Welcome to Centre for the Book research unit

We are the oldest research institution of our kind in Australasia, and are widely regarded as an epicentre of print culture research. The Centre was founded in 1982.

Our research charts book history and print culture in their many forms, both historical and contemporary. We research the content of books and the materiality of books themselves – both old and new.

From blooks (blogs that become books) to twitter novellas, the Kindle and iPad, we examine the way print fits into the landscape of modern media and contributes vitally to cultural life.


  • The Centre for the Book, Monash University, in collaboration with the Centre for the Book, University of Otago and The State Library of Victoria, are hosting: Marginal Notes: Social Reading and the Literal Margins. A One-Day Conference & Masterclass   Keynote Speakers: Prof. Bill Sherman, Director of Research and Collections, Victoria & Albert Museum, London Prof. Pat Buckridge, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland   Conference date: Friday 23 ... Read more
  •       Earlier this year, Oscar Schwartz presented a TEDx talk on his PhD research exploring the impact of computer-generated poetry on our understanding of poetry and what it means to be human. You can see Oscar’s talk here. You can test your skills detecting human and computer poetry at Oscar’s bot or not website. Read more
  • CFP Australian Humanities Review Special Issue: Critical Matters Editors: Melinda Harvey and Patrick Allington This issue of AHR directs its attention to literary criticism in the public sphere in Australia today. We seek essays that focus on the state of current critical thinking and writing, but also essays that consider the conditions within which that critical thinking and writing ... Read more
  • For your free tickets to this event click here. Read more
  • Critical Matters Participants Read more
  •   Reading Memoir Symposium Centre for the Book, Monash University Monday 20 April 9.30am – 2.00pm.   This one-day symposium brings together leading scholars from Australia, the UK and Canada to consider current and future ways of researching how readers engage with memoir. Examining memoir through the lens of reader research, print culture research, literary criticism and life writing studies, the ... Read more
  • The two public panels are themed ‘How Should a Critic Be?’ and ‘Making Criticism Matter’ and feature Geordie Williamson, Kerryn Goldsworthy, James Ley, Peter Craven, James Bradley, Delia Falconer, Maria Tumarkin, Peter Rose, Felicity Plunkett, Mireille Juchau, Jo Case and Melinda Harvey. Date: Thursday 9 April 2015 Venue: Performance Space, The Wheeler Centre Time: 2pm – 4.30pm For your ... Read more
  • Critical Matters: Book Reviewing Now is a one-day symposium, which will be held on Thursday 9 April 2015. The first of its kind ever held in Australia, this symposium brings together over 30 book reviewers, editors and academics to discuss the state of literary criticism in the public sphere today. For more information on the symposium participants and ... Read more
  • May and June 2014 have been busy months for Centre for the Book researchers, who have been speaking with the media about the current research projects. In May, Dr Melinda Harvey published a major essay in the Sydney Review of Books on the work of Renata Adler, whose novels have been republished as New York Review of Books ... Read more
  • Chris Kraus In July, 1995 the American writer Kathy Acker met media theorist McKenzie Wark while on a reading tour of Australia.  The two spent a few giddy days and a night together in Sydney.  Acker was then 48, Wark was 34.  A 17-day email correspondence, by turns languid and frantic, titled i’m very into you, ... Read more
  •  The Fifth Biennial International Conference of the Contemporary Women’s Writing Association  CONTEMPORARY WOMEN’S WRITING AND ENVIRONMENTS Hosted by RMIT, Monash and Deakin Universities, Melbourne, Australia 3-5 July 2014 Sponsored by the Research in Literary Studies research unit, Centre for the Book, and the Centre for Australian and Postcolonial Writing at Monash University, and the NonFiction Lab at RMIT. Thanks to our keynotes, presenters, conference ... Read more
  • Recent developments in the history of the book demonstrate that an interest in the material history of print culture inevitably leads us to the question of readers. How well can we understand the past, present and future of print culture without examining the uses to which it is put by its audience? Revealing The Reader will bring ... Read more