Professor Kate Douglas


College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

place Humanities
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Kate's research area is Life Narrative Studies. Her work is engaged with the ways in which people tell stories about their lives and the lives of others and the literatures and technologies they use to record these life stories. She is the author of Contesting Childhood: Autobiography, Trauma and Memory (Rutgers, 2010) and the co-author (with Anna Poletti) of Life Narratives and Youth Cultures: Representation, Agency and Participation (Palgrave, 2016) and the author of Children and Biography: Reading and Writing Life Stories (Bloomsbury, 2022). She is the co-editor (with Gillian Whitlock) of Trauma Texts (Routledge, 2009) and (with Kylie Cardell) Telling Tales: Autobiographies of Childhood and Youth (Routledge, 2015). With Dr Ashley Barnwell, she is the co-editor of Research Methods for Auto/Biography Studies (Routledge, 2019).

Kate's allied research interests include: studies in childhood and youth, memory and trauma studies. Kate is a strong advocate of research-led teaching and teaching-led research and was a co-colloborator in the OLT-funded project: "Building Reading Resilience: Developing a Skill-Based Approach to Literary Studies" (with Tully Barnett, Rosanne Kennedy, Anna Poletti and Jude Seaboyer).

Kate co-directs the Life Narrative Research Group at Flinders University, the only research group in the field in Australia.

Kate is the Head of the steering committee for the International Auto/Biography Association Asia-Pacific chapter, and is a member of the Executive Committee of IABA (World).

Bachelor of Arts (Honours I) (Newcastle)
Bachelor of Social Work (Newcastle)
Graduate Certificate (Education) (UQ)
Ph.D. (UQ)
Honours, awards and grants

Australian Association for University Teachers Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning (2019)

College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award (2019)

Ian Potter Foundation Grant (2015)

Australian Bicentennial Fellowship (2015)

Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) Competitive Grant "Building Reading Resilience" (2010-2013)

ALTC Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning (2010)

Flinders College of Distinguished Educators (2010-)

Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Early Career Research (2009)

Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching (2009)

Faculty of Education, Humanities, Law and Theology Excellence in Teaching Award (2008)

Key responsibilities

Bachelor of Arts Course Co-ordinator (2023-)

Research Section Head (Languages, Literatures, Culture and Society) (2019-2020)

Head of Department - English, Creative Writing and Australian Studies (2008-2010)

Chair of Faculty Research Higher Degree Committee (Faculty of EHL) (2010-2016)

University Research Higher Degree Committee (2010-2016)

Scholarships Committee (2010-2016)

Teaching interests
  • Life Writing/ Life Narrative (autobiography, biography, memoir, etc)
  • Contemporary literatures
  • First-person social media
  • Childhood and youth studies
  • Children's Literature
  • Children's reading/ book clubs
Topic coordinator
ENGL2141 Life Writing
ENGL3114 Writing in the Twenty-First Century
Topic lecturer
ENGL1101 Approaches to Literature
Supervisory interests
Children's literature
Creative writing
Life writing/life narrative
Literary studies
Trauma studies
Trauma writing
Young women's life writing
  • Book clubs
  • Childhood and youth studies
  • Children's literature
  • Ethics
  • Hoax
  • Life Writing/Life Narrative
  • Literature and Social Justice
  • Reality Television
  • Social media
  • Trauma studies
The Conversation