Directors and lead researchers
Professor Peter Otto
Executive Director, Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Contemporary Culture Research Unit (ERCC); Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor, English and Theatre Studies, the University of Melbourne
Peter Otto has published widely on William Blake, Gothic Fictions, dark Romanticism, popular entertainments, the prehistory of virtual reality, and Romanticism and contemporary culture. Recent publications include Multiplying Worlds: Romanticism, Modernity, and the Emergence of Virtual Reality (OUP 2011); ‘Innovations in Encompassing Large Scenes’, an online exhibition housed in the Romantic Circles Gallery of Visual Culture (2013); and William Blake: Selected Works in the ‘21st Century Oxford Authors Series’ (2018). He is consultant editor of The Victorian Popular Culture Portal: Spiritualism, Sensation, and Magic. His current research interests include the history of imagination and of imagination-machines; the pasts and futures of virtual reality; the post-secular; and the exchanges between architecture, fiction, imagination, and experience.
Phone: +61 3 8344 5482
Professor Deirdre Coleman
Co-Director and Lead Researcher, ERCC; Robert Wallace Chair of English, English and Theatre Studies, School of Culture and Communication, the University of Melbourne
Deirdre Coleman has published widely on the intersection of British Romantic literature with antislavery, natural history and colonialism. More recently she has been researching museum archives in Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland for an ARC-funded Linkage project with the Australian Museum on the economics of the 19th-century natural history trade. She is also exploring the social history of collecting in Australia, looking in particular at the diverse community which produced knowledge about the natural world from earliest settlement onwards. Starting with the correspondence networks and journal publications of members of the Victorian Field Naturalists Club (established in the early 1880s), she examines the motives and interests of bushmen, commercial specimen dealers, amateur collectors and (from 1900 onwards) an increasing number of salaried museum professionals. Cross-cultural exchange between indigenous people and fieldwork collectors on the colonial frontier, especially in far north Queensland and the Northern Territory, forms another part of this project, the aim of which is to achieve a wider understanding of Australia’s natural heritage and environmental history.
Phone: +61 3 8344 5496
Professor Clara Tuite
Co-Director and Lead Researcher, ERCC; English and Theatre Studies, School of Culture and Communication, the University of Melbourne
Clara Tuite works in the literary and cultural history of Romanticism, with a particular interest in the work of Jane Austen and Lord Byron. Her research engages eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Romantic literature and culture from the perspectives of the history of the literary institution, sociability, fashion, history of emotions and sexuality studies, as well as the endurance of literary and popular Romanticisms in the contemporary moment.
Phone: +61 3 8344 4216
Professor Mark Davis
Co-Director and Lead Researcher, ERCC; Publishing and Communications, School of Culture and Communication, the University of Melbourne
Mark Davis’ current research focuses on online ‘anti-publics’ and extreme online discourse, Australian digital literary cultures and taste making, changing media ecologies and the cultural politics of gatekeeping and disintermediation, Australian public culture, and media representations of young people. The first of my two current research projects focuses on post-digital literary cultures and the destabilisation of the literary-print cultural field by digital media. My second project focuses on online anti-publics, such as the alt-right, neo-reactionary (NRx) groups, anti-vaccination groups, anti-climate-science groups, and white nationalist groups, who use digital media to create communities that position themselves against basic democratic, scientific, and enlightenment principles.
Phone: +61 3 8344 3349
Professor Vedi Hadiz
Co-Director and Lead Researcher, ERCC; Director and Professor of Asian Studies at the Asia Institute, the University of Melbourne
Vedi Hadiz's research interests revolve around political sociology and political economy issues, especially those related to the contradictions of development in Indonesia and Southeast Asia more broadly, and more recently, in the Middle East. Professor Hadiz’s latest book is entitled Islamic Populism in Indonesia and the Middle East (Cambridge University Press 2016). His other books include Localising Power in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia: A Southeast Asia Perspective (Stanford University Press 2010) as well as the co-edited Between Dissent and Power: The Transformation of Islamic Politics in the Middle East and Asia (Palgrave Macmillan 2014).
Professor Anne McLaren
Lead Researcher, Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Contemporary Culture Research Unit (ERCC)
Anne McLaren is a Professorial Fellow at the Asia Institute University of Melbourne.
Trained as a sinologist at the Australian National University, she is internationally known for her research into the relationship between Chinese oral performance traditions and print culture in the late imperial era. She has also published on Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage and served as Research Fellow at the Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage at East China Normal University, Shanghai. She is the author or editor of eight books and numerous other studies on a range of topics relating to the cultural history and literature of China in the early modern period. In 2010 she was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities for her pioneering work on the oral and ritual culture of Chinese women.
Her latest book, Slow Train to Democracy: Memoirs of Life in Shanghai, 1978 to 1979 (2020), offers insight into China’s democracy movement at the start of the reform era. Her books include Performing Grief: Bridal Laments in Rural China (2008), Chinese Women Living and Working (2004), Dress, Sex and Text in Chinese Culture (co-edited with Antonia Finnane, 1999) and Chinese Popular Culture and Ming Chantefables (1998).
Dr Marc Mierowsky
Co-Director and Researcher, McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Culture and Communication, the University of Melbourne
Marc Mierowsky’s research ranges broadly across period and genre, but is unified by the drive to investigate questions of collective identity and uncover the cultural dimensions of citizenship. He is one of the editors of Daniel Defoe’s Correspondence (along with Nicholas Seager and Andreas Mueller) forthcoming with Cambridge University Press, and editor (along with Nicholas Seager) of Defoe’s Roxana, forthcoming with Oxford World’s Classics. His interest in Enlightenment thought and literature coheres around questions of sovereignty, naturalisation and constitutionality, the emergence of common-sense philosophy and theories of intersubjectivity. He is currently working on two discrete but overlapping projects: a narrative history of the group of spies whose work helped bring Scotland into an incorporated Union with England in 1707 and a cultural history of naturalisation in Britain and the Australian colonies. In recent work he has focused on the enlightenments of Eastern Europe, with particular emphasis on the Haskalah (or Jewish Enlightenment) and its influence on contemporary literature, ethics and stand-up comedy.
Dr Miranda Stanyon
Co-Director and Researcher, ARC DECRA Research Fellow, School of Culture and Communication, the University of Melbourne
Miranda Stanyon’s research focuses on enlightenment and Romantic era literature in Britain and Germany and takes a comparative approach to aesthetics, as a key field in constructing the post-enlightenment human subject and configuring its relationships with nature. She has published on the sublime, music and sound, emotions history, and visual culture.