‘5 Ways Hogwarts helps us to understand Foucault’s “Docile Bodies”‘ is published

My chapter on understanding Foucault’s concept of the school in Discipline and Punish through the Hogwarts School in the Harry Potter books has been published in a collected edition on  Unlocking Social Theory with Popular Culture, Remixing Theoretical Influencers, edited by Naomi Barnes and Alison Bedford for Springer.

If you have an institutional library log in, you can download the chapter here.

Level Up your Essays published

How to Fix your Academic Writing Trouble but for undergraduates. A one-stop slim guide to understanding what lectures want and how to get the grades you are putting in the work for.

Written with the Thesis Whisperer, Inger Mewburn, and Shaun Lehmann, this beautifully produced book has been incredibly popular with high school students, first year university students and postgrads.

Available as an ebook or paperback from or major outlets, or via this link.

Listen to me being interviewed about the book on the New Books Network Podcast.

Your PhD Survival Guide published

Your PhD Survival Guide: Planning, Writing, and Succeeding in your Final Year was published by Routledge in ebook, paperback and hardback in December 2020.

Written with Liam Connell and Peta Freestone, the award-winning team behind Thesis Boot Camp, this publication can be called ‘Thesis Boot Camp in a book’.

Available via all major retailers, or this link.

Your PhD Survival Guide coming in December 2020

Accessible, insightful and a must-have toolkit for all final year doctoral students, the founders of the ‘Thesis Boot Camp’ intensive writing programme show how to survive and thrive through the challenging final year of writing and submitting a thesis.

Drawing on an understanding of the intellectual, professional, practical and personal elements of the doctorate to help readers gain insight into what it means to finish a PhD and how to get there, this book covers the common challenges and ways to resolve them. It includes advice on: 

  • Project management skills to plan, track, iterate and report on the complex task of bringing a multi-year research project to a successful close 
  • Personal effectiveness and self-care to support students to thrive in body, mind and relationships, including challenging supervisor relationships. 
  • The successful ‘generative’ writing processes which get writers into the zone and producing thousands of words; and then provides the skills to structure and polish those words to publishable quality. 
  • What it means to survive a PhD and consider multiple possible futures. 

Written for students in all disciplines, and relevant to university systems around the world, this unique book expertly guides students through the final 6–12 months of the thesis.

Pre-orders are now available from Routledge and all online booksellers.

Talking about music and life on ‘Reflections’ on 3MBS Radio

It was an absolute pleasure to sit down with Ted Davies (and producer Frank Prain) to listen to music from Tori Amos, through Britten and Bach, to works setting my words to music by Andrew Schultz, Micheal Leighton Jones and Peter Campbell.

You can tune in on 28 April at 4pm, or listen again online later.

Reflections is a weekly interview program that explores the life and achievements of an eminent local, national or international personality and includes fine music from our guest’s personal selection of favourites.

The program is broadcast each Sunday at 4pm and repeated at 3pm the following Friday.

Sunday 28 April – Dr Katherine Firth – poet and librettist

‘Bethlehem without a sound’ premièred at Christ Church South Yarra

A new carol-motet, commissioned by the Christ Church Music Foundation, with music by Melbourne-based composer Daniel Riley was first performed at Christ Church, South Yarra, on 16 December 2018 as part of their Carol Service.

The commissions was for a carol which spoke to the Australian setting, and I have therefore included references to lyrebirds and the gold rush, a loose translation from Dante’s Purgatorio in which he imagines the southern hemisphere ocean, and allusions to terra nullius and climate change. Nonetheless, Riley’s bejewelled setting and dynamic rhythms deliver the work as a glittering modern addition to the repertoire.

The newly written words for the commission can also be sung to Mathias’ setting of ‘A babe is born’ for congregational use.

Award for innovation

Here is the citation for the Student Success Staff Award for Outstanding Contribution to Innovation, which I was presented in December 2018.

Since joining the team, Katherine has demonstrated an innovative and inclusive approach to everything she has done. With very short time-frames Katherine negotiated spaces for each Learning Hub and for the Maths Hub at Bundoora while drawing together separate teams into one cohesive unit.

Katherine also successfully streamlined the processes of the team and is currently working on evaluation. One example of Katherine’s innovation involved identifying and negotiating an alternate space for the Hub due to the original’s unsuitability. Katherine was able to work with stakeholders to shift and set up operations within the space of a week.

It was an incredible honour to have the work in the Learning Hub recognised, alongside award for the Peer Learning Leaders for ‘Going the Extra Mile’ and Dr Pam Delly, Student Learning, for ‘Collaboration’.