PhD (Monash University), MA (University of Saskatchewan), BA, Hons (University of Manchester)
I was educated in the UK, Canada and Australia and received my Ph.D from Monash University where I have taught since 1995. The principal focus of my research has been on the construction and articulation of national identity in literature, media and film, with a particular focus on conflict. My first book, Fighting Fictions: War, Narrative and National Identity (Pluto 1999) was a study of the cultural production of the Falklands War and the role of national memory in its framing and promotion. Following up on the South American theme, my second book, Lost Worlds: Latin America and the Imagining of Empire (Pluto 2009) examined how English, American and Australian writers employed Latin America, over a two hundred year period, as the locus for their most optimistic and darkest imaginings and how this shaped cultural relations with the countries of Latin America. In 2008 I edited a collection of essays on the Australian media’s coverage of the war in Afghanistan, or the lack thereof – What are we doing in Afghanistan? The Military and the Media at War (ASP 2009). In an effort to put the coverage of the war in Afghanistan in a broader context I edited another collection, The Information Battlefield: Representing Australians at War (ASP 2011). Drawing together the insights from these edited collections, my most recent monograph, Don’t Mention the War: The Australian Defence Force, the Media and the Afghan Conflict (Monash UP 2013) offered a comprehensive analysis of how the Australian media covered the war in Afghanistan and the forces that prevented them from reporting on the nation’s armed forces at war.
My current research focuses on three main areas – Social Media and the Military, a research project funded by the Australian Army Research Centre, the Photographers of Australia’s Military History Section during the Second World War, and Australian photo-magazines from 1939-45.