The Centre for the Book is the only research institution of its kind in Australasia. We are widely regarded as the epicentre of print culture research. Our centre forms part of a small and prestigious network of like entities in Toronto, London, Washington D.C., Edinburgh, Oxford and Madison, Wisconsin.

The information age is unquestionably here, and has initiated a revolution in the way we connect and communicate. We seek to harness the excitement of this new era and – founded on diverse theoretical traditions and understandings from print culture history – to make sense of the heady times in which we now live.

From ‘blooks’ (blogs that become books) to twitter novellas, the ‘Kindle’ and ‘iPad’, and the growing phenomenon of interlinkages between screen media and books, we examine the way print fits into the landscape of modern media and contributes vitally to cultural life. The Centre for the Book looks at the content of books and books themselves – both old and new.



Recently funded by the Australian Research Council

Performing Authorship in the Digital Literary Sphere (2012-2014). Chief Investigator: Dr Simone Murray.

Books as Media: The Cultural Economy of Literary Adaptation (2007-2009). Chief Investigator: Dr Simone Murray.

The Dissemination and Control of Clandestine Writing in England 1695–1774. (2007–2009) Chief Investigator: Dr Patrick Spedding


Research collaborations

Researchers from the Centre for the Book are currently involved in the following international research collaborations:

Crossing Media Boundaries: Adaptations and New Forms of the Book  (2011-2015)

Led by Professor Alexis Weedon, University of Bedfordshire.  Partner institutions: Monash, University of Southampton (UK), Jadavpur University (India), Institute of Publishing Science at Nanjing University (China), and Communication University (China).

Funded by: UNESCO.


Back to the Book (2011-2016)

Led by Kiene Brillenburg Wurth, Utrecht University.

Funded by: Innovative Research Scheme Dutch Science Foundation NWO.


PhD Researchers currently associated with the Centre for the Book

Millicent Weber

Oscar Schwartz

Nicola Rodgers

Dr Kevin Patrick (PhD awarded 2014)


Our publications

Details of additional publications are available though individual member profiles, see our staff page.

Kraus, Chris (Visiting Scholar with Centre, July 2014). ‘The New Universal’ Sydney Review of Books, 17 October 2014.

Poletti, A.L, Patrick Spedding and Ros McFarlane. 2014. Australian Humanities Review issue 56. Special Issue: Revealing the Reader.

Poletti, A.L, and Julie Rak. 2014. (eds). Identity Technologies: Constructing the Self Online. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison.

Conor, L., 2013. ‘A species of rough gallantry’: Bride Capture and Settler-Colonial Print on Australian Aboriginal Gender Relations, Journal: Settler Colonial Studies, 3.1: 6-26.

Conor, L., 2013. ‘The ‘Lubra’ Type in Australian Imaginings of Aboriginal Women from 1836-1973,’ Gender and History, 25. 2.

Murray, S., 2012, The Adaptation Industry: The Cultural Economy of Contemporary Literary Adaptation, Routledge, New York US.

Poland, L., 2012, ‘1943: Nan McDonald joins Angus & Robertson’ in Telling Stories: Australian Literary Cultures 1935–2010, Eds Tania Dalziell and Paul Genoni. Melbourne, Monash University Publishing.

Do Rozario, R-A. 2012, ‘Consuming Books: Synergies of Materiality and Narrative in Picture Books,’ Children’s Literature 40: 151-66.

Conor, L., 2012. ‘The “Piccaninny”: Racialised Childhood, Disinheritance, Acquisition and Child Beauty’ Postcolonial Studies, 15.1: 45-68.

Spedding, P., Watt, P. (eds), 2011, Bawdy Songbooks of the Romantic Period (series editor), Pickering & Chatto, London United Kingdom.

Do Rozario, R-A. 2011, ‘Australia’s Fairy Tales Illustrated in Print: Instances of Indigeneity, Colonisation and Suburbanisation,’ Marvels & Tales 25,1: 13-35.

Poletti, A.L., 2011. ‘Intimate economies: Postsecret and the affect of confession,’ Biography: an interdisciplinary quarterly, 34.1: 25-36.

Do Rozario, R-A. 2009, ‘Fforde’s Book Upgrades: Downloaded Errata and Metafictional Cancellation’. Script & Print, Vol 32, No. 4.

Milner, A.J., Savage, R.I., 2008, ‘Pulped dreams: Utopia and American pulp science fiction,’ Science Fiction Studies, vol 35, issue 1, SF-TH Inc. at DePauw University, Greencastle Indiana USA, pp. 31-47.

Poland, L. and Indyk, I. ‘Rejected by America? Some Tensions in Australian–American Literary Relations’ in Reading Across the Pacific: Australian–United States Intellectual Histories, Eds Robert Dixon and Nicholas Birns, (Sydney: University of Sydney Press, 2010): 309–322.

Poletti, A.L., 2008, Intimate Ephemera: Reading Young Lives in Australian Zine Culture, Melbourne University Publishing, Carlton Vic Australia.

Murray, S.E., 2004, Mixed Media: Feminist Presses and Publishing Politics, Pluto Press, London UK. Winner of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing DeLong Book Prize, 2005.

Spedding, P., 2004, A Bibliography of Eliza Haywood, Pickering and Chatto, London UK. Winner of the Modern Languages Association Distinguished Biography Prize, 2006.

Spedding, P., Alexander, P. (eds), 2002, Eighteenth-Century British Erotica (series editor), Pickering & Chatto, London U.K..

Spedding, P. (ed), 2002, The Geography and Natural History of Mid-Eighteenth-Century Erotica (Eighteenth-Century British Erotica, Volume 3), Pickering & Chatto, London United Kingdom.