Creative Writing/Literature PhD projects available at Curtin

Up to two creative writing/literature PhD positions are now open for application at Curtin University for an innovative collaborative PhD program with the University of Aberdeen commencing early 2017.

PhD candidates will be enrolled at both Curtin University and University of Aberdeen and will, on completion, receive a joint award. The first and third years will be spent based at Curtin (Bentley campus, Western Australia) with the second year based in Aberdeen, Scotland. Candidates will receive world-class supervision from staff at both universities. The positions will be fee-waived (ie no fees payable) and with an APA scholarship for three years.

High calibre honours or Masters students or graduates are invited to contact Dr Rachel Robertson, Senior Lecturer at Curtin University on or 08 9266 2615 to discuss this opportunity.

Proposed projects, which are open to negotiation, are:

Negotiating Cultural Identity in Contemporary Australian and Scottish Literature

Aberdeen Supervisor: Curtin Supervisor: Dr Deborah Hunn; Aberdeen Supervisor: Dr Helen Lynch

This project will focus on cultural identity in contemporary literature and may be suitable for a fiction writer. Aspects to explore may include literary work concerned with travel and unfamiliarity, stories of migration and expatriation, and issues of deportation, identity and belonging. Possible areas of exploration might include historical fiction, on the principle that the past is also ‘another country’ where things are done differently; fiction influenced by or generically derived from/related to folktale or oral narratives; work which reflects on the relation of a city to its surrounding areas, on place, landscape, language, gender and identity and on the relation of local and/or indigenous populations to new developments such as oil and mineral discovery or further migration.


Haunted by Use: Theories and Aesthetic Uses of Post-industrial Space and Place

Curtin Supervisor: Dr Christina Lee; Aberdeen Supervisor: Dr Wayne Price

The project will focus on specifically writerly uses of the past, setting and memory in post-industrial (and more broadly post-purpose) contexts and could include creative as well as scholarly work. This area of exploration is particularly well-suited both to the North East of Scotland and Western Australia, regions strikingly similar in terms of the cultural dislocations arising from industrial and post-industrial heritages and transitions. Some possible topics to explore in terms of both aesthetics and theoretical understandings of broader constructions of personal and cultural identity might be the phenomenology of uselessness/redundancy; nostalgia and voice; industrial gothic/hauntedness and urban spectral spaces; the aesthetic uses of ‘edgelands’; or psychogeographical approaches to urban space.