ASAL ECR Seed Funding Grant Report: Dr Demelza Hall

ASAL ECR Seed Funding Grant Report: Dr Demelza Hall

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Earlier this year, I was the Australian delegate at the inaugural “Global Transformations” conference on “Spaces and Places” in Bruges, Belgium after my research, The Drover’s Wife Reading Project, was awarded an ASAL ECR Seed Funding Grant.

Inspired by my on-going conversations with Goa-Gunggari-Wakka Wakka Murri writer and actress, Leah Purcell and Bain Stewart, The Drover’s Wife Reading Project creates a space for conversation between writers, teachers, and students through: developing culturally-sensitive, and reconciliation-driven, teaching models; assisting English teachers, both secondary and tertiary, with appropriate text choices; mapping and collating student responses to works of literary adaptation; and promoting, where suitable, protocols of writer consultation.

At the conference in Bruges, my paper – entitled “Reshaping Spaces of Home and Nation: Reading Postcolonial Literary Adaptations as Social Justice Pedagogy” – presented the preliminary results from a pilot study I have been working on since 2018 which examines undergraduate students’ responses to works of literary adaptation by First Nation Australian writers, specifically, the ways in which certain narratives have the power to unsettle hegemonic conceptions of home and nation.  

Hosted by Progressive Connexions (an interdisciplinary non-profit organisation that seeks to build global communities of change), the conference sought, explicitly, to bring together scholars, writers, and artists from all over the world to facilitate international connections. This overt focus on networking led to creation of a number of working-groups, with scholars at various stages in their careers coming together to create new projects. Since returning from Belgium, I have begun co-writing a comparative study with Dr Nishevita Jayendran from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai and Mr Clint Abrahams from the University of Cape Town which examines the potential for restorative narratives to decolonise classroom environments.

“Reshaping Spaces of Home and Nation: Reading Postcolonial Literary Adaptations as Social Justice Pedagogy” is to be published as a book chapter in Emerald Publishing’s forthcoming “Progressive Connexions Series.”


Dr Demelza Hall is early career researcher in the field of literary and media studies and has worked as a casual lecturer at Federation University since 2009. She has published in a wide range of literary journals, both in Australia and overseas, and has her most recent article, “Framing the Unutterable: Reading Trauma in Alexis Wright’s Short Fiction,” is soon to be published in Anitpodes: A Global Journal of Australian/New Zealand Literature. For more information about The Drover’s Wife Reading Project (including how to get involved), please go to: