Contacts

Ika WillisDr Ika Willis

BA Classics (Oxford University, UK), MA PhD Cultural Studies (University of Leeds, UK)

Location; 19.1081
Phone: +61 2 4239 2513
Email: ikaw@uow.edu.au

Biography

Ika came to Wollongong in 2013 after seven years as Lecturer in Reception at the University of Bristol in the UK. Her research interests are mainly in literary theory, including post-structuralism, semiotics and deconstruction, and feminist, queer and trans theory. She is especially interested in reception theory – how readers make sense of texts, but also how we appropriate, rewrite and remix them for our own purposes. She especially likes making connections between texts widely separate in time and/or genre, and has written and published on texts from Virgil’s Aeneid and Dante’s Divine Comedy through Melissa Lukashenko’s Hard Yards to Xena: Warrior Princess and contemporary fan fiction.

Research Interests

  • Reception theory
  • Reading and/as rewriting
  • Subjective, affective, and situated reading
  • Classical reception in English literature and popular culture
  • Fan fiction as transformative work
  • Literary theory, especially deconstruction, semiotics and post- structuralism
  • Feminist, queer and trans theory
  • Time and temporality

Current Research Projects

Ika is currently working on an introduction to reception theory, whose working title is What We Talk About When We Talk About Books;  (with Dr Alexandra Wardrop) a co-edited collection of essays on the ethics and erotics of reception; and a project on Roland Barthes’ erotic investment in the figure of the author.

selected Publications

Searchable RIS publications from 2000 to date

Potential topics for HDR & Honours Supervision:

I would be interested in supervising any topics related to reception theory, particularly in the areas of Classical reception, fan studies, and subjective, affective, situated and/or embodied reception. I would also be interested in supervising topics with feminist, queer and/or trans dimensions.

Books:

Now and Rome: Lucan and Vergil as Theorists of Politics and Space (Continuum, 2011)

Papers and book chapters:

 ‘iam tum (nowthenalready): Latin Epic and the Post-Historical’, Cultural Critique 74 (Winter 2010), pp.51-64 

 ‘Eros in the age of technical reproductibility: Socrates, plato and the erotics of filiation’, in Miriam Leonard (ed), Derrida and Antiquity (Oxford University Press, 2010), pp342-69.

‘Slash as queer utopia’, Queer Space: Centres and Peripheries (University of Technology, Sydney, 2007), online at

‘Keeping Promises to Queer Children: Making Space (for Mary-Sue) at Hogwarts’, in Karen Hellekson and Kristina Busse (eds), Rethinking Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Internet Age (McFarland, 2006), pp.153-70.

Selected conference and invited seminar papers:

  • 'To Receive is Sometimes Neutral, or, Joyce, No!', (keynote) at the conference To Receive is Never Neutral, University of Bristol, September 2011. 
  • 'Transgender Identification: Slash Fiction and the Erotics of Reception', Gender Studies seminar, University of Melbourne, March 2012. 
  • ‘Loving Vergil: Reading, Writing, and History’s Queer Touch’, at the conference From Sappho to X, Monash University, August 2010 
  • ‘Writers Who Put Themselves in the Story: Roland Barthes, Dante Alghieri, Lieutenant Mary-Sue and Me’, at the conference Desiring the Text, Touching the Past: Towards an Erotics of Reception, University of Bristol, July 2010. 
  • ‘Vergil on the Telephone’, at the conference Text/Performance, University of Oxford, September 2009. 
  • ‘Doctor Who and the Fires of Pompeii’, Classical Association of Victoria, Australia, July 2009. 
  •  ‘ “Mum’s a silly fusspot”: the queering of family in Diana Wynne Jones’, at the conference Diana Wynne Jones: A Conference, University of the West of England, July 2009. 
  • '(Never) Brought Home: Ethnic and Narrative Closure in Daniel Deronda and Melissa Lukashenko's Hard Yards', at the conference Reading Daniel Deronda, University of Bristol, August 2007.

Potential topics for HDR & Honours Supervision:

I would be interested in supervising any topics related to reception theory, particularly in the areas of Classical reception, fan studies, and subjective, affective, situated and/or embodied reception. I would also be interested in supervising topics with feminist, queer and/or trans dimensions.

Research students:

I have supervised five students to successful completion of HDRs:

MPhil:

  • Lynda Nichols, with a thesis on Bakhtinian dialogism in Young Adult literature Natalie Jones, with a psychoanalytical reading of Geoff Ryman’s Was
  • Ellen Kirkpatrick, with a thesis on superhero cosplay as embodied reception/identity practice

PhD:

  • Jacqueline Shead, with a thesis on Margaret Atwood’s transformations of crime writing Robert Crowe, with a thesis on Penguin and the democratization of the Classics

I am currently supervising two PhD students:

  • Elaine O’Sullivan, with a thesis on the uncanny and spectrality in performance re-enactment (University of Bristol).
  • Dion McLeod, with a thesis on queer villains in Disney films (University of Wollongong)

Competitive research funding:

  • Co-Investigator on the Penguin Archive Project (a four-year project funded by the AHRC at Bristol University)
Last reviewed: 2 December, 2016