Current Research Projects

Members of the Other Worlds research team with Mr Clarence Walden. From L-R: Prof. Alexis Wright, A/Prof. Ben Etherington, Mr Clarence Walden, Prof. Anthony Uhlmann, Dr Ben Denham and Tolly.

‘Like the Thunder’: Seeing Stories in the Gulf Country

This work by Alexis Wright and Anthony Uhlmann investigates the nature of relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in the Gulf of Carpentaria. It will generate imaginative understandings of how new relations might have been built through the historical marriage of a Waanyi woman and Chinese man in the late gold rush era. This project will show how storytelling helps reveal the essential nature of human relations, and how the capacity to remake relations is essential to intercultural reconciliation.

Creole Voices in the Caribbean and Australia: Poetics and Decolonisation

Creole Voices will investigate the experiences of Caribbean people that have been repressed or lost in colonial archives. Its first theme introduces the methods of historical poetics to Caribbean literary studies in order to recover a forgotten archive of poems written in the region’s hybrid creole languages and to reconstruct for the first time the history of Creole poetry between the end of slavery and formal decolonisation. Its second theme synthesises archival research and literary reconstruction to explore the lives of Caribbean people arriving in Australia over the same period. Creole Voices’ discoveries will be made readily accessible to Australian and Caribbean communities through online digital archives, podcasts, and publications.

The Writing Zone

The Writing Zone is a mentoring program for emerging writers and arts workers from Western Sydney. The Writing Zone is designed to help young writers from Western Sydney to tell their stories, polish their craft, publish their work, and build creative communities. It also offers employment and project management opportunities to emerging arts workers from the Greater Western Sydney region.

Find out more about The Writing Zone.

Writing Resilience

Writing and sharing our stories can be a powerful way to understand and process experiences of difficulty and trauma. The ‘Writing Resilience’ series aims to provide opportunities for emerging and established writers from Greater Western Sydney to reflect on their recent experiences of social and environmental upheaval in the region. The ‘Stories of Bushfire Recovery’ chapbook, and the memoir pieces emerging from ‘Writing Resilience #2’, will be co-published on the Centre for Western Sydney website.

Find out more about Writing Resilience.

Writing Gender

Inaugurated in 2021, Writing Gender is an annual public seminar event of the Writing and Society Research Centre's collaboration with the Sydney Review of Books and the Gender UNLIMITED* team at Western. The series adopts a different theme each year with the aim to bring gender equity practitioners across the Australian HE sector into productive dialogue with writers and Arts and Humanities researchers. Together we explore the ways in which writing can create new knowledges around gender, as well as guide the increasingly complex social and cultural understandings of gender equity and gender diversity in our local and academic communities. The event's focus on the literary arts sector and creative praxis further aims to both promote and provoke progressive and dynamic conversations around gender and the factors that intersect with gender to compound inequality. Each year, Western’s HDR candidates are additionally invited to attend a writing masterclass related to the event theme.

Find out more about Writing Gender.

Ageing Creatively: Creative Writing as a Tool for Healthy Ageing

Ageing Creatively is a research project exploring the best methods and practices of teaching creative writing in aged care facilities, including an examination of what creative writing practices enhance a subject’s sense of wellbeing and belonging, the best way to collect and analyse data about participant experiences, what methods sustain interest over a long period of time and how best practice models can be shared nationally.

Other Worlds: Forms of World Literature

This major ARC funded discovery grant involves four eminent Australian writers: J. M. Coetzee, Gail Jones, Nicholas Jose, and Alexis Wright. They are working together with critics Anthony Uhlmann and Ben Etherington, and emerging writer Samantha Trayhurn to explore the ways in which practising writers engage with writers from other literary communities. This project aims to develop an innovative approach to deepening our understanding of the concept of world literature and the capacities of literary form. The premise is that creative writing is itself a way thinking, and that new possibilities arise from the exchange between literary criticism and literary practice.

For full details visit the project website: Other Worlds: Forms of World Literature.

Sydney Review of Books

Founded by the Centre in 2013, Sydney Review of Books has become Australia’s preeminent review journal, and a leading contributor to national conversations about the cultural value of writing and literature.

Giramondo Publishing

The Writing and Society Research Centre is home to Giramondo Publishing which is run by centre member Professor Ivor Indyk. Giramondo is the means to engage in a practical form of research into the avenues open to Australian literature at a time of crisis in the book industry.

Find out more about Giramondo Publishing.