School of Arts

Associate Professor Meg Tasker


Position: Associate Professor, Literature/Cultural Studies

Location: Mt Helen Campus, H Annexe, Room H243

Phone: 5327 9631



  • PhD 1990 (Arts) Monash University
  • B.A. Hons 1984 (English, 1A) University of Queensland
  • B.A. 1981 University of Queensland


  • LITCI1111 Victorian Age in Literature
  • LITCI1101 Studying Poetry
  • LITCI1112 Gothic Genres, Contested Spaces
  • LITCI1006 Australian Literature
  • LITCI1110 Renaissance Literature
  • LITCI1108 A Study of Selected Authors

Honours courses: Landscape and the Bush; Retro-Fictions; Studies in Shakespeare; The Novelization of English Poetry.


I have taught at FedUni for twenty years, and still enjoy teaching as well as research. As an academic, I benefit from being involved in national associations for the study of Australian and Victorian literature and culture, and scholarly journals in those fields. I enjoy writing, editing, and learning, and helping others with their research careers, particularly post-graduate students. Interests outside the University include film and music, and I am involved with the Buninyong Film Festival and the Ballarat Film Society.

Areas of expertise

Australian Literature; English Literature – esp 19th century; poetry and poetics; biography and meta-biography; literary and cultural history/ the history of ideas.

Research interests

Cultural history : 'transnational colonial' Australian writers in London 1890-1905 – there are too many to list here, and as well as dealing with issues of cultural identity, the research revolves around their individual careers, cultural identities, literary networks, newspaper and periodicals in England and Australia in the late 19th century. Other 'spectial subjects' are the life and work of Francis Adams, and the poetry of A.H. Clough


Completed – Hons:

Michele McFarland, 'Sarah Grand and the New Woman'

Sharon McDonough, 'Kate Grenville Rewrites the Body'

Julie Fletcher, 'Jane Austen's Self-Navigating Heroines'

David [Toby] Sime, 'Was Dorian Gray Hamlet?'

Completed – PhD:

Paul Miller (PhD 2000, Principal Supervisor), 'Whitefella Walkabouts: Aborigines and their Representations in [Australian] Travel Narratives'

Maryanne Coutts (PhD Visual Arts, 2000, Associate Supervisor), 'Subplots and Framing Narratives' (Exhibition and Exegesis – my role was as Exegesis Supervisor).

Jill Blee (PhD 2002, Principal Supervisor), 'The Irish in Ballarat' (Historical Novel & Exegesis)

Alice Mills (PhD 2003, Principal Supervisor), 'Aspects of Stuckness in the Fiction of Mervyn Peake'

Margaret Healey (PhD 2003, Principal Supervisor), 'Place and Space in the Rhetoric of Australian Colonial Poetry'

Terence Fitzsimons (PhD 2004, Principal Supervisor), 'Metabiography and the Life of Charles Brown, Aeronaut' (Biography and Exegesis)

Beth Spencer (PhD 2006, Principal Supervisor), 'A Short (Personal) History of the Bra & its Contents' (Novel and thesis, supported by medical & social research)

Michele McFarland (PhD 2004, Principal Supervisor), 'Utopian feminism in the work of Catherine Helen Spence'

Robert Hodder (PhD 2009, Principal Supervisor), 'Radical Tasmania' (Creative Non-Fiction and Exegesis

Current supervisions (2012):

Demelza Hall (PhD, Principal Supervisor), 'Renegotiating Home Spaces in Contemporary Australian Literature'

Caitlin Herington (PhD, Principal Supervisor), 'Beyond the Princess, the Priestess and the Galactic Kitchen Sink: Reformulation of Feminine Social Roles and Identities in Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga and Chalion Series.'

Marian Chivers (MA, Principal Supervisor), 'Warrior Women in Contemporary Romance Fiction'

Joan Luxemburg (PhD, Principal Supervisor), 'James McKain Meek: Portrait of a Survivor' (Biography and Exegesis)

Rod Nettle (PhD, Principal Supervisor), 'Cultural and Economic Shocks Ballarat, Percy and Post-Imperial China, 1910 - 1929

David McGinnis (PhD, Associate Supervisor), 'Mapping the Community Sector in the Colonial Victorian Goldfields'



Tasker, Meg. Francis Adams: A Research Guide (St. Lucia: University of Qld, Victorian Fiction Research Unit, 1996)

Tasker, Meg. Struggle and Storm: A Biography of Francis W.L. Adams (1862-1893), Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, May 2001.

In progress:

"Unbecoming Australians" Colonial/transnational Australian Writers in London 1892-1905

Book chapters

Tasker, M. "Francis Adams: Learning Journalism in Australia", Victorian Journalism, Festschrift in Honour of Prof. P.D. Edwards, ed. Margaret Harris and Barbara Garlick (St. Lucia: UQP, 1998), pp. 155-70.

Tasker, M. "Aurora Leigh, Elizabeth Barrett Browning's novel approach to the woman poet", for New Essays on Nineteenth-Century Women's Poetry, ed. B. Garlick (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2001), pp. 22-41.

"Mapping the National Character: Francis Adams and The Australians", in Becoming Australians: the Movement towards Federation in Ballarat and the Nation, ed. K. T. Livingston, R. Jordan & G. Sweely (Kent Town SA: Wakefield, 2001) 112-8.

Tasker, M. "Anglo-Australians on Fleet Street, 1892–1905", in Victorian Traffic: Identity, Exchange, Performance", ed. S. Thomas (Cambridge: CSP, 2008), pp. 92-102.

Scholarly edition

Tasker, M. Introd., John Webb's End: Australian Bush Life (1891) by Francis Adams (Canberra: Mulini Press, 1995).

Entries in international reference works:

Tasker, M. "Francis Adams", The 1890s: An Encyclopedia of British Literature, Art and Culture, ed. G. A. Cevasco (NY: Garland, 1993).

Tasker, M. "Francis Adams" and "Bertha Leith-Adams", Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature Vol. 3, ed. Joanne Shattock (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000)

Tasker, M. "Francis Adams", NewDNB, Oxford University Press

Refereed journal articles

Tasker, M. "Time, Tense and Genre: A Bakhtinian Analysis of Clough's Bothie", Victorian Poetry 34.2 Summer 1996:193-211.

Tasker, M. "Francis Adams: Dead Poet Extraordinaire", Coppertales: a Journal of the Rural Arts 4 (1997):3-9.

Tasker, M. "Francis Adams: Writing his End", Australasian Victorian Studies Journal, 4 (1998): 98-105.

Tasker, M. "Introduction", special Australasian issue of Victorian Poetry Spring 2002:1-6.

Tasker, M. "Francis Adams and Songs of the Army of the Night: Negotiating Difference and Maintaining Commitment", Victorian Poetry Spring 2002:71-86

Tasker, M. Review of Andrew Hassam, Through Australian Eyes: Colonial Perceptions of Imperial Britain, in Victorian Studies 44.4 (Summer 2002):706-8.

Tasker, M. "Anglo-Australians on Fleet Street, 1892–1905", in Victorian Traffic: Identity, Exchange, Performance, ed. Susan Thomas (Cambridge: CSP, 2008), pp. 92-102.

Tasker, Meg & Lucy Sussex, "'That Wild Run to London': Henry and Bertha Lawson in England" Australian Literary Studies, Vol. 23, No. 2 (2007).

Tasker, M. "When London Calls and Fleet Street Beckons," Southerly: Modern Mobilities: Australian-Transnational Writing, 71 (2011):107-126.

Tasker, M. "'The Sweet Uses of London': the careers 'abroad' of Louise Mack (1870-1935) and Arthur Maquarie (1874-1955)." PORTAL Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies (forthcoming)

Refereed conference proceedings

Tasker, M. "Francis Adams: the Dilemma of the Intellectual Radical", Crossing Lines: Formations of Australian Culture. Proceedings of the Seventeenth Annual ASAL Conference, 1995. Ed. C. Guerin et al. Adelaide: Association for the Study of Australian Literature, 1996), pp. 149-53.

Tasker, M. "Francis Adams's Construction of the 'real Australia' in The Australians (1893)", Land and Identity: Proceedings of 1997 ASAL Conference, ed. J. McDonnell & M. Deves (Adelaide: Hyde Park Press, 1998):19-24.

Seminar presentations

Too many to list


Australasian Victorian Studies Association (AVSA)

Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL)

Various international associations at different times: VISAWUS (Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States), RSVP (Research Society for Victorian Periodicals), BASA (British Australian Studies Association) – have also been a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Centre, University of Melbourne, and visiting scholar at La Trobe University's Unit for Studies in Biography and Autobiography and the Sir Robert Menzies Centre for Australian Studies in London.