Curriculum Vitae


1973: Brandeis University, BA (Hons.), English and American Literature
1981: University of Oxford, DPhil in English
Thesis title: The Rhetoric of George Eliot’s and Henry James’s Fiction.
2011: Biography Program Volunteer Training Certificate in Palliative Care, Eastern Palliative Care, Melbourne
2012: Completed the course Dementia Care Essentials (CHAC 319A), Alzheimer’s Australia (Vic), Melbourne


1978-81: Senior Tutor in English, University of Western Australia
1982-86: Lecturer in English, University of Western Australia
1987-90: Senior Lecturer in English, University of Western Australia
1991-2012 :    Professor of English, La Trobe University
2007-2009: Tong Tin Sun Chair Professor of English, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
2010-2012       Professor of English, La Trobe University

Visiting fellowships

1984: Honorary Visitor, Oriel College, University of Oxford
1986: Visiting Fellow, History of Ideas Unit, Australian National University
1988: Visiting Scholar, Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University
1995: Senior Research Associate, Centre for Philosophy and Public Issues, Department of Philosophy, University of Melbourne
1997: Distinguished Visitor, University of Indonesia
2001-2: Senior Fellow, Centre for Applied Ethics and Public Philosophy,
University of Melbourne
2002:  Visiting Professor, Biographical Research Center, University of Hawaii
2002-5: Professorial Fellow, Department of Philosophy/Center for Applied Ethics and Public Philosophy, University of Melbourne
2004: Visiting Fellow, Life Writing Research Unit, Curtin University
2005: George Watson Fellowship, University of Queensland
2009: Academic Visitor, Victoria University

Memberships of learned societies

Fellow, Australian Academy of the Humanities
Fellow, International Association of University Professors of English

Editorial Boards/Management Committees

Editorial Board, Australian Journal of Jewish Studies (Australia)
Editorial Board, Life Writing (Australia)
Editorial Board, Lifewriting Annual:  Biographical and Autobiographical Studies (USA)
Member, Advisory Group, Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research, University of Sussex


  • Eliot, James and the Fictional Self: A Study in Character and Narration (London: Macmillan, 1986).
  • (ed. with Lloyd Reinhardt): On Literary Theory and Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Encounter (London: Macmillan, 1991).
  • (co-authored with Seumas Miller): Re-thinking Theory: A Critique of Contemporary Literary Theory and an Alternative Account (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992).
  • (ed. with Jane Adamson and David Parker): Renegotiating Ethics in Literature, Theory, Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998).
  • Threads of Life: Autobiography and the Will (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001).
  • Shadow of Doubt: My Father and Myself (Melbourne: Bystander Press, 2003).
  • This Crazy Thing a Life: Australian Jewish Autobiography (Perth: University of Western Australia Press, 2007)
  • (ed.) Jovial Harbinger of Doom: Short Stories of Laurie Clancy (Melbourne: Michael Hanrahan Publishing, 2014)
  • Stepladder to Hindsight (Melbourne: Hybrid Publishers, 2016)


Life writing anthologies

  • (ed. Dai Fan) Tales of Three Cities (Guangzhou, 2009) – This anthology of student auto/biographical writing resulted from a collaboration between myself and Professor Dai Fan of Sun Yat-sen University, China.
  • (ed. with Paula Bain) Brindabilla Clients Tell Their Stories: You Won’t Believe it (Melbourne: Baptcare, 2014).
  • (ed. With Paula Bain) Reliving Our Days: Brindabilla Clients Write Their Life Stories (Baptcare, 2017)

(The latter two volumes are based on two series of life writing workshops for people living with dementia that myself and Baptcare occupational therapist Paula Bain ran in 2014 and 2016 respectively at Baptcare’s Brindabilla Day Centre. They include essays about the project along with client narratives.)

Select articles in books

  • “Why Woody’s Women Leave” in Semites and Stereotypes: Characteristics of Jewish Humor, ed. Avner Ziv and Anat Zajdman (Greenwood: Westport Press, 1993), pp. 107-120.
  • “Humanism and the Teaching of Theory” in Literary Theory and the Classroom, ed. Mark Davies (Connecticut: Locust Hill Press, 1994), pp. 331-350.
  • Introduction to Maria Lewitt, Come Spring: An Autobiographical Novel (Scribe, 1980; rep. 2002).
  • Preface to Maria Lewitt, No Snow in December (1985; re. Jewish Holocaust Centre, 2017).
  • “Decent and Indecent: Writing My Father’s Life” in The Ethics of Life-writing, ed. Paul John Eakin (Cornell: Cornell University Press, 2004), pp. 121-46.
  • Extended excerpt from Freadman and Miller’s Re-thinking Theory, in Theory’s Empire Will Corral and Daphne Patai (Columbia: Columbia University Press, 2005), pp. 78-92.
  • “Teaching Contemporary Australian Autobiography” in Teaching Life Writing Texts., ed. Miriam Fuchs and Craig Howes. Options for Teaching Series. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2007, pp. 208-213.
  • “Gentleness my strong enforcement: the ethos of gentleness in East of Time and Sunrise West”, in Gaita, Miller and Skovron, Singing for All He’s Worth: Essays in Honour of Jacob G. Rosenberg (Sydney: Macmillan, 2011), 98-113

Select journals articles

  • *(co-authored with David Allbrook): “The Scalpel and the Pen: An Experiment in Combined Seminars”, The Medical Journal of Australia, Vol. 140, No. 11, 1984, pp. 666-668.
  • “Anti-humanism and the Humanities in America 1988“, The Critical Review, 29, 1989, pp. l38-145.
  • “The Quest for the Classical Temper: The Literary Criticism of S.L. Goldberg”, The Critical Review 32, 1992, pp. 46-66.
  • “Disciplinary Relations: On Literary Studies and Philosophy: A Reply to Martha Nussbaum”, Meridian, Vol. 10, No. 2, 1993, pp. 24-35.
  • Review Article: “Five Conceptions of Literary Theory”, Meridian, Vol. 11, No. 2, 1994, pp. 64-74.
  • “Ray Monk’s Wittgenstein and the biography of the philosopher as sub-genre”, Biography 25, No. 2, Spring 2002, pp. 301-342.
  • “Sister Pacts”: review article on Doris Brett’s Eating the Underworld, Lily Brett’s prose, and the ethics of Holocaust narrative, Meanjin, Vol. 61, No.1, 2002, pp. 186-195.
  • “Decency and its discontents”, Philosophy and Literature, 28: No. 2, October 2004, pp. 393-405.
  • “Recognition and autobiography”, Partial Answers, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2005, pp.133-161.
  • “Masken, Lügen, biographische, Wahreit: Lillian Hellman und das Genre des life writing”, in Spiegel und Maske: Konstruktionen biographischer Wahrheit, ed. Bernard Fetz and Hannes Schweiger (Vienna: Verlag, 2006), pp. 95-113.
  • “Once tortured, forever tortured: Testimony and Autobiography in Jacob Rosenberg’s East of Time and Sunrise West”, Partial Answers, 7, No 2 , June 2009, pp.  279—97.
  • “Teaching Contemporary Australian Autobiography” in Teaching Life Writing Texts, ed. Miriam Fuchs and Craig Howes. Options for Teaching Series. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2007, pp. 208-213.
  •  “ Teaching Non-fictional Prose in Melbourne and Hong Kong”, a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, Vol. 23, No. 1 Summer 2008, pp. 96-122 (published 2009)
  •  “Cure and care: G. Thomas Couser and the Ethics of ‘Pathography’” , Philosophy and Literature, Vol 35, 2, October 2011,  pp. 388-398.
  •  “Lying, Self-Deception, and Biography: Writing the Life of Lillian Hellman”, Lifewritng Annual: Biographical and Autobiographical Studies, 3, pp. 49-88.
  •  “Clinging to the Shreds of the Self: Life writing and illness in Inga Clendinnen’s Tiger’s Eye”, Life Writing, Vol. 9, No. 4, December 2012, pp. 377-90.
  •  “Spanning Cancer: Cancer as an episode in an individual life story”, Society, Vol. 52, No. 5, September/October 2015, pp. 490-97.
  •  (with Paula Bain) “Life Writing and Dementia Care”, Life Writing, Vol. 13, No. 1, 105-126.