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Dr Elizabeth McMahon is a senior lecturer in the School of English at the University of New South Wales, where she also co-convenes the Women's and Gender Studies program and the Australian Studies program. Her recent research has focused on Australia's Island imaginary and the ways this colonial construction continues to play out in contemporary culture. She has also done extensive research into the rhetoric and practice of transvestism in Australian fiction and culture


On islands  

  • "The Gilded Cage: From Utopia to Monad in Australia's Island Imaginary", Islands: Histories and Representations , Eds Ross Edmond and Vanessa Smith,   London: Routledge, 2003.

  • "Encapsulated Space: The Paradise-Prison of Australia's Island Imaginary." Southerly 65:1, 2005, 20-30.

  • "Tasmanian Lilliputianism: Miniature Villages and Model Citizens on the Tourist Trail", Southerly 61:2, 2001, pp 70-84.

  • "Tasmania: Island or Archipelago; Trinket or Chain", Changing Geographies: Essays on Australia, ed Susan Ballyn et al, Centre d' Estudis Australians, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, 2001, 113-120.

  • "Wasted Memory and Generational History: Tasmania's Abandoned Places." Women Making   Time:   Contemporary Feminist Critique and   Cultural Analysis. Eds Elizabeth McMahon and Brigitta Olubas. Perth, UWA Press, 2006

Feminist Analysis

  • McMahon, E. and B. Olubas (eds) Women Making   Time:   Contemporary Feminist Critique and   Cultural Analysis. Perth, University of Western Australia Press, 2006

  • "'False as Eden': Constituting the Female Subject in Time." Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature 2005.

  • McMahon, E . (2005) " Puberty Blues takes Feminist Generationalism to the Beach." Australian Feminist Studies 2005.  

  • "The Kreutzer Sonata", Siglo12, Summer 2000.

Review Essays

  • "The Sculpture of Donna Marcus." Art Monthly 2004. pp. 29-31.

  • "Lost in Music", an essay on music and dance in Loaded and   Head On,Meanjin, July 2000.

  • "Points of Origin and Richard Flanagan's Sound of One Hand Clapping" Island 75, Winter 1998.

  • "Anthony Lawrence's Poetry" Siglo 10. Autumn 1998

  • "Richard Bladel's Transylvania",Siglo 9: Spring 1997.


  • Review of Barbara Creed, Media Matrix: Sexing the New Reality (Sydney Allen and Unwin 2004), Published in Australian Feminist Studies , January 2005 (forthcoming).

  • "Banal Fetish: A Review of Shari Benstock's Footnotes" Southern Review 35:2, 2002, p. 45.

  • Review of Michael Zavros's "Spring/Summer" exhibition (oils on board) Mori Gallery October 2001, Eyeline , (Summer 2001/2002)

  • Review of Alison Mackinnon, Love and Freedom: Professional Women and the Reshaping of Professional Life. Australian Women's Writing, a special issue of Women's Writing eds. Marie Mulvey-Roberts and Janet Todd, guest edited by Helen Thomson, Vol. 5, No. 2, 1998.


  • "Mary, Alf and Jack the Shellback: Transvestism as Adolescence in Such is Life", Notes and Furphies No 38, April/May 1997, pp 3-6.

  • "Cross-dressing cross-genre: intersections of Australian art, literature and culture", Art and Australia. March 1997, pp 372-379.

  • "Oscar Wilde in Langley's White Topee : the transvestic origins of the Australian self-made man", Southerly, Spring 1996, pp. 102-114.

  • "Transvestism and Colonial Narratives of Itinerancy and Settlement", Outskirts July 2000.

Before returning to the academy in 1990 to undertake her PhD, she worked as a commissioning editor for McGraw-Hill Book Company, where she was responsible for the academic list. She also worked as a writer and editor for government agencies such as the Independent Commission Against Corruption, Parliament of New South Wales and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission.

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