The Literary Education Lab is housed at the University of Melbourne, with collaborations nationally and internationally. Our diverse projects include challenging the literary canon in schools; mobilising literary education to think about the climate crisis and issues of consent; speculative fiction as research method; the role of the digital in literary education; teacher knowledges in literary education, and more.See projects
Founded in 2019 by Professor Larissa McLean Davies and Dr. Sarah E. Truman, the Literary Education Lab draws together a series of projects investigating the role and potentials of literary education in diverse 21st century settings.About us
Funded by the Australian Research Council, DECRA
Directed by Dr. Sarah E. Truman, the project examines the pedagogical and social potentials of reading and writing speculative fiction with youth and interdisciplinary scholars.Read more
Funded by University of Melbourne and Australian National University
Literature and reading are being transformed by digital technologies. With a focus on Australian literature...Read more
Funded by Melbourne Climate Futures and Stella
Climate change has been identified as the major crisis facing the world, and a core issue for young people...Read more
Funded by The Melbourne Graduate School of Education and Stella
In the wake of the global #metoo movement on sexual assault, in early 2021, an online petition in Australia...Read more
Funded by Melbourne Graduate School of Education and Stella
The Teacher-Researchers project built on previous research by members of the project team...Read more
Below are the researchers and collaborators affiliated with the Literary Education Lab.
See specific projects for details on the research teams involved.
Larissa McLean Davies is Professor of Teacher Education at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne. Larissa McLean Davies leads large-scale Teacher Education research which mobilises partnerships with Government agencies, Education Departments, and not-for-profit organisations. She is the co-convenor of the Literary Education Lab (with Dr Sarah E. Truman), where she leads research which draws together the digital and environmental humanities, literary studies and education around core issues related to teacher professional learning in the context of justice and sustainability imperatives. Her co-authored book Literary Knowing and the Making of English Teachers will be published by Routledge in 2022.
Sarah E. Truman is an interdisciplinary scholar whose interests intersect with English literary education, cultural studies, and the arts. From 2022-2025, Dr. Truman is an ARC DECRA Fellow conducting a project focused on speculative and science fiction as methods for for thinking critically about the world and proposing different futures on the themes of technology, climate, and social justice. Dr. Truman is co-director of the Literary Education Lab; co-Director of WalkingLab, and one half of Oblique Curiosities. Dr Truman’s most recent book is Feminist Speculations and the Practice of Research-Creation (Routledge, 2022).
Melitta Hogarth is a Kamilaroi woman and is the Assistant Dean (Indigenous) and A/Professor in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Prior to entering academia, Melitta taught for almost 20 years in all three sectors of the Queensland education system specifically in Secondary education.
Sandra Phillips is a member of the Wakka Wakka and Gooreng Gooreng nations of Queensland and Associate Professor and Associate Dean (Indigenous Engagement) at University of Queensland. Prior to becoming an academic, Sandra had a successful career in Australian publishing and continues to be a widely recognised and valued leader in the Indigenous literary sector.
Katherine Bode is professor of literary and textual studies at the Australian National University. Her research explores the critical potential and limitations of computational approaches to literature, including in A World of Fiction: Digital Collections and the Future of Literary History (2018), Advancing Digital Humanities: Research, Methods, Theories (2014), Reading by Numbers: Recalibrating the Literary Field (2012) and Resourceful Reading: The New Empiricism, eResearch and Australian Literary Culture (2009).
Sandra Muse Isaacs is the professor of Indigenous Literature and a President’s Indigenous Peoples Scholar at the University of Windsor, Canada. Sandra is of Eastern Cherokee (Ani-tsisqua, Bird Clan) and Gaelic heritage. Her first book, Eastern Cherokee Stories: A Living Oral Tradition and Its Cultural Continuance, was released in the July 2019.
Dr Helen Cozmescu is a lecturer and subject coordinator in language and literacy subjects offered at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Helen uses qualitative research to investigate contemporary literacy practice. Helen’s current research interests involve literacy professional learning for in-service teachers and the nexus created by theoretical perspectives, research and practice.
Marcia McKenzie is Professor in Global Studies and International Education in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne. Her research includes both theoretical and applied components at the intersections of comparative and international education, global education policy research, and climate and sustainability education, including in relation to policy mobility, place and land, affect, and other areas of social and geographic study.
Dr Erin K Stapleton researches intersections between gender, colonialism and queer theory, digital and media cultures, critical theory, and continental philosophy. Their book The Intoxication of Destruction in Theory, Culture and Media: A Philosophy of Expenditure After Georges Bataille was published by Amsterdam University Press in 2022.
Emeritus Professor Wayne Sawyer was a secondary school Head of English before joining WSU. He is a past President of the New South Wales (NSW) English Teachers Association (ETA) and past Chair of the NSW Board of Studies English Curriculum Committee. He is an Honorary Life Member of both the NSW ETA and the Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE).
Professor Sue Martin in the Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce. In this role, Sue is responsible for the strategic leadership of the College’s research efforts, and has oversight of the strategies and initiatives in place to lift research culture, capacity and performance. Prior to this role, Sue was the Associate Dean, Research, in the Faculty of Humanities & Social Science under the old Faculty Structure.
Clare Archer-Lean is Senior Lecturer in English and Deputy Higher Degree Research Coordinator in USC’s School of Business and Creative Industries. Clare's research is focused on analysis of animals and environment in various cultural artefacts, but also in applied, trans-disciplinary work. Clare's work also explores how Indigenous storytelling provides vital insights into sustainability. SandClare is a committee member of Australasian Animal Studies Association (AASA) and on the editorial board for Social Alternatives and Animal Studies Journal.
Troy is a lecturer in the School of Education at La Trobe University. His research interests include the use of genre in adolescent literature to construct, engage with, and respond to contemporary concerns, particularly those relating to gender, sexuality and disability. He is the author of Books for Boys: Manipulating Genre in Contemporary Australian Young Adult Fiction (WVT Trier, 2018).
Emeritus Professor Helen Cahill leads a body of research addressing child and youth wellbeing. She has developed a number of disaster recovery, violence-reduction, social and emotional learning, gender rights, sexuality, and drug education programs for use in schools and community settings in Australia, as well as a range of countries across the Asia-Pacific and East and Southern Africa regions. She has authored over 100 publications, including over 40 wellbeing education programs for use in school and community settings. She is lead author of Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships, an open access, evidence-informed social and emotional learning and respectful relationships education program for Australian students from ages 5-18, and the UNESCO Connect with Respect program for prevention of school related gender-based violence.
Michèle Hinton Herrington has a PhD in linguistics and contributes to several large research projects in education. Michèle is passionate about education research and is particularly interested in how language and language systems function in and across the school disciplines and how theory translates into teaching practices. Michèle is co-author of Multimodal Literacy in School Science: Transdisciplinary perspectives on Theory, Research and Pedagogy (Routledge, 2022).
Natalie Calleja is a Research Fellow at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne with a background in teaching. They are currently involved in a research project that aims to examine the provision of the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships intervention program in secondary schools.
Angie Hostetler is a PhD Candidate whose interdisciplinary education research traverses the intersections of justice, sustainability, and literacy. Her current project explores the potentials of social media as a space for public pedagogies toward liveable climate futures.
Allayne Horton is a PhD Candidate and secondary English teacher. Her research explores intersections of affect studies and literary education, particularly in the VCE English space.
Louise is a teacher of English and Literature and is currently head of English. Her research investigates the literary experiences of middle school secondary students in relation to gender.