Group photo of centre staff

WSRC in 2019:
Back row L-R: Nick Tappa (Giramondo), A/Prof. Chris Andrews, Prof. Matt McGuire, Aleesha Paz (Giramondo), Dr James Gourley, A/Prof. Kate Fagan, Prof. Anthony Uhlmann, Prof. Barney Glover (Vice-Chancellor), Prof. Peter Hutchings, Prof. Ivor Indyk, A/Prof. Alex Ling, Dr Luke Carman, Prof. Gail Jones
Front row L-R: Dr Felicity Castagna, Dr Rachel Morley, Suzanne Gapps, Dr Melinda Jewell, A/Prof. Lorraine Sim, A/Prof. Ben Etherington, Dr Ben Denham

Credit: Sally Tsoutas, Western Sydney University

The Writing and Society Research Centre was established in 2006 at WSU’s former Milperra campus as the Writing and Society Research Group. Its founding Director, Emeritus Professor Ivor Indyk, led the group alongside its distinguished inaugural members, including authors and critics Professor Alexis Wright, Professor Nicholas Jose, Emeritus Professor Gail Jones, Emeritus Professor Hazel Smith, and postdoctoral fellows Ms Catherine Rey and Dr Mridula Nath Chakraborty. A number of School of Humanities and Communication Arts staff also made significant contributions, including Associate Professor Chris Andrews, Associate Professor Sara Knox, Professor Anthony Uhlmann, Professor Anna Gibbs and Professor Jane Goodall.

In 2011, Professor Anthony Uhlmann became Director and oversaw the group’s expansion to a University Research Centre. Since 2011, Suzanne Gapps has worked as the Centre’s Executive Officer, while Dr Melinda Jewell has been WSRC’s Postgraduate Adviser, and has overseen WSRC’s postgraduate writing group for almost a decade. The Sydney Review of Books was established in 2013 under the editorship of WSRC alumni Dr James Ley, growing across the next decade under editor Dr Catriona Menzies-Pike to become Australia’s leading literary review journal.

Professor Uhlmann steers several of the Centre’s major ARC projects and alongside Deputy Director A/Prof. Anne Jamison oversaw its relocation in 2019 to Building EQ on WSU’s Parramatta South campus. In 2020, A/Prof Kate Fagan was appointed Centre Director, establishing The Writing Zone in that year. In 2022 the Centre’s publishing powerhouses – the Sydney Review of Books and Giramondo – relocated to WSU’s Parramatta Engineering and Innovation Hub in Hassall Street, the University’s research precinct in the Parramatta CBD.