Professor Elizabeth McMahon
Professor

Professor Elizabeth McMahon

BA (Hons 1st Class ) (English and Australian Literature) University of Sydney;

PhD (Australian Literature), University of Sydney;

Arts,Design & Architecture
School of the Arts and Media

Dr Elizabeth McMahon is a Professor in the School of the Arts and Media.  Her research interests are in Australian literature, Island Studies and Gender studies.

Her recent monograph, Islands, Identity and the Literary Imagination (New York and London: Anthem, 2016) is the culmination of research funded by an ARC Discovery grant titled Our Island Home: The Shifting Map of Australian Literature. It won the 2017 Walter McRae Russell Award for the best work of literary criticism on an Australian subject published within the previous 2 calendar years; and the inaugural (2017) Australian University Heads of English Prize for Literary Scholarship.  

She has also published widely on the representation of gender and sexuality in Australian writing and is currently completing a monograph titled Transvestite Frontiers to be published by University of Sydney Press in 2020. With Dr Brigitta Olubas, she has edited series of collected critical essays, most recently on Australian author Elizabeth Harrower (University of Sydney Press) and a forthcoming collection on writer Antigone Kefala (University of Western Australia Press 2019).

Since 2008 she has co-edited Southerly, Australian oldest literary journal, and co-edits a book series titled Rethinking the Island for Rowman and Littlefield International.

Phone
+61 2 9385 1164
Location
223, Level 2 Robert Webster
  • Books | 2016
    McMahon EN, 2016, Islands, Identity and the Literary Imagination, 1, Anthem Press, London and New York
  • Book Chapters | 2022
    McMahon E, 2022, 'Bioluminescence: Materiality, Metaphor and Trace in Sixty Lights', in Uhlmann A (ed.), Inner and Outer Worlds: Gail Jones' Fiction, Sydney University Press, Sydney, pp. 29 - 42
    Book Chapters | 2021
    McMahon E, 2021, 'Worldly interiors in the Fiction of Antigone Kefala', in McMahon E; Olubas B (ed.), Antigone Kefala: New Australian Modernities, University of Western Australia Press, Perth, pp. 51 - 68
    Book Chapters | 2021
    McMahon E; Olubas B, 2021, 'Introduction', in McMahon E; Olubas B (ed.), Antigone Kefala New Australian Modernities, University Of Western Australia Press, Perth, pp. 1 - 18
    Book Chapters | 2018
    McMahon E; Andre B, 2018, 'Literature and the Literary gaze', in Baldacchino G (ed.), The Routledge International Handbook of Island Studies A World of Islands, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 296 - 311, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315556642
    Book Chapters | 2017
    McMahon EN, 2017, 'Identity, Perversity and Literary Subjectivity: Teaching Patrick White's The Twyborn Affair', in Birns N; Moore N; Sheriff S (ed.), Teaching Australian and New Zealand Literature, Modern Languages Association, New York, pp. 133 - 144
    Book Chapters | 2017
    McMahon EN, 2017, 'Moments of Being in the Fiction of Elizabeth Harrower', in McMahon E; Olubas B (ed.), Elizabeth Harrower: Critical Essays, edn. Sydney Studies in Australian Literature, Sydney University Press, Sydney, pp. 135 - 145
    Book Chapters | 2017
    McMahon EN; Olubas B, 2017, '"Rediscovering Again: Reading Elizabeth Harrower Across Time"', in McMahon EN; Olubas B (ed.), Elizabeth Harrower: Critical Essays, edn. Sydney Studies in Australian Literature, Sydney University Press, Sydney, pp. 1 - 7
    Book Chapters | 2016
    McMahon E, 2016, 'Parallel: Parallax-the melancholy dialectics of Dionne Brand', in Literary Careers in the Modern Era, pp. 113 - 128, http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9781137478504
    Book Chapters | 2012
    McMahon EN, 2012, 'Continental Heartlands and Alex Miller’s Geosophical Imaginary', in Dixon R (ed.), The Novels of Alex Miller, edn. Original, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, pp. 125 - 137
    Book Chapters | 2010
    McMahon EN, 2010, 'Author, Author! The Two Faces of Kate Grenville', in Kossew S (ed.), Lighting Dark Places: Essays on Kate Grenville, edn. 1, Rodopi, Amsterdam, pp. 39 - 54
    Book Chapters | 2010
    McMahon EN, 2010, 'The Lateness and the Queerness of The Twyborn Affair: White's Farewell to the Novel', in McMahon E; Olubas B (ed.), Remembering Patrick White: Contemporary Critical Essays, edn. 1, Rodopi, Amsterdam, New York, pp. 77 - 94
    Book Chapters | 2009
    McMahon EN, 2009, 'Homesick: Cloudstreet and the death drive', in Ways of Teaching, edn. Original, English Association Sydney, Sydney, pp. 35 - 46
    Book Chapters | 2006
    McMahon EN, 2006, 'Wasted Memory and Generational History: Tasmania`s abandoned places', in McMahon E; Olubas B (ed.), Women Making Time: Contemporary Feminist Critique and Cultural Analysis, edn. First, University of WA Press, Perth, pp. 43 - 62
    Book Chapters | 2006
    McMahon EN; Olubas B, 2006, 'Introduction: Women Making Time', in McMahon E; Olubas B (ed.), Women Making Time: Contemporary Feminist Critique and Cultural Analysis, edn. First, University of WA Press, Perth, pp. 1 - 13
    Book Chapters | 2003
    McMahon EN, 2003, 'The Guilded Cage: from utopia to monad in Australia`s island imaginary', in Edmond R; Smith V (ed.), Islands in History and Representation, edn. First, Routledge Press, London, pp. 190 - 202
  • Edited Books | 2021
    Olubas B; McMahon E, (ed.), 2021, Antigone Kefala: New Australian Modernities, University of Western Australia Press, Nedlands WA
    Edited Books | 2017
    McMahon E; Olubas B, (ed.), 2017, Elizabeth Harrower: Critical Essays, Sydney University Press, Sydney
    Edited Books | 2010
    McMahon EN; Olubas B, (ed.), 2010, Remembering Patrick White: Contemporary Critical Essays, Rodopi, Amsterdam, New York
    Edited Books | 2006
    McMahon EN; Olubas B, (ed.), 2006, Women Making Time: Contemporary Feminist Critique and Cultural Analysis, University of WA Press, Perth
  • Journal articles | 2020
    McMahon E, 2020, 'B-Sides Jessica Anderson's 'The Impersonators', Public Books, vol. na, https://www.publicbooks.org/b-sides-jessica-andersons-the-impersonators/
    Journal articles | 2020
    McMahon E, 2020, 'Southerly 80 Editorial', Southerly: a review of Australian literature, vol. 79, pp. 6 - 12
    Journal articles | 2020
    McMahon E, 2020, 'The Transvestite Adventure: Reading the Colonial Grotesque', Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, vol. 20, pp. 1 - 11, https://openjournals.library.sydney.edu.au/index.php/JASAL/issue/view/From%20Colony%20to%20Transnation/showToc
    Journal articles | 2016
    McMahon EN, 2016, 'Editorial', Southerly: War and Peace, vol. 75, pp. 7 - 9
    Journal articles | 2016
    McMahon EN; Fink H, 2016, 'Editorial', Southerly: Words and Music, vol. 76, pp. 6 - 11
    Journal articles | 2015
    McMahon EN, 2015, 'Editorial', Southerly: Elemental, vol. 75, pp. 6 - 10
    Journal articles | 2015
    McMahon EN, 2015, 'Editorial', Southerly: The Naked Writer 2, vol. 2, pp. 6 - 8
    Journal articles | 2014
    McMahon EN, 2014, 'Editorial', Southerly: Forward Thinking Utopia and Apocalypse, vol. 57, pp. 271 - 273, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjc.12201
    Journal articles | 2014
    McMahon EN; Ashcroft. Bill ; Anwar ; Bishop ; Cummins , 2014, 'Southerly 74.1 Forward Thinking: Utopia and Apocalypse', Southerly, vol. 74, pp. 1 - 276, http://www.englishassociation.org/
    Journal articles | 2013
    McMahon EN, 2013, 'Archipelagic space and the uncertain future of national literatures.', Journal of the Association for Study of Australian Literature (JASAL), vol. 13, pp. 1 - 20, http://www.nla.gov.au/openpublish/index.php/jasal/index
    Journal articles | 2013
    McMahon EN, 2013, 'Editorial', Southerly: Islands and Archipelagos, http://www.englishassociation.org/southerly
    Journal articles | 2013
    McMahon EN, 2013, 'Reading the Planetary Archipelago of the Torres Strait -', Island Studies Journal, vol. 8, pp. 55 - 66, http://www.islandstudies.ca/node/407
    Journal articles | 2012
    McMahon EN, 2012, 'Editorial', Southerly: Mid-Century Women's Writers, vol. 72, pp. 6 - 9
    Journal articles | 2012
    McMahon EN, 2012, 'Mary Gaunt and the Modern Waning of Affect', Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (JASAL), vol. 12, pp. 1 - 11, http://www.nla.gov.au/openpublish/index.php/jasal/article/view/2318/2920
    Journal articles | 2011
    McMahon EN, 2011, 'Editorial', Southerly: Modern Mobilities, vol. 71, pp. 6 - 9
    Journal articles | 2011
    McMahon EN, 2011, 'Review of Archipelagoes: Insular Fictions from Chivalric Romance to the Novel by Simone Pinet', Island Studies Journal, vol. 6, pp. 267 - 269, http://vre2.upei.ca/islandstudies.ca/node/339
    Journal articles | 2011
    McMahon EN; Stratford E; Farbotko C, 2011, 'Reading Suvendrini Perera’s Australia and the Insular Imagination', Political Geography, vol. 30, pp. 329 - 338
    Journal articles | 2011
    Olubas B; McMahon EN, 2011, 'Introduction [JASAL]', Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (JASAL), vol. 11, pp. np - np, http://www.nla.gov.au/openpublish/index.php/jasal/issue/view/Special%20Issue:%20Archive%20Madness/showToc
    Journal articles | 2011
    Stratford E; Baldacchino G; McMahon EN; Farbotko C; Harwood A, 2011, 'Envisioning the Archipelago', Island Studies Journal, vol. 6, pp. 113 - 130, http://ro.uow.edu.au/scipapers/3062
    Journal articles | 2010
    McMahon EN, 2010, 'Australia, the Island Continent: How Contradictory Geography Shapes the National Imaginary', Space and Culture, vol. 13, pp. 178 - 187, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1206331209358224
    Journal articles | 2010
    McMahon EN, 2010, 'Editorial', Southerly: Romance, vol. 70, pp. 6 - 10
    Journal articles | 2010
    McMahon EN, 2010, 'The Proximate Pleasure of Eve Sedgwick: A Legacy of Intimate Reading', Australian Humanities Review, vol. 48, pp. na, http://www.australianhumanitiesreview.org/archive/Issue-May-2010/mcmahon.html
    Journal articles | 2009
    McMahon EN, 2009, 'Editorial', Southerly: Southerly at Seventy, vol. 69, pp. S1 - S2, http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/1465312514Z.000000000176
    Journal articles | 2008
    McMahon EN, 2008, 'Editorial', Southerly: Sister Arts, vol. 68, pp. 5 - 12
    Journal articles | 2007
    McMahon EN, 2007, 'Judith Wright and the temporality of composition (The `Moving Image`)', Australian Literary Studies, vol. 23, pp. 15 - 26
    Journal articles | 2007
    McMahon EN, 2007, 'The Centaur and the Cyborg: Abject Becoming on the Colonial Frontier', Southerly, vol. 67, pp. 211 - 225
    Journal articles | 2005
    McMahon EN, 2005, 'Encapsulated Space: The Paradise Prison of Australia`s Island Imaginery', Southerly, vol. 65, No. 1, pp. 20 - 29
    Journal articles | 2005
    McMahon EN, 2005, 'False as Eden: Constituting the Female Subject in Time', Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (JASAL), vol. 4, pp. 173 - 184
    Journal articles | 2005
    McMahon EN, 2005, 'Puberty Blues Takes Feminist Generationalism to the Beach', Australian Feminist Studies, vol. 20, No.48, pp. 281 - 289, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08164640500280241
    Journal articles | 2005
    McMahon EN, 2005, 'Review of Barbara Creed`s, `Media Matrix: Sexing the New Reality`', Australian Feminist Studies, vol. 20, No.27, pp. 272 - 273, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000229037600019&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a
    Journal articles | 2004
    McMahon EN, 2004, 'The Sculpture of Donna Marcus', Art Monthly Australia, vol. No. 168, pp. 29 - 31
    Journal articles | 2000
    McMahon EN, 2000, 'Lost in Music: Music and Dance in Loaded and Head On', Meanjin, pp. 166 - 175
  • Other | 2018
    McMahon E; Hamadache M (ed.), 2018, Editorial for Southerly 78.1 Festschrift for David Brooks, English Association/Brandl and Schlesinger, Blackheath, http://southerly/
    Conference Papers | 2008
    McMahon EN, 2008, 'Longing in Belonging: Emily Dickinson`s Poetics of Distance', in New Directions, English Association Sydney, Sydney, presented at English Association English Teacher's Conference 2008, University of Sydney, 28 May 2008

 

1. In 2017 Elizabeth's monograph, Islands, Identity and the Literary Imagination won two awards:
     i. The Walter McRae Russell Award for 'the best book of literary scholarship on an Australian subject published in the preceding two calendar years', awarded by the Association for the Study of Australian Literature;
     ii. The inaugural AUHE Prize for Literary Scholarship, awarded by the association of the Australian University Heads of English for the best work of literary criticism by an academic at and Australian university in the calendar year. 

2. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Dean's award for postgraduate supervision, 2011.

3. Vice Chancellor's Teaching Merit Award, The University of Tasmania, 2000.

4. Eva Vidak Memorial Award for the best thesis in Australian Literature (PhD), University of Sydney, 1995.

 

 

Elizabeth is a member of the Australian Association of the Study of Australian Literature.

She is on the editorial board of Studies in Australian Cinema and on the Editorial Advisory Committee for the Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature.

Elizabeth was an elected member of The University of New South Wales Council 2010-2012. 

Editorial roles

Since 2008 Elizabeth has co-edited Southerly, Australia's oldest literary journal. Southerly includes peer-reviewed scholarly essays, new creative fiction and poetry, and is funded by the Australia Council for the Arts and the NSW Ministry for the Arts. Issues edited by Elizabeth include:

  • The Sister Arts, 68.2 (2008)
  • Southerly at Seventy, 69.2 (2009) 
  • Romance, 70.2 (2010) 
  • Modern Mobilities, 71.1 (2011) 
  • Mid-century Women Writers, 72.1 (2011)
  • Islands and Archipelagos, 72.3 (2012)
  • Forward Thinking: Utopia and Apocalypse, 74.1 (2013)
  • Elemental, 75.1 (2014)
  • Naked Writer 2, 75.2 (2015)
  • War and Peace, 75.3  (2015) co-edited with David Brooks
  • Words and Music, 76.1 (2016) co-edited with Hannah Fink
  • Questionable Characters, 77.1 (2017) co-edited with David Brooks
  • Mixed Messages, 77.3 (2018) co-edited with Michelle Hamadache

From 1997-2007 Elizabeth edited Australian Humanities Review, an AVCC-funded initiative to take Australian debate in the humanities online and showcase research to an international readership.

Elizabeth co-edits a book series titled, Rethinking the Island for Rowman and Littlefield International.

Elizabeth served on the executive of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature for 6 years, with 2 years as President. 

Elizabeth teaches Australian literature, women's writing and contemporary critical and cultural theory.

PhD Supervision:

Elizabeth has extensive experience as a supervisor with 10 successful PhD completions and 5 current students, including 2 Scientia candidates. The topics of these theses range from Australian, New Zealand and and US literature, to Foucauldian theory, and trash aesthetics. In 2011 she received a Dean's Award for Learning and Teaching for Postgraduate Supervision.

Current PhD supervisions:

  • Gabrielle Dixon-Ritchie, Ecocriticism and Postmodernism;
  • Sarah Pope, The Australian Girl;
  • Penelope Stavrou, The Writing of Antigone Kefala (joint with Brigitta Olubas);
  • Maria Jackson, Slave Narratives (joint with Brigitta Olubas).

Successful PhD completions:

  • Joseph Cummins, The Space and Time of Imagined Sound: Australian Literature and Music, 1945 to Present (joint with John Napier) The University of New South Wales 2016;
  • Naomi Riddle, Anderson, Harrower, Hazzard: The Interiority of Modernity (joint with Brigitta Olubas), The University of New South Wales 2015;
  • Laura Joseph, Brimstone Flowers: Towards and Antipodean Poetics of Space, The University of New South Wales 2011;
  • Kate Mason, Paradoxes and substitutions: charting patterns in the American novels of 9/11, The University of New South Wales 2010;
  • Heather Moritz, "You are will to power and nothing besides": Nietzsche, Foucault, Yoga, and Feminist s/Self-Actualisation, The University of New South Wales 2010;
  • Helen O’Reilly, Time and Memory in the Novels of Eleanor Dark, The University of New South Wales 2009;
  • Sandra Knowles, The Performances of a Psychic Privacy: Waiting for the Real Miles Franklin, The University of New South Wales 2007;
  • Diana Jenkins, Don DeLillo’s Promiscuous Fictions: the Adulterous Triangle of Sex, Space, and Language, The University of New South Wales 2005;
  • Marita Bullock, Timely Figurations: The Metaphorics of Trash in Four Recent Australian Artists' work (joint with Dr Brigitta Olubas), UNSW 2004;
  • Angela Rockel, ReFraming: Transformations of Subjectivity through Writing, The University of Tasmania 2000.