School of Education

Dr Alice Mills

Position: Adjunct Professor
Study area: Humanities and Social Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy – University of Ballarat
Grad Dip Applied Science – University of Ballarat – 1994
Master of Literature – University of Cambridge – 1972
Bachelor of Arts (Hons) – University of Adelaide – 1968


Alice studied literature and language at Adelaide and her M Litt was a study of William Blake’s poetry and art. She gained a graduate diploma in psychology at the (then) University of Ballarat and her Ph D thesis concerned the fiction and illustrations of Mervyn Peake. After tutoring in English literature at the University of New England, she was appointed as lecturer in literature and children’s literature at the University of Ballarat. Over the years, she taught a range of literature from ancient to modern, from myth to picture story book. She has also offered less formal classes in improvised drama, Jung, Latin, classical Greek and history of the English language. Alice is also a creative writer who has published both poetry and short fiction.

Research interests

  • Children’s literature
  • Fantasy fiction and film
  • Psychoanalytic and Jungian approaches to literature



Random House Treasury of Children’s Literature (editor), 1997

Favourite Bedtime Stories, Random House (editor), 1998.

Seriously Weird: Papers on the Grotesque (edited collection), Peter Lang: New York, 1999

The Hare and the Tortoise and other fables (editor).Random House: Sydney, 1999

There was a Young Lady Whose Nose…and other nonsense rhymes (editor) Random House: Sydney, 1999

My First Learning Box ( editor) Random House: Sydney, 2000

Utter Silence: Essays on the Unspeakable (edited collection) with Jeremy Smith, Peter Lang: New York, 2001.

Mythology: Myths, Legends & Fantasies {as chief consultant} (Sydney: Hodder), 2003.

The Children’s Treasure Chest (editor), Willoughby, NSW: Global Publishing. 2004.

Refereed journal articles, book chapters, fiction and poetry


“Revisiting Elfland with Dunsany, Farmer, and Holt”, NYRSF September 2015, 27-30.

“Hero, Monster, Masturbator: Gaiman and Avery’s Beowulf,” Beyond the Night: Creatures of Life, Death and the In-Between ed. N. Farghaly (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing), 1-17.

“Song of Experience,” Wand’ring Steps ed. B. Edwards (Geelong: Deakin), 128.


“The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader,” Scope Feb 2014


“Camel,” The Place of Rest ed. B. Edwards (Geelong: Mattoid/Grange, 126-127).


“Heart Strings and Hip Pocket: Garth Nix’s Writings for Children,” Sold By The Millions ed. Toni Johnson-Woods and Amit Sarwal (Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars), 67-81.


“Spiritual, Not Sexual: The Plight of the Adolescent Human Wizard in Diane Duane’s Young Wizards Series,” Supernatural Youth ed. J. Battis, 15-27.


“Harry Potter: agency or addiction”, Children’s Literature in Education 41.4, 291-301.

“Song of Experience,” World Enough ed. B Edwards (Geelong; Deakin University, 2010), 150.


“Forms of death in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea and Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom Novels,” Literature & Aesthetics Dec 09, 92-104.

Three Tips for Speed Dating,” Border Land ed. Brian Edwards (Geelong: Mattoid/Grange).

Prince Caspian, ”

“Nights at the Airport,” Nebula 6.2, June,

“Harry Potter and the Horrors of the Oresteia,” Critical Perspectives on Harry Potter ed. E Heilman (New York: Routledge, 2009).

“For Little Australians; Australian Children’s Literature,” Reading Down Under: Australian Literary Studies Reader ed. Amit Sarwal and Reema Sarwal (New Delhi: SSS Publications), 447-453.

“Behind the Bum: A Psychoanalytic Reading of Andy Griffiths’ Bum Trilogy,” Papers 18.278-84.


with Jeremy Smith, “How to be happy by calling for change: constructs of happiness and meaningfulness among social movement activists,” Qualitative Report 13.3 432-455.

“History,” Writings on the Shipwreck Coast ed. Robyn Gardner (Port Fairy: Mattoid/Grange, 2008).

The Voice of the Heart: The Working of Mervyn Peake’s Imagination,” Mythlore 103/4, vol. 27.1/2, Fall/Winter, 177-79.

“Roast Fallopian Tubes,” Human Cuisine ed. K. Albala and G. Allen (sp) 87-91.


“The Uncanny Lurch in Shaun Tan’s The Viewer and The Lost Thing”, Crearta 6, 64-74.

“Two Houses,” Altered Parts ed. Brian Edwards (Geelong: Deakin University).

“Australian Children’s Literature,” A Companion to Australian Literature since 1900 ed. Nicholas Binns and Rebecca McNeer (Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2007), 417-428.

with John McDonald, “Flaws in the SET system,” The Australian, Wed 8.8.07, p.26.

“Self-Subversion in Andrew Adamson’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’” Rozwazajac Fantasy/ Considering Fantasy: Ethical, Didactic and Therapeutic Aspects of Fantasy in Literature and Film ed. J. Deszcz-Tryhubczak and M. Oziewicz (Wroclaw: Oficyna Wydawnicza ATUT).

“Haunting the Borders of Sword and Sorcery,” The Gothic in Children’s Literature: Haunting the Borders ed. A. Jackson, K. Coats and R. McGillis (New York: Routledge).

Mills, A. & Smith, J. (2007) 'Strategies of Social Justice: An NLP Interpretation'. Borderlands e-journal, 6.1.


“Harry Potter and the Terror of the Toilets”, Children’s Literature in Education 37.1 (March 06), 1-13.

“Dancing”, Groundwork ed. B. Edwards (Geelong: Deakin University, 2006).

“The Questionable Happiness of Rose Meets Mr. Wintergarten,” Storytelling: A Critical Journal of Popular Narrative 5.3 (Spring 2006).

“Anne Pilling,” The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature ed. J Zipes (Oxford: Oxford University Press), vol 3, 255.

Le Morte D’Arthur,” The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature ed. J Zipes (Oxford: Oxford University Press), vol 2, 427-8.

“Colin Thompson,” The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature ed. J Zipes (Oxford: Oxford University Press), vol 4, 89.

“The Theme of Premature Burial in Garth Nix’s Early Novels”, Papers 16.1, 51-57.

Stuckness in the Fiction of Mervyn Peake (New York: Rodopi).


“The Return of the King”


“Kissing the toad in twentieth century children’s literature”, Cinderella Transformed: Multiple Voices and Diverse Dialogues in Children’s Literature ed. John McKenzie, Doreen Darnell and Anna Smith (Christchurch: Christchurch College of Advanced Education), 142-149.

“Neurolinguistic Programming and the Teaching of Creative Writing,” Text 8.2


“The solipsistic loop in Carol Matas’ and Perry Nodelman’s Of Two Minds”, Identity and Alterity in Canadian Literature ed. D. Puiu (Bala Mare, Romania: Canadian Studies Centre), 147-154.

“Archetypes and the Unconscious in Harry Potter and Diana Wynne Jones’ Fire and Hemlock and Dogsbody”, Reading Harry Potter: Critical Essays ed. G. Anatol (Westport, Conn: Praeger), 3-13.


“The Trials and Tribulations of Two Dogsbodies: A Jungian Reading of Diana Wynne Jones’ Dogsbody”, Diana Wynne Jones: An Exciting and Exacting Wisdom ed. T. Rosenberg, M. Hixon, S. Scapple and D. White (New York: Peter Lang) 138-148.

“The Paradoxes of History in Crew and Woolman’s Tagged and Crew and Tan’s Memorial” Rethinking History 6.3 (Dec 2002) 331-343.

“Inspiration and Astonishment: Peake’s Influence on Perdido Street StationPeake Studies 7.4 (April 2002) 19-24.

“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, Scope

“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” Scope

2001 “A Psychoanalytic Reading of Gary Crew and Peter Gouldthorpe’s First Light,” Children’s Literature Matters ed. R Pope (Burwood: ACLAR).

“Fixity and flow in Garth Nix’s Sabriel”, Papers 11.3, 15-23.


“Vertical Penetration and the Maternal Seductive in Titus Alone” Titus Alone: A New Life ed. Mark McGuinness, Mervyn Peake Review 31, pp.49-63.

“A Taste of Venice”, Meanjin

Learned comment in Andrew McKenna, “Panthers and the Prince of Darkness”, Highland Times pp.5-9.

"Literalized Metaphors and the Comedy of Excess in Mr Pye", Peake Studies 6:3 (October 1999) 25-39.

"Alice Mills" by John Cohen, Reading Time 43:1 5-6.

"Pollyanna and the Not So Glad Game", Children's Literature 27, 87-104.

"The Knight by the Pool: Sophie Masson", Eidolon 28 Winter 1999 109-110.

"The Pool of Two Moons: Kate Forsyth", Eidolon 28 Winter 1999 110-111.

"Tehanu, the Wounded Healer", The Fantastic Self ed. Janeen Webb and Andrew Enstice, Eidolon Publications: Perth, 93-100.


"Holocaust Peake", Peake Studies 5:4, 28-44.

"The Blue Feather by Gary Crew and Michael O'Hara", Eidolon 27 120-121

"Writing on the Edge: Gary Crew's Fiction", Papers 8:3 25-35


"Separation Anxiety in Three of Gillian Rubinstein's Picture Story Books",

Papers 7:3, 5-9.

"Threshold: Sara Douglass", Eidolon 25/26, 182-83.

“Mirrors, Water and Smells in Titus Alone”, Peake Studies 5:2, 1997, 7- 22.

“Green Monkey Dreams: Isobelle Carmody”, Eidolon 24, 92-93.


“Mervyn Peake”, Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol 160.

“Aphrodite in a Blue Dress”, Writing the Australian Child, Nedlands: University of Western Australia Press.

“The Monster in the Room Below: Mrs. Oliphant’s The Doctor’s Family and Jane Eyre”, Private Maps of Public Spaces ed. P. Murphy and R. Gallagher.