The University of Western Australia

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Duc Dau

Dr Duc Dau

Honorary Research Fellow
English and Cultural Studies

Contact details
English and Cultural Studies
The University of Western Australia (M202)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6488 2146
Rm 1.27, Administration South Wing
I specialise in nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and culture, with an emphasis on biblical reception, poetry, emotions, sexualities, and animalities. Author of Touching God: Hopkins and Love (2012) and co-editor of Queer Victorian Families: Curious Relations in Literature (2015), my articles have appeared in such journals as Australian Literary Studies, Victorian Literature and Culture, Victorian Poetry, Religion and Literature, Literature and Theology, and The Hopkins Quarterly.

I am currently exploring literary and artistic engagements with the biblical book, the Song of Songs. My aim is to discover how the Song of Songs was used to fashion, and to contest, the norms of romantic love, sexual relations, gender roles, and marriage in Victorian and early twentieth-century literature and culture.

I also specialise in improving systems in higher education. I am currently writing policy papers on research-informed teaching and am the lead author of a 70-page research report about the LGBT student experience at UWA. I developed the communications strategy to successfully recruit close to the majority of the target population for the study. The resultant report is the first of its kind in Australia and includes recommendations to UWA and the Student Guild to improve LGBT student inclusion.
Key research
Current and Future:
Victorian and twentieth century literature and culture
Feminist and queer reception of the Bible
Emotions (especially eros)
Animals and animalities
Human rights and social justice
Policy and the student experience in higher education
Other research interests:
Cultural history of the senses
Pornography and its publication history
Queer families
Gerard Manley Hopkins
* Books

Dau, Duc and Shale Preston eds. Queer Victorian Families: Curious Relations in Literature. New York: Routledge, 2015.

Dau, Duc. Touching God: Hopkins and Love. London: Anthem Press, 2012.

* Book Chapters

Dau, Duc. 'The Song of Songs for Difficult Queers: Simeon Solomon, Neil Bartlett, and A Vision of Love Revealed in Sleep', Queer Difficulty in Art and Poetry: Rethinking the Sexed Body in Verse and Visual Culture. Ed. Jongwoo Jeremy Kim and Christopher Reed. New York: Routledge, 2017. 34–47.

Dau, Duc. 'Reception', The Routledge Companion to Literature and Religion. Ed. Mark Knight. London: Routledge, 2016. 113–123.

Dau, Duc and Shale Preston. 'Queer Victorian Families: An Introduction', Queer Victorian Families: Curious Relations in Literature. Ed. Duc Dau and Shale Preston. New York: Routledge, 2015. 1–15.

* Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Dau, Duc. '“Stronger than death”: The Song of Songs in Michael Field’s Poetry and Life-Writing', Religion and Literature (forthcoming 2018).

Dau, Duc. 'Ethics', Victorian Literature and Culture (forthcoming, 2018).

Gerzic, Marina and Duc Dau. '"I love her and, as to different, well, she’s a lizard": Queer and Interspecies Relationships in Doctor Who', Neo-Victorian Studies (forthcoming, 2018).

Dau, Duc. 'Gardens of Empire, Eden, and Passion in Charlotte Wood's The Submerged Cathedral', Australian Literary Studies 29 (2014): 48–61.

Dau, Duc. 'The Governess, Her Body, and Thresholds in The Romance of Lust', Victorian Literature and Culture 42 (2014): 281–302.

Dau, Duc. 'Hopkins and Bodies', Religion and Literature 45 (Summer 2013): 175-184.

Dau, Duc. 'Reassessing Gilbert and Gubar: Women, Creativity, Hopkins', Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies 17 (2012): 27-41.

Dau, Duc. '"Beautiful Action': Hopkins and the Perfect Body', The Hopkins Quarterly 35, 1-2 (2008): 3-18.

Dau, Duc. 'Perfect Chastity: Celibacy and Virgin Marriage in Tractarian Poetry', Victorian Poetry 44 (2006): 77-92.

Dau, Duc. 'The Caress of God's Breath in Gerard Manley Hopkins', Sydney Studies in English 31 (2005): 39-60.

Dau, Duc. 'Seamus Heaney's Religious Redress', Literature and Theology 17 (2003): 32-43.

*Major Reports

Dau, Duc and Penelope Strauss. The Experience of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans Students at The University of Western Australia: Research Report 2016. Equity and Diversity, The University of Western Australia, Crawley.

Dau, Duc. Research-led Teaching Project: Discussion Paper. Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, 2017.

Dau, Duc. Research-led Teaching Project: Report. Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, 2017.

Funding received
As lead or sole investigator, I have attracted $420,000 in research funding. The main sources are listed below:

University of Western Australia
Alumni Fund Grants (2016)
Total funding: $20,000

Australian Research Council
Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (ARC DECRA) (2013-2016)
Total funding: $295,363

University of Western Australia
UWA ECR Fellowship Support Program (2013-2016)
Total funding: $29,142

University of Western Australia
Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) (2000-2003)
Total Funding: $60,295

University of Western Australia
Winthrop Scholarship (2000)
Total funding: $7,500

Travel awards from the North American Victorian Studies Association, Australasian Victorian Studies Association, UWA Faculty of Arts, UWA Alumni Funds.
Honours and awards
Armstrong Browning Library, Baylor University, USA
Visiting Fellowship (2015)

University of Western Australia
The Vice-Chancellor’s Research Award for Early Career Investigators (2014)
Previous positions
After being awarded my PhD, and before returning to the university sector, I worked in health communication for several years at the WA Mental Health Commission. Specialising in publications, public relations, and marketing, I established and became the first Editor of a statewide mental health magazine aimed at a general readership (the first of its kind in Australia), developed strategic proactive and reactive media approaches, and was the head speechwriter for the Mental Health Minister and the Mental Health Commissioner. I have also worked as a freelance writer and communications adviser to government and non-government organisations.
I have taught widely, from film to TV, to canonical literature, gender studies, professional writing, media, advocacy, and health promotion. Highlights include teaching James Joyce's Ulysses over several weeks, and co-teaching -- with Fred Roden at the University of Connecticut -- Alfred Tennyson's In Memoriam.
New and noteworthy
* Book reviews for Queer Victorian Families:

'[T]his book makes a unique and important contribution to Victorian Studies, Queer Studies, and Family Studies [....] This impressive group of essays gathered by Dau and Preston nicely help to expand our view of Victorian literature and culture. Besides examining familiar and canonical works, this collection gives equal importance to writings once popular in the Victorian Era but now fallen into obscurity [...] and reminds us that we still have much of the nineteenth century to re-think and re-discover.'
Review 19

* Book reviews for Touching God:

'Duc Dau has written an exciting and provocative book, [...] a worthy and timely addition to the world of Hopkins scholarship, bringing a fresh, innovative, and at times deliberately challenging approach to the too-often-overlooked area of love in the writing of Hopkins.'
The Hopkins Quarterly

'Duc Dau has provided an original, comprehensive, persuasive and therefore welcome addition to Hopkins scholarship.'
Victorian Poetry

'One thing that makes Dau's book exceptional is [...] the candour with which she joins aspects of Hopkins scholarship so often at odds with (or at least unobservant of) each other: here, interest in the theological and interest in the erotic [....] Dau's own readings, however, formally and philosophically astute as always, are strong promoters for the critical merger she offers here.'
The Year's Work in English Studies

'Touching God will be of great interest and real value to Hopkins scholars and to those interested in Hopkins as a man and a thinker [....] [T]his study will provide any reader with a more profound understanding of Hopkins’s works, as well as incidental insights into the poems of Tennyson, Coventry Patmore, and Digby Mackworth Dolben [....] And the book is throughout engrossing to read."
Victorian Studies
Research profile
Research profile and publications

The University of Western Australia

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM