Paul Sharrad

Fellow of the University of Wollongong

Citation orated by Associate Professor David Vance.

Chancellor, I present Paul Sharrad.

As both an acclaimed researcher and engaged educator, Paul Sharrad has not only made a significant and sustained contribution to scholarship in his field, but also to the University’s international reputation and engagement.

Paul joined UOW in 1987 as a Lecturer in English, beginning a 27-year career with the University that culminated in his appointment as Associate Professor in 2000 and Senior Fellow in 2014. He shaped research, teaching and administration through a number of executive roles including Head of Department, Head of Postgraduate Studies and Associate Dean (Research), and through his considered contributions to numerous committees at Faculty and University level.

Paul is internationally renowned for his research in the field of English literature, and for his great impact on the development of the discipline here and abroad. A world-leading expert in postcolonial literary study and writing, he was at the forefront of developing postcolonial studies in Australia. He has dedicated his academic life to creating courses to nurture and showcase the work of postcolonial writers and critics, building an intellectually rigorous and world-class program and championing strong linkages between research and teaching. He has in no small part influenced UOW’s global reputation for excellence in the field.

As a researcher, Paul’s body of work is extensive and authoritative. He has authored three books on Indian English fiction, 67 book chapters and 71 journal articles, and co-edited countless other written works. He has delivered in excess of 100 conference papers internationally and been a visiting lecturer and fellow at universities in Europe, North America and Asia. His creative and innovative approach has attracted significant competitive grant funding and several prestigious appointments, including the National Library of Australia’s Harold White Fellowship, supporting his research for a literary biography of Thomas Keneally AO.

Building deep connections across national boundaries for scholarly exchange, curriculum development, conferences and publication is a hallmark of Paul’s career, and his commitment to advancing UOW’s local, national and global engagement is outstanding. A student of India and its rich and complex literatures and cultures, he is considered among the most eminent scholars of Indian literature in English and has worked with passion and purpose to establish meaningful and highly productive relationships with a number of Indian universities. He also forged deep connections across the South Pacific, United Kingdom, Europe and the Americas to foster and advance postcolonial studies globally. He worked with postgraduates across the globe on the expansion of English Literature to include Australian, Commonwealth and postcolonial writing.

Paul has directed considerable energy to encouraging literary endeavour in the community through leading events for writers, and has been particularly supportive of Aboriginal writers in the Illawarra and the south-east of Australia. He has acted as a reader for respected international scholarly journals and publishers and a judge for many creative writing prizes, and organised the international Commonwealth Writers Prize. Beyond this, he has organised donations of library books for earthquake-damaged campuses in Pakistan, school supplies for tsunami-ravaged Samoa and Australian study resources for Indian libraries.

Paul has rightly gained a reputation for his collegiality and great intellectual and personal generosity. He has carefully nurtured many early-career scholars and research students, and his record for supervision of higher degree researchers to completion is exemplary within the discipline. A respected leader both within the English literature program and across the University more broadly, he has been sought out by colleagues at all levels for inspiration, advice and links to the many connections he has cultivated across the globe.

Though he retired from UOW in mid-2014, he continues to research and write, and to champion the University’s reputation and external engagement.

Chancellor, Paul Sharrad’s contribution to the strength and reputation of the English literature discipline at UOW, and to the international body of scholarship in the field, is extraordinary. His legacy is rich and lasting, spanning a diversity of intellectual cultures, societies and geographical regions.

It is a privilege and a pleasure to present Paul Sharrad for admission as a Fellow of the University of Wollongong.