Literary fiction and genre fiction, especially Australian
Beth Driscoll is Senior Lecturer in Publishing, Communications and Arts Management at the University of Melbourne. Her research investigates contemporary cultures of reading, publishing and writing. Her monograph, "The New Literary Middlebrow: Tastemakers and Reading in the Twenty-First Century" (Palgrave Macmillan 2014) presents research into contemporary forms of middlebrow literary culture including Oprah's Book Club, the Man Booker Prize and literary festivals.
Beth is a Chief Investigator on two ARC Discovery Projects. "Genre Worlds: Australian Popular Fiction in the Twenty-First Century" (with Dr Kim Wilkins and Prof David Carter, UQ, and Dr Lisa Fletcher, UTas) runs from 2016 to 2019 and offers the first systematic examination of 21st-century Australian popular fiction, the most significant growth area in Australian trade publishing since the turn of the century. Its three areas of investigation are: the publishing of Australian popular fiction; the interrelationships between Australian popular fiction and Australian genre communities; and the textual distinctiveness of Australian popular novels in relation to genre. Research centres on thirty novels across three genres, building a comprehensive picture of the practices and processes of Australian popular fiction through detailed examination of trade data, close reading of texts, and interviews with industry figures.
"New Tastemakers and Australia's Post-Digital Literary Culture" (with A/Prof Mark Davis and Dr Sybil Nolan, University of Melbourne, and Dr Emmett Stinson, Deakin University) runs from 2017-2019. It investigates the effect of digital technologies on taste-making in Australian literary culture. The project examines how digital media and platforms such as eBooks, Twitter, Goodreads and Amazon reviews have changed how Australian literature is produced, distributed and consumed, and what this means for the future of Australian literature.
'A Novel Cure: The Health and Well-being Outcomes of Creative Practices in Ageing’, Melbourne Social Equity Institute Seeding Grant (collaborative), 2015.
'The Dynamics of Social Media Communities: Participation, Facilitation and Communication', School of Culture and Communication Incubator Grant (collaborative), 2015.
'The Genre World of Romance in 21st Century Australia', Romance Writers of America Academic Grant (collaborative), 2015
'Methods, Models and Meaning: Researching Digital Archives and Datasets in Arts and Humanities’, Faculty of Arts Research Grant (collaborative), University of Melbourne, 2013
'Booktowns and Cities of Literature: The Impacts of Literary Networks’, Faculty of Arts Research Grant, University of Melbourne, 2013
'Audiences of the Melbourne Writers Festival: 2010-2012’, Faculty of Arts Research Grant, University of Melbourne, 2013
Australian Postgraduate Award, 2005
Education and training
University of Melbourne 2010
Australian National University 2005
Australian National University 2002
Available for supervision
I am interested in supervising work on literary culture and its institutions, readers and reading practices, contemporary publishing including the publishing of genre fiction.