Astrid Lorange is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Art & Design. She is also a writer, researcher, editor, and artist. She studied writing and cultural studies at the University of Technology Sydney, where she completed her doctoral thesis on Gertrude Stein and contemporary poetics. How Reading is Written: A Brief Index to Gertrude Stein, a scholarly monograph based on the thesis, was published by Wesleyan University Press in 2014.
Astrid is a cultural studies scholar who mostly writes about contemporary poetry, art, and media. She studies how critical reading practices and publics come to navigate power and transform social relations. Specifically, she examine the way that cultural texts – art, literature, media, policy – emerge in relation to disciplinary structures (race; gender and sexuality; settler-colonialism and the nation-state; law; labour; bureaucracy) as forms of critique and documents of resistance. Her cultural studies scholarship draws on methods from literary studies, gender and sexuality studies, media studies, art theory, social theory, and political economy.
One current research project, Archival Remediations analyses poems that transform archival materials that wouldn’t ordinarily be read ‘as’ literature or art – legal documents, state records, policy, legal proceedings, trade agreements, contracts of sale, and other artefacts of the settler-colonial state – into poems. It studies how the material transformation of the language of statecraft offers both a critique and refusal of state power while also showing how settler histories are produced according to the self-styled poetics of nationhood. The project argues that attention to the writtenness of such history can be a way of working against the naturalisation of settler claims to sovereignty. The documentary poems included in the study do not renarrativise historical events, nor are they recuperative or reparative attempts to ‘correct’ the historical record. Instead, they work directly with the material archive in order to direct critical readerly attention to the construction of that record and therefore to the socio-discursive operations of state power. This kind of reading does something to poetry – it expands ideas about poetry by showing how the transformation from ‘document’ to ‘poem’ forces an understanding of poetry as a way of reading the material and medial properties of a given text. It also does something to history – for if we read history with the readerly attention we give to poems, we not only read history’s poetics, but we also discover the specific textual instances in which history was taken by force.
Another project, in its early stages, proposes to write a literary theory of the headache. The project reads headaches, when they appear in novels, poems, essays, and letters, as literary objects through which to read the material conditions and affective structures that accompany the world-making trauma of industrial capitalism.
Additionally, Astrid is currently writing a book with her collaborator Dr Andrew Brooks (School of Arts & Media). The book, provisionally titled Art of Unmaking, proposes a contemporary study of abolitionist art in Australia. It asks: what does art contribute to the larger project of abolition? The book argues that abolitionist aesthetics can be understood as a framework for reading contemporary art that stages a confrontation with settlement: specifically, we argue that this confrontation takes the form of an ‘unmaking’ inherent in the work of art which is directed against what Aileen Moreton-Robinson famously names ‘the possessive logics of patriarchal white sovereignty’.
Astrid is author of several books of poetry, including, most recently, Labour and Other Poems (Cordite Books, 2020). Raw Materials is forthcoming from Atelos Press.
With Dr Andrew Brooks, she is one half of the critical art collective Snack Syndicate, who make exhibitions, publications, and public programs. Snack Syndicate's book of essays Homework was published by Discipline in 2021.
At UNSW Art & Design, Astrid convenes the undergraduate/postgraduate courses Writing as Practice (DART3341) and Art Writing and Publishing (SAHT9112), and co-convenes Art, Gender and Sexuality (DART3320) with Dr Tim Gregory. She supervises Honours projects from Art Theory and English/Creative Writing, and supervises HDR projects (see supervision tab for more information).
My Research Supervision
Miska Mandic. Research area: time-based art, ecology, waste. Supervised jointly with Dr Bianca Hester.
Rachel Schenberg. Research area: poetry and poetics, translation, social theory, lyric subjectivity.
Alex Moulis. Research area: screen-based media, settler-colonialism, nationhood, affect. Supervised jointly with Dr Nicholas Apoifis.
Toyah Webb. Research area: poetry and poetics, literary studies, psychoanalysis, cultural theory.
Skye Wagner. Research area: photography and photomedia, assemblage, affect, theories of the image. Supervised jointly with Dr Grant Stevens.
Melody Newell. Research area: kitsch, settler-colonialism, infrastructure, poetics.
Angus McGrath. Research area: body horror, closet screenplay, queer theory, poetics. Supervised jointly with Dr Andrew Brooks.
Marian Tubbs, What the Material Reveals: How the Poor Form Critiques Cultural Ascriptions of Value, PhD, 2015 (jointly supervised with Professor Jill Bennett)
Penelope Benton, The Icing on the Cake, MFA, 2015
Theresa Darmody, The Continuous Line: Transcoding knitted stitch patterns through painting in an investigation of the affective potential of pattern, MFA, 2015 (jointly supervised with Dr David Eastwood)
Monika Behrens, Reimaging Seventeenth-Century Dutch Still Life: a Transformation into Contemporary Painting, PhD, 2017 (jointly supervised with Professor Jill Bennett)
Melinda Reid, On Transpedagogy: Recent experiments at the intersections of art and pedagogy, PhD, 2018 (jointly supervised with Dr Gay McDonald)
EO Gill, Becoming Video: Indeterminacy, Intimacy, Image, MFA, 2018
Chelsea Lehmann, The Articulate Surface: Painting and the Latent Image, PhD, 2019
Elena Gomez, Admit the Joyous Passion of Revolt: Gender, Labour, and Intergenerationality in Marxist-feminist Poetics, MFA, 2019 (jointly supervised with Dr Verónica Tello)
Chun Yin Rainbow Chan, Shanzhai Style in Artistic Practice: Mythologising Creativity and Ownership in The Global Rise of China, MFA, 2020 (jointly supervised with Dr Diana Baker Smith
Sarah Jones, Publishing as Process: The essay as system and as swerve, PhD, 2021
Spence Messih. Double Bind: (Trans)materiality and Tactics of Abstraction, PhD, 2022 (jointly supervised with Dr Rochelle Haley)
Vaughan Wozniak-O'Connor. Site, Data, Materials: Artistic approaches to self-tracking data, PhD, 2022 (jointly supervised with Dr Kate Dunn)
Costanza Bergo, Atlas of Denial: Australian Landscape and the Settler-Colonial Structure of Feeling, PhD, 2022 (jointly supervised with Dr Tim Gregory)
Chelsea Hart, “They Call it Love: Ideology and reproductive labour struggles during Covid-19 lockdowns in Victoria”, Master of Art (Research), 2023 (jointly supervised with Dr Andrew Brooks)