Ali Cobby Eckermann is a Yankunytjatjara Aboriginal poet and an RMIT Adjunct Professor with non/fictionLab.
“In her memoir Too Afraid to Cry (2013), indigenous poet Ali Cobby Eckermann related how she had been tricked away from her mother as a baby, repeating the trauma her mother had suffered when she was taken from her grandmother many years before. Ali in turn had to give her own child up for adoption. In her poetry collection, Inside My Mother (2015), she explores the distance between the generations created by such experiences, felt as an interminable void in its darkest aspects...but in other ways... lit by dreams and visions of startling intensity, populated by symbolic presences and scenes of ritual and commemoration, chief amongst them the separation and reunion of mother and child.” (Source: Giramondo Publishing)
Ali’s verse novel, Ruby Moonlight (2012) won the NSW Premier’s Award for Poetry and Book of the Year in 2013. In 2017, she was awarded the Wyndham Campbell Prize.
Alvin Pang (Dr) is a poet, writer, editor and translator whose broad creative practice spans over two decades of literary and related activities in Singapore and elsewhere. Featured in the Oxford Companion to Modern Poetry in English, his writing has been translated into more than twenty languages, including Swedish, Croatian and Macedonian. His latest titles include WHAT HAPPENED: Poems 1997-2017 (2017) and UNINTERRUPTED TIME (2019). For his contributions to the literary arts, he has received Singapore's Young Artist of the Year Award, the Singapore Youth Award and the JCCI Education Award, among other accolades. The Editor-in-Chief of the public policy journal ETHOS, he also serves on several advisory boards, including the International Poetry Studies Institute at the University of Canberra and Rabbit: Journal of non-fiction poetry. In 2020, he completed a PhD in writing with RMIT University, in which he explored the possibilities of literary practice conducted across multiple languages, genres, careers and communities.
Dr Bonny Cassidy is a poet, critic, editor and essayist living on Dja Dja Wurrung lands in central Victoria. Bonny has released four poetry collections, most recently, Chatelaine (Giramondo, 2017), shortlisted for the 2018 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. In 2016 she co-edited the anthology, Contemporary Australian Feminist Poetry (Hunter Publishers) with Jessica L Wilkinson. Bonny is a Director of the Board of Australian Poetry Ltd. She coordinated the Melbourne Visiting Poets Program 2015-19 funded by the Australia Council, bringing First Nations and regional poets to the RMIT campus. Bonny was a team member commended for the 2020 Vice Chancellor’s Award for Reconciliation-Based teaching. She is a facilitator of the University-wide Bundyi Girri (Shared Futures) program of professional development for non-Indigenous staff.
Brigid is a literary studies scholar and essayist. Her research work is primarily concerned with the intersections between literature and place. She is fascinated by the functions and consolations of literature in the world. Brigid's main research areas are reader studies, the history of the book, regional literary history, trans-Tasman literary culture, literature and place-making, contemporary Australian literature and literary studies pedagogy. Her monograph Locating Australian Literary Memory was published by Anthem Press (2019). Her current projects include Reading in the Mallee: The Literary Past and Future of an Australian Region (administered by Deakin University). Funded by: ARC Special Research Initiatives Grant 2014 onwards from (2021 to 2024)
David Carlin is a creative writer, researcher and teacher with a background in writing and directing for theatre, circus and film. His research interests include essaying and hybrid forms, ecocriticism and the Anthropocene, community digital archives, memory, collaborative methods and creative practice, and the ethics of intercultural exchange. David’s nonfiction books include The After-Normal: Brief, Alphabetical Essays on a Changing Planet, 100 Atmospheres: Studies in Scale and Wonder, Our Father Who Wasn’t There, and The Abyssinian Contortionist. His award-winning essays have been published in Meanjin, Griffith REVIEW, Hunger Mountain, Speak, Overland, Westerly, Sydney Review of Books and elsewhere. Co-founder of WrICE, he is also Co-President of the NonfictioNOW Conference, a founding Contributing Editor of Speculative Nonfiction, and Professor of Creative Writing at RMIT University, where he co-directs the non/fictionLab.
Francesca Rendle-Short is co-founder of non/fictionLab and WrICE. Francesca is interested in a research practice focused on ethical enquiry, trans-national literatures and literary practices, queer thinking, the value of collaboration and community building. Her scholarly praxis pays attention to form as well as content. It is experimental, idiosyncratic and playful in nature, attentive to whimsy and transgression. She has initiated and continues to lead numbers of industry-focused research projects including the WrICE ARC Discovery Project, The Jakarta Post B/DNL Studio X-CoLab and STREAT. Her five books include The near and the far (Vol I and II) and Bite your tongue.
Gemma Sou is a Vice Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at RMIT University. She is a development geographer who explores human-environment relations, with a particular interest in everyday humanitarianism, lived experiences of disasters and the representation of disasters in media. She works with artists to communicate her research in creative, engaging and socially responsible ways. She has worked in Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, U.K. She is on the editorial board for the Journal of Humanitarian Affairs, and a Fellow of the Humanitarian Innovation Initiative at Brown University, U.S.A.
James Oliver (Seumas Olaghair) is a Hebridean Gàidheal and native of the Isle of Skye (an t-Eilean Sgitheanach). This emplacement has informed a life-long and evolving enquiry of practice-as-research and ways of knowing. Initially this was at the nexus of his native culture, language, place-based belonging and configurations of identities; increasingly, this is becoming more about ontologies and practices of emplacement and ethical relations.
As a transdisciplinary academic, educator, and writer, James has over 20 years of professional practice across a range of disciplines and sectors (creative arts, design, social sciences, ethnography, arts development, community practice). This has nurtured a ‘practice-as-research’ career beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries, particularly at the intersections of cultural relations and Indigenous Practice Research. He recently published the book, Associations: creative practice and research (MUP, 2018).
Jessica is a writer, critic, scholar and editor whose research interests include: poetry and poetics; contemporary poetry; poetic biography; 'nonfiction poetry'; experimental/radical writing; literary theory. She has published three poetic biographies, Marionette: A Biography of Miss Marion Davies (2012), shortlisted for the 2014 Kenneth Slessor Award, Suite for Percy Grainger (2014), a poem from which won the 2014 Peter Porter Poetry Prize, and Music Made Visible: A Biography of George Balanchine (2019), Highly Commended in the 2020 Wesley Michel Wright Prize. In collaboration with composer Simon Charles, Marionette was developed into a performance work of voice, music and sound; they released an album in 2018. Jessica is the founding editor of Rabbit: a journal for nonfiction poetry—which released its 30th issue in 2020—and the offshoot Rabbit Poets Series of single-author collections.
Julienne van Loon is a novelist whose research interests include the role of creativity in research practice, creative writing research methods and philosophies of knowledge. She also has expertise in feminist literary practices, the form of the novella, non-linear narrative, author livelihoods, the Australian book industry, cultural policy and cultural value, and creative writing pedagogy.
Julienne’s most recent book is the widely acclaimed The Thinking Woman (2019). Current research and creative practice projects engage with talking value in Australian writing, risk and discovery in leading research practice, and citizen-led democracy movements.
Linda Daley’s research is at the intersection of philosophy and literary and cultural studies. Her work has been published in internationally respected journals including Australian Feminist Studies, Australian Feminist Law Journal, New Writing, Film-Philosophy and Third Text. She teaches literary studies and supervises HDR writing projects.
Lucinda is a writer and researcher of expanded nonfiction. She is the curator and program leader of Writing in the Expanded Field, writing program of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and editor of its annual journal. Lucinda’s own expanded writing practice spans journalism and arts criticism, auto-ethnographic and personal essaying, arts editing and publishing, academic writing, and experimental literary-visual works. She is the currently Writer in Residence at Linden New Art, St Kilda and has previously been Writer in Residence at Grey Projects, Singapore. Lucinda is Lecturer in the Professional Communication program.
Melody Ellis’s work explores subjectivity, the body, power, and ethics. She is a writer and early-career academic. She completed her undergraduate studies in fine art at Sydney College of the Arts and a doctorate in creative writing at RMIT University. Her interdisciplinary writing practice — including short fiction, experimental memoir and fictocritical essays — Melody brings to her writing on these themes an engagement with critical and literary theory, art history, form and aesthetics.
See also http://www.melodyellis.com
Michelle Aung Thin’s research interests include: postcolonial literary theory, in particular the ‘limit’; writing collaboration in social enterprise; the mobile phone and writers in Myanmar. She is currently working on her second book, researched during an Asialink Residency in 2014 (funded by Arts Victoria) which explores the limits of identity in contemporary Myanmar and cosmopolitan, colonial Rangoon.
Peta Murray is a writer-performer, dramaturge and cross-arts collaborator interested in the application of transdisciplinary and creative practices as modes of inquiry and forms of cultural activism. Peta’s best-known plays are Wallflowering and Salt, winner of the Victorian Premier’s Award for Drama. Other plays include AWGIE-award winners, Spitting Chips, on adolescence and bereavement, and The Keys to the Animal Room, on family violence. Recent works include Missa Pro Venerabilibus: A Mass for the Ageing and vigil/wake - a three-part w/rite-of-passage. Peta is a member of The Symphony of Awkward research collective, co-lead of RMIT’s Creating Ageing Futures Working Group, and one of a team of researchers on the ARC funded Discovery Project: Staging Australian Women’s Lives.
Rebecca Hill conducts research in feminist philosophy and decolonial theory. She is the author of The Interval: Relation and Becoming in Irigaray, Aristotle and Bergson (Fordham) and the editor of Philosophies of Difference: Nature, Racism and Sexuate Difference (Routledge). Rebecca's current book project engages with concepts of time, difference and relation. She is a founder and convenor of the Philosophies of Difference (PoD) seminars.
Ronnie Scott’s current research projects are a novel, Shirley; and Australian Comics 1980-2020: A New History, a collaboration with the Australia Council for the Arts, Craig Walker Design, the National Library of Australia and researchers from the University of Melbourne and UTS Sydney. His debut novel The Adversary was shortlisted for a Queensland Literary Award.
Rose Michael's research interests include non-realist writing, creative practice research and pedagogy, and editorial and publishing practices. Her first novel, The Asking Game, was a runner-up for the Vogel and received an Aurealis honourable mention. Short stories from it appeared in Island, Griffith Review and Best Australian Stories. An early extract from her second, The Art of Navigation, was shortlisted for a Conjure award. She has published speculative fiction criticism in The Conversation, Text, Sydney Review of Books and Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction. Her most recent creative speculative fiction, extracts from her new novel, appear in Going Down Swinging and Meanjin.
Sophie Cunningham is an RMIT Adjunct Professor collaborating with the non/fictionLab. A highly respected writer, editor and publisher, Sophie has been active in the publishing industry for thirty years, as a book editor and publisher, and as author of four books (two of fiction, Geography and Bird, and two of nonfiction, Melbourne and Warning: The Story of Cyclone Tracy). Her essay ‘Staying with the Trouble’ won the 2015 Calibre Prize (Australian Book Review). She was an editor at the highly influential McPhee and McPhee Gribble/Penguin then publisher of innovative fiction and nonfiction for McPhee Gribble/Penguin and Allen & Unwin. She was well known as the editor of Meanjin, and was Chair of the Literature Board of the Australia Council for four years. She is a founding member of the Stella Prize, a major literary award celebrating Australian women’s writing that champions diversity and cultural change.
Sreedhevi Iyer’s research interests are interdisciplinary, and include creative writing, postcolonial theory, discourse analysis, and cosmopolitanism. She is an early-career researcher and the author of The Tiniest House of Time. Her previous book, Jungle Without Water, was shortlisted for the Penang Monthly Book Award. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in the US, and has appeared around the world, including in 'The Writer's Chronicle', 'Drunken Boat', 'Hotel Amerika', 'The Bellingham Review', 'The Asian American Literary Review', and 'Ginosko Literary Journal' in the US, as well as in the 'Free Word Centre' in the UK, and the 'Asia Literary Review.'
Stayci Taylor is widely published on screenwriting and creative writing – from perspectives including gender, comedy and web series – and brings to her research a background in theatre and television. Connecting her projects is an ethnographic creative practice methodology, applied to diaristic practices with The Symphony of Awkward; creative writing with the social enterprise STREAT and her own and others’ screenwriting, about which she has co-edited a journal special issue and two books on script development. In 2017 she won the RMIT Prize for Research Excellence (HDR, Design). She continues a professional practice as a screenwriter, script editor and story consultant, and her television scripts have earned wins and nominations in the prestigious Qantas Television Awards and Screenwriting Awards of NZ.
Dr. Toni Roberts is a designer and artist whose work focuses on shaping experiential, spatial and material environments that communicate ideas and values to audiences. Toni has a particular interest in the contribution that environmental humanities and post-humanist theory can make to sustainable futures and collaborates in experimental research exploring this territory. Working across a range of media and subject areas, Toni specialises in the strategic planning and design of interpretive exhibitions for museums, zoos, and other public contexts. Space, place and human interaction with the environment are central themes in Toni’s public art and exhibition work. Toni’s past projects include The National Capital Exhibition in Canberra, Taronga Zoo Tigers supermarket kiosk, Whittlesea Bushfire Memorial, Royal Australian Mint Factory Viewing Gallery, Werribee Open Range Zoo Arrivals Precinct, and Auckland Zoo’s Te Wao Nui / New Zealand from Sea to Sky precinct.
Tracy O’Shaughnessy is currently Program Manager of RMIT’s Master of Writing and Publishing. In 2016, she established RMIT’s Bowen Street Press, a student-led publishing house that forms the backbone of the Master of Writing and Publishing. Tracy brings over 20 years’ experience as a trade publisher to these roles. Throughout her diverse publishing career she has worked at a number of Australia’s leading publishing houses, including Hardie Grant Books, Melbourne University Press as the Miegunyah Publisher, and Allen & Unwin. In addition to her advocacy and mentoring roles within the writing and publishing industry, she continues to work as a publishing consultant.
Vicki Couzens is a Keerray Woorroong woman from the Western Districts of Victoria. Vicki has worked in Aboriginal community affairs for almost 40 years. She is a Senior Knowledge Holder for Possum Skin Cloak Story and Language Reclamation and Revival in her Gunditjmara Mother Tongue. Vicki’s contributions in the reclamation, regeneration and revitalisation of cultural knowledge and practices extend across the ‘arts and creative cultural expression’ spectrum including language research and community development. Vicki completed her PhD in 2017 and is a Vice Chancellor Indigenous Research Fellow at RMIT.
Zoe Dzunko, an early career academic, is a poet, editor and publisher. Zoe is the author of three chapbooks: All of the Men I Have Never Loved (Dancing Girl Press), Bruise Factory (NAP) and Wet Areas (Maverick Duck Press). Her poems have appeared in The Age, Going Down Swinging, Banango Street, Guernica, and Two Serious Ladies.
Acknowledgement of country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer