tasmania, harnessing existing expertise and building capacity in critical studies of life writing, biography, oral history, microhistory, history of ideas, memoir, and personal writing such as letters and diaries.  

Our program is working to foster dialogue about life writing as a form and genre that crosses disciplinary boundaries and embraces possibilities offered by texts, objects, and nonhuman as well as human lives. 

We are also working to engage community and cultural sector partners both within lutruwita/Tasmania and nationally in this exciting research area.  

The symposium 

To showcase the many possibilities offered by this field of research, we are delighted to announce the call for papers for our first symposium, to be held online over the afternoons of Wednesday 22, Thursday 23 and Friday 24 June 2022.  

In this symposium we turn our focus to the local as we examine the challenges presented by the discipline and practice of biography and life-writing in and about Tasmania and Tasmanians.  

The symposium program will encourage discussion about what is at stake – critically, creatively, historically, and ethically – in writing the life stories of Tasmanians, whether historically well-known or hitherto uncelebrated.  

We are especially interested in exploring the following questions: 

  • What does it mean to write biography in lutruwita/Tasmania, about its residents (living or dead) or about the lives that have influenced our state’s history?  
  • How can we make personal histories and biographies in lutruwita/Tasmania visible to the broader community?  
  • How do we connect local life stories to national and international histories and communities?  
  • How does lutruwita/Tasmania feature in both human and more-than-human life stories throughout history?  
  • What role do collectors and archivists play in documenting and understanding Tasmanian lives?  

Papers on the theme of Writing Tasmanian Lives, interpreted in its widest sense, drawing on scholarship and experience from the humanities, creative arts, social sciences, education, and natural science, and from other diverse fields such as library, museum, archives, and cultural studies, are encouraged.  

We also welcome papers that engage with broader questions about life writing and biography that go beyond the local context, such as: 

  • What is life writing and what forms should it take? 
  • Whose lives should we examine?  
  • How does the form of life-writing change with the needs of the subject? 
  • How can we celebrate diversity through life writing, amplifying the voices of people who have been pushed into the margins of history and literature? 
  • How can we decolonise biography? 
  • Where lives have not been thoroughly documented, how can we make imaginative use of archival material? 

Plenary events include a keynote address by Dr Jessica White (UniSA), about her work writing an ecobiography of Georgiana Molloy, and a panel conversation on writing Indigenous lives.More information about keynote speakers and events will be circulated closer to the date.

Proposal submissions and registration 

Please email abstracts and proposals (200 words approx.) for a 20-minute presentation by Thursday, 14 April 2022 to: writing.lives@utas.edu.au 

Submissions should also include your name, institutional affiliation where relevant, e-mail address, the title of your proposed paper, and a short bio (50 words approx.). 

We will advise if your proposal has been accepted for inclusion in the program and provide further details of the registration process.  

Event delivery and registration  

At time of writing, this will be an online event with panel sessions delivered via Zoom. 

If possible, some of the keynote plenary sessions and workshops will also take place in person in nipaluna/Hobart. Whether we proceed with any live components will be dependent on the COVID-19 situation and any restrictions that are in place, which will be considered nearer the time.  

For further information, do not hesitate to get in touch at writing.lives@utas.edu.au 

We look forward to receiving your submission.

Statement Regarding the Veto of Literary Studies ARC Grants

The recent decision by the acting Federal Minister for Education, Stuart Robert, to exercise his veto against four literary studies grants recommended to him by the Australian Research Council constitutes an attack on literary studies and literary culture in Australia. The only public justification that Robert provided for the apparently arbitrary process that led to this decision is that the projects “do not demonstrate value for taxpayers’ money nor contribute to the national interest.” That two-thirds of the six censored grants should be in literary studies demonstrates a dismissive attitude to the value of the imagination and creativity.

Nor is this an isolated occurrence. Four years ago, the former education minister Simon Birmingham rejected eleven ARC projects recommended to him, all in the Humanities, including four from literary studies. The actions of the government reveal that it is committed to defunding Australia’s literary culture by overriding academic autonomy and determining what kinds of knowledge can and cannot be pursued. This is especially ironic given its recent campaign to defend freedom of speech on Australia’s campuses.

Blocking literary grants not only negates a central tenet of academic freedom – that truth be pursued without interference from the state – it degrades Australia’s cultural fabric. Australia is home to the world’s most ancient enduring literary tradition: the song cycles of our First Nations people. Literary representations have always shaped and influenced who we are or might be and have done so for every culture on the planet across humanity’s history. Understanding this rich fabric of representations is critical to our respectful global citizenship and our own self-understanding.

Please consider adding your signature and circulating the letter linked here to fellow scholars, writers, and others in industries connected to literature: https://bit.ly/32FpQmO

2021 AUHE Prize for Literary Scholarship Announcement

The winner of the 2021 AUHE Prize for Literary Scholarship is Paul Giles, for The Planetary Clock: Antipodean Time and Spherical Postmodern Fictions (Oxford University Press).

The judges commented:

Among an impressively strong and diverse field of nominated books, The Planetary Clock is preeminent by virtue of its authoritative engagement with theory and its outstandingly transnational and interdisciplinary range. Paul Giles includes insightful close readings of numerous works from not only various literary genres but also cinema, music, and the visual arts. While overtly eclectic, the book pointedly foregrounds authors and texts from Australia and New Zealand, which have been hitherto under-represented in surveys of postmodernism. Giles emphasises the potential of a more extensively conceived antipodean perspective to disorient conventional western understandings of temporal and spatial relations. Exploring the various ways in which temporality has been represented in postmodernism, the book is also intended to illuminate “the wider discursive framework, indicating ways in which ecology and biogenetics as well as religion are reconstituted in aesthetic terms.” In part a meditation on the Anthropocene, The Planetary Clock convincingly demonstrates the ethical obligation of cultural studies (most broadly defined) to intervene in the world’s most urgent debates.

The judges also congratulate the authors whose works were shortlisted:

Anne Collett and Dorothy Jones: Judith Wright and Emily Carr: Gendered Colonial Modernity (Bloomsbury)

This book is remarkable for its comparison of two women in different countries, from different times, working in different artistic media as they struggled in similar ways against patriarchal and colonialist attitudes across time and oceans. It draws on considerable delving into biographical detail and presents a clear investigation of both Judith Wright and Emily Carr as they formed their unique artistic visions, each of which changed as they grew older. The disparate materials are held together by the feminist framework, a focus on modernism including a pertinent “triangulation” with the writing of Virginia Woolf, and by the authors’ own stories in which their mothers are honoured. This is a solid work of scholarship which remains engaging for the reader.

Tanya Dalziell, Gail Jones: Word, Image, Ethics (Sydney University Press)

This is the first monograph on one of Australia’s most polished contemporary writers of fiction. It provides a lucid coverage of Jones’s output that is overtly informed by theory but is nonetheless expressed in clear language. Dalziell identifies the major themes of Jones’s oeuvre thus far, her book being sensibly organised into the topics: Weather; Time; Reading and Writing; Image; and Modernity. She ably shows how the texts which she analyses “lace and loop” images into patterns, and points profitably to how Jones wrestles with questions of ethics, concerning who can tell another’s story and to what extent reconciliation with others and with the past is possible.

Andrew Dean, Metafiction and the Postwar Novel: Foes, Ghosts, and Faces in the Water (Oxford University Press)

In this work, Andrew Dean provides a refreshing and much-needed re-evaluation of postmodern metafiction, or fiction that self-consciously addresses its status as fiction. Dean’s provocative starting point is that metafiction has been misunderstood as a mode of irony that detaches authors from their historical and political contexts. Deftly mixing archival research, social analysis and close reading, Dean shows how metafiction is a mode of literary thinking that is rooted in the particular: in the “personal, local, intimate.” He provides incisive and clear-sighted analysis of how J. M. Coetzee, Janet Frame and Philip Roth use self-consciously literary practices in their fiction to negotiate their personal, political and historical situations. The book expands our understanding of metafiction by approaching the genre with new maturity.

Paul Hetherington and Cassandra Atherton, Prose Poetry: An Introduction (Princeton University Press)

In this comprehensive and illuminating introduction to a literary genre whose very descriptor may appear oxymoronic, the authors assert that prose poetry is “nothing less than the most important new poetic form to emerge in English-language poetry since the advent of free verse.” Although the book predominantly focuses on prose poetry produced in recent decades, the authors helpfully examine its antecedents in earlier forms of both poetry and prose. They suggest that prose poetry is flourishing in the present moment in a manner comparable to the emergence of the modern novel in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries – indeed, that prose poetry may be the literary form through which the challenging conditions of our times will most appositely be expressed.

David McInnes, Shakespeare and Lost Plays: Reimagining Drama in Early Modern England (Cambridge University Press)

Although David McInnes recommends that his book be read in conjunction with sections of the Lost Plays Database, of which he is a co-founder and editor, Shakespeare and Lost Plays independently offers a meticulously researched examination of a range of works which would have been familiar to London theatre audiences in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries but which, for a variety of reasons, have not survived. McInnes firmly challenges the conventional notion that the plays of this period which are no longer extant must have been inferior to those still accessible. He demonstrates how an awareness of the breadth of what was available to Shakespeare’s audiences refreshes our understanding of Shakespeare’s own works. As McInnes remarks, “Every extant play is deeply embedded in its repertorial moment”, being written and then performed not in isolation but rather within specific cultural and commercial contexts.

Matthew Sussman Stylistic Virtue and Victorian Fiction: Form, Ethics, and the Novel (Cambridge University Press)

Matthew Sussman fascinatingly connects two concepts that today’s reader would be more likely to oppose: style and virtue. Sussman’s striking claim in the book is that the verbal qualities of a text, even when considered separately from the text’s content, can have ethical or moral value. The book offers a new way of conceptualizing the ethical value of formalism by recovering how Victorian writers connected the ideas of virtue and style. One of its invaluable contributions to the field is to situate Victorian fiction in a long history of rhetorical criticism that takes Aristotle’s Art of Rhetoric as its source of inspiration. In chapters that are both philosophically robust and painstakingly researched, Sussman establishes how stylistic virtues resemble moral virtues in providing a characterological ideal. If there is a moral to this intricately argued book, it might be “art for virtue’s sake.”

Judging Panel: Heather Neilson (Chair), Chris Danta, & Paul Sharrad

Shortlist announced for 2021 AUHE Prize for Literary Scholarship

The judging panel for the AUHE Prize for Literary Scholarship is delighted to announce the shortlist for 2021. There was a far greater number of nominated books than had been anticipated, and the panel was impressed by the considerable range and quality of the submissions. It has been a privilege to read all of these illuminating contributions to the field of literary studies.

In alphabetical order of authors’ surnames, the shortlist is as follows:

  • Anne Collett and Dorothy Jones, Judith Wright and Emily Carr: Gendered Colonial Modernity (Bloomsbury)
  • Tanya Dalziell, Gail Jones: Word, Image, Ethics (Sydney University Press)
  • Andrew Dean, Metafiction and the Postwar Novel (Oxford University Press)
  • Paul Giles, The Planetary Clock: Antipodean Time and Spherical Postmodern Fictions (Oxford University Press)
  • Paul Hetherington and Cassandra Atherton, Prose Poetry: An Introduction (Princeton University Press)
  • David McInnes, Shakespeare and Lost Plays (Cambridge University Press)
  • Matthew Sussman, Stylistic Virtue and Victorian Fiction (Cambridge University Press)

Heather Neilson (Chair)
Paul Sharrad
Chris Danta

Lecturer – English Literature

Lecturer – English Literature
The University of Notre Dame Australia
Perth – CBD, Inner & Western Suburbs

$90,000 – $119,999
Full Time

Applications close: Wednesday 30 June 2021

For further information, or a confidential discussion about the position, please contact: Dr Leigh Straw | +61 8 9433 0926 | leigh.straw@nd.edu.au

For further information on how to apply contact Tara Hallissey – People & Culture at tara.hallissey@nd.edu.au or visit: http://www.notredame.edu.au/about/employment/how-to-apply

Updated Registration for Texts and their Limits: Australia’s Triennial Literary Studies Convention

Victoria University (20-24 July 2021)

The link for participants to register for the convention has changed. The new registration link is: https://engage.vu.edu.au/pub/pubType/EO/pubID/zzzz60b5b833da34f398/interface.html

Research-Only Continuing Positions In English Literature at Australian Catholic University

Positions are based at the Melbourne campus

Seeking further researchers in the discipline of English Literature
Full time, continuing position (Level C, Level D, and Level E).

The Australian Catholic University (ACU) in Melbourne is seeking further researchers (senior, mid and early career) of outstanding achievement in the discipline of English Literature to join its recently established Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences in continuing research-only positions *(see explanation note).

See also: https://www.acu.edu.au/research/our-research-institutes/institute-for-humanities-and-social-sciences

Under Director Professor Joy Damousi, the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences will support ACU’s continued growth and success in the key disciplines of History, Political Science, Sociology and Literature.

Applicants should hold a Ph.D. in English Literature. Successful candidates will have a demonstrated record of conducting outstanding research in English Literature appropriate to the level for which they are applying.

General enquiries can be sent to Professor Peter Holbrook, Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences at Peter.Holbrook@acu.edu.au.

Equal Opportunity and Privacy of personal information is University policy. For more details visit: http://www.acu.edu.au/careers

Applications close: Tuesday 13 July 2021; 11:55PM AEST

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