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Nandan, Prof. Satendra

Nandan, Satendra

Emeritus Professor
Centre for Creative & Cultural Research
Faculty of Arts & Design

Bldg, Floor & Room: 20, C33
Telephone: (02) 6201 2562
Facsimile: (02) 6201 5999

Professor Satendra Nandan is a writer-academic and a former parliamentarian and cabinet minister in Fiji.  He was in active politics in from June 1978 - May 1987.  In 1982, he was appointed the shadow minister for Education, Youth & Sports. In 1987, he became the Minister for Health, Social Welfare & Women’s Affairs in Bavadra Coalition cabinet. After the two coups in 1987, he came in December to Canberra as a Fellow to The Humanities Research Centre at the ANU. He returned to Fiji in February 2005 and has made significant contributions to the building of a New Fiji through the Peoples Charter and tertiary education.

In March 2012 he was appointed a Commissioner to the Constitution Commission of Fiji to help draft a new democratic Constitution for Fiji Elections to be held in September 2014. The Commission presented the Draft Constitution to the President of the Republic of Fiji on 21 December, 2012. He returned to Canberra in January2013 and joined the  Centre for Creative and Cultural Research in the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra.

In December 2005, he resigned his Professorship at the University of Canberra to help establish The University of Fiji for the poor: he was the University’s Foundation Dean and Professor, The School of Humanities and the Arts until February 2012. Before accepting the invitation to join The University of Fiji in February 2005, Satendra Nandan was Professor of English and Commonwealth Studies and Director of the University Centre for Writing at the University of Canberra. He was an Adjunct Professor at the ARC-funded Commonwealth Special Centre for Professional Ethics and Applied Philosophy, ANU, CSU and the University of Melbourne and the Research School of Humanities, ANU. He also served as the elected international Chair of the Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (ACLALS), the largest tertiary association of English Studies in the Commonwealth, with a dozen regional branches world-wide including in the US and Europe and was the Foundation President of International PEN, ACT, for over a decade. In April he was appointed an International Board Member, the European Centre for International Study of Literatures in English, CISLE, at the University of Innsbruck, Austria.

In December 2005 Satendra Nandan was awarded Professor Emeritus from The University of Canberra. On February 11, 2005, Professor Nandan was a recipient of a special award for excellence for his services to the University by the Chancellor, Ms Wendy McCarthy, AO. He’s also an Adjunct Professor at CAPPE, CSU and Melbourne.

Born in Nadi, Fiji, Satendra has studied under various scholarships and fellowships, at the universities of Delhi, Leeds, London and the ANU where he completed his doctoral thesis on ‘The Image of the Artist in the Fiction of Patrick White’ in 1977, thus becoming the first person to complete a PhD in English from the South Pacific. Professor Nandan is an award-winning writer and his publications include more than 15 books and numerous papers and articles on a variety of subjects; his books include: India-Fiji: Experiences to Remember, co-edited and published on January 10, 2013, Beyond Paradise, Between the Lines The Loneliness of Islands. Fiji: Paradise in Pieces and The Wounded Sea. He is working on a novel set in Fiji, Australia and India. His new book of short stories Sea Shells on the Seashore will be launched in Canberra in September 2013.

He has held visiting fellowships at several institutions including the Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla; Churchill College, Cambridge; Warwick University; University of London; Cumberland Lodge, Windsor; Wadham College, Oxford.  He has travelled widely to give lectures and readings in the South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Africa, India, England, Scotland, Austria, Turkey, Spain, Canada, Jamaica and the US.

As the Foundation President of the Canberra Branch of International PEN, he was actively involved in human rights issues especially in the Asia-Australia-Pacific region. He has been elected Executive Member of the Canberra Word Festival, and was appointed a member of the ACT Cultural Council and chaired its Literature Committee. He is a regional Vice-President of the Asian Association for the Study of Australasia (AASA) and an active member of the Indian Association for the Study of Australasia (IASA) and was Executive member of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL). He has also been a judge for the Commonwealth Literature Prize for Fiction. He’s also an Executive Board Member of APWP.

As a public intellectual and writer, he has read and commented on international media, including the ABC, the BBC, the FBC, NZBC, STAR, and Doordarshan, and written for many magazines and newspapers, locally and internationally.

Satendra Nandan is married to Associate Professor Dr Jyoti Nandan. They have three children: Rohan, Gitanjali and Kavita.

  • BA (Hons), BEd (Delhi)
  • MA Linguistics & ELT
  • MA Commonwealth Lit & American Drama (Leeds)
  • Cert Uni Teaching (London)
  • PhD English (ANU)

Selected publications

  • Nandan, Satendra P. (2010). Beyond paradise: rights of passage. Pacific Writing Forum, USP in association with Ivy Press International: Suva, Fiji.
  • Nandan, Satendra P.(2009). Between the lines: selected prose, 1978-2008, Pacific Writing Forum, USP in association with Ivy Press International, USP: Suva, Fiji.
  • Nandan, Satendra P. (2002). Silverfish new writing 2: An anthology of stories from Malaysia, Singapore and beyond. Silverfishbooks.
  • Nandan, Satendra P. (2001). Requiem for a Rainbow. Pacific Indian Publications, Canberra.
  • Nandan, Satendra P. (2000). Fiji: Paradise in Pieces. Flinders University. ISBN 0-7258-0853-5.
  • Nandan, Satendra P. (1997). Lines across black waters. Centre for Research in the New Literatures in English, Adelaide. ISBN 0-7258-0589-X 0-85174-111-8.
  • Nandan, Satendra P. (1991). Faces in a village: Poetry from Fiji. Simon & Schuster, Sydney. ISBN 0-7318-0202-0.
  • Nandan, Satendra P. (1977). The Wounded Sea. Viti Publishers. ASIN: B0007AP8KU.