PhD (University of Melbourne), MA (Writing) (University of Queensland)
Paul Dawson is a writer of poetry and fiction, and an internationally recognized scholar in the fields of narrative theory, novel studies, and Creative Writing as an academic discipline.
Paul’s first book of poems, Imagining Winter (Interactive Press, 2006), won the 2006 national IP Picks Best Poetry Award, and he was shortlisted for the 2016 Newcastle Poetry Prize. His poetry has been anthologised in Contemporary Asian Australian Poets (Puncher and Wattmann, 2013) and Harbour City Poems: Sydney in Verse 1788-2008 (Puncher & Wattmann, 2009). Paul’s poems and short stories have appeared in a range of literary journals and newspapers including: Meanjin, Overland, Island, Southerly, Westerly, Cordite Poetry Review, Australian Poetry Journal, Mascara Literary Review, Australian Poetry Anthology, The Sleeper's Almanac, and The Sydney Morning Herald.
Paul's scholarly research brings together the historical dimension of novel studies and the formalist approach of narrative theory. This approach informs his two most recent monographs: The Story of Fictional Truth: Realism from the Death to the Rise of the Novel (OSU Press, 2023) interrogates how changing concepts of fictionality have shaped the realist novel from its emergence in the eighteenth century to its afterlife in the twenty-first, contesting and revising long-held views about the origins and aesthetico-cultural functions of key formal features of realism by investigating when and how they came to be seen as signposts of fictionality; The Return of the Omniscient Narrator: Authorship and Authority in Twenty-first Century Fiction (OSU Pess, 2013) identifies and anatomizes contemporary modes of literary omniscience emerging from the legacy of postmodern experimentation, and locates these in relation to anxieties about the decline of cultural authority for the novelist in the age of digital media.
Paul’s broader research addresses the role of narrative in the networked public sphere, from viral social movements to conspiracy theories and journalistic rhetoric. He is co-editor, with Maria Mäkelä, of the Routledge Companion to Narrative Theory (2022) which brings together top scholars in the field to explore the significance of narrative to pressing social, cultural, and theoretical issues today, and is distinctive for addressing the complicated relations between the interdisciplinary narrative turn in the academy and the contemporary boom of instrumental storytelling in the public sphere.
Paul's first monograph was Creative Writing and the New Humanities (Routledge, 2005), a comprehensive international account of the historical origins, theoretical underpinnings, and disciplinary future of Creative Writing programmes.
Paul is currently President of the International Society for the Study of Narrative.
Paul is available to supervise students in narrative theory and novel history, contemporary fiction and poetry, and creative writing.
Lines of Desire. Newcastle: Puncher & Wattmann (forthcoming)
The Story of Fictional Truth: Realism from the Death to the Rise of the Novel. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2023.
The Return of the Omniscient Narrator: Authorship and Authority in Twenty-first Century Fiction. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2013.
Imagining Winter. Brisbane: Interactive Press, 2006.
Creative Writing and the New Humanities. London/New York: Routledge, 2005.
(with Maria Mäkelä) The Routledge Companion to Narrative Theory. New York: Routledge, 2022. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003100157
“Narrative Theory and the History of the Novel.” Special issue of Poetics Today 39.1 (2018). https://read.dukeupress.edu/poetics-today/issue/39/1
“Bad Press: The Rhetoric of Narrative in Public Discourse.” Dangers of Narrative and Fictionality in Contemporary Western Culture: A Rhetorical Approach. Eds Samuli Björninen, Pernille Meyer Christensen, Maria Mäkelä, and Henrik Skov Nielsen. Bern: Peter Lang (forthcoming).
“The Anxiety of Authorship: Novelists as Narrators.” Reading the Contemporary Author: Narrative, Authority, Fictionality. Eds Alison Gibbons and Elizabeth King. Lincolon: Nebraska University Press, 2023. 179-97.
“What is ‘the Narrative’? Conspiracy Theories and Journalistic Emplotment in the Age of Social Media.” The Routledge Companion to Narrative Theory. Eds Paul Dawson and Maria Mäkelä. New York: Routledge, 2022. 71-85.
“The Undead Novel: A History of Prose Fiction or a History of Realism?” The Routledge Companion to Narrative Theory. Eds Paul Dawson and Maria Mäkelä. New York: Routledge, 2022. 221-34.
“How Many ‘Turns’ Does it Take to Change a Discipline?: Narratology and the Interdisciplinary Rhetoric of the Narrative Turn.” Emerging Vectors of Narratology. Eds Per Krogh Hansen, John Pier, Philippe Roussin and Wolf Schmid. Narratologia series. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2017. 405-34.
“Fictional ‘Word Bytes’.” Word Bytes: Writing in the Information Society. Ed. Carolyne Lee. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2009. 138-56.
“The Future of Creative Writing.” The Creative Writing Handbook. Ed. Steve Earnshaw. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, 2007. 78-90.
“Writers, Critics, and Literary Authority.” Creative Writing: Theory Beyond Practice. Eds Nigel Krauth and Tess Brady. Brisbane: Post Pressed, 2006. 21-31.
"Creativity, Narrativity, Fictionality: A Critical Genealogy." Partial Answers: Journal of Literature and the History of Ideas 22.1 (2024). 1-26.
"Hashtag Narrative: Emergent Storytelling and Affective Publics in the Digital Age." International Journal of Cultural Studies (May 2020): 968-83. https://doi.org/10.1177/1367877920921417
(with Maria Mäkelä) "The Story Logic of Social Media: Co-construction and Emergent Narrative Authority." Style 54.1 (2020): 21-35.
“Fictional Minds and Female Sexuality: The Consciousness Scene from Pamela to Lady Chatterley’s Lover.” ELH 86.1 (2019): 161-88.
"Rhetorical Poetics: Between Creative Writing and Deconstruction." Style 52.1-2 (2018): 66-72.
"Narrativizing Novel Studies, Historicizing Narrative Theory." Introduction to special issue on Narrative Theory and the History of the Novel. Poetics Today 39.1 (2018): 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-4265035
“Delving into the Narratological ‘Toolbox’: Concepts and Categories in Narrative Theory.” Style 51.2 (2017): 228-46
"From Digressions to Intrusions: Authorial Commentary in the Novel." Studies in the Novel 48.2 (2016): 145-67.
"Ten Theses Against Fictionality." Narrative 23.1 (2015): 74-100.
“Style, the Narrating Instance, and the ‘Trace’ of Writing.” Style 47.4 (2013): 466-89.
“Emerging Vectors of Narratology: Toward Consolidation or Diversification? (A Response).” Enthymema 9 (2013): 109-114 https://riviste.unimi.it/index.php/enthymema/article/view/3533
“Real Readers and Real Authors: Omniscient Narration and a Discursive Approach to the Narrative Communication Model.” Journal of Narrative Theory 42.1 (2012): 91-116.
“The Return of Omniscience in Contemporary Fiction.” Narrative 17.2 (May 2009): 143-161.
* Winner of 2010 Prize for Best Essay published in Narrative
* Italian translation (with an introduction by Filippo Pennacchio) in Enthymema 13 (2015): 37-63.
“State of Play: Australian Poetry and Poetics Now.” Five Bells: Australian Poetry 15.4 & 16.1 (2009): 30-39.
“Historicizing Craft in the Teaching of Fiction.” New Writing: International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing 5.3 (2008): 211-224.
“Creative Writing and Postmodern Interdisciplinarity.” TEXT 12.1 (2008): http://www.textjournal.com.au/april08/dawson.htm
"What is a Literary Intellectual?: Creative Writing and the New Humanities." Cultural Studies Review 9.1 (2003): 161-79.
“Towards a New Poetics in Creative Writing Pedagogy.” TEXT 7.1 (2003): http://www.textjournal.com.au/april03/dawson.htm
"A Place for the Space Between: Fictocriticism and the University." Westerly 47 (2002): 139-51.
"Creative Writing in Australia: The Development of a Discipline." TEXT 5.1 (2001): http://www.textjournal.com.au/april01/dawson.htm
“Writing Programmes in Australian Universities: Creative Art or Literary Research?” TEXT 3.1 (1999): http://www.textjournal.com.au/april99/dawson.htm
“Poetics in the Discipline of Creative Writing.” Southerly 58.4 (1998-99): 8-21.
“Grunge Lit: Marketing Generation X.” Meanjin 56.1 (1997): 119-25.
“The Function of Critical Theory in Tertiary Creative Writing Programmes." Southern Review 30.1 (1997): 70-80.
"Submittable." Cordite Poetry Review 108 (2023): http://cordite.org.au/poetry/dedication/submittable/
"Triptych." Meanjin 81.4 (2022): 156.
"Thanks for the Poems, Covid-19," Mascara Literary Review 26 (2021): http://mascarareview.com/paul-dawson/
"#auspol." Cordite Poetry Review 97 & 98 (2020): http://cordite.org.au/poetry/propaganda/auspol/
"Songbirds after the Lyric." Stilts 7 (April 2020). https://www.stiltsjournal.com/single-post/2020/04/28/Songbirds-after-the-Lyric
"Name = Compatibility Mode." Westerly 64.2 (2019): 66-7.
"Contemplating Dumplings." Peril Magazine 39 (2019): https://peril.com.au/current-edition/edition-39/contemplating-dumplings/
"#Emergence." Meanjin 78.2 (2019): 71. https://meanjin.com.au/poetry/emergence/
“Lover Nature.” Covert Plants: Vegetal Consciousness and Agency in an Anthropocentric World. Eds Prudence Gibson and Baylee Brits. Santa Barbara: Punctum Books, 2018. 45.
“The Men Who Hate Clementine Ford.” Cordite Poetry Review 86 (2018). Online. http://cordite.org.au/poetry/notheme7/the-men-who-hate-clementine-ford/
"Ten Poetic Commandments." Island Magazine 149 (2017): 88-9.
"The Wreck of the Heartland." Mascara Literary Review 20 (April 2017). Online. http://mascarareview.com/5781-2/
“Five Lines Can Say Only.” Australian Poetry Journal 6.2 (2016): 113.
“Declaration of the Rights of Rights.” The Dangar Island Garbage Boat: Newcastle Poetry Prize Anthology 2016. Newcastle: Hunter Writers Centre, 2016. 101-104.
"Fictionality." Meanjin 75.1 (2016): 89. https://meanjin.com.au/poetry/fictionality/
"Musing." Australian Poetry Anthology. Volume 4. Eds Sarah Holland-Batt and Brook Emery. Melbourne: Australian Poetry Ltd, 2015. 96-97.
“Reading Hopkins,” “Dickinson’s Envelope”, “Possible Worlds”, Sydney”, “Thanks for the Poems, Pauline Hanson” (extract). Contemporary Asian Australian Poets. Eds Adam Aitken, Kim Boey Cheng, and Michelle Cahill. Sydney: Puncher and Wattmann, 2013. 107-12.
“Possible Worlds.” Australian Poetry Journal 1.1 (2011): 18.
“Lines of Desire.” Snorkel 12 (October 2010). Online. http://snorkel.org.au/012/dawson.html
“Thanks for the Poems, Pauline Hanson” (extract). Harbour City Poems: Sydney in Verse 1788-2008. Ed. Martin Langford. Sydney: Puncher and Wattmann, 2009. 205-206.
“Daybreak.” Southerly 66.1 (2006): 43-44.
“Imagining Winter.” Blue Dog: Australian Poetry 2.4 (2003): 38.
"Sydney," "Adrift", "Gutter Buns." Slope 15 (2002). Online. http://www.slope.org/archive/issue15/index.phtml?url=dawson
"Anthropomorphism," "Morningside," "Yabbering Sextons," "Thanks for the Poems, Pauline Hanson," and "Lunatic Brothel." Recent Australian Poetry section of Slope 11-12 (July to October 2001). Online. http://www.slope.org/archive/eleven/dawson.html
“Show Me the Rain.” The Sydney Morning Herald 3 October 1998: Spectrum 12.
“Australian Academic.” Overland 206 (2012): 65-71. https://overland.org.au/previous-issues/issue-206/fiction-paul-dawson/
“Countershading.” Sleepers Almanac No. 7 (2011). 345-9.
“The Death of a Beautiful Woman” (extract from novel in progress). Southerly 70.2 (2010): 144-58.
“A Gun in Your Pocket.” Island 96 (2004): 133-136.
“Thomas Pennington’s Fetich.” Meanjin 63.1 (2004): 200-210.
"Traffic.” Imago: New Writing 11.3 (1999): 53-7.
“Who Are You Calling Bohemian?” Sydney City Hub 2.35 (April 1997): 9.
2011-2013 Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant. Research project title: “The return of the omniscient narrator in contemporary fiction: authorship and narrative authority in the new millennium” (DP110100721)
2023 - The Australian's Research Awards: national field leader in Literature and Writing
2022 - The Australian's Research Awards: national field leader in Literature and Writing
2012 - UNSW Arc Postgraduate Council Supervisor Award
2011 - UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Research Supervision
2010 - Winner of prize for Best Essay Published in Narrative in 2009 (awarded by the International Society for the Study of Narrative)
2006 - Winner of national IP Picks Best Poetry Award (for an unpublished manuscript; awarded by Interactive Press)
International Society for the Study of Narrative
European Narratology Network
2021-2024 - President of the International Society for the Study of Narrative (four-year cycle from second Vice-President to Past President)
2006 - Project assessor for the Australian Research Council
2006 - Academic referee for New Writing: International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing
2004 - Academic referee for TEXT: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses
2010 Member of National Advisory Council for Australian Poetry
2003-2009 - Member of editorial board for Juvenilia Press
My Research Supervision
CURRENT SUPERVISIONS (PhD)
COMPLETED SUPERVISIONS (PhD)
COMPLETED SUPERVISIONS (MA)
Visit the SAM website to view Paul's profile and full publications list.
ARTS2020: Creative Writing
ARTS3022: Narrative: The Art and Science of Storytelling
ARTS4100: Research Methods
AREAS OF SUPERVISION (PhD)
Narrative theory and novel history
Contemporary fiction and poetry