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McKinnon, Catherine Dr

Discipline Leader, English and Creative Writing

  • School of the Arts, English and Media
  • Discipline Leader, English and Creative Writing - Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Co-director of the Centre for Critical Creative Practice (C3P) - University of Wollongong

Top Publications


Research Overview


  • I am Discipline Leader of English and Creative Writing, a Co-director of the Centre for Critical Creative Practice (C3P)—ecologies of media, arts and writing, and I teach creative writing in the BCA—Creative Writing program, in the School of Arts, English and Media, in the Faculty of Arts, Social Sciences and the Humanities. My research is in the fields of traditional critical research and creative research, specifically prose and playwriting. The scholarly research investigates narrative voices, particularly first person narration, both fictional and non-fictional. What do the stories we tell reveal about ourselves and our culture? How do these stories influence others? It assumes that cultural texts not only reflect and interpret human experience but are formative. Stories and narratives shape culture. More recently I have been examining what it is to write and live in the Anthropocene. What place has writing in this new global climate-changed environment? How might we live 'better' and recognize our connection with other humans, other species, and the land and waterways around us? What can collaboration do to effect change? Within this framework, I am currently exploring narratives around the first atomic test—Trinity (claimed as one of the significant moments marking the beginning of the Anthropocene)—that took place in New Mexico, USA, and the dropping of the first atomic bombs in the Second World War as understood by soldiers in the field. 

    Various scholarly articles, the novella Will Martin, and my novel, Storyland, focus on environmental and social changes in the Illawarra since first contact.

    Storyland reviews have said:

    'A beautifully woven story ... a devastating retelling of man's effect on the land and the native people, and offers a chilling insight into what may come to pass with climate change. Storyland is reminiscent of Patrick White's A Fringe of Leaves, Kate Grenville's The Secret River and The Lieutenant ... and even, dare I say, a bit of Tim Winton's Cloudstreet.' Books+Publishing 'Impressive ... a haunted and haunting power' The Australian 'Breathtaking ... simply stunning.' Herald Sun 'This is a book I will return to multiple times, both for its beauty and subtlety and for the sheer pleasure of experiencing the world it reflects.' Otago Daily Times 'Storyland is a worthy contender for the Great Australian Novel - encompassing, ambitious' Readings 'It just might be the real story of Australia' Qantas Magazine

    I also supervise Higher Degree candidates.

Available as Research Supervisor

Selected Publications


Impact Story


Available as Research Supervisor

Potential Supervision Topics


    • Research that uses creative writing (novels, novellas, short stories, plays) and performance forms to investigate’ futures issues’ (such as climate change); or that is interested in historical subject matter, gender, feminist or political concerns.
    • Creative Writing (playwriting, novels, novellas, short stories)
    • Performance and Theatre Making (acting and directing)
    • Unreliable narration, first person speakers, translit or multi-story.

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Creative Arts My Bovine Heart: An Investigation of Performance Practice and the Moral Dilemma of Meat Culture
    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 Creative Arts A Very Long Echo: Cultural Grief and Embodied Archives Dalziel, Anne Maree
    Doctor of Philosophy Combating Ageism and Crime Fiction Wilder, Sandra
    Doctor of Philosophy Candidate has not included thesis title Lis, Gabrielle

Full Name


  • Dr Catherine McKinnon

Top Publications


Research Overview


  • I am Discipline Leader of English and Creative Writing, a Co-director of the Centre for Critical Creative Practice (C3P)—ecologies of media, arts and writing, and I teach creative writing in the BCA—Creative Writing program, in the School of Arts, English and Media, in the Faculty of Arts, Social Sciences and the Humanities. My research is in the fields of traditional critical research and creative research, specifically prose and playwriting. The scholarly research investigates narrative voices, particularly first person narration, both fictional and non-fictional. What do the stories we tell reveal about ourselves and our culture? How do these stories influence others? It assumes that cultural texts not only reflect and interpret human experience but are formative. Stories and narratives shape culture. More recently I have been examining what it is to write and live in the Anthropocene. What place has writing in this new global climate-changed environment? How might we live 'better' and recognize our connection with other humans, other species, and the land and waterways around us? What can collaboration do to effect change? Within this framework, I am currently exploring narratives around the first atomic test—Trinity (claimed as one of the significant moments marking the beginning of the Anthropocene)—that took place in New Mexico, USA, and the dropping of the first atomic bombs in the Second World War as understood by soldiers in the field. 

    Various scholarly articles, the novella Will Martin, and my novel, Storyland, focus on environmental and social changes in the Illawarra since first contact.

    Storyland reviews have said:

    'A beautifully woven story ... a devastating retelling of man's effect on the land and the native people, and offers a chilling insight into what may come to pass with climate change. Storyland is reminiscent of Patrick White's A Fringe of Leaves, Kate Grenville's The Secret River and The Lieutenant ... and even, dare I say, a bit of Tim Winton's Cloudstreet.' Books+Publishing 'Impressive ... a haunted and haunting power' The Australian 'Breathtaking ... simply stunning.' Herald Sun 'This is a book I will return to multiple times, both for its beauty and subtlety and for the sheer pleasure of experiencing the world it reflects.' Otago Daily Times 'Storyland is a worthy contender for the Great Australian Novel - encompassing, ambitious' Readings 'It just might be the real story of Australia' Qantas Magazine

    I also supervise Higher Degree candidates.

Selected Publications


Impact Story


Potential Supervision Topics


    • Research that uses creative writing (novels, novellas, short stories, plays) and performance forms to investigate’ futures issues’ (such as climate change); or that is interested in historical subject matter, gender, feminist or political concerns.
    • Creative Writing (playwriting, novels, novellas, short stories)
    • Performance and Theatre Making (acting and directing)
    • Unreliable narration, first person speakers, translit or multi-story.

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Creative Arts My Bovine Heart: An Investigation of Performance Practice and the Moral Dilemma of Meat Culture
    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 Creative Arts A Very Long Echo: Cultural Grief and Embodied Archives Dalziel, Anne Maree
    Doctor of Philosophy Combating Ageism and Crime Fiction Wilder, Sandra
    Doctor of Philosophy Candidate has not included thesis title Lis, Gabrielle

Full Name


  • Dr Catherine McKinnon