A distinguished scholar of Australian literary and cultural history - who is also Chair in Australian Literature at The University of Western Australia - will spend the 2015-2016 academic year at one of the leading universities in the US.
Winthrop Professor Philip Mead has been appointed to the Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser Chair in Australian Studies at Harvard University.
Professor Mead's book Networked Language: Culture & History in Australian Poetry (2010) has made a substantial contribution to understanding the processes and achievements of poetry. Also a poet and editor, Professor Mead's Penguin Book of Modern Australian Poetry, co-edited with John Tranter, exerts a continuing influence in mapping contemporary poetic practice and its lineages.
While his work is characterised by a scholarly engagement with international literary studies, he has made an important contribution to our appreciation of regionalism in Australian literature, including writing from Tasmania, Western Australia and, most recently, the Gulf of Carpentaria.
He has also made major contributions to the teaching of Australian literature across the genres, including his advocacy of the Digital Humanities, his development of online resources for students and teachers, notably for the AustLit Resource database, and his co-edited book Teaching Australian Literature: from Classroom Conversations to National Imaginings (2011).
Before joining UWA in 2009, Professor Mead held appointments at the University of Melbourne and University of Tasmania, and is a fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities.
The Chair of the Australian Nominating Committee for the Harvard Chair, Professor Stuart Macintyre said: "We are delighted to see such a strong appointment to the Chair. Philip's extensive range of scholarship is marked by rigour, insight and generosity, and we know that the English Department at Harvard looks forward to his arrival."
Professor Mead said: "As someone with an academic and personal fascination with the cultural connections between Australia and the US, this is a valuable opportunity to contribute to the understanding of Australia that the Harvard Chair in Australian Studies promotes. I look forward to bringing a literary and cultural historian's perspective to the conversation between our two countries."
Winthrop Professor Philip Mead (UWA School of Humanities) (+61 8) 6488 2434
Christine Lindsey (UWA Faculty of Arts) (+61 8) 6488 1247
David Stacey (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716