Literary Studies

Exploring social concerns from the past and present through written and visual literature


Literary and visual genres are spaces for the imaginative exploration of pressing social concerns. Literary studies research explores literature, film, television and theatre, looking at creative writings, historical and contemporary works of literature, and other cultural forms of expression.

We aim to understand the cultural significance and uses of literature, while fostering creative knowledge and production in Western Australia.

Our researchers study a wide range of literatures from the past and the present, including:

  • Ancient Greek and Roman writing
  • Medieval literature
  • Shakespeare and his contemporaries
  • Romanticism and the nineteenth-century novel
  • International modernist writing
  • Postcolonial fiction from former French colonies

UWA has a proud tradition in the historical study of literature and creative research, through theatre productions in various languages, the publication of Westerly (one of the oldest literary magazines in Australia), and practical studies in creative writing.

The study of Australia’s literary heritage and its contemporary production is a key priority, with the endowment of a nationally funded Chair in Australian Literature. Among the topics of current or recent research include studies of the Holocaust in children’s literature, Shakespeare’s cinema of love, and literature and the environment.

If you are interested in literature, you may want to study the units Literary Classics, Netflicks: Cinema and Long-form Television or Jane Austen and her legacy.

Old Emotions on the New Fortune Stage



ARC Discovery Grant – Literature After Mabo

Associate Professor Kieran Dolin explores the major shifts in Australian literature following the recognition of native title by the High Court of Australia in 1992.

ARC Discovery Grant – Literature and the Environment in Australia

Dr Tony Hughes-d’Aeth considers the way that literature is connected to the Australian environment, particularly in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia.

ARC Discovery Grants and Professorial Fellowship

Professor Robert White is internationally renowned as a scholar of Shakespeare and Romanticism. His ARC Discovery Grans and Professorial Fellowship relate to his studies of Shakespeare and the Cinema of Love, of Pacifism in English Literature and of Keats’s Anatomy of Melancholy.




We welcome new collaborations with researchers who share common interests.


Oxford University

Dr Paul Gibbard is a researcher from Oxford University who worked on the Voltaire Foundation’s major new edition of the Complete Works of Voltaire.

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Curtin University

Dr Paul Genoni from Curtin University and Associate Professor Tanya Dalziell are conducting a major study of Australian literary expatriates in Greece.

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Literature Board of Australia Council

The Literature Board of the Australia Council has provided grants for the production of Westerly Magazine at UWA.

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Western Australian Department for Culture and the Arts

The Western Australian Department for Culture and the Arts has provided grants for the production of Westerly Magazine at The University of Western Australia.

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Our facilities


UWA libraries

UWA’s six libraries are not only places where information is gathered and accessed, but where ideas are formed, inspired and shared through innovative and engaging physical and digital spaces.

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UWA theatres and auditoriums

UWA boasts some of Australia’s most distinctive and exciting venues, from the sumptuous Winthrop Hall to the magical Somerville Auditorium.

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Institute of Advanced Studies

The Institute of Advanced Studies brings researchers from all over the world to UWA with the aim of further enhancing UWA’s global research profile.


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Call for volunteers

We invite student volunteers for events such as Open Day, conferences and journal production. We also welcome graduates to volunteer to address student groups on career opportunities. Contact us on the details below for more information.

Contact Associate Professor Kieran Dolin

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Room 1.08, Arts Building, School of Humanities