Dr Caroline Webb
|Work Phone||(02) 4348 4061|
|Fax||(02) 4348 4075|
School of Humanities and Social Science
The University of Newcastle, Australia
|Office||HO1.21, Humanities Offices|
Caroline Webb completed her PhD in English Literature and Language at Cornell University, aided by a Fulbright Postgraduate Travel Grant and the Andrew D. White Fellowship, and subsequently taught for eight years at Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts. She took up the position of Lecturer in English at the University of Newcastle in July 1995, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer from January 2002. She studies and teaches English literature since 1900, focusing on Modernism and on contemporary fiction, especially fantastic fiction, and has also been active in University governance. She is currently serving as Secretary of the Australasian Children's Association for Research and holds a University of Newcastle Career Enhancement Fellowship for Academic Women.
Her interests as reflected in teaching include narrative and representation, tradition and innovation in modern British literature, the shift from Victorian to Modern as represented especially in the writings of the Bloomsbury group, representations of female identity in English and Australian women's writing since 1900, the critical tradition, and the relationship between cultural issues and narrative in science fiction and fantastic literature (including children's fantasy).
- PhD, Cornell University, 1988
- Master of Arts, Cornell University, 1985
- Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of Sydney, 1983
- A.S. Byatt
- Angela Carter
- Diana Wynne Jones
- English literature
- J.K. Rowling
- James Joyce
- Jeanette Winterson
- Virginia Woolf
- contemporary fiction
- contemporary women's fiction
- fantastic fiction
Dr Webb studies English literature since 1900, focusing both on literary Modernism and on contemporary writing, particularly fantasy fiction (including fantasy for children). She is especially interested in how the politics of form emerges through subtle textual details, examining the writings of Virginia Woolf and how recent women novelists such as A.S. Byatt and Angela Carter deploy fantastic and magic realist techniques. Her analyses of writings by Carter and Jeanette Winterson take a feminist affective narratological approach. She is currently working on the British fantasy tradition and is interested in its relationship to British postmodern fiction, especially in the form of rewritten fairy tales. Her study of fantasy literature includes popular children’s fiction such as J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter sequence and the novels of Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett. She currently holds a Career Enhancement Fellowship for Academic Women from the University of Newcastle, and is a member of the Writing Cultures research group.
Fields of Research
|200503||British And Irish Literature||100|
Committee/Associations (relevant to research).
- International Virginia Woolf Society
- International James Joyce Foundation
- Modern Language Association
- Australian Women's and Gender Studies Association
- Australasian Association for Literature
- Member - Journal of Interdisciplinary Gender Studies
I have performed substantial administrative and governance service to the University of Newcastle, especially since 1999 when I was appointed Assistant Dean (Academic) in the newly established Faculty of the Central Coast, a position I held (later retitled Assistant Dean (Teaching and Learning)) for the three years of the Faculty's existence. This position involved, most importantly, developing protocols for curriculum development and review and for teaching and learning. I was therefore appointed as a (working) observer to the University-level Curriculum Review Committee in 1999 and was a full member in 2000-01, reviewing curriculum proposals at course and program level. I was elected to Academic Senate from April 2000 (and subsequently re-elected every term), which has also involved assessment of reviews of Faculties and programs, and in 2002-03 also served on the Faculty of Education and Arts Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Committee (I held the convenor role in this area in the School of Humanities from 1999-2003). In 2003-04 I served on the working party responding to the external review of the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Science, and in 2004 I was an internal member of the panel reviewing the Bachelor of Fine Art programs at both campuses. I have thus developed considerable and wide-ranging expertise in university academic procedures, and especially in curriculum development and review.
In 2002 I was appointed Deputy Head of the School of Humanities, a position I held for four years; for the latter two I was 0.5 Head of School/0.5 Deputy Head. As the School was multidisciplinary (containing staff from Primary, Secondary, and Early Childhood Teacher Education; Fine Art and Drama; Ancient and Modern History; English; Linguistics; Politics and Policy; Sociology and Anthropology; and Welfare Studies) this role required a broad understanding of disciplinary expectations in a wide range of fields as well as the day-to-day management of very different staff and student needs. As the School's activities in many cases paralleled those in other Schools in the Faculty, this role also involved negotiation with other Heads and senior Faculty members at Faculty Executive level. I served on the Faculty Executive during this period and developed understanding of budgetary issues at School, Faculty, and University level.
- British literature
- English literature
- Renaissance literature
- contemporary women's fiction
- critical theory
- fantastic fiction
- science fiction
- speculative fiction
Dr Webb has developed a range of successful courses at the University of Newcastle, including honours seminars on Fictions of Female Identity; Virginia Woolf; and Orlando and Feminism. She has developed and taught courses at introductory and advanced undergraduate level including ENGL1650 Fiction, Drama, Film: An Introduction; ENGL1652 Medieval and Renaissance Literature: ENGL3651 Re-Writing Women (20 units); ENGL3652 Victorian to Modern (20 units); ENGL3653 Tradition and Innovation in Modern Literature; ENGL3654 The Critical Tradition; ENGL3656 Issues in Speculative Fiction. She has also taught into other introductory courses in English and Gender Studies. She is especially interested in how the literature both of a period and of a genre can be studied to explore intellectual history, both in its content and in its approaches to representation.
- ENGL1650 - Fiction, Drama, Film: An Introduction
- ENGL1652 - Medieval and Renaissance Literature
- ENGL3651 - Re-Writing Women
- ENGL3652 - Victorian to Modern
- ENGL3653 - Tradition and Innovation in Modrn Literature
- ENGL3654 - The Critical Tradition
- ENGL3656 - Issues in Speculative Fiction
- GEND1600 - Introduction to Gender Studies
- GEND1611 UDBEC - Masculinity and Femininity 1