Research Leadership and Engagement

Sandra Phillips, Melissa Lucashenko and Kate Fagan are all standing in a row and smiling at the camera.

Wakka Wakka and Gooreng Gooreng publisher, scholar and Adjunct A/Prof. Sandra Phillips, Bundjalung author Melissa Lucashenko and Director of WSRC, A/Prof Kate Fagan. Image Credit:  Sally Tsoutas, Western Sydney University

The Writing and Society Research Centre is an anchor organisation for one of the most culturally diverse and rapidly growing regions of Australia. Our research champions literature and writing as creative practices that discover new knowledges, while foregrounding social inclusion and wellbeing through reimagining cultural values. We engage closely with creative arts communities across Greater Western Sydney, providing industry-based opportunities for arts workers while nurturing a dynamic, regional writing culture.

Our world-class and multidisciplinary research specialities include First Nations storytelling and writing; Australian literatures; postcolonial, decolonising and world literatures; poetry and poetics; literary modernisms; critical and literary theory; women’s writing, and gender and sexuality studies; literature and the environment; film and screen studies; writing for stage and performance; and literature and philosophy. WSRC is home to both the Sydney Review of Books and the Giramondo imprint. Our award-winning publishing activities set the national standard for longform critical writing about Australian literature, and for creative, interpretive and translational writing by Australian authors.

WSRC has secured and hosted numerous ARC Discovery and Indigenous Discovery Grants and major HERDC Category 1 and 2 funding, amounting to over $4.5 million since 2011. These grants have supported internationally and nationally significant research projects including Like the Thunder: Seeing Stories in the Gulf Country (led by Profs. Alexis Wright and Anthony Uhlmann), Other Worlds: Forms of World Literature (led by A/Prof. Ben Etherington and Prof. Anthony Uhlmann), the Sydney Review of Books (founded by Dr James Ley and Prof. Ivor Indyk; edited subsequently by Dr Catriona Menzies-Pike and Dr James Jiang), the China Australia Literary Forum (led by Prof. Nicholas Jose, Prof. Anthony Uhlmann, Prof. Ivor Indyk and Prof. Jing Han), and The Writing Zone (led by A/Prof Kate Fagan, Dr Catriona Menzies-Pike and Dr Melinda Jewell).

WSRC counts among its distinguished postgraduate alumni many celebrated Australian authors, including Wiradjuri poet Jazz Money, Felicity Castagna, George Haddad, Gabrielle Carey, Natalie Conyer, Peter Boyle and Luke Beesley. Its staff and alumni have won many of Australia’s most significant literary prizes including the Miles Franklin Award, the Prime Minister’s Literary Award, the Stella Award and a range of Premier’s Literary Awards; while authors published by Giramondo also have won the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Booker Prize.