Westerly Centre


Westerly members are actively involved in the research and publication of Australian literature and culture.

They comprise of some of the most highly acclaimed and widely published academics in their field.

Committee members

  1. Dennis Haskell
  2. Alison Bartlett
  3. Delys Bird
  4. Tanya Dalziell
  5. Kieran Dolin
  6. Lucy Dougan
  7. Gareth Griffiths
  8. Tony Hughes-d'Aeth
  9. Van Ikin
  10. Andrew Lynch
  11. Philip Mead
  12. Brenda Walker
  13. Bob White
Dennis Haskell

Dennis Haskell is director of the Westerly Centre. He is the author of 6 collections of poetry, and 13 volumes of literary scholarship and criticism. His All the Time in the World won the Western Australian Premier’s Prize for Poetry in 2007, has been translated into French, and is being translated into Italian and Chinese. Haskell was Co-editor of Westerly, from 1985-2009 and is Emeritus Professor of English and Cultural Studies at The University of Western Australia. He was Chair of the Literature Board of the Australia Council for the Arts from 2009-2011. His Acts of Defiance: New and Selected Poems was published by Salt Publishing (Cambridge, UK) in December 2010.

Alison Barlett

Alison's doctoral work on contemporary Australian literature and French feminist theories formed the basis of her academic research on contemporary writing as cultural texts that make meaning of our worlds.  She is the author of Jamming the Machinery: contemporary Australian women's writing (1998), and co-editor of Australian Literature and the Public Sphere (1999). She has published widely in journals like Westerly, Southerly, Antipodes, and contributed to Australian Made: a Multicultural Reader (2010) and The Cultural History of Reading (2009). Her interest in forms of writing, especially the Australian hybrid form of fictocriticism, has been published in The Space Between: Australian women write fictocriticism. Alison edits the online journal Outskirts: feminisms along the edge, which has featured an issue on fictocriticism. Current research interests have shifted to maternal bodies, feminist memory, and the desert as a site of protest, taking her back to her hometown of Alice Springs. Before joining UWA in 2005, Alison spent ten years at the University of Southern Queensland, and before that at James Cook University of North Queensland.

Delys Bird

Delys Bird began teaching English at WAIT (now Curtin University) in 1980 and joined the Faculty of Arts, University of Western Australia in 1985 where she established MPhil courses in Australian Studies and Women’s Studies, and set up the Centre for Women's Studies of which she was Director until her retirement in 2003. She also taught in English at UWA. She has been an editor of the literary magazine Westerly since the early 1990s, having previously served as poetry editor, and for some years Director of the Westerly Centre. Her research interests have consistently been in the area of Australian literature, especially the writing of women. Delys Bird has provided direction for the Western Australian specialist sub-set of AustLit at UWA, where she is a Senior Honorary Research Fellow.

Tanya Dalziell

Tanya Dalziell works in English and Cultural Studies. She teaches undergraduate units in Australian literature and film, among others, and supervises postgraduate students in these areas too.  Her recent related publications include a chapter on the history of the colonial romance novel to 1950 (to appear with Oxford University Press), a chapter on nineteenth-century Australian fiction in Peter Pierce's edited collection, The Cambridge History of Australian Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2009), and piece on John Hillcoat's film, The Proposition, which appeared in 2009 in a special volume of Studies in Australasian Cinema, which she edited with Kieran Dolin and Tony Hughes-d'Aeth.  She also edited with Karen Welberry a volume titled Cultural Seeds: Essays on the Work of Nick Cave (2009). Currently she is working on an edited collection with Paul Genoni from Curtin University entitled Telling Stories: Australian Literary Cultures 1935-2010 (Monash University Press, 2012). Her book, Settler Romances and the Australian Girl (2004), won in 2005 the Walter McRae Russell Award, given to "the best book of literary scholarship on an Australian subject published in the preceding two calendar years" by the Association for the Study of Australian Literature.  She has been an editor and books editor of JASAL, and is currently on the board of editorial advisers for the Australian Literary Studies journal.

Kieran Dolin

Kieran Dolin teaches in the English and Cultural Studies discipline group, principally in Australian Literature and nineteenth-century English Literature. His main research in these areas explores the intersections between law and literature. His main current research project, for which he has been awarded an ARC Discovery Grant for 2011 – 2013, is entitled ‘Australian literature after Mabo’. The total amount of the grant is $152,988 over the three years. As well as funding his own research, the grant provides a scholarship for a PhD student.

Lucy Dougan

Lucy Dougan was born and grew up in Perth, Western Australia, where she has now resettled after living for some time in Newcastle, New South Wales. Her first book, Memory Shell (Five Islands Press, 1998) won the Mary Gilmore Award in 2000. Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, both in Australia and overseas. She has worked in arts administration, as a tertiary teacher of creative writing, literature and film; and has run workshops for teachers exploring ways of engaging young people in poetry. Lucy has had poems commissioned for the Southern Forest Sculpture Walk at Northcliffe and for the redevelopment of the Busselton Jetty in WA. In both these projects she collaborated with the sculptors Nicole and Alex Mickle. She is a former poetry editor of HEAT magazine. Her second book, White Clay, was published by Giramondo in 2008. In 2006 the manuscript of White Clay won the Arts ACT Alec Bolton Award for an unpublished manuscript by an Australian poet. Her recent chapbooks include Meanderthals (Web del Sol), Against Lawns and On the Circumvesuviana (Picaro Press). She currently works in an administration and research position at the University of Western Australia and is poetry editor of the University of Canberra's online journal Axon: Creative Explorations.

Gareth Griffiths

Gareth Griffiths is Winthrop Professor of English and Cultural Studies at UWA and a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He has published numerous books and articles on a variety of postcolonial literatures over the last forty years, including the much celebrated and joint authored publication (with Bill Ashcroft and Helen Tiffin) The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures. His principal areas of publication have been Africa (and its diaspora), Australia and South and South-East Asia. His interests in Australian literature for many years focused on Australian drama. He is a founding life member and a past President of the Australasian Drama Studies Association and between 1995 and 2001 was the West Australian theatre critic for The Australian newspaper. In more recent times his interests have focused on the way indigenous sacred narratives intersect and engage with the narratives introduced by Christian missions in Australia.  

Tony Hughes-D'Aeth

Tony Hughes-d’Aeth has been the co-editor, with Delys Bird, of Westerly magazine since 2009, when he was appointed to replace long-serving co-editor Dennis Haskell.  He is Associate Professor of English and Cultural Studies at The University of Western Australia, where he teaches Australian Literature as well as contemporary literature and media. He has published widely on Australian cultural history, including Paper Nation: The Story of the Picturesque Atlas of Australasia, 1886-1888 (Melbourne University Press, 2001) which received the Ernest Scott and the W.K. Hancock prizes for Australian history. Apart from Australian literature and culture, his research interests include film and media theory, as well as psychoanalysis. He is currently writing a literary history of the wheatbelt of Western Australia.

Van Ikin

Van Ikin is a Professor in English and Cultural Studies at the University of Western Australia, where he teaches mainly Creative Writing and is a Deputy Head of School.  His stories have appeared in various books and magazines since 1968, and in 1992 he won the inaugural Chandler Award for Achievement in the Field of Australian Science Fiction.  He is the editor of Australian Science Fiction (UQP, 1982 and Academy Chicago, 1985), Glass Reptile Breakout and Other Australian Speculative Stories (CSAL, 1990), and is co-editor (with Terry Dowling) of Mortal Fire: Best Australian SF (Coronet, 1993).  He is co-author (with Russell Blackford and Sean McMullen) of Strange Constellations: A History of Australian Science Fiction (Greenwood Press, 1999).  He is editor/publisher of the journal Science Fiction: A Review of Speculative Literature (1977- ) and has recently co-edited (with Damien Broderick) Warriors of the Tao: The Best of Science Fiction: A Review of Speculative Literature (Wildside, 2011). He was regular sf/fantasy reviewer for The Sydney Morning Herald 1984-2010, with over 125 published reviews.  Van also coordinated the publication of four volumes of UWA student writing: Under the Table (1996), Lies, All Lies (1998), Ink on Paper (2000), and Suasion (2003).

Andrew Lynch

Andrew Lynch is a Professor in English and Cultural Studies at UWA and Director of the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies. He writes mainly on medieval literature and its modern afterlives, and his publications include several articles and book chapters on Francis Webb, and essays on Christopher Brennan, the St George tradition in Australia, Randolph Stow, and medievalist burlesque theatre of the 1860s.  With Louise D'Arcens (Wollongong) he is currently editing the collection International Medievalism and Popular Culture for Cambria Press. A forthcoming chapter in Telling Stories: Australian Literary Cultures, 1935–2012, edited by Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziel (Monash University Publishing), looks at poetry by Francis Webb and Vincent Buckley. With Louise D'Arcens and Stephanie Trigg (Melbourne) he recently co-edited the special issue 'Medievalism, Nationalism, Colonialism', Australian Literary Studies, 26, 3-4 (2011), and with Helen Dell (Melbourne) and Louise D'Arcens the special issue 'The Medievalism of Nostalgia', postmedieval, 2, 2 (2011). He is associated with the website resource 'Medievalism in Australian Cultural Memory' , stemming from an ARC Discovery Grant with Trigg, D'Arcens and John Ganim (UC, Riverside). Recent and forthcoming publications on other subjects include essays on the medievalism of Disney cartoons; medieval saints' lives and romances; Walter Scott; Arthurian emotions; Measure for Measure and martyrdom literature.

Philip Mead

Since 2009 Philip has held the inaugural Chair of Australian Literature at the University of Western Australia. He has edited a collection of essays on Kenneth Slessor, Kenneth Slessor – Critical Readings (University of Queensland Press, 1997) and selections of poetry by Frank Wilmot, Selected Poetry and Prose (Melbourne University Press, 1997), and by David Campbell, Hardening of the Light (Ginnenderra, 2007). He is a past co-editor of JASAL (Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature) and is on the editorial advisory boards of Australian Literary Studies and the Cultural Studies Review. Philip's study of Australian poetry, Networked Language: History & Culture in Australian Poetry (Australian Scholarly Publishing) was shortlisted for the Association for Australian Literature’s Walter McRae Russell Award in 2009, and in 2010 won the New South Wales Premier’s Prize for Literary Scholarship. With Brenton Doecke (Deakin University) and Larissa McLean Davies (University of Melbourne) he has edited Teaching Australian Literature: from Classroom Conversations to National Imaginings (AATE/Wakefield), published in 2011. Philip led the ALTC funded project, ‘Australian Literature Teaching Survey’ (2009-2010) and currently holds an ARC Discovery Project grant (2010-2012) for the project ‘Monumental Shakespeares: an investigation of transcultural commemoration in 20th-century Australia and England.’ He is a member of the Advisory Board of the ARC LIEF funded AustLit consortium. Philip is currently researching West Australian writing in relation to region, community and the global imaginary, and is writing an introduction to the literature of Tasmania.

Brenda Walker

After gaining a PhD in English (on the work of Samuel Beckett) at the Australian National University, Brenda Walker moved to Perth in 1984. Her first novel, Crush (1991), won the T. A. G. Hungerford Award for an unpublished manuscript. She has been shortlisted twice for the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards for her subsequent novels, Poe's Cat (1999) and The Wing of Night (2006), the later novel also being shortlisted for the Miles Franklin. Her memoir, Reading by Moonlight (2010), was also published to great acclaim and received several awards. She is currently Winthrop Professor of English and Cultural Studies at the University of Western Australia, and has been a Visiting Fellow at Stanford University and The University of Virginia. Her research interests include creative writing, twentieth century literature, and women's studies.

Bob White

Bob White is Winthrop Professor of English, Australian Professorial Fellow, and a Programme Leader in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions. He generally works on Shakespeare and on Keats, but he makes occasional forays into Australian fields. Earlier in 2011 he gave a talk on Furphy's Such is Life at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, and in 2010 he  published a chapter on "Vegemite" in Symbols of Australia: Uncovering the Stories Behind the Myths edited by Melissa Harper and Richard White (University of NSW Press, 2010). His two most recent books are Pacifism and English Literature: Minstrels of Peace (2008), and John Keats: A Literary Life (2010).

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