Profile Image

Associate Professor Rosalind Smith

Associate Professor

School of Humanities and Social Science (English and Writing)

Unraveling the tales of the past

Associate Professor Ros Smith examines the contribution of female writers to the culture of the early modern era.

Unraveling the Tales of the PastFrom the hallowed halls of Oxford University came the inspiration to study early modern women's writing. Surrounded by the world's top renaissance scholars, University of Newcastle Associate Professor Ros Smith felt the calling to delve into the world of women's writing from the 16th and17th centuries. 

"It's a strange world with lots of recognisable elements but at the same time very different elements - that's what encapsulates the oddness of studying the past. I find that tension very interesting. You think you understand something but then you dig deeper and find there's lots more to explore," Associate Professor Smith said.

At that time, research into early modern women's writing was in its infancy. Now it's a burgeoning field with over 100 scholars working in it.

"It was exciting and cutting-edge work because there was hardly anyone doing it. I wanted to understand, from a feminist perspective, what early modern women's writing can tell us about gender and culture in the Renaissance and across the ages."

"Women have always been half the population, but their contribution to the literature of the past was once thought to be negligible. My work, alongside that of others in the field, has discovered that women did write an enormous amount in the early modern period, in a variety of forms from private letters to major published romances."

"Through their writing, they also contributed to literary, religious and political cultural life in important ways. Understanding the active literary roles that women had in the past changes the way we think about women's literary agency and ability in the present. It also reconfigures the way we think about the early modern period – it is not just a period dominated by men but one in which women had vital roles in shaping the culture. This helps us fully appreciate women's path to the modern world of today," Associate Professor Smith said.

Since co-founding the Early Modern Women's Research Network (EMWRN) in 2008 at the University of Newcastle with her colleague Dr Patricia Pender, Associate Professor Ros Smith has experienced a career-changing few years.

"Prior to the establishment of the network, scholars working in the field of early modern women's writing in Australia were quite isolated and disconnected," Associate Professor Smith said.

"But what we've been able to do is bring together a broad range of well-known scholars from across Australia, as well as international scholars who are at the top of their field and run similar networks internationally. These include Sarah Ross from New Zealand, Michelle O'Callaghan from the Early Modern Research Centre at the University of Reading, and Sue Wiseman from the London Renaissance Seminar at the University of London."

"This joining of the minds has allowed us to become a really effective network. We've held a lot of activities including national and international conferences and symposia and have really built our reputation in the field," Associate Professor Smith said.

Associate Professor Smith and Dr Pender played a central role in the Early Modern Studies Conference at the University of Reading, UK, in July 2013, when EMWRN sponsored a three-day stream of panels on the material cultures of early modern women's writing.

The group hosted an Early Modern Studies Symposium in Newcastle in September 2013, featuring international keynote speakers Professor Stephen Orgel and Dr Michael Wyatt from Stanford University.

Scholars from ANU, the University of Sydney, Macquarie University, La Trobe and the Victoria University of Wellington attended the event, which also drew together Newcastle scholars in the field, such as early modern historian Dr Camilla Russell.

The one-day symposium was crowned by a celebration of the special issue of the journal Parergon, on Early Modern Women and the Apparatus of Authorship, edited by Associate Professor Smith, Dr Pender and New Zealand EMWRN counterpart Sarah Ross. Visiting luminary Stephen Orgel did the honours of launching the issue. 

In 2012 the pair received a $210,000 ARC Discovery Projects grant to fund research around The Material Cultures of Early Modern Women's Writing: Editing, Reception and Mediation.

"There's been an amazing momentum around the network and our track record of winning small grants and regular publications meant that we won the ARC discovery grant," Dr Smith said. "We are very excited by our success and aim to secure even larger funding through national and international schemes in the future. We are extending our collaborations to Europe and the US in 2014 and will partner in applications for US and European Union funding."

Unraveling the Tales of the Past

Unraveling the tales of the past

Ros Smith examines the contribution of female writers to the culture of the early modern era.

Read more

Career Summary

Biography

Research Expertise
My primary field of research is Renaissance literature, specialising in women's poetry, and the relationships between genre, politics and history in the period. My secondary field is in true crime writing in Australia, examining a neglected but increasingly central popular genre and its relationship to constructions of Australian nationalism.

Teaching Expertise
My teaching expertise, developed at the Universities of Newcastle, Oxford and London, is in the fields of Renaissance literature and contemporary Australian literature, with a special interest in women's writing and true crime. I have taught at all levels in both fields, developing a number of new courses and majors.

Administrative Expertise
My administrative experience is in several periods acting as discipline convenor for English.


Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Oxford - UK
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of Sydney

Keywords

  • Australian women's writing
  • Australian literature
  • Popular culture
  • Renaissance literature
  • Renaissance women's writing
  • True Crime

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
190499 Performing Arts and Creative Writing not elsewhere classified 25
200299 Cultural Studies not elsewhere classified 25
200599 Literary Studies not elsewhere classified 50

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Associate Professor University of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/2008 -  Editor - Australian Humanities Review Australian Humanities Review
Australia
1/01/2006 - 31/12/2006 Editor - Artemis Artemis
Australia
1/01/2005 -  Senior Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia
1/01/2004 -  Membership - ASAL ASAL
Australia
1/01/2001 - 31/12/2004 Editor - HEAT HEAT
Australia
1/01/2000 - 1/12/2004 Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia
1/07/1996 - 1/01/2000 Associate Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia

Awards

Research Award

Year Award
1994 ORS Bursary Award
Oxford University, UK
1994 Eleanor Sophia Wood and Woolley Travelling Scholarship
University of Sydney
1990 University Medal
University of Sydney
1990 Australian Postgraduate Research Award
University of Sydney
Edit

Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Book (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2014 Pender PJ, Smith R, Material Cultures of Early Modern Women's Writing, Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills, Basingstoke, 232 (2014) [A3]
Co-authors Patricia J Pender
2005 Smith RL, Sonnets and the English Woman Writer, 1560-1621: The Politics of Absence, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 169 (2005) [A1]

Chapter (15 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Smith RL, 'Paratextual marginalia, early modern women, and collaboration [Forthcoming]', Gender, Authorship and Collaboration in Early Modern Women's Writing, Palgrave, Basingstoke, UK (2017)
2017 Smith RL, 'The material cultures of early modern women's translations: Margaret Roper, Mary Basset and Mary Tudor [forthcoming]', Trust and Proof: Translators in Renaissance Print Culture, Brill, Leiden, Netherlands (2017)
2017 Smith RL, O'Callaghan M, Ross SCE, 'Complaint [Forthcoming]', The Blackwell Companion to Renaissance Poetry, Blackwell, Oxford, UK (2017)
2017 Smith RL, 'Prosopopoeia, gender and religion: the poetry of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots [Forthcoming]', The Routledge Companion to Women, Sex and Gender in Early Modern Anglophone Literature, Routledge, London (2017)
2016 Smith RL, Pender P, 'Editing early modern women in the digital age', Editing Early Modern Women, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK 255-269 (2016)
2014 Pender PJ, Smith R, 'Introduction: Early Modern Women¿s Texts: Production, Transmission and Reception', Material Cultures of Early Modern Women¿s Writing, Palgrave Macmillan, New York 1-13 (2014) [B1]
Co-authors Patricia J Pender
2014 Smith RL, '"'Le pouvoir de faire dire': Marginalia in Mary Queen of Scots' Book of Hours"', Material Cultures of Early Modern Women's Writing, Palgrave, Basingstoke 55-75 (2014)
2013 Smith RL, 'Lost in the Media: Evil Angels and twentieth-century Australian true crime', Telling Stories: Australian life and literature 1935-2012, Monash University Press, Clayton, Vic 418-424 (2013) [B1]
2013 Smith RL, 'A 'goodly sample': exemplarity, female complaint and early modern women's poetry', Early Modern Women and the Poem, Manchester University Press, Manchester, UK 181-200 (2013) [B1]
2013 Pender PJ, Smith R, 'Afterword: Reading early modern women and the poem', Early Modern Women and the Poem, Manchester University Press, Manchester 244-252 (2013) [B1]
Co-authors Patricia J Pender
2010 Smith RL, 'Plaintes full of dissimulation: The casket sonnets, female complaint and true crime', Expanding the Canon of Early Modern Women's Writing, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle Upon Tyne 125-142 (2010) [B1]
2009 Smith R, 'Lady Mary Wroth's Pamphilia to Amphilanthus: the Politics of Withdrawal', Ashgate Critical Essays on Women Writers in England, 1550-1700, Ashgate Publishing, London, England 79-102 (2009) [B1]
2009 Smith R, ''In a mirrour clere': Protestantism and politics in Anne Lok's Miserere Mei Deus', Ashgate Critical Essays on Women Writers in England, 1550-1700, Ashgate Publishing, London, England 3-22 (2009) [B1]
2001 Smith R, 'Australie (Emily Manning)', , Gale Research, Detroit, (2001) [B2]
2000 Smith RL, ''In a mirrour clere': Protestantism and Politics in Anne Lok's Miserere mei Deus', 'This Double Voice': Gendered Writing in Early Modern England, Macmillan, Basingstoke 41-60 (2000) [B1]
Show 12 more chapters

Journal article (16 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Collins-Gearing B, Smith R, 'Burning off: Indigenising the discipline of English', Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 45 159-169 (2016)

© The Author(s) 2016.With the push towards 'Indigenisation' in Australian tertiary institutes, the discipline of English at the University of Newcastle undertook a pilot project ... [more]

© The Author(s) 2016.With the push towards 'Indigenisation' in Australian tertiary institutes, the discipline of English at the University of Newcastle undertook a pilot project to investigate what this could look like and what it meant for staff and students. This paper reflects our efforts to engage with notions of 'Indigenisation', based on national and international exemplars and presents one of our efforts to indigenise our discipline of English. We argue that our shifting and changing understanding of integrating Aboriginal ways of knowing into mainstream English courses is both difficult and essential.

DOI 10.1017/jie.2016.6
Co-authors Brooke Collins-Gearing
2014 Palmer L, Levett-Jones T, Smith R, McMillan M, 'Academic literacy diagnostic assessment in the first semester of first year at university', The International Journal of the First Year in Higher Education, 5 67-78 (2014) [C1]
DOI 10.5204/intjfyhe.v5i1.201
Co-authors Tracy Levett-Jones
2012 Smith RL, 'The case of Mary Queen of Scots, Lord Darnley and Lord Bothwell: Initiating the literature of husband-murder in sixteenth-century England', Notes and Queries, 59 498-501 (2012) [C3]
Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 2
2012 Smith RL, 'The case of Frederick Deeming: The true crime archive as publication event', Southerly, 72 56-73 (2012) [C1]
2012 Pender PJ, Smith RL, 'From paratext to epitext: Mapping the authorial apparatus in early modern women's writing', Parergon, 29 193-201 (2012) [C1]
Citations Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Patricia J Pender
2012 Smith RL, 'Reading Mary Stuart's casket sonnets: Reception, authorship, and early modern women's writing', Parergon, 29 149-173 (2012) [C1]
2012 Ross SCE, Pender PJ, Smith RL, 'Guest editorial: Early modern women and the apparatus of authorship', Parergon, 29 (2012) [C6]
Co-authors Patricia J Pender
2010 Smith RL, 'Babysitter killers and daughters of death: Women, true crime and the media in 1970s Australia', Australian Feminist Studies, 25 325-336 (2010) [C1]
DOI 10.1080/08164649.2010.504296
Citations Scopus - 1
2009 Glastonbury KA, Smith RL, 'Introduction: The Art of the Real', Australian Humanities Review, 39-41 (2009) [C2]
Co-authors Keri Glastonbury
2009 Glastonbury KA, Smith RL, 'Introduction: The art of the real', Text: Journal of Writing and Writing Courses, - 1-4 (2009) [C2]
Co-authors Keri Glastonbury
2008 Smith RL, 'Dark places: True crime writing in Australia', Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature: JASAL, 8 17-30 (2008) [C1]
2001 Smith RL, '"Clara Morison: The Politics of Feminine Heterotopia."', Southerly, 61:3 40-51 (2001) [C1]
2001 Smith RL, '"Lindamira's Complaint."', Meridian, 18:1 73-85 (2001) [C1]
2000 Smith RL, 'Lady Mary Wroth's Pamphilia to Amphilanthus: The Politics of Withdrawal', English Literary Renaissance, 30 408-431 (2000) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 17Web of Science - 15
1997 Smith R, '"On Speaking Positions," Vol 30, pp.248-250. 248-250 (1997) [C1]
1997 Smith R, '"Celebrity: A Construction Manual," Continuum Vol 11, pp.150-152.', Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 114 150-152 (1997) [C1]
Show 13 more journal articles

Conference (4 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2014 Smith RL, 'Heterogeneity, Materiality, and the Publication Event: Editing Mary Stuart's Poetry', Renaissance Society of America, Annual Meeting, New York, 2014 ABSTRACTS (2014) [E3]
2010 Smith RL, ''A goodly sample': Exemplarity, Rhetoric, and Female Gallows Confessions', Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting 2010 (2010) [E3]
2010 Collins-Gearing BM, Smith RL, 'Disciplining English: The challenge of Indigenising the discipline', A Scholarly Affair. Cultural Studies Association of Australasia National Conference. Program and Abstracts (2010) [E3]
Co-authors Brooke Collins-Gearing
2009 Glastonbury KA, Smith RL, 'Conference editors', Text: The Art of the Real: Proceedings of the Art of the Real: National Creative Non-Fiction Conference (2009) [E4]
Co-authors Keri Glastonbury
Show 1 more conference
Edit

Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed8
Current6

Total current UON EFTSL

Masters0.1
PhD1.65

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2015 PhD Out of the Margins: Revaluing Feminine Devotional Discourse through an Examination of the Marginalia found in Early Modern Women's Devotional Writing
PhD (English), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor
2015 PhD Women's Literary Collaborations in Early Modern England
PhD (English), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
2013 PhD Coming Home: The Representation of Single Mothers in Contemporary American Romance Fiction
PhD (English), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
2010 PhD A Mixed Methods Study of Academic Literacies Development within a Cohort of Undergraduate Nursing Students
PhD (Nursing), Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
2009 PhD The Moving and Sorrowful Voice That Cries Out: Trauma and Post-Structuralism in Turner Hospital's Fictional Prose
PhD (English), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor
2007 Masters Still Digging: From Grunge to Post-grunge in Australian Literature
M Philosophy (English), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor

Past Supervision

Year Level of Study Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2013 PhD Computational Stylistics, Cognitive Grammar, and the Tragedy of Mariam: Combining Formal and Contextual Approaches in a Computational Study of Early Modern Tragedy
PhD (English), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
2011 PhD Reading the Self-Help Manual: Amazon.com Customer Reviews of Dating and Marriage Manuals for Heterosexual Women
PhD (English), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
2010 PhD Rewriting Scapegoat Texts: Mimetic Desire and the Dynamics of Rivalry in Michael Ondaatje's In the Skin of a Lion and the English Patient, and Peter Careys, Jack Maggs and True History of the Kelly Gang
PhD (English), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
2009 PhD "For Australia": Joseph Furphy and Australian Literary Culture, 1889-1912
PhD (English), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2009 PhD The Triumphant Approach: Chasing the Unwritable Book
PhD (English), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
2008 PhD Pound's Imponderabilia: Space and Community in the Poetry of Ezra Pound
PhD (English), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
2006 PhD Intimate Ephemera: an investigation of life narratives in Australian zines
PhD (English), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
2004 PhD Australian Women's Letters Between 1788 and 1840
PhD (English), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
Edit

News

The Conversation

Mary, Queen of Scots was a poet - and you should know it

July 28, 2014

By Ros Smith, University of Newcastle

Think Mary, Queen of Scots and a few key facts probably come to mind: she was Catholic, she was imprisoned and she had her head chopped off. But a poet who offers insight into 16th-century women's writing and what it was like to be a queen? Not so much.

Associate Professor Rosalind Smith

Position

Associate Professor
Assistant Dean Research Training, Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Humanities and Social Science
Faculty of Education and Arts

Focus area

English

Contact Details

Email ros.smith@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4921 5180
Mobile 0401 568283
Fax (02) 4921 6933

Office

Room GP125
Building General Purpose
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
Edit