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About Dr Francesca Haig

Francesca is a poet and novelist. She joined the Department in 2007 after completing a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Hons) and a PhD at the University of Melbourne, where she also tutored in Film Studies and Creative Writing.


Francesca visits the department periodically to contribute on a range of modules, on the BA Creative Writing (combined honours), the MA in Creative Writing and the MA Modern and Contemporary Fiction.



Creative writing:

Francesca’s first novel, The Fire Sermon, a post-apocalyptic novel with elements of fantasy and science fiction, was published by HarperVoyager (UK) and Simon & Schuster (USA) in 2015. The film rights to The Fire Sermon have been optioned by DreamWorks film studio, and translation rights to the series have also been sold in more than twenty countries. The sequel, The Map of Bonesis published in 2016, with the third book in the trilogy to follow in 2017.

Francesca's poems and prose have been published in various national and international journals, including Agenda, Anon, Orbis, Blue Dog, Overland, Famous Reporter and Flash, and her poetry is included in the anthology Motherlode: Australian Women's Poetry, 1986-2008 (Puncher & Wattman, 2009).

Her first poetry collection, Bodies of Water, was published in 2006 (Five Islands Press) and was Highly Commended in the Anne Elder Award for the best first book of poetry in Australia.In 2010 she was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship, and  in 2011 she was Runner Up in the Yorkshire Open Poetry Contest . She is currently working on her second collection of poetry.

Francesca has been invited to read and discuss her work at a range of events, including Cheltenham Literature Festival (2015); LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival (2016); YALC (2015); NineWolrds (2015); Gladfest (2014); Cheltenham Poetry Festival (2013); Chester Literature Festival (2009); Australian Poetry Centre launch (2007); Melbourne Emerging Writers Festival (2006); Tasmanian Living Writers' Week (2006); Melbourne Writers Festival (2001).

Academic Research:

Francesca has published articles on subjects ranging from pseudoscience to Shakespeare, but her main research area is the ethics and poetics of the contemporary historical novel.  She also specialises in Holocaust literature.


Published Work

Journal issues edited:

Modernism/Modernity Special issue: Holocaust Representations Since 1975. Vol. 20, Issue 1 (January 2013).

Recent  articles, chapters, essays, and reviews:

‘“Billows of ash”: Cormac McCarthy’s Road Back to Auschwitz’, in Apocalyptic Discourse in Contemporary Culture: Post-Millennial Perspectives of the End of the World, ed. Monica Germana and Aris Mousoutzanis (London: Routledge, 2014)

‘Guilty pleasures: Twlight, snark and ironic fandom’ in Screening Twilight: Contemporary Cinematic Approaches, ed. Sarah Harman and Wickham Clayton (London: I.B. Tauris, 2014)

'Introduction', Modernism/Modernity Special issue: Holocaust Representations Since 1975. Vol. 20, Issue 1 (January 2013), 1-13.

 Kim Scott's Benang: Pseudoscience and Colonial Australia', ELN 47.1 December 2009.

‘"Need is not quite belief" - the liminal space of Anne Sexton's engagement with language', Philament, vol. 9, December 2006

‘Something is Rotten in Blue Velvet ... An Exploration of David Lynch's Blue Velvet via Shakespeare's Hamlet', Traffic vol. 8, November 2006.

'Developing skills in teaching and learning', Academy Exchange (no. 8, August 2009)

Review of The Flash (ed. Peter Wild), Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine (vol. 1.1, October 2008)

Selected conference papers:

 'Diets, haircuts and deathcamps: the contested mother of Lily and Doris Brett.' The Writing Mothers/Daughters: 1780-2012 conference, Newman University College, 28th June 2012

 '“Billows of ash”: Cormac McCarthy’s Road Back to Auschwitz’,The Apocalypse and its Discontents conference, The University of Westminster, 11-12th December 2010

 'Guilty Pleasures: Twilight, snark, and ironic fandom’, Vegetarians, VILFs and Fang-Bangers: Modern Vampire Romance in print and on screen conference, De Montfort University, 24th November 2010

 'Children in Holocaust fiction: uncertain witnesses', Holocaust Representations Since 1975 conference, The University of Chester, 18th September 2009

‘Silent witness: the competing demands on contemporary historical fiction' Silence conference, The University of Hull, 10th May 2008

 ‘Appropriation after Auschwitz: the ethical dilemma of historical fiction,' Cultural Borrowings: Appropriation, Reworking and Transformation conference, The University of Nottingham, 19th March 2008

 ‘Repetition and "rememory" in Toni Morrison's Beloved', Toni Morrison and Sites of Memory conference, Toni Morrison Society, Cincinnati, USA, 16th July 2005

Ethics and aesthetics in Toni Morrison's Beloved', Sensorium International Aesthetics and Philosophy conference, University of Melbourne, 22nd June 2005.



BCA (Hons), PhD, PGC Learning and Teaching (HE), FHEA.