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Cole, Catherine Professor

Professor of Creative Writing

  • Faculty of the Arts, Social Science and Humanities
  • School of the Arts, English and Media
  • Professor and Former Deputy Dean - TAEM 2011 - 2017

Overview


Catherine Cole is Professor of Creative Writing in the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts at UOW and Professor of Creative Writing and Research Mentor at the Screen School, Liverpool John Moores University, UK. 

She has published three novels, (Dry Dock, Skin Deep (Harper Collins 1999 and Duffy and Snellgrove, 2002) and The Grave at Thu Le, Picador, 2006), two non-fiction books, (Private Dicks and Feisty Chicks: An Interrogation of Crime Fiction (Curtin University Press, 1996) and a memoir about her friendship with the late Australian poet, AD Hope, The Poet Who Forgot (UWA Press, 2008) She is the editor of the anthology, The Perfume River: Writing from Vietnam (UWA Press, 2010) and co-editor with McNeil and Karaminas of Fashion in Fiction: Text and Clothing in Literature, Film and Television, (Berg UK and USA, May 2009). Her poetry, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in Australia and internationally and produced by BBC Radio 4. Her collection of short stories - Sea Birds crying in the Harbour Dark - was published in September 2017. Liverpool John Moores University is one of the UKs most exciting creative arts universities with key partnerships with the UKs music, drama, literary and artistic organisations. 

Catherine has supervised to completion the Doctorates and MAs of more than 25 students including many of Australia’s leading and emerging writers. These have included Anna Funder, Ashley Hay, Charlotte Wood, Adam Aitken, Pip Newling, Tara Mokhtari, Alice Ulgezer, Pam Newton, Caroline Van dePol. At UOW she currently supervises 10 PhDs. In 2017 she was awarded a Vice Chancellors Award for Postgraduate Supervision.

Catherine has twice been a member of the Australian Research Council's Excellence in Research Australia research evaluation committee (ERA) in Humanities and the Creative Arts and has provided expert advice to a range of Australian, UK and other international universities on their research and creative practice activities. She is a regular book reviewer, participant in Australian and international writers' festivals and a judge of major national book awards. She has been a writer in residence in China, France, Vietnam, UK and Australia and a Visiting Fellow at the University of East Anglia.

She was formerly Deputy Dean of the Faculty Creative Arts and has played a senior management role in university governance in each of the universities at which she worked. She previously was Professor of Creative Writing, RMIT University in Melbourne and a Senior Lecturer University of Technology, Sydney and Lecturer, University of UNSW. She has academic relationships with a range of international universities and is regularly invited to review the writing and creative arts programs of universities in Australia and overseas. She also advises tertiary and secondary institutions about teaching and learning in the creative arts.

Prior to her role as an academic, Catherine worked in the field of human rights, advising governments at local, state and federal level on equality and diversity policies. She was a member of the Australian governments Australia Council for Women which prepared Australia's contribution to the UN World Women's Congress in Beijing in 1995. As a trade union official she was a member of the ACTU women's committee, Education and Training Committee and Migrant Workers committee and advised a range of industry training bodies, trade unions and employers about equity and diversity issues. 

During the past nine years Catherine has secured $514,000 for research projects and other project activities within creative writing including grants from the Literature Board, Copyright Agency. Foreign Affairs, Australia-China Council, Asialink.

Research Overview


  • Catherine's research interests include:
    • Creative Writing
    • Historical Fiction
    • Postcolonial fiction
    • Memoir and Life Writing
    • Crime Fiction and True Crime
    • Poetry
    • Short fiction
    • Asia Pacific writing
    • Creative communities
    • Australian/French cultural relationshipLanguages

    French

Selected Publications


  • Journal Article

    Year Title
    2017

    Published In
    The Conversation UK
    2015

    Published In
    Mascara
    2014

    Published In
    Animal Studies Journal
    2013

    Published In
    Mascara Literary Review
    2012

    Published In
    New Writing: the international journal for the practice and theory of creative writing
    2011

    Published In
    TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Programs
    2011

    Published In
    Studies in Western Australian History
    2011

    Published In
    TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Programs
    2010

    Published In
    The Age
    2009

    Published In
    Second Nature: International Journal of Creative Media
    2009

    Published In
    Griffith Review
    2008

    Published In
    The Weekend Australian
    2008

    Published In
    The Weekend Australian
    2007

    Published In
    Segue: Writing on Writing
    2007

    Published In
    Australian Author
    2007

    Published In
    Eureka Studies in Teaching Short Fiction
  • Book

    Year Title
    2017

    Publisher
    Perth
  • Chapter

    Year Title
    2012

    Published In
    Supervising Practices for Postgraduate Research in Art, Architecture and Design
    Publisher
    Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    2010

    Published In
    The Perfume River: an anthology of writing from Vietnam
    Publisher
    Crawley, WA
    2009

    Published In
    Fashion in Fiction: Text and Clothing in Literature, Film and Television
    Publisher
    Oxford, UK
  • Conference Paper

    Year Title
    2010

    Published In
    Strange Bedfellows or Prefect Partners Papers: Refereed Conference Papers of the 15th Annual AAWP Conference
  • Other Publications

    Year Title
    2014
    2013
    2016
    2014
    2013
    2013
    2013
    2013
    2013
    2010
    2010
    2009
    2008

Impact Story


  • Catherine's writing has explored a wide range of social issues, particularly examining the ways in which contemporary Australian life is reflected through its fictional narratives. Her work has been published in Australia, China, the USA, UK, Vietnam and NZ. It has been produced by BBC Radio 4, and reviewed and cited in Australian and international publications. Her work on contemporary crime narratives, on Vietnam or migration has been widely academically cited but also has informed secondary and post secondary study. Her stories also have been used to support and promote tolerance and inclusion. For example, her short story, Love, was used by the Marriage Equity campaign in 2017.  Reviewing The Grave at The Le, the Australian writer, Drusilla Modjeska, noted that; (Cole) writes without the guilt that has been so debilitating to our political and intellectual culture. She doesn’t engage with debates about guilt or blame, neither fending them nor joining the chorus of mea culpa.'<br /><br /> This has led to Cole's work being used in Australian schools, universities and study groups, increasing the need for and awareness of social and cultural divisions. In a recent review of her most recent work, Seabirds Crying in the Harbour Dark, the reviewer Kerryn Goldsworthy noted how Cole's work continues this social impact: 'Cole is very attuned to the plight of Australian asylum seekers and refugees but is never prolix or preachy on the subject, and is particularly good at evoking the emotions and desires that unite human beings rather than those that divide us.'<br /><p>Cole’s substantial media coverage points to the impact of her work, which has been reviewed in The Sun-Herald, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Weekend Australian, the Courier-Mail, The Sunday Times, the Examiner,  The Sunday Tasmanian, and Sunday Life. These reviews have stressed the impact of her work.  Her capacity to bring new ideas and writers into the public domain was noted by Geordie Williamson in his review of The Perfume River in The Australian:</p><p>‘The Perfume River is a labour of love that is a credit to all involved in its production. It reminds us of how correct Marcel Proust was, when he said that it is only through the agency of art that we leave our own selves and know what it is to be another. But the anthology also suggests a limit to the insights even the most thoughtful and talented Western observer can bring to an alien culture. Its pages hint at a disquieting thought: contemporary capitalism might be as destructive to the warp and weave of Vietnamese society as communism ever was. And yet the best Vietnamese contributors manage a generosity toward the outside world that is humbling.’</p><p>Cole played a key role in shaping Australian policies for writers, including policies about payments to writers from the Executive of the ASA. On the Eleanor Dark Foundation she was responsible for policies about national and international fellowships at Varuna  and the centre's community impact. Her grants have empowered writers with fellowships and community profiles.<br /><br /><br /></p>

Potential Supervision Topics


  • Short Fiction
    Political and social writing
    Creative Non FictionMemoir

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy Lost, Lonely and Lurid: In Search of Australian Noir
    Doctor of Philosophy Transnational subjectivity in Australian Women's Fiction/Writing with intertexts: Aesthetic Reflections Pike, Deborah
    Doctor of Creative Arts Subaltern Shadows in Mrs Dalloway Cahill, Michelle
    Doctor of Creative Arts Studio Of The Four Winds: The Adventurous Artist Turnbull, Sarah
    Doctor of Creative Arts Konfrontasi: The Untold Experiences f Australian Soldiers and their Families in a Forgotten War Novel: "Konfrontasi' Stevenson, Kylie
    Doctor of Philosophy Essaying Illness: Beyond Misery, beyond memoir Strahan, Lucinda

Outreach Overview


  • I review University Creative Writing Programs in Australia and Internationally

    Review books

    Judge literary competitions

    Peer Review grants 

    Participate in ARC and ERA assessment


Reviewer Of


Full Name


  • Catherine Cole
  • Catherine Cole

Mailing Address


  • Faculty of Law Humanities and the Arts

    Building 25

    UOW, Wollongong

    NSW

    2522

    Austraralia

  • Faculty of law Humanities and the Arts

    Building 25

    UOW, Wollongong

    NSW

    2522

    Austraralia

Research Overview


  • Catherine's research interests include:
    • Creative Writing
    • Historical Fiction
    • Postcolonial fiction
    • Memoir and Life Writing
    • Crime Fiction and True Crime
    • Poetry
    • Short fiction
    • Asia Pacific writing
    • Creative communities
    • Australian/French cultural relationshipLanguages

    French

Selected Publications


  • Journal Article

    Year Title
    2017

    Published In
    The Conversation UK
    2015

    Published In
    Mascara
    2014

    Published In
    Animal Studies Journal
    2013

    Published In
    Mascara Literary Review
    2012

    Published In
    New Writing: the international journal for the practice and theory of creative writing
    2011

    Published In
    TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Programs
    2011

    Published In
    Studies in Western Australian History
    2011

    Published In
    TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Programs
    2010

    Published In
    The Age
    2009

    Published In
    Second Nature: International Journal of Creative Media
    2009

    Published In
    Griffith Review
    2008

    Published In
    The Weekend Australian
    2008

    Published In
    The Weekend Australian
    2007

    Published In
    Segue: Writing on Writing
    2007

    Published In
    Australian Author
    2007

    Published In
    Eureka Studies in Teaching Short Fiction
  • Book

    Year Title
    2017

    Publisher
    Perth
  • Chapter

    Year Title
    2012

    Published In
    Supervising Practices for Postgraduate Research in Art, Architecture and Design
    Publisher
    Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    2010

    Published In
    The Perfume River: an anthology of writing from Vietnam
    Publisher
    Crawley, WA
    2009

    Published In
    Fashion in Fiction: Text and Clothing in Literature, Film and Television
    Publisher
    Oxford, UK
  • Conference Paper

    Year Title
    2010

    Published In
    Strange Bedfellows or Prefect Partners Papers: Refereed Conference Papers of the 15th Annual AAWP Conference
  • Other Publications

    Year Title
    2014
    2013
    2016
    2014
    2013
    2013
    2013
    2013
    2013
    2010
    2010
    2009
    2008

Impact Story


  • Catherine's writing has explored a wide range of social issues, particularly examining the ways in which contemporary Australian life is reflected through its fictional narratives. Her work has been published in Australia, China, the USA, UK, Vietnam and NZ. It has been produced by BBC Radio 4, and reviewed and cited in Australian and international publications. Her work on contemporary crime narratives, on Vietnam or migration has been widely academically cited but also has informed secondary and post secondary study. Her stories also have been used to support and promote tolerance and inclusion. For example, her short story, Love, was used by the Marriage Equity campaign in 2017.  Reviewing The Grave at The Le, the Australian writer, Drusilla Modjeska, noted that; (Cole) writes without the guilt that has been so debilitating to our political and intellectual culture. She doesn’t engage with debates about guilt or blame, neither fending them nor joining the chorus of mea culpa.'<br /><br /> This has led to Cole's work being used in Australian schools, universities and study groups, increasing the need for and awareness of social and cultural divisions. In a recent review of her most recent work, Seabirds Crying in the Harbour Dark, the reviewer Kerryn Goldsworthy noted how Cole's work continues this social impact: 'Cole is very attuned to the plight of Australian asylum seekers and refugees but is never prolix or preachy on the subject, and is particularly good at evoking the emotions and desires that unite human beings rather than those that divide us.'<br /><p>Cole’s substantial media coverage points to the impact of her work, which has been reviewed in The Sun-Herald, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Weekend Australian, the Courier-Mail, The Sunday Times, the Examiner,  The Sunday Tasmanian, and Sunday Life. These reviews have stressed the impact of her work.  Her capacity to bring new ideas and writers into the public domain was noted by Geordie Williamson in his review of The Perfume River in The Australian:</p><p>‘The Perfume River is a labour of love that is a credit to all involved in its production. It reminds us of how correct Marcel Proust was, when he said that it is only through the agency of art that we leave our own selves and know what it is to be another. But the anthology also suggests a limit to the insights even the most thoughtful and talented Western observer can bring to an alien culture. Its pages hint at a disquieting thought: contemporary capitalism might be as destructive to the warp and weave of Vietnamese society as communism ever was. And yet the best Vietnamese contributors manage a generosity toward the outside world that is humbling.’</p><p>Cole played a key role in shaping Australian policies for writers, including policies about payments to writers from the Executive of the ASA. On the Eleanor Dark Foundation she was responsible for policies about national and international fellowships at Varuna  and the centre's community impact. Her grants have empowered writers with fellowships and community profiles.<br /><br /><br /></p>

Potential Supervision Topics


  • Short Fiction
    Political and social writing
    Creative Non FictionMemoir

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy Lost, Lonely and Lurid: In Search of Australian Noir
    Doctor of Philosophy Transnational subjectivity in Australian Women's Fiction/Writing with intertexts: Aesthetic Reflections Pike, Deborah
    Doctor of Creative Arts Subaltern Shadows in Mrs Dalloway Cahill, Michelle
    Doctor of Creative Arts Studio Of The Four Winds: The Adventurous Artist Turnbull, Sarah
    Doctor of Creative Arts Konfrontasi: The Untold Experiences f Australian Soldiers and their Families in a Forgotten War Novel: "Konfrontasi' Stevenson, Kylie
    Doctor of Philosophy Essaying Illness: Beyond Misery, beyond memoir Strahan, Lucinda

Outreach Overview


  • I review University Creative Writing Programs in Australia and Internationally

    Review books

    Judge literary competitions

    Peer Review grants 

    Participate in ARC and ERA assessment


Reviewer Of


Full Name


  • Catherine Cole
  • Catherine Cole

Mailing Address


  • Faculty of Law Humanities and the Arts

    Building 25

    UOW, Wollongong

    NSW

    2522

    Austraralia

  • Faculty of law Humanities and the Arts

    Building 25

    UOW, Wollongong

    NSW

    2522

    Austraralia

Geographic Focus