Dr Chris Worth


Having taught at Strathclyde University and for the Open University in the UK in the 1970s, I moved to Australia in 1980 and have been at Monash ever since, with interesting semesters spent working at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities in Edinburgh in 1988 and at the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona in 1994 as well as research time spent at the British Library.

From 2000 to 2001, 2002 to 2006 and then again in 2010 for six months I was Head of the School of ECPS.

Research Interests


My main continuing interest is in the telling of stories in literature, from a narratological point of view (how to tell a story, what to tell) and from an aesthetic one (what makes a good story, successful narration). Also: the future of narration in video games and virtual worlds.

Literary Theory

Teaching film adaptation of literature has made me very interested in the potential of adaptation studies to identify the ways in which intertextuality generates new texts and modifies the reception of existing ones. A study of the ‘re-making’ of traditional and literary narration is my next research project.

Literary Studies

I am particularly interested in aspects of time and space in the C19th and C20th novel in Britain; in the historical novel internationally as a means of reconstructing the past and reinventing the present; and in the work of John Ruskin.

Scottish Literature

My work on towards a book on Sir Walter Scott and his interaction with the literary and theatrical culture of his time intersects with my interests in post-Enlightenment Scottish literature generally, as well as with my research on the relationship between aesthetic forms and social systems.


  • Worth, C. (2001) ‘A Father and His Fate: Intertext and Gender’, in Essays on Gender, Narrative and Performance in Honour of Marie Maclean, edited Brian Nelson, Anne Freadman and Philip Anderson. University of Delaware Press, 129–41.
  • Worth, C. (1998) ‘ “A Centre at the Edge”: Early Teaching of Literature in Australia and New Zealand’, in The Scottish Invention of English Literature, edited by Robert Crawford. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 207–224.
  • Worth, C. (1995) ‘Ivanhoe and the Making of Britain’, Links & Letters 2, 63– 76.


Current Supervision

  • Research PhD. Forms of Realism. Supervisors: Worth, C (Main), Oppy, G (Associate).
  • Research PhD. Key topic area: Writing for contemporary performance. Full length play / exegesis. Supervisors: Worth, C (Main), Hanan, D (Associate).
  • Research PhD. Modernist Authors, Catherine Lim and the Aesthetics of Space. Supervisors: Ng, A (Main), Worth, C (Associate).
  • Research PhD. Narrative psychology at the turn of the twenty-first century: Approaches to the subject, transformation and ethics. Supervisors: Worth, C (Main), Vladiv-Glover, S (Associate).
  • Research PhD. On uniqueness: narrative and the unrepeatable self. Supervisors: Scarparo, S (Joint), Worth, C (Joint-co).
  • Research PhD. Semiotic analysis of Sam Shepard’s play as a great voice in post-modern theatre. Supervisors: Worth, C (Main), Peterson, W (Associate).
  • Research PhD. The Pythagorean Shakespeare. Supervisors: Groves, P (Main), Dilnot, A (Associate), Worth, C (Associate).
  • Research PhD. The dynamic of iedeological constraints in the creative process of colonial and postcolonial surrogation. Supervisors: Worth, C (Main), Aveling, H (Associate).
  • Research PhD. Why tell beast fables? An exploration of the connotations of animal characters and their functions within the narrative structure of fables. Supervisors: Do Rozario, R (Main), Worth, C (Associate).
  • Research PhD. Women writing the city: contemporary Australian and Indonesian novels. Supervisors: Kossew, S (Main), Worth, C (Associate).

Completed Supervision

  • Adamson, G. Program of Study: METAPHYSICAL TENDENCIES. (PHD) 1999. Supervisors: Colebrook, C (Joint), Worth, C (Joint-Co).
  • Boss, P. Program of Study: CHARACTER AND ENVIRONMENT IN TIM WINTON’S FICTION. 1997. Supervisors: Worth, C (Main).
  • Cheatham, L. Program of Study: Gender Identity, Sexual Practices/Reproduction and Patriarchal Control in Second Wave Feminist Fiction. (Masters) 2002. Supervisors: Worth, C (Main).
  • Coleman, P. Program of Study: Ungraspable nature: an eco-exploration of indefinition. (PHD) 2007. Supervisors: Rigby, C (Main), Worth, C (Associate).
  • Cotter, J. Program of Study: Tom Roberts’s portraits: the complexity of representation of identity in the modern portrait in Australia. (PHD) 2010. Supervisors: Astbury, D (Main), Worth, C (Associate).
  • Cover, R. Program of Study: (Re)Cognising the Subject: Performativity, Subjectivity and Sexuality in Discourse and Media. (PHD) 2001. Supervisors: Marsh, A (Main), Worth, C (Associate).
  • Fitzgerald, J. PHARMACONALYSIS: DISCOURSE, DELEUZE AND DRUG USE. (PHD) 2002. Supervisors: Worth, C (Main), Threadgold, T (Associate).
  • Funari, R. Program of Study: Everything is personal: Choice and Complementarity in Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen. (Masters) 2008. Supervisors: Milner, A (Joint-Co), Worth, C (Joint).
  • Ghattas, B. Program of Study: Re-Imagining Oceania: Women’s Drama and Identity. (Masters) 2006. Supervisors: Baum, R (Main), Worth, C (Associate).
  • Kaji O’Grady, S. Program of Study: SERIALISM IN ART AND ARCHITECTURE: CONTEXT AND THEORY . (PHD) 2001. Supervisors: Worth, C (Main).
  • Logan, K. Program of Study: Confronting escapism: anxiety and escape in the early novels of Martin Amis. (PHD) 2009. Supervisors: Dilnot, A (Main), Worth, C (Associate)
  • Maclean, H. Program of Study: LEARNING LITERACIES IN THE LAW: CONSTRUCTING LEGAL SUBJECTIVITIES. (PHD) 2003. Supervisors: Worth, C (Main).
  • Mills, L. Program of Study: CHANGING THE CHEMISTRY OF THE SOUL: THE ROLE OF THE WELL IN DENISE LEVERTOV’S POETICS OF LISTENING. (PHD) 2001. Supervisors: Hart, K (Main), Worth, C (Main).
  • Morrow, J. Program of Study: THE SKIN OF THE LAW: RHETORIC AND PERFORMANCE OF THE JUDGEMENT IN AUSTRALIA. (PHD) 2000. Supervisors: Worth, C (Main), Threadgold, T (Associate).
  • Neilson, F. Program of Study: Writing subjects: techniques of self-production in the texts of Simone de Beauvoir and Annie Ernaux. (PHD) 2006. Supervisors: Worth, C (Main), Anderson, P (Associate).
  • Nobis, F. Program of Study: The presence of the storyteller in contemporary practice and a lost tradition. (PHD) 2011. Supervisors: Snow, P (Main), Worth, C (Associate).
  • Novakovic, J. Program of Study: Dorothy Hewett: The place of myth and the influence of the avantgarde in her plays. (PHD) 2006. Supervisors: Fitzpatrick, P (Main), Worth, C (Associate).
  • O’Connor, B. Program of Study: A LACANIAN READING OF BOSWELL’S MORBID WILL: MELANCHOLIA AND “ANGST”. (PHD) 2000. Supervisors: Hart, K (Main), Worth, C (Associate).
  • Otomo, R. Program of Study: READING YUKIO MISHIMA’S MAP OF MODERNITY: A PARADIGMATIC TURN IN “THE SEA OF FERTILITY”. (PHD) 2002. Supervisors: Worth, C (Main).
  • Perfect, T. Program of Study: Undecidability and alterity in the works of Jacques Derrida and J.M. Coetzee. (Masters) 2010. Supervisors: Benjamin, A (Main), Worth, C (Associate).
  • Presa, E. Program of Study: (PHD) 2003. Supervisors: Gregory, A (Joint), Worth, C (Joint-Co).
  • Ricketson, M. Program of Study: Ethical issues in the practice of book-length journalism. (PHD) 2009. Supervisors: Worth, C (Main), Philadelphoff-Puren, N (Associate).
  • Sellars, S. Program of Study: ‘The yes or no of the borderzone': J.G. Ballard’s affirmative dystopias. (PHD) 2008. Supervisors: Milner, A (Main), Worth, C (Associate).
  • Trevena, B. Program of Study: The Drum and Bass Scene in the City of Melbourne: Narratives of Urban Identities through Sites of Cultural Production. (Masters) 2009. Supervisors: Worth, C (Main), Milner, A (Associate).
  • Williamson, S. Program of Study: CONTEMPORY NOVEL. (PHD) 2000. Supervisors: Worth, C (Main).