Adjunct Professor Susan Hawthorne

Adjunct Professor (College of Arts, Society and Educaiton)

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Off Campus


+61 (0)418 506 645





College of Arts, Society and Education

Division of Tropical Environments and Societies

PO Box 6811

Cairns QLD 4811


Susan is a poet, novelist, publisher and Sanskritist. Her academic work encompasses literature and creative writing including processes of creative and associative thinking, hypertext, oral literature and translation. She has lectured widely in Publishing Studies and worked with numerous post-graduate students in the last 20 years producing novels. collections of short stories, collections of poetry or theses on publishing. She has worked in the publishing and associated industries for more than 30 years and worked with writers such as Thea Astley, Jessica Anderson, Marion Halligan, Ruby Ginibi Langford and Andrea Goldsmith when she was at Penguin Books (1987-1991). In 1991, she co-founded with Renate Klein the independent feminist press, Spinifex which has published more than 200 books by writers from around the world including Dale Spender, Nawal el Saadawi, Vandana Shiva, Unity Dow, Finola Moorhead, Merlinda Bobis and many others In 2006, Spinifex Press began creating eBooks of their titles, the first small independent in Australia to do so. She has been an ASA mentor in 2011. Her writing spans poetry, fiction, academic non-fiction, reviews, political commentary and translations. She has presented her work at conferences in Australia, USA, South Africa, India, Fiji, Korea, Uganda, New Zealand and Canada. She is the English Language Co-ordinator of the International Alliance of Independent Publishers based in Paris.

Qualifications, Memberships and Consultancies

  • Sanskrit Honours, 2011, Australian National University

  • Post-graduate Diploma, 2010, Sanskrit. La Trobe University

  • PhD, Conferred 2002. Political Science and Women’s Studies. The University of Melbourne

  • MA (Prelim) 1982. Ancient Greek. The University of Melbourne

  • BA (Hons) 1976. Philosophy. La Trobe University

  • Dip T (P), 1972, Melbourne Teachers College.

  • English Language Co-ordinator, International Alliance of Independent Publishers, Paris. 2011 to present

  • Committee Member, Independent Publishers Committee, Australian Publishers Association 2011 to present

  • Committee Member, Expert Reference Group on Export, Australian Publishers Association 2011 to present

  • Australian Society of Authors, Mentor, 2011

  • Australian Publishers Association Digital Steering Group, 2009 to 2010

  • Asialink Literature Resident, University of Madras, Chennai, India, 2009

  • Research Associate, Victoria University, Supervision of MA and PhD students, 1999 to 2010. Ten completions: 7 PhDs, 3 Mas.

  • International Advisory Board Member, Women’s Studies International Forum 1990 to present

  • Editorial Board, Axon Literary Magazine, 2011 to present

  • Editorial Board, Strange Literary Magazine, 2009 to present

  • Board Member, Asialink, 2003-2005

  • Board Member, Australian Book Group, 1998 t0 2001

  • Chair of Board, Australian Women’s Book Review, 1993 to 1999

  • Lecturer B, Victoria University. Teaching Post-grad Diploma in Professional Writing, Supervising PhDs and MAs; Co-ordinating Professional Writing Program. 1996 to 1998.


  • 2013 Grant from Australia Council for six months residency in the BR Whiting Library, Rome, Italy. $18,000.

  • 2009 Grant from Australia Council and Arts Queensland for four month Asialink Residency, University of Madras, Chennai, India. $12.000.

  • 2007 UNESCO grant to attend Alliance of Independent Publishers Conference, Paris, July.

  • 2001 Awarded Melbourne University Research Scholarship through the Faculty of Arts to complete PhD. Wild Politics: Feminism, Globalisation and Bio/diversity, $16,700.

  • Awarded Melbourne University Travel Grant, $1000 to travel to USA for research and conference attendance.

  • 1998 Grant from Arts Victoria, Development Grant for collection of hypertext poems, Unstopped Mouths. July 1998 to January 1999. $5000.

  • 1997 Grant from Communications and Language Studies Dept, VUT to attend the 7th Inter-Pacific Congress on Science. University of the South Pacific. Suva, Fiji. July 10-13. $700.

  • Grant from Australia China Council to attend the Conference on Publishing Australian Materials in Chinese, organised by the Australian Studies Department of East Normal University, Shanghai. October 5-8. $1200.

  • Departmental Grants from CALS, VUT for research assistance on Wild Politics project. $1530.

  • 1995 Seeding Grant for research on Multimedia: the process of change in the Australian publishing industry. $7000 awarded.

  • 1989 Special Purpose Writing Grant from the Victorian Ministry for the Arts to complete research on The Falling Woman. $2500.


  • CU5703 Exegesis

  • CU5702 Writing Project

Research Interests

  • eBooks and digital publishing

  • Feminist writing

  • Oral poetry, epic and translation

  • Methodologies of writing and associative thinking

  • Writing hypertext

  • Myth, literature and poetics

  • Eco-literature including climate change and tropical writing

Selected Publications



The forgotten women’s writing festivals. Australian Women Writers Challenge. 6 May.

The Politics of Patriarchy.


Shades of Grey: What now that BDSM has gone mainstream?5 Dec.

To whinge or not to whinge. 22 May 2012

Ecology in Poetry / Poetry in Ecology. Dreadlocks: Oceans, Islands and Skies. Vol. 6/7:2010-11. Proceedings of the Oceans, Islands and Skies – Oceanic Conference on Creativity and Climate Change. Ed. Mohit Prasad. Suva, Fiji: University of the South Pacific. pp103-129.

Seasons of Doubt & Burning: New & selected poems by Robyn Rowland. Cordite Review.

How Terrorism is Wrong by Virginia Held. Hypatia. Vol. 27, No. 1 (Winter) pp. 219-222.

eBooks: Independent publishers resist recolonising. Le Blog du labo. 5 January.


Indicators of Bibliodiversity: A multiversalist’s matrix. Bibliodiversity 1: Jan. pp. 86-95.


Autopoesis and Poetry. PAN: Philosophy Activism Nature. No. 7.


Poetic Commons. Cordite

Thinking Beyond, Thinking Deep. In conversation with Ariel Salleh. Island, No. 116, Autumn. pp. 8-17.

The Diversity Matrix: Relationship and Complexity. In Eco-Sufficiency and Global Justice. Edited by Ariel Salleh. London: Pluto Press; Melbourne: Spinifex Press. pp. 87-106.


Somatic Piracy and BioPhallacies: Separation, Violence and Biotech Fundamentalism. Women’s Studies International Forum 31 (4). Jul-August 2008. pp. 308-318.


Land, Bodies and Knowledge: The new piracy of plants, indigenous peoples, women and people with disabilities. Invited contribution to Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society Comparative Perspectives Symposium on Feminism and Bioprospecting/ Biopiracy. Winter, 2007.


Ancient Hatred and Its Contemporary Manifestations: The Torture of Lesbians. The Journal of Hate Studies. Vol. 4. 33-58. Online at

Men’s Patriotic Wars against Women’s Intimate Lives: Patriarchy, the Institution of Heterosexuality and Patriotism. African Safety Promotion: A Journal of Injury and Violence Prevention. Vol 4. No 2: 20-31.

Feminist Publishing. Co-authored with Diane Brown. In Craig Munro and Robyn Sheahan-Bright (Eds.). Paper Empires: A History of the Book in Australia, 1946-2005. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press: 263-8


Feminist Publishing. Co-authored with Diane Brown. In Craig Munro and Robyn Sheahan-Bright (Eds.). Paper Empires: A History of the Book in Australia, 1946-2005. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press: 263-8


Wild Politics: Beyond Globalization. Women’s Studies International Forum Vol. 27, No. 2. pp. 243-259.

The Political Uses of Obscurantism: Gender Mainstreaming and Intersectionality. Development Bulletin. No. 89. pp. 87-91.


Topographies of Creativity: Writing and Publishing Digitally. TEXT, Vol. 1, No. 2, October 1997.

Authored Books


2002 Wild Politics: Feminism, Globalisation and Bio/diversity. Spinifex Press, Melbourne.

1993 The Spinifex Quiz Book, 2nd edition, Spinifex Press.


2013 Limen. Melbourne: Spinifex Press.

2011 Valence: Considering war through poetry and theory (chapbook). Melbourne: Spinifex Press.

Cow. Melbourne: Spinifex Press. (see Awards)

2009 Earth’s Breath. Melbourne: Spinifex Press.

2008 Unsettling the Land (chapbook, co-authored with Suzanne Bellamy). Melbourne: Spinifex Press.

2005 The Butterfly Effect. Melbourne: Spinifex Press.

1999 Bird and other writings on epilepsy. Melbourne: Spinifex Press.

1993 “The Language in My Tongue” in Four New Poets. Melbourne: Penguin Books Australia,


1992 The Falling Woman (novel) Spinifex Press, Melbourne. (Reprinted 2003).

Non-fiction anthologies

2002 September 11, 2001: Feminist Perspectives. Co-editor with Bronwyn Winter. Spinifex Press, Melbourne.

1999 CyberFeminism: Connectivity, Critique and Creativity. Co-editor with Renate Klein. Melbourne: Spinifex Press.

Commissioned Broadcasts

2010 Earth’s Breath. A feature program on Poetica. ABC Radio National. 20 March. Based on the collection, Earth’s Breath.

1999 Bird. A feature program on Poetica. ABC Radio National. 30 October. Based on the collection Bird.


2013 BR Whiting Studio Literature Residency, Rome (Aug 2013-Jan 2014). Literature Board of the Australia Council.

2012Cow, Finalist Audre Lorde Lesbian Poetry Award (USA); Shortlisted 2012 Kenneth Slessor Poetry Award in NSW Premier’s Literary and History Awards.

2010 Earth’s Breath. Shortlisted Judith Wright Poetry Prize.

2009 Asialink Literature Residency, University of Madras, Chennai, India. Arts Queensland and Literature Board, Australia Council.




•Rod Owens

•Sharon Haste


•Kylie Davis