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The Supervision of a Hybrid Thesis: Bodies, Walking and Text
Author: Quinn Eades and Susan K. Martin
In an epistolary form, Quinn Eades and his PhD supervisor, Susan K. Martin, explore the ways in which identity formation of higher degree research students can be either guided or explicitly (and sometimes forcefully) developed.

Abstract

This paper is an exploration of the production of a hybrid creative/critical PhD thesis and the supervisory relationship that enabled it. Through an epistolary form, the authors reflect on and analyze the ways in which identity formation of Higher Degree Research students can be either guided or explicitly (and sometimes forcefully) developed. The metaphor of bushwalking is employed to describe the often aleatory nature of successful higher degree research outcomes, both in terms of the selection of supervisors/supervisees and the ability to resist inhabiting power relations inside academic supervision structures in order to produce texts that do not conform to usual thesis requirements.

Through a first person email exchange, supervisor and supervisee discuss the establishment of their supervisory relationship, investigate walking as methodology and research as ground, and look at the establishment of (and resistance to) the subject position of "academic". They chart the changing nature of their connection, and consider how a supervisory relationship changes once the candidate has successfully completed their study. They consider the nature of hybridity within higher degree research, and in doing so, create a conversation that is itself an amalgam of personal reflection, meeting notes, engagement with theory, and a discussion of creative process within the twenty-first century neoliberal university.

 

Keywords: supervision, higher degree research students, walking, creative, thesis, PhD

 

In June of 2011 I started my PhD at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. It was winter. I had a 6-month-old baby and a two year old, and knew that if I didn’t start writing, I would, like Gwen Harwood, be eaten alive (Harwood 1963). Family and friends told me not to push myself, and cast a worried eye when I told them what I was doing. Their concerns revolved mostly around my mental health (or perceived lack of), and apart from my partner, who somehow knew that writing would save me, often questioned my decision. What those loved ones couldn’t know, and what I didn’t have the words to explain, was that I was in a “catastrophe of identity” (Kristeva 1985: 134), and that I could love and care for my children, but only through writing my way out of the “maternal image” (Kristeva 1985: 145) and into a life that included them, but was not only them.

The way to do this was through language. And for me, that meant language that was of, and came through, the body. I was lucky enough to find a supervisor, Sue Martin, who was willing to come with me, despite the fact that I was proposing a hybrid text that would not conform to the standard artefact/exegesis model. There would be no literature review (there is of course, but it is embedded throughout). The writing would be a pastiche, a “tissue of quotations” (Barthes 1977: 146), and would make no apologies for its queerness, its deviation from the accepted form. What I proposed to Sue (after being accepted on the strength of a very standard PhD proposal) was a project of not just writing the body, but of letting the body write, of placing onto the page a “language lined with flesh” (Barthes 1976: 66), whilst unpicking Hélène Cixous’ concept of écriture féminine (1976). I envisioned a text that would be a conversation with theory, woven through with poetry and fragments of corporeal autoethnography. I hadn’t read Nancy’s Corpus yet, but knew that a text that comes from the body would need to be “a drop-by-drop nomenclature of bodies, a list of their entries, a recitation itself enunciated out of nowhere, and not even enunciated, but announced, recorded, repeated” (2008: 57).

I completed my PhD in December 2014, and Australian Scholarly Press will publish it as all the beginnings: a queer autobiography of the body in December 2015. Parts of the work have been published locally and internationally, in journals, anthologies, and poetry collections. Some sections have been performed on stage at poetry slams and readings, and on the radio. My thesis, a hybrid text that refuses to conform, is finding its own way in the world, and is perhaps so successful because of its hybridity, rather than in spite of it. What follows is an epistolary investigation of the process of which my thesis is a product. It is a contemplation of identity formation in Higher Degree Research students, an investigation of what makes a supervisory relationship work, and a cooption of the metaphor of the bushwalk to describe the kinds of knowledge exchange and mentoring that occurred during our time together. A settler Australian term, "bushwalk" was coined in the 1920s to describe a self-sufficient tramp or hike normally through bush or forest thought of as untouched or uninhabited. Of course this idea of an empty wilderness was a colonial fantasy that worked to erase Australia’s First Nations people from the land, and it is for this reason we have adopted a more complex sense of the bushwalk: one that involves walking through and over land that is inhabited while giving the appearance that it is not; one that holds the tracks of many who have walked before us. The metaphor became a useful one, particularly given that bushwalkers “drew a distinction between walking for the sake of walking and walking for another purpose; between walking as leisure and walking as work” (Harper 2007: 5).  

It is vital that creative and genre-bending work continues to be produced within the neoliberal framework of the global twenty-first century university, with its obsession with measuring research by metrics and money (Warner 2014), and it is clear to us that a successful supervisory relationship is a vital part of making this happen.

 

To: S.Martin@latrobe.edu.au From: K.Quinn@latrobe.edu.au

When I began writing what would eventually be my manuscript, all the beginnings: a queer autobiography of the body, I didn’t know you. I picked you out of a list of potential supervisors on La Trobe University’s website. We had some literary interests in common (I was thinking about narratives of labour and birth in women’s writing, particularly in Margaret Atwood and Carol Shields’ work), and you were clearly a feminist. I rang the head of school, who thought my proposal sounded good, and then rang you. You were cautious, but open. You asked me to send you a proposal, so I did. In that proposal I faithfully outlined various representations of labour and birth in works of fiction and autobiography, and just before my research questions and annotated bibliography, I wrote this:

I find it difficult to extricate myself from my writing. I can’t help myself. I am declarative. I need to make it clear that there is somebody, some kind of I operating behind all these words. This I that I speak of is queer, has already birthed and written about one baby, and is pregnant with a second. It wriggles and pushes as I write this. It is not a fluttering, soft feeling. It is strong and slightly disturbing, this moving of something entirely separate, yet joined, within me. For the creative portion of my thesis this I that I speak of will be ever present.

 

As part of my creative practice I will journal throughout the remainder of my pregnancy, and then immediately after the birth. I will write a memoir that is the story of one, but ultimately many, bodies. It will drip with the abjectness of the other dividing, with pain and guttural noise, from the self. I will write a textual body turned inside-out. This will not be a clean and proper narrative. I will write fictocritically, with an eye always on the signifier and the signified, and the way in which meaning informs discourse and narrative theory, with a particular focus on a post-structuralist investigation of the birthing and labouring body in process, mine included.   

And now I wonder: was it this moment that encouraged your leap? Because in the end, this is what I’ve done: written a textual body turned inside-out. How did you know to take a chance on me? You said yourself once in a meeting towards the end of my candidature that my original project was kind of hokey. How did you know?

 

To: K.Quinn@latrobe.edu.au From: S.Martin@latrobe.edu.au

Why did I take a chance on you? The initial project did seem hokey, I remember, even old-fashioned, misshapen somehow. My first impression of you from the email was as perhaps an earnest young mother in a peasant dress, which seems hysterically funny now.  But the misshapen is perhaps the clue – that there was potential, malleability, plasticity. There was certainly longing, but also a possible shape. Just because you seemed to be reading "old" theory did not mean it was bad theory or bad reading. I have been immensely fortunate in my selection of, or inheritance of, or serendipitous meeting with, potential postgrads. I am not located at an "elite" institution. Nor is English (in most places) an exclusive discipline which polices its boundaries. Both of these characteristics have worked in my favour. I have also worked with a sequence of Postgraduate Coordinators who, like me, have blithely said, "Why not?", rather than "Why?".  And when I think about it, universities and supervisors, in any discipline, focus on the potential of the candidate, not of the proposal. Lettuce seedlings and formulas can prove disappointing, as can archaeological digs and literary theories. The key to successful research is the capacity of the candidate to make something out of the disappointment, to see the potential, to do a U-turn if necessary. It was this flexibility I saw.

I wonder also if part of the "Why not?" comes from the Whitlam/post-Whitlam generation of university graduates. I did not grow up with the expectation that I would attend university. My aunt finished high school, but otherwise my sisters and I were "first in family", as we call them now. We entered unexpectedly into the tertiary sector under the free ride which opened up briefly when Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam removed the fees from university tuition from the mid-1970s (Whitlam Institute). That explosion of egalitarianism affected my understanding of possibility and privilege. It does not seem to have had quite the same effect on some others of my generation, particularly those currently in charge of university funding in Australia. (Taylor 2014; Warner 2014)

Regardless, what I saw in you was potential, and desire, and intelligence. I regarded those as the main ingredients (along with a set of prerequisites which we could tweak).  The topic was interesting. It wasn’t really my area, but somehow hardly anyone wants to work on my main area of interest, so I take what people want to work on. This is a luxury of Humanities supervision. Working with candidates on tangential projects, even cognate disciplinary areas are possible. You don’t have to come into my laboratory and work on one strand of my pre-ordained research scheme.

 

To: S.Martin@latrobe.edu.au From: K.Quinn@latrobe.edu.au

Hysterically funny or not, the misshapen project outline sent to you from a young woman in a flowing peasant dress (I immediately think of white cotton, red poppies, dandelion behind an ear, crushed grass underfoot) is a powerful image. What does an image like this one carry? Innocence, excitement, a sense of being uninitiated – free even? And then let’s compare that to the person you met on the first day: flannelette shirt, blue jeans, short hair, boots, baby in a sling, a love of queer theory, but wanting to write about breastfeeding and birth. In "Negotiating Academicity" (2007: 479) Peterson writes that

[a]cademics are continuously engaged in inclusionary and exclusionary discursive practices; constituting as appropriate and relevant various acts, articulations, desires and bodies, and constituting other acts, articulations, desires and bodies as inappropriate… The boundaries around the category "academic" and the subject position "academic" are forever being produced, reproduced, challenged and negotiated.

Given that my thesis ended up being a "queer autobiography of the body", and that you spent three years reading the stories that this body told, it is interesting that your first image of me was of a certain kind of body, that perhaps exuded particular qualities like those described above, that may indicate a subconscious negotiation of the boundaries at which the subject position "academic" was being produced.

I know that from the very beginning I was aware of the way both our bodies inhabited the space of your small office (piled with books, a tissue box on the table, a messy but ordered feel, your red rug) and that as we spoke about Kristeva’s "Stabat Mater" (1985) and Cixous’ "white ink" (1976: 882) I was breastfeeding my six-month old baby to keep him calm and occupied. I was aware also that we would not touch, that the corporeal would move between us through text, as my writing slowly undressed me in your office. More than anything, I am aware that I was never made vulnerable, that you held that space, and that you resisted the ubiquitous role of the mother, and it occurs to me that the "doing" of that is a skill to be treasured, and if possible, articulated.

 

To: K.Quinn @latrobe.edu.au From: S.Martin @latrobe.edu.au

I left the red rug behind, along with some of the mess, when I moved office last year, although recently I have been tempted to go back and reclaim it (the rug – the mess is gradually coalescing). I too am constantly aware of the nature of the university as an Althusserian state apparatus, interpellating its subjects in specific ways, or perhaps "calling" them, in Judith Butler’s much later and more subtle configuration (1997: 5-7), one which at least allows for agency through language. Supervision, like the other relations within the institution, is a relationship implicated in the production of particular kinds of subjects. However when I re-read (in the present tense) your proposal it is not Althusser or Butler who springs to mind most immediately, but the opening words of Esther Summerson in Charles Dickens’s novel Bleak House, "I have a great deal of difficulty in beginning to write my portion of these pages" (1905: 13). "I find it difficult"/"I have a great deal of difficulty". I am sure I did not consciously notice this coincidence at the time, but it may have resonated somewhere. I have taught Bleak House for a long time. It is one of my favourite novels. Much criticism has been devoted to the subtlety and complexity of Esther’s narration of her own life, most notably (as concerns you, Karina, and your introduction), around the possibility of narrative resistance, critique, and the production of an alternative world (Sawicki 1987), and the idea of Irigarayan mimicry  (Salotto 1997).

I doubt I was imagining Esther Summerson (compliant but resistant) or hippie mom (Irigaray, flowing dress) prancing into my messy office, but preconceptions are quickly replaced by the unavoidable actual.  The person I encountered, you, was smarter, more vibrant, more hard edged and funnier than the Karina in email. You were also more organized. Either before our first supervision, or soon after, you attended a workshop on "managing your supervisor", which meant you attended supervision sessions with an agenda, and made appointments accompanied by follow up reminders, schedules. This was a useful revelation for me. Fortunate in generally working with self-motivated candidates, I did not usually produce written agendas. Although I encouraged timelines and goal setting, I was not as strict as I could be in enforcing these. In my role in the ideological state apparatus, I was deceptively free flowing. But if one is going to interpellate someone, or install their next level of cultural capital, it might as well be done in as orderly a fashion as possible, and early meetings with you were a useful reminder of this. You were so driven, so concentrated, so afraid of failure, so determined to succeed.

 

To: S.Martin@latrobe.edu.au From: K.Quinn@latrobe.edu.au

I was determined to succeed, and simultaneously terrified. I suffered badly from Imposter Syndrome (Clance and Imes 1978: 1), but rather than seeing you as an apparatus of the state, I saw you more as a guide and a mentor: someone who was further along the path, and would call back warnings and encouragement as I found my way. In their paper "Reconceptualising discourses of power in postgraduate pedagogies", Bartlett and Mercer quote Threadgold asking whether there is “no other position for women in higher education to occupy than that of the desexualised mother or the dangerous seductress?” (2010: 196) and go on to posit new metaphors that might be able to activate new ways of thinking and performing the supervisor/supervisee relationship (200). One of those metaphors is bushwalking (202). I am easily seduced by a good metaphor, and this one seems particularly appropriate. Can a quality supervision process be captured in a walk?

Upon setting out on a long walk, we must prepare: backpack, water, spare socks, a map or GPS, high-energy food, hat, raincoat, sunglasses. We might decide to share the load, but overall we will be responsible for our own provisions. We will most likely set out with purpose and energy, sights set on the finish point, but as the day moves, and we move through it, hips getting sore, rest breaks becoming more frequent, we will (in the manner of Debord and the Situationists) most likely drift (Debord 1956). We may become distracted, even separated, but will eventually find the other again – completing the walk depends upon it.

Did we manage to resist occupying the pre-defined positions of mother/daughter, controller/controlled, teacher/student? Did we somehow inhabit the supervisory space as walkers (not the compulsive literary kind – Dickens reportedly covered twenty to thirty miles a day and depended upon his daily strides to be able to write anything in the end) (1898: 83), one further ahead than the other, who was always willing to be called back?

 

To: K.Quinn@latrobe.edu.au From: S.Martin@latrobe.edu.au

I am taken by this bushwalking metaphor. As part of my first-in-family experience, and indeed literally as family, because my sister was at the same university, I joined the university bushwalking club (I have no idea whether you knew this or not). Thus my fear and exhilaration in entering the new environment of the university, in negotiating this unfamiliar apparatus, was mediated by guided excursions into the wilderness, where I discovered once again that the only sport I can really manage is walking. Although I did also take to caving, a kind of dark, interior vertical walking; exploration and bodily challenge which is also ripe for metaphorization. Cavers lead, follow, accompany. You had to have followed in a cave twenty-five times before you could lead it. Imagine if supervision was like that. Cavers carry three sources of light – a headlamp, a hand torch, and, in case all else fails, candles and matches. You need a helmet. You need to be simultaneously not claustrophobic, and not afraid of heights, sudden drops, unexpected turns.

However it is walking we have settled for and again I am reminded of a favourite book—not Dickens’ Bleak House, although like all of Dickens it is full of walking but of de Certeau’s "Walking in the City" from The Practice of Everyday Life, which maps the kind of walking you are describing, walking "which alternately follows a path and has followers".  For de Certeau it is a "linguistic and pedestrian enunciation", walking is/as speech. "Walking affirms, suspects, tries out, transgresses, respects, etc., the trajectories it 'speaks'" (99). The comparison is so apt I am tempted to just keep quoting de Certeau, on the diversity, varieties and irreducibility of walking/speech. This is the ideal kind of supervision; the idea of supervision perhaps – an ongoing dance and conversation which eludes the full force of the inevitable power relations (the leader/the follower). It is a fruitful fantasy. It does not quite encompass the vexed, exhilarating, tired, emotional, humdrum meetings we had across my office space, but the idea of the walk alludes to the ideal that hangs suspended in the atmosphere of this interchange, that this wrestling with sentences and ideas is more than the sum of its parts.

And the bushwalk is also a kind of circular journey. You travel unfamiliar ground, ideally with someone who is more familiar either with the ground, or with this type of journey. You make discoveries. You observe stuff along the way. You try not to do too much damage to your environment. My own guide had a little of the army bootcamp about her. The catchphrase I most remember from her was "Just bloody do it." At the time it seemed brutal, and at least one of my fellow travellers frequently ended up in tears. But she finished, and so did I, and some of my most dangerous hesitations have been broken by that now internalized supervisory voice whispering to me "Just bloody do it."

When the walk is finished, then, you have new friends, you know the terrain, and you have a set of skills to guide your own walks, to show someone else the way. Secretly, I am hoping my voice is similarly embedded in your head. At one point, when I received a scholarship, and was about to go on a substantial journey, my supervisor commented on this achievement, "You’ll need to work at it, or it will just be a good story you tell to the other shopgirls at Myer’s."1 I’m hoping my voice in your head is a little more positive. I’m hoping it says, "You know you can do this."

 

To: S.Martin@latrobe.edu.au From: K.Quinn@latrobe.edu.au

I can see, immediately, why the cave and caving is a compelling metaphor; not only because I was working with the material of the body (I can’t help but think of uterus, mouth, cervix, opening, closing, the abject lip), but because there is a sense of needing to go down and under before being able to get up and out. We have settled on walking, and for that I am glad. In a cave (a proper cave, under the earth, rock walls seeping water, all living creatures eyeless) there is no natural light. There is light that you leave, and then eventually find, but all through the caving, the light that accompanies the cavers comes from metal and acid, or cotton and wax.

The research and supervision process for me was never that subterranean and dark. Sometimes I was so excited in your office that I wanted to jump out of those flat grey institutional chairs and shout. That time you handed me Marie Cardinal’s The Words to Say It (1983) and I opened it later at my desk and read her body, bleeding and speaking, in text, I knew you were there with me, and not only that, but had found another writer to give comfort, to show me that it was possible to write the worst (Cixous 1993: 42) and live. So the walk as a metaphor works better for me. Wandering through gum trees, light dripping greenly down. I imagine a wet sclerophyll forest full of towering Mountain Ash and Manna Gum, forest ferns, and acacias. The signs of fire. No set path. Wet rock. The possibility of slipping. You and I, wandering, wayfinding, separating and coming together to note where we’ve been, and what we’ve found.

In his paper "Psychogeography and feminist methodology", Alexander Bridges writes about Debord’s concept of the dérive, which could be either “general disorienting walks with no particular destination or purpose, or site-specific investigations of particular locations” (2013: 291). Debord gives this definition:

[i]n a dérive one or more persons during a certain period drop their relations, their work and leisure activities, and all their other usual motives for movement and action, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there. (Debord 1956: n.p.)

If we move the dérive out of a lived and embodied experience of geography, and into the kinds of theoretical and textual wanderings, distractions, and encounters that occur between supervisor and supervisee during an extended research project, then our experience can be described as a pyschogeographics of writing/reading/meeting/knowing. The project’s topography is our forest. Walking/speaking, our methodology. Research outcomes? Being touched by light.

 

To: K.Quinn@latrobe.edu.au From: S.Martin@latrobe.edu.au

This dialogue does make the passage of the thesis seem almost easy, and despite the complications of Debord and de Certeau, virtually linear. But, as we both know, at times it was a hard walk, with shitty weather, and difficult companions, and unclear direction. A few times we decided the path was wrong, and retraced our steps, and tried a different direction, or went off on delightful side tracks that petered out into useless sandy wastes, or the vast unending forests of essential reading encountered by every researcher – "because after all, one can never, by definition, have done 'enough'" (Barcan 2013: 199). Humanities supervisions in most Australian universities, until very recently, have involved just two people or at most four, negotiating over a question, a problem, and an ever-growing text, in this long intimate and odd relationship. No alleviating coursework, no required second language as in the North American system, only the structure that the supervisor and candidate or the overseeing panel provide. It is easy to get lost in the bush.

If I look back through my notes of our meetings, I find lists like this:

23/9

disc. of reading processes

addressing that –

Scrivener

Using Thinking Through the Skin (Ahmed 2001)

combination of bodies telling stories – not just birthing stories

 

natural structures and timeline

narrative of body from birth, and head to toe

but also rhizomatic spreading

weaving story of own body through story of others

Arthur Frank – wounded story teller (Frank 1995)

illness narratives

amputees

invisibility/ excessive visibility

 

I do wonder what the amputees are doing here, amongst other questions. In the same period you would send long undigested extracts, From Butler, or Kirby, or whatever you were reading:

"...In this sense, the very telling of the story about the phallomorphic genesis of objects enacts that phallomorphosis and becomes an allegory of its own procedure" (1993: 44). Butler writing on Plato’s definition of receptacle.

It feels important, especially the violent erasure part, but I can't quite get a handle on it. Was hoping we could chat about it.

Thanks and looking forward to Thursday.

Your touching belief that I would effortlessly unravel the mysteries of the phallomorphic genesis of objects on Thursday was heartwarming, but alarming. As frequently happens, the thesis shifted in this period from meeting to meeting, swallowing whole books and theories, swerving now and then to take in a new philosophical school.

 

To: S.Martin@latrobe.edu.au From: K.Quinn@latrobe.edu.au

You are right. It was romantic of me to write our time together as a divine drift in wet forest. There were long periods of time where I was so stuck that I thought I would never move again. There was a year in the middle with a single chapter that would not shift, no matter how I wrote or re-wrote it, how many times I printed it out and scribbled on it. It sat, in various forms on my desk, and monstered me. That was the year after my hysterectomy, and the year before one of my ovaries was taken in emergency surgery, and later the other, also in emergency surgery, was stitched to my pelvic wall (I remember sending you a photo of me editing my final draft from a hospital bed). The irony that I had set out to write an autobiography of the body, while my body wrote back to me through fast-growing fibroids and ovaries in torsion, was difficult to avoid. You took it all in your stride, and in the months when I wrote from the bed or the couch, stranded at home with asthma so bad I could barely speak, or periods of surgical recovery (catheter, stitches, the shuffle walk that comes after losing a uterus), you stayed your usual calm and dry-witted self. You didn’t tell me to stop. You knew I was writing myself back, and through, and out.

And now we come back to the walk. Does thesis as dérive, as words that come from our bodies, moving, mean that when it is finished, we have arrived? And how do we say goodbye? Hélène Cixous, in her book Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing (1993), says that:

Writing is not arriving; most of the time it's not arriving. One must go on foot, with the body. One has to go away, leave the self. How far must one not arrive in order to write, how far must one wander and wear out and have pleasure? One must walk as far as the night. One's own night. Walking through the self toward the dark. (1993: 65) 

Maybe this is why I have so much trouble letting you go? We have walked as far as the night. We never descended into therapeutic process: not once did you suggest that this thesis was being written in the cause of "healing". You understood that I was holding my wounds to the light, that I was writing a poetics of the abject, and you guarded the edges while I did that. You were not desexualized mother, Althusserian state apparatus, or academic priest to my postgraduate acolyte. You were someone I walked with, for three and a half years. You let me find my way, but we have not arrived (I don’t want to arrive). We are finding different ground, and we will always have each other in our sights.

 

To: K.Quinn@latrobe.edu.au From: S.Martin@latrobe.edu.au

Because we are currently working at the same university we are able to meet, on Monday morning in the university café, ironically or sadistically called "Writer’s Block" to discuss the final revisions on this piece.  I suspect we both thought we would see more of one another than we actually do.  On the Wednesday after this meeting I arrive late at the monthly meeting of the committee, which oversees Graduate Research for the university. It has been a long week already, and I have only skimmed the agenda without reading through the individual items. So it is with an odd jolt of recognition, as well as amusement at the coincidence, that I find amongst the tabled items for approval, Item 8: New supervisor registrations

The Board is invited to ratify the recommendations for the registration of supervisors approved out of session since Meeting 8-15, and in the list:

 

Name

College

School

Supervision

Karina Quinn

ASSC

HUSS

Principal All

 

 

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Warner, M. (2014) ‘Diary: Why I Quit’ London Review of Books. 36 (17 ), 42-43. Available from: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n17/marina-warner/diary [Accessed 1 October 2015]

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Dr Quinn Eades is a researcher, writer, and award-winning poet whose work lies at the nexus of feminist and queer theories of the body, autobiography, and philosophy. Eades is published nationally and internationally, and is the author of all the beginnings: a queer autobiography of the body, published by Tantanoola. Eades is a Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Foundation Studies at La Trobe, as well as the founding editor of Australia's only interdisciplinary, peer reviewed, gender, sexuality and diversity studies journal, Writing from Below. He is currently working on a psychogeographical history of a body of water near his home in Melbourne.

Quinn Eades formerly wrote and published under the name Karina Quinn.

 

Susan K. Martin is Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) for the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia, and a Professor of English. She researches and publishes on Australian and British literature and culture, most recently on popular reading communities. She is Vice President of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature. Her books include Reading the Garden: the settlement of Australia.(2008) with Katie Holmes & Kylie Mirmohamadi, (Melbourne UP), Women and Empire (Australia) (ed). (2009) London: Routledge, Sensational Melbourne (2011) with Kylie Mirmohamadi. North Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, and Colonial Dickens 2012 North Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing. She sometimes writes fiction. She has never worked at Myers.

 

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