Professor Sue Kossew

Sue Kossew is Chair of English and Literary Studies in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics. She was formerly Head of the School of English, Communications and Performance Studies at Monash. Her previous academic position was at the University of New South Wales, where she was Head of the School of English, Media and Performing Arts.

Her research is in the area of postcolonial and contemporary literatures, with a focus on the work of J.M. Coetzee and on Australian and South African women writers. She is currently working on an ARC Discovery Project entitled “Rethinking the Victim: Gendered Violence in Australian Women’s Writing” with Assoc. Prof. Anne Brewster (UNSW).

Her books include Pen and Power: A Post-Colonial Reading of J.M. Coetzee and André Brink (Rodopi, 1996), Critical Essays on J.M. Coetzee (ed.) (G.K. Hall, 1998), Re-Imagining Africa: New Critical Perspectives (ed. with Dianne Schwerdt, Nova Science, 2001), and Writing Woman, Writing Place: Australian and South African Fiction (Routledge, 2004). She has edited Lighting Dark Places: Essays on Kate Grenville (Rodopi, 2010) and co-edited (with Chris Danta and Julian Murphet) Strong Opinions: J.M. Coetzee and the Authority of Contemporary Fiction (Continuum, 2011). In 2014, she co-edited, with Dorothy Driver, a special issue of Life Writing entitled ‘Reframing South African Life Narratives’.

She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and was awarded a Harry Ransom Fellowship for 2016. She has held the position of Distinguished Visiting Chair at the Universities of Copenhagen and Cologne respectively.

  • There has been enormous international scholarly interest in J.M Coetzee’s writings in recent years. Since 2009, five major international conferences have been held and two literary biographies, 10 monographs and over 300 articles have been published about his work. Despite this, very little has been written about his female narrators and characters or about the ... Read more

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