The University of Newcastle, Australia

Early modern literature collaborations set to flow

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

A leading Australian academic in research on early modern literature and Australian literature has been appointed as a Professorial Fellow in the School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle.

Recent UOn appointee, Professor Paul Salzman

Professor Paul Salzman will take up a position in the discipline of English and Writing. He has published on early modern women’s writing, prose fiction, literary and cultural history, and the intersections between literature, society and politics. In the field of Australian literature, he has published on modern fiction, including two co-written analyses of contemporary Australian fiction co-written with Professor Ken Gelder, and a book on Elizabeth Jolley.

Professor Catharine Coleborne, Head of the School of Humanities and Social Science said Professor Salzman’s expertise is a welcome addition to the University.

“We are very happy to welcome Professor Salzman to the University of Newcastle. With his considerable practical and theoretical work in the area of early modern literature, especially scholarly editing, women’s writing and cultural history, we know he will be a great inspiration to our post graduate students and fellow researchers,” Professor Coleborne said.

The future research and teaching direction of the School also draws on Professor Salzman’s expertise in the Digital Humanities. He has produced two recent electronic editions: Mary Wroth’s Poetry: An Electronic edition with Biography, 2012, winner of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women Arts and Media project prize, and Mary Wroth’s Love’s Victory: An Electronic Edition. The latter of these works is part of the archive associated with the Early Modern Women Research Network (EMWRN) and both use innovative ways to represent the author’s works digitally.

“As one of the founding members of EMWRN, Professor Salzman will strengthen UON’s reputation as the leading national centre for early modern studies, and Australian literature. He has published two seminal monographs on recent Australian fiction, two of his ARC DPs were in this field and he has a sustained track record of journal and book chapter publication over two decades in this area,” Professor Coleborne said.

Co-founder of EMWRN, Associate Professor Ros Smith said the appointment of Professor Salzman is a coup for UON.

“Professor Salzman's appointment will add to the research concentration in early modern literary studies at the University of Newcastle, reinforcing our position as a national leader in this area. His expertise in early modern women's writing, material cultures of the book and the digital humanities make him the perfect fit for our research cluster,” Associate Professor Smith said.

Professor Salzman is looking forward to building on his existing collaborative relationships with UON researchers.

“I have a long-standing relationship with EMWRN and have worked on many projects with UON researchers including Associate Professor Ros Smith and Professor Hugh Craig. The connection goes back 12 years so I’m really pleased to receive this appointment because I feel like a part of the University of Newcastle already,” Professor Salzman said.

Professor Salzman will also be available as a mentor to postgraduate students.

“I’ll endeavour to help the school build their overall research profile and can assist people thinking of applying for grants. I can also help postgraduate students apply for fellowships and mentor them along the way, as well as running a post graduate Masterclass with Ros Smith.

Professor Salzman’s interest in the early modern field began in the mid 1970s when it was somewhat of an unknown research area.

“My early work was on 16th and 17th century prose fiction, which back then was quite a rarified field. I was also interested in early modern women’s writing way back when no one was interested, but it’s now a flourishing field. Initially people would raise their eyebrows and ask ‘why are you researching people no one has ever heard of’, and I’d say once you’ve heard of them you’ll find out they are quite interesting,” Professor Salzman said.

Professor Salzman is currently working on a book on 19th and early 20th century editors of renaissance literature.

“It’s going to be great to be able to do more detailed research with people I have a common interest with in Newcastle, plus the warmer weather there will be a nice change from Melbourne’s weather.”