AuSI welcomes Visiting Fellow: Dr Laura Fish

Dr Laura Fish
Thursday 23 May 2024

The ANU Australian Studies Institute (AuSI) warmly welcomes Dr Laura Fish, our final Visiting Fellow from the 2023–24 Visiting Fellowship Program. Laura is visiting ANU from the UK’s Northumbria University. Her Fellowship project, The Past We Share, explores approaches for combining traditional First Nations storytelling practices and non-linear narrative structures with contemporary writing techniques.

Laura’s engagement with Indigenous Australian literature stretches as far back as the early nineties. Her first novel, Flight of Black Swans (1995), tells the story of a young Englishwoman's journey into the remote region of Kimberley, North-Western Australia, and the rare insights offered to her from interaction with Aboriginal stockmen.

More recently, Laura’s collaborative project, ‘When Words Fail Us’ Expressing the Unspeakable: The Other Side of Me, combines contemporary and traditional Indigenous Australian dance with written words and includes themes of cultural and personal dispossession in colonial Australia.

Laura’s Fellowship at ANU will build on her existing work to contribute to global discourse on dislocation and social and criminal justice, and further her research into creating spaces to retell and reinterpret stories of personal and intergenerational trauma.

“The Fellowship is valuable for deepening my research into how First Nations Australian Storytelling – written, oral, dance, song - can open up innovative and co-creative spaces for individual and communal voices, lost, muted, or silenced by colonial power structures, to be heard and re-experienced.

I hope to establish relations with the community of distinguished ANU academics and scholars whose specialisms resonate with mine, to expand my transnational collaborations in decolonial practice and to develop my main project of producing an enhanced toolkit to facilitate storytelling processes for remembering and recording “the past as filtered through the present” (Arnfield 2021).”

- Dr Laura Fish, Visiting Fellow, ANU Australian Studies Institute

Dr Laura Fish is an award-winning writer of Caribbean heritage. She is a graduate of the MA in Creative Writing programme at UEA in 2002; she was awarded a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing from UEA in 2007.

Laura is a Fellow of the Iowa International Writers Programme and has held posts as a Creative Writing tutor at St Andrews University, University of Western Cape, University of East Anglia, and Newcastle University, where she was the RCUK Academic Fellow in Creative Writing 2007–2013.

Laura has over 10 years’ experience with BBC in broadcast television and radio in news, current affairs, features, and light entertainment. She has been invited to read from and talk about her work internationally.

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