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Faculty of Arts and Design

Webb, Prof. Jen

jen webb

Professor, Creative Practice
Faculty of Arts & Design

Bldg, Floor & Room: 20, C3
Telephone: (02) 6201 2321
Facsimile: (02) 6201 2649


Jen Webb studied in South Africa, New Zealand, Canada and Australia. She had an earlier career as a tax inspector, before moving into the field of artistic production. Jen has been working as an academic since the 1990s, and publishing her poetry and fiction since the 1980s. She also produces handmade books for exhibition.

Areas of Teaching

At present, Jen's teaching is focused almost entirely on supervising PhD candidates. She has taught a range of courses in short fiction, poetry, cultural research and cultural industries, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Research Interests

Jen Webb's academic interests focus on the relationship between the field of artistic production and the wider social domain, including how representations are made in art, creative writing and other cultural texts. Previous projects have investigated the connections between creative practice and human rights; globalisation; and the links between creative practice and scholarship.

This research has resulted in a variety of outputs, both creative and critical. Books include titles on the works of Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu, and on the topics of globalization, visual culture and representation, as well as the collection of poems, Proverbs from Sierra Leone (Five Islands Press, 2004) and the short story collection Ways of Getting By (Ginninderra Press, 2006). Her academic essays, articles and reviews, and her poems and short stories, have been widely published in Australia and overseas. Jen is currently writing a book titled Understanding the Body (with Dr Jordan Williams, for Sage Publishers), and Research Methods in Creative Writing, for P&H Press.

Current Research Projects

  • with Dr Paul Magee (UC) and Professor Kevin Brophy (University of Melbourne): the links between creative practice and knowledge, with particular attention to poetry, and to how poets approach the joint questions of knowledge and prosody
  • with Dr Caroline Turner (ANU): art and human rights in Asia: with a particular focus on the post-11 September 2001 world
  • with Professor Donna Lee Brien (CQU) and Dr Sandra Burr (UC): examination practice in creative arts doctoral studies

Jen is also editor (with Assoc Prof Paul Hetherington, UC) of the journal Axon: Creative Explorations; and (with Tony Schirato, Victoria University, Wellington) of the Sage book series Understanding Contemporary Culture.

Qualifications Obtained

  • BA (Hons) in cultural theory
  • PhD in cultural theory (art and society, CQU)
  • DCA in writing (creativity and embodiment, UTS)
  • Currently enrolled in a Master of Research Management and Commercialisation (QUT)

Recent Publications


  • G Danaher, T Schirato and Webb, J. (2012) Foucault: a Critical Introduction, Allen & Unwin: Sydney and London: Sage; xxviii+208pp
  • Webb, J. (2009) Understanding Representation, London: Sage; viii+164pp
  • T Schirato and
  • Webb, J. (2008) Reading the Visual; in Korean translation, Hannarae Publishing, Seoul

Book Chapters

  • Webb, J. (2012) 'Creativity and the marketplace', in D Hecq (ed), The creativity market: creative writing in the 21st century, Multilingual Matters, Bristol: 40-53
  • Webb, J. and DL Brien (2011) 'Resolving the ancient quarrel: Creative writing as research', invited essay for Michael Biggs & Henrik Karlsson (eds), The Routledge Companion to Research in the Arts, Routledge, London: 186-203
  • T Schirato and Webb, J. (2010), 'Inside/outside: ways of seeing the world', invited essay for Emma Waterton and Steve Watson (eds), Culture, Heritage and Representations: Perspectives on Visuality and the Past, Ashgate, Farnham: 19-37
  • DL Brien and Webb, J. (2008) 'Envisioning change: Quality and creative arts in Australian universities' in J McConachie, M Singh, P Danaher, F Nouwens and G Danaher (eds), Changing University Learning and Teaching: Engaging and Mobilising Leadership, Quality and Technology, Post Pressed, Teneriffe: 167-86

Journal Articles

  • Webb, J. and D Traub (2012) 'Art, design and the domestic. David Traub in conversation with Jen Webb', Axon 3
  • J Kroll and Webb, J. (2012) 'Policies and Practicalities: Examining the Creative Writing Doctorate', New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing 9.2: 166-78
  • Webb, J. (2012) 'Seeing, doing, knowing: Poetry and the pursuit of knowledge', Creativity: Cognitive, social and cultural perspectives TEXT Special Issue 13 (April)
  • Webb, J. and M Rosen (2012) 'Killing the conceptual: Knowing, research, and poetry for children. A conversation between Michael Rosen and Jen Webb', TEXT 16.1
  • D Brien, M Freiman, J Kroll, Webb, J. (2011), 'The Australasian Association of Writing Programs 1996–2011', New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing. Special Issue Making Connections: Creative Writing in the 21st Century: 238-63
  • Webb, J., D Brien and S Burr (2011), 'Leading the leaders: enhancing the examination of creative arts doctoral degrees', Leadership in the Creative Arts in the Academy: TEXT Special Issue 12 (October)
  • A Melrose and Webb, J. (2011) 'Intimacy and the Icarus Effect', Axon: creative explorations 1.1 (August)
  • P Gross and Webb, J. (2011) 'Poetry and knowledge: a conversation', Axon: creative explorations 1.1 (August)
  • Webb, J. (2011) 'Fiction and Testimony in Don DeLillo's Falling Man', Life Writing 8.1: 53-67
  • D Brien, S Burr and Webb, J. (2010) '"Dispirited, often ineffectual, and in some respects corrupt"?: Re-assessing 'the invisible hand' of peer review', Creative and practice-led research: current status, future plans: TEXT Special Issue 8, October
  • Webb, J. (2010) 'Writing a menu: the politics of food choice', in Re-writing the Menu: the cultural dynamics of contemporary food choices, TEXT Special Issue 9
  • Webb, J. (2010) 'Thinking about Icarus', TEXT Special Issue 7, October
  • Webb, J. (2010) 'Distant context, local colour: Australian "post September 11" fiction', in JASAL Special Issue: Common Readers and Cultural Critics
  • Webb, J. (2009) 'The book objects: writing and performance', Journal of Writing in Creative Practice 2.1: 27-44 (new journal; unranked)
  • Webb, J. (2009) 'Who is Kevin and why do we need to talk about him? Lionel Shriver, Kevin and the problem of representation', Australian Literary Studies Special Issue: Manifesting Literary Feminisms 24.3: 133-43 (ERA rank A)
  • Webb, J. (2009) 'Sentences from the archives', Performance Paradigm #5.1 (May) (ERA rank A)

Conference Publications

  • D Brien, S Burr and Webb, J. (2011) 'Ethical examiners: authority, power and the ethics of examination', in the proceedings of Ethical Imaginations: Writing Worlds, 16th conference of the AAWP
  • Webb, J. (2011) 'Ethics, writing and splinters in the heart', in the proceedings of Ethical Imaginations: Writing Worlds, 16th conference of the AAWP
  • Webb, J. (2010) 'Good to think with': words, knowing and doing' in the proceedings of Strange Bedfellows or Perfect Partners: The role of Literary Studies in Creative Writing programs, 15th conference of the AAWP
  • Webb, J. (2010) 'Critical and creative tendencies: About Naucrate', in the proceedings of Strange Bedfellows or Perfect Partners: The role of Literary Studies in Creative Writing programs, 15th conference of the AAWP (contribution to an international panel titled 'Icarus Extended')
  • Webb, J. (2009) 'Poetry and knowing', Margins and Mainstreams: Refereed conference papers of the 14th Annual AAWP Conference

Creative Works

  • Webb, J. (2012) 'From: Four Cities: 3. On George Street', in J Tranter (ed), The Best Australian Poems 2012, Melbourne: Black Inc, p8 (poetry)
  • L Webb and Webb, J. (2011), curated exhibition with catalogue, Making worlds, at Edith Gallery, Whanganui New Zealand, June-July
  • Webb, J. (2006) Ways of Getting By, Canberra: Ginninderra Press [collection of short fictions]
  • Webb, J. (2011) 'Painting the room', in L Webb and Webb, J., Making Worlds (exhibition catalogue), Edith Gallery, Whanganui (poetry)
  • Webb, J. (2011) 'Skin and seeds', in Chaco Kato, Pulp fiction (catalogue and artist book with poetry), Craft Victoria 2011
  • Webb, J. (2011) 'What we forget', 7 handmade story-boxes with photos and text, and with catalogue/origami book, in Creative practice, Belconnen Arts Centre, July-August
  • Webb, J.  (2010) 'Outside Euclid's box', 'Wednesday morning', 'Bête á chagrin', Mascara Literary Review 8, (poetry)
  • Webb, J. (2009) 'A book of stones, a book of air', handmade 'books' with photos and text, in Down to Earth exhibition, Canberra, May; and in Signature, Australian National Capital Artists gallery, August
  • Webb, J. (2008) 'At the end of everything', handmade book with photos and text, in NARRATIVE exhibition, Design Gallery, Canberra, April


External research funding

  • 2011: ALTC Priority Projects: 'Examination of doctoral degrees in creative arts: process, practice and standards' (with Prof D Brien, CQU)
  • 2008: The Carrick Institute Competitive Grants Program: 'Australian Writing Programs Network'; (with DL Brien, UNE, and A Bruns, QUT)
  • 2004-2007: ARC International Linkage Grant 'Urban Imaginaries / Cultural Landscapes: Asia-Pacific Transnational and Cross-Cultural Research Collaboration' (with C Turner, I McCalman and A Shoemaker, ANU, and M Morris, Lingnan University)
  • 2004-2007: ARC Discovery Grant 'Art and Human Rights: the Limits of Tolerance' (with C Turner, ANU, P Hoffie, Griffith University, and M Neale, NMA)


  • Vice-Chancellor's Award for Research in the Humanities and Creative Arts (2010)
  • Vice-Chancellor's Award for Research Excellence: Research Training (2009)