Researcher biography

Gillian Whitlock is a Professor of English in the School of Communication and Arts. She is a graduate of UQ, Griffith and Queen's University in Canada.

Research Areas

Her research field is life narrative, testimonial narrative most particularly, and her contribution to this is distinctive and recognised internationally. It draws on postcolonialism and literary studies and focusses on the ways that different genres, modes and themes of life narrative are adapted, remediated and appropriated in international markets for memoir and testimony. Her research has produced several neologisms now widely accepted in the field – 'autographics' 'soft weapons' – and currently it contributes to the turn to posthumanism – the subject of a prize-winning special issue of the journal Biography co-edited to G.T. Couser – is widely associated with her work in this field (and her current work in progress on 'the testimony of things' will develop this orientation further). Since 2012 she has been working on the Burnside Durham and Elaine Smith asylum seeker archives in the Fryer Library at the University of Queensland.

Honours, Awards, Prestigious Fellowships since 2000

  • ARC Professorial Fellow, The University of Queensland 2010-15
  • Visiting Fellowships at Centre for Humanities, University of Michigan (1015), King's College London (2014), Humanities Research Centre ANU (2010, 2011, 2017)
  • Board member of the Australia India Council, Department of Foreign Affairs 2010-14
  • Council member and Vice President, Australian Academy of the Humanities 2010-14
  • Assessor for the Australian Research Council –Laureate panels, Discovery rounds
  • University of Queensland Academic Board 2014-16
  • Appointed to the HCA panel for ERA 2012
  • Fellow of the Academy of the Humanities since 2007
  • Regional Chair and Judge, Commonwealth Writers Prize 2000-3
  • Divisional representative, Modern Language Association Delegate Assembly, Modern Language Association of America 2006-9
  • Chair, Non Fiction Panel, Queensland Premier's Literary Awards 2003-5
  • Member, English Panel, Queensland Secondary Studies Authority 2001-4
  • President, Association for Canadian Studies 2000-2
  • Editorial Boards: Australian Literary Studies, English Studies in Canada, Current Writing (South Africa), Canadian Literature, Life Writing.

Grant Funding Highlights

  • 2010-14 'Inhumanities'. Australian Research Council, Discovery Project Grant ($591,000).
  • 2010 ALTC Project: 'Reading Resilience', (with Kate Douglas, Rosanne Kennedy and Anna Poletti) $200.000
  • 2006 'Resourceful Reading'. Australian Research Council, Discovery Project Grant ($410,000) (with Robert Dixon, Leigh Dale and Kath Bode).
  • 2005 "Autobiographical Avatars'. Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant ($129,000).
  • 2001 'Australian Memoir' Australian Research Council, Discovery Project Grant ($ 120,000)

Single-Authored Books:

  • Whitlock, Gillian
    • Postcolonial Literature: Testimonial Transactions.
    • UK: Oxford University Press, 2015.
    • A volume in the OUP 'Postcolonialism' series.
  • Whitlock, Gillian
    • Soft Weapons: Autobiography in Transit
    • Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.
    • An often-cited book that introduced several neologisms into the field ('autographics', 'soft weapons') and is recognized in the Smith & Watson Reading Autobiography textbook as one of the leading interventions in criticism of contemporary life narrative.
      • Short listed for the Glebebooks Prize 2006.
  • Whitlock, Gillian.
  • The Intimate Empire: Reading Women's Autobiography
    • London: Bloomsbury, 2000.
      • This book won the Walter McCrae Russell Australian Studies Association prize for best work of literary criticism published in 2000.

Edited Books

  • Whitlock, Gillian ed.(1996)
    • Autographs: Contemporary Australian Autobiography
    • St Lucia: University of Queensland Press.
  • Whitlock, Gillian & Gail Reekie. eds. 1996.
    • Uncertain Beginnings: Debates in Australian Studies
    • St Lucia: University of Queensland Press.
  • Whitlock, Gillian & Helen Tiffin, eds. 1993.
    • Re-Siting Queen's English
    • Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1992.
  • Whitlock, Gillian & David Carter, eds. 1993.. 2nd Ed. 1999.
    • Images of Australia
    • St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1993.
  • Whitlock, Gillian, ed. 1989.
    • Eight Voices: Contemporary Australian Women's Writing
    • St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1989.
  • Whitlock, Gillian & Russell McDougall, eds. 1987.
    • Australian/Canadian Literatures in English Comparative Perspectives
    • Sydney: Methuen, 1987

Edited Journal Issues

  • Whitlock, Gillian & G.T. Couser, eds.2012
    • Biography: 'Posthuman Lives'*
    • ['Posthuman Lives' won the Council of Editors of Learned Journals prize for the best special issue of a journal published in the USA in 2012
  • Whitlock, Gillian & Rosanne Kennedy, 2011
    • Australian Feminist Studies
  • Whitlock, Gillian & Kate Douglas, eds.2009
    • Life Writing: Trauma Texts
  • Whitlock, Gillian & Anna Poletti, 2008.
    • Biography: Autographics.*
      • The most cited issue of Biography in 2016.
  • Whitlock, Gillian & Victoria Kuttainen, 2008.
    • Journal of Studies in Australian Literature: The Colonial Present.
  • Whitlock, Gillian & Malcolm Alexander, eds.
    • Australian-Canadian Studies 1986-92.

Book Chapters 2000-16.

  • Whitlock, Gillian & Grace Moore (2017)
    • 'Once More, with Feeling' in Joy Damousi and June Whitfield Davies, eds, The History of the Emotions vol 5. London: Bloomsbury, in press.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2017)
    • 'Putting Literature to Rights' in Gareth Griffiths and Philip Mead, eds, The Social Work of Narrative. Hanover &NYC: Ibidem/Columbia, in press.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2015)
    • 'Sorry Business' The Routledge Companion to Literature and Human Rights, ed Alexandra Schultheis Moore. London: Routledge. pp.207-15.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2014)
    • 'Indigenous Testimony' in Alexandra Schultheis, ed, The Routledge Encyclopedia of Human Rights
    • London: Routledge.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2014)
    • 'Ego Histoire' in Karen Hughes, Vanessa Castejon, Anna Cole & Oliver Haag, eds., Ego Histoire, Europe and Indigenous Australia. Canberra: ANU E Press
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2014)
    • 'Protection' in Margaretta Jolly & Meg Jensen, eds., We Shall Bear Witness. Whitewater: University of
    • Wisconsin Press, pp.96-115.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2013)
    • 'The Testimony of Things' in Tony Bennett, ed. Contesting the Humanities, Sydney: Australian Scholars Press, pp.49-73.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2013)
    • 'Mary Prince' in Henry Louis Gates, ed., The Oxford Encyclopedia of Caribbean Literature
    • Oxford: OUP.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2012)
    • 'Out of Country' in Robert Dixon & Brigid Rooney, eds., Scenes of Reading Sydney: Australian Scholarly Publishing, pp. 178-188.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2009)
    • 'Not on My Watch" in Robert Clarke, ed, Celebrity Colonialism. Fame, Power and Representation in Postcolonial Cultures. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, pp 327-344.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2009)
    • "Voices from the Past: Gender, Politics, and the Anthology" in Katherine Bode & Robert Dixon, eds. Resourceful Reading. The New Empiricism, eResearch, and Australian Literary Culture. Sydney: Sydney University Press, pp.274-298.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2009)
    • "In the second person: narrative transactions in Stolen Generations testimony" rep in Trev Lynn Broughton, ed., Autobiography. London: Routledge, pp 362-379.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2008)
    • 'Located Subjects' (with Kate Douglas) in Craig Howes & Miriam Fuchs, eds, Teaching Autobiography. New York, MLA, pp.214-220
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2007)
    • "The Animals are Innocent" in Helen Tiffin, ed., Five Emus to the king of Siam: Environment and Empire. Amsterdam: Rodopi, pp.235-246.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2006)
    • 'Acts of Remembrance' in Annie Coombes, ed., The Invention of History: Past and Present in Settler Societies Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp.82-101.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2003)
    • 'Disciplining the Child. Academic Autobiography in the Robbins Generation' in Frederic Regard, ed., Mapping the Self. Space, Identity, Discourse in British Auto/Biography Saint Etienne: Publications de l'Universite de Saint Etienne, pp.339-354.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2004)
    • 'Becoming Migaloo' in David Carter, ed., The Ideas Market Melbourne: MUP, 2004, pp.236-258
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2002)
    • 'Why then a writer of memoirs is a better thing than an historian' in Rosamund Dalziell, ed., Selves Crossing Cultures, Sydney: Australian Scholarly Publishing, pp.162-177.
  • Whitlock,Gillian (2002)
    • 'Instant Infamy: A Short History of Broometime' in Helen Gilbert and Anna Johnston, eds., In Transit. New York: Peter Lang, pp.235-254.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2001)
    • 'Re-engineering English' in Wolfgang Zach, ed., English Studies: Past, Present, Future Hamburg: Verlag Dr. Kovac, pp.179-187
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2001)
    • 'Volatile Subjects: The History of Mary Prince' in Vincent Caretta and Philip Gould, eds., Genius in Bondage. Literature of the Early Black Atlantic. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, pp.72-88.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2000)
    • 'From Biography to Autobiography' in Elizabeth Webby, ed., Cambridge Companion to Australian Literature. Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2000)
    • 'Literature and the Arts' in Chilla Bulbeck and David Carter, eds., Exploring Australia. Brisbane: Griffith University.

Refereed Articles 2000-16.

  • Whitlock, Gillian (2017)
    • 'Salvage', Life Writing 14,1 (spring 2017) pp.1-12.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2016)
    • 'Joe Sacco's Australian Story', Life Writing 13,4 (winter 2017), pp.1-10
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2016)
    • 'Pictures at an Exhibition: A Year in Review', Biography 39, 4 (Fall 2016)
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2016)
    • 'After Empire', Life Writing 13, 2 (summer 2016), pp.295-303.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2015)
    • 'The Hospitality of Cyberspace', Biography, summer 2015.
  • Whitlock, Gillian & Roger Osborne (2015)
    • 'Carpentaria Outside Country' JASAL 18, summer 2015.
  • Whitlock, Gillian & Roger Osborne (2015)
    • 'Benang: A Worldly Book' JASAL 13, 3, pp.1-15.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2011)
    • 'Remediating the Hoax', Australian Feminist Studies, 26, issue 69, pp.349-367.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2011)
    • 'Embridry', Profession 2011, The Modern Language Association of America, pp.89-97.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2011)
    • 'Witnessing, Trauma and Social Suffering: Feminist Perspectives' Australian Feminist Studies 26, pp 251-55
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2010)
    • "Remediating Gorilla Girl: Rape Warfare and the Limits of Humanitarian Storytelling', Biography 33, 3 (summer 2010), pp.471-497
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2008)
    • 'Letters from Nauru', Life Writing 5,ii (November 2008), pp.203-217.
    • (2009) Reprinted in Gillian Whitlock & Kate Douglas, eds. Trauma Texts. London: Routledge, 151-165.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2008)
    • 'From Tehran to Tehrangeles: the Generic Fix of Iranian Diasporic Memoirs." Ariel 39, 1-2 (January-April 08), pp.7-28
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2006)
    • 'AutoGraphics', Modern Fiction Studies 52, 4(winter), pp.965-979
  • Whitlock, Gillian. (2004)
    • 'Consuming Passions: Reconciliation in Women's Intellectual Memoir', Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 23,i (spring 2004), pp.13-28.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2004)
    • 'The Skin of the Burqa: Recent Life Narratives from Afghanistan', Biography 28.1 (winter 2005), pp.54-76.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2004)
    • 'Merry Christmas Mary Prince', Biography 26, 3(summer), pp.440-2.
  • Whitlock, Gillian (2001)
    • 'In the Second Person: Narrative Transactions in Stolen Generations Testimony', Biography 24,1, winter 2001, pp.197-214
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