The Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences works with a wide range of academics and professionals to achieve its goals. Below are the short biographies of our program coordinators and key staff.
Professor Denise Varney
Denise Varney is the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at The University of Melbourne. She was Deputy Dean from 2016-2017, and has been co-director of the Australian Centre. Her research areas include modern Australian theatre, modern and contemporary drama and feminist criticism and performance. Denise has served as co-convenor of the Feminist Research Working Group of the International Federation for Theatre Research (2010-2015), Senior Reviews Editor for Theatre Research International and is the Australian Drama Series Editor for Brill Scholarly Press, Amsterdam.
Associate Professor Kate MacNeill
Associate Professor MacNeill is Director of the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Associate Dean (Graduate Studies) in the Faculty of Arts. She continues to teach in the Master of Arts and Cultural Management program, in the School of Culture and Communication. With a background in law and economics she had extensive experience in policy work in the government and non-government sector prior to returning to study art history, and obtaining a PhD in Art History (Identity and contemporary Australian art). Her research interests include the intersection between law and artistic practice (in particular cultures of intellectual property and censorship), leadership in the arts and cultural sector, and ethics and creative practices.
Associate Professor Timothy Lynch
Associate Professor Timothy Lynch is the former Director of the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences (2013-2017). A Fulbright scholar, he holds a PhD in political science from Boston College, Massachusetts. He is the author of Turf War: The Clinton Administration and Northern Ireland and co-author of the best-selling After Bush: The Case for Continuity in American Foreign Policy, which won the Richard Neustadt Book Prize. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the new two-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of American Military and Diplomatic History. Tim is a regular commentator for Sky News and ABC TV and radio in Australia, the BBC and Al Jazeera in the UK, and C-SPAN and NPR in the US. His editorials have appeared in The Age, the Guardian, the Herald Sun, and the Wall Street Journal.
Associate Professor Sara Wills
Associate Professor Sara Wills is Course Coordinator for the Executive Master of Arts. She is also Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and a lecturer of Australian Studies. Sara teaches in an inter-disciplinary context, and values humanities and social science approaches in the Arts. Her research interests include migration studies and history.
Associate Professor Alison Inglis
Associate Professor Alison Inglis is a graduate of the Art History Department of the University of Melbourne and has coordinated the Master of Art Curatorship since 1995. She has been a co-curator of 3 exhibitions and a member of several museum boards, including the Board of Heide Museum of Modern Art, the Management Committee of the Duldig Studio and the Donald Thomson Collection Committee of the Melbourne Museum.
Professor Robyn Sloggett
Professor Robyn Sloggett is Director of the University’s Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation and Head of the Master of Cultural Materials Conservation, which is the only professional postgraduate conservation programme in the Australasia-Pacific region. As Deputy Director of the Ian Potter Museum of Art, she developed research programs in conjunction with the Faculty of Science and Faculty of Arts that linked the scientific analysis of art and archival material with art historical analysis and collection management.
Dr Grant Caldwell
Dr Grant Caldwell has been teaching Creative Writing at the University since 1995. He has received 2 Australia Council Established Writer Fellowships, and two Arts Victoria Grants. His books have been nominated for The Age Book of the Year Award, and a Human Rights Award. He has had 8 books published, 6 collections of poetry, a novel and a collection of short stories. His work has been translated into Bengali, Japanese, Spanish and Arabic.
Dr David Nolan
Dr David Nolan is a Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications. His research investigates how the social role of media institutions and practitioners is socially defined, the impact on institutional and social politics and the consequences for particular subjects and populations. His most recent research initiative was an Australian Research Council funded Linkage Project centred on the media treatment and communications needs of Sudanese Australians.
Dr Margaret Simons
Dr Margaret Simons is an award-winning freelance journalist and author. She is the Director of the Centre for Advanced Journalism and Course Coordinator for the Masters in Journalism. She has published many books, including Malcolm Fraser: The Political Memoirs, co-authored with Malcolm Fraser, which won both the Book of the Year and the Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction at the NSW Premier's Literary Awards in 2011.
Associate Professor Mark Davis
Associate Professor Mark Davis has been involved in the Publishing and Communications program since 2004. Prior to joining academia full time, he spent over two decades working as a designer and production manager in the magazine and book publishing industries, twice winning national awards for book design. His research interests include globalisation and modernity, Australian public culture, and the history of media theories.
Associate Professor Paul Gruba
Associate Professor Paul Gruba first taught English as a second language as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali in 1983. Since then, he has taught in Japan and studied at UCLA, where he completed a doctorate on the role of video in second language listening. He is especially keen to supervise research that examines the role of technology and new media in second language learning, specifically in aspects of blended language learning, second language listening comprehension and new media and language assessment.
Associate Professor Christopher Cordner
Associate Professor Christopher Cordner is Course Coordinator of the Master of Arts (Professional and Applied Ethics) and Deputy Head of the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies. He was a member of the Australian Health Ethics Committee, a principal committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, for 9 years. He has also chaired the joint working party overseeing the revision of Australia's national guidelines for research ethics in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research.
Professor Paul Smyth
Professor Paul Smyth is Course Coordinator for the Master of Social Policy. His research and teaching are centred around contemporary Australian social policy, local governance and national and international perspectives on social inclusion. He has worked with the Brotherhood of St Laurence and is interested in the role of the community sector in Australian welfare, collaborative governance, social exclusion and ethical solutions.
Professor Raimond Gaita
Raimond Gaita is Professorial Fellow in the Melbourne Law School and The Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne and Professor Emeritus of Moral Philosophy at King's College London. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. In 2009 the University of Antwerp awarded Gaita the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa “for his exceptional contribution to contemporary moral philosophy and for his singular contribution the role of the intellectual in today’s academic world”.