Professor Robert Phiddian


College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

place Humanities (232)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Robert Phiddian works on political satire, particularly Australian political cartoons, presently as a Chief Investigator of an ARC Discovery Grant, "Cartoon Nation: Australian Editorial Cartooning - Past, Present, and Future" (2023-6).
Over the years, he has been Research Centre Director, Associate Dean Research, and Deputy Dean in the School of Humanities at Flinders University. At present he is enjoying a spell as a teacher and researcher, and is publishing a lot, on humour, satire, and the value of culture.
He teaches Shakespeare and Eighteenth Century literature, as well as courses in political satire, parody, and humour. He has been Chair of the Adelaide Festival of Ideas, was Foundation Director of the Australasian Consortium of Humanities Research Centres (ACHRC). Board memberships have included the Australian Book Review (ABR) and of the international Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI). Most recently he is the author of Satire and the Public Emotions (Cambridge UP, 2020) and co-author (with Julian Meyrick and Tully Barnett) of What Matters?: Talking Value in Australian Culture (Monash UP, 2018). he is contracted to co-author a history of Australian cartooning with Melbourne University Press.

BA (Hons), PhD (Melbourne)
Honours, awards and grants

Ross Steele Fellow, State Library of New South Wales, 2021-2.

Charles J. Cole Fellowship, Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University, 2023.

CI on Cartoon Nation: Australian Editorial Cartooning - Past, Present, and Future, DP230101348 (2023-26)

CI on Laboratory Adelaide ARC Linkage awards, LP140100802 (2015-18) LP170100933 (2018-21).

Key responsibilities

Research Integrity Adviser, College of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences.

Discipline Leader, English, College of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences.

Topic coordinator
ENGL2120 Shakespeare
ENGL3112 Comedy and Satire
Supervisory interests
Eighteenth century satire
Literary studies
Political cartooning and satire
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Australian theatre history (2), George Eliot and religion (1), Contemporary fiction - De Lillo (1)
Associate supervisor: Creative thesis: satirical memoir (1), Contemporary fiction (1)
Principal supervisor: Digital technology in literary fiction (1), Christopher Marlowe, Renaissance literature (1), Christopher Koch, Tom Keneally, Australian fiction (1), Creative thesis: Satire play script (1), Shakespeare, adaptation (1), 18th century book history (1), 20th century fiction (1), Australian fiction, Peter Carey (1), Shakespeare (1), Eighteenth century satire (1), Australian media history (1), 20th century French poetry, Creative thesis - historical fiction, Early modern poetry - puns (1)
Associate supervisor: Icelandic sagas (1), Old English Gnomes (1), Indigenous Australian humour, Creative thesis: historical fiction (1), Australian theatre history (1), Romantic poetry - Blake (1), Cultural Value (1)
Expert for media contact
English Language
Literature - English
Australian Political Satire
English Language and Literature
The Culture Wars
Available for contact via
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713
Media expertise
  • English Language
  • Humour
  • Literature - English
  • Australian Political Satire
  • English Language and Literature
  • The Culture Wars
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