About Me

IMG_4907I’m an Associate Professor at the Australian National University, working on digital humanities, literary studies, book history, and reading and reception in the School of English, Languages and Linguistics. My research explores the critical potential – and limitations – of digital methods for literary studies, a topic that also leads me to consider such things as the nature of archives and the future of the humanities.

From 2018 to 2022 I will be funded by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship for a project entitled “Reading at the Interface: Literatures, Cultures, Technologies.” This project aims to use new, extensive digital evidence of reception to progress a central insight of cultural criticism: that meaning is not carried by texts but produced in interactions between texts, contexts, and readers. It will create an interactive digital platform to connect scholarly work in Australian literary studies to public discussions of literature, enrich reading experiences and provide a vehicle for literary research that engages diverse publics and enhances understanding of Australian literature. Read more about the project here.

From 2013 to 2016 I was funded by an ARC Discovery Project to explore fiction in historical Australian newspapers. By analysing the millions of newspaper pages digitised by the National Library of Australia‘s Trove database, I discovered over 21,000 stories published in Australia in the 19th and early 20th centuries. These stories came from across the globe, including Britain, America and Australia, as well as France, Germany, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, and elsewhere. Exploring their circulation and contents provides new insights into how literature travelled globally in this period, and the consequences of this movement for literary, reading, and cultural history. This project also motivated a reconsideration of the relationship of literary history to the archive in this age of digital remediation. Find more information about the project here.

Prior to that, I worked on a new history of the Australian novel, based on quantitative analysis of the AustLit database and funded by an ARC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. This project revised key ideas about this literary form, relating to literary and cultural value, authorship, gender, genre and the transnational circulation of fiction. It also proposed a framework for digital book history that combined book history’s pragmatic approach to literary data with the digital humanities concept of modelling as an ongoing and iterative practice. Read more about that project here.

These projects, as well as my doctoral research on representations of men’s bodies in women’s fiction, have led to a number of books as well as multiple journal articles and chapters. I am also series editor for Anthem Press’s Australian Literature and Culture series and on the editorial boards for Australian Literary StudiesJournal of Cultural Analytics, and Anthem Press’s Book History and Print Culture series.

Brief (Professional) Bio

I graduated from James Cook University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours. After a year travelling and working in Europe, I undertook a PhD in the School of English, Media Studies and Art History at the University of Queensland. I completed my dissertation in 2005, and in 2006 spent another year travelling, this time in Asia and Europe. In 2007 I took up an Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of English at the University of Sydney, before moving to Hobart in mid-2009, to begin a lectureship in English at the University of Tasmania. In 2011, I moved again to the Centre for Digital Humanities Research (then the Digital Humanities Hub) at the Australian National University. I was Head of the centre from 2011 to 2013 and moved to a continuing position in the School of Literature, Languages, and Linguistics in 2017.

Other Websites

Researcher Page for the Australian National University


Google Scholar publications and citations