Hilary Emmett

Hilary Emmett


  • 2.09 Registry And Council House

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Transnational American Studies; Nineteenth-century American literature; Comparative Australian-American literature; Childhood studies and children's literature.

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Personal profile


Hilary Emmett joined the School of American Studies in 2012, having studied and taught at universities in Australia and the USA. Her research engages a variety of fields from the rhetoric of sisterhood in the Early American Republic to nineteenth and twentieth century children's literature. Her current teaching and research focus is on the Transpacific relationships apparent (and not so apparent) in literatures of the United States and Australia.



 “Between Girls: Lateral Discipline in Henry Handel Richardson’s The Getting of Wisdom.” Forthcoming in English Special Issue “The Classroom of Literature” (September, 2017).

 Co-authored with Clare Corbould. “Australian Afterlives of Atlantic Slavery: Belatedness and Transpacific American Studies.” Forthcoming in Journal of American Studies Forum on “The Pacific Turn,” August 2018.

“Prophetic Reading: Sisterhood and Psychoanalysis in H.D.’s HERmione” in Comparative American Studies: An International Journal 14.3&4 (2016): 261-276. Online. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14775700.2016.1267324

“Brownian Motion: Directions in Charles Brockden Brown Scholarship” in Early American Literature 50.1 (2015): 205-221. Online. http://muse.jhu.edu/article/572093

“One of these things (is and) is not like the others: Comparative Australian-American Studies and ‘Enchanted’ Pedagogy.” Australasian Journal of American Studies 33.2 Special Issue: “Pacific Triangles” (December 2014): 121-37.

“Hidden in Plain Sight: Taryn Simon’s American Index,Eyeline Arts Journal 72 (2010): 53-55.

“The Other Charlie Brown: Early American Studies in Australia” Common Place: Journal of the American Antiquarian Society 9.3 (April 2009). Online. http://www.common-place.org/vol-09/no-03/emmett/

“‘My business is circumference’: A meditation on scission, locution, confession.” The Bible and Critical Theory 4.2 (June 2008). Online. http://novaojs.newcastle.edu.au/ojsbct/index.php/bct/article/view/200/184

“Rhizomatic Kinship in Kim Scott’s Benang.” Westerly 52 (2007): 165-173.



“On Felons and Fallacies: An Antipodean Reading of Edgar Huntly,” forthcoming in Philip Barnard, Hilary Emmett & Stephen Shapiro (eds) Oxford Handbook to Charles Brockden Brown (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2018). Under contract.

“‘Troubling Language’: Storytelling and Sovereignty in Kim Scott’s Benang,” Nicholas Birns et. al. (eds), Teaching Australian and New Zealand Literatures (New York: MLA Options for Teaching, 2017): 165-176.

“The ‘Willful’ Girl in the Anglo-World: Sentimental Heroines and Wild Colonial Girls 1872-1923” in Shirleene Robinson and Simon Sleight (eds) Children, Childhood and Youth in the British World: Historical Perspectives (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015): 201-217.

Beloved Revisited” in Kerstin Shands and Giulia Grillo Mikrut (eds) Living Language, Living Memory: Essays on the Works of Toni Morrison (Huddinge: Södertörns Högskola, 2014): 95-106.

“The Maternal Contract in Beloved and Medea,” in Anne Simon and Heike Bartel (eds), Unbinding Medea: Interdisciplinary Approaches to a Classical Myth from Antiquity to the 21st Century (Oxford: Legenda Press, 2010): 248-260.  

“‘Mute Misery’: Speaking the Unspeakable in L. M. Montgomery’s Anne Books,” in Holly Blackford (ed.), The Centennial Study of Anne of Green Gables (Calgary UP, 2009): 81-104.

“Lost Mothers and ‘Stolen Generations’: Representations of Family in Contemporary Aboriginal Writing,” in Dawn Memee Lavell-Harvard and Jeanette Corbiere Lavell (eds), Aboriginal Mothering: Oppression, Resistance, Rebirth (Toronto: Demeter Press, 2006): 224-238.



 The South Seas: A Reception History from Daniel Defoe to Dorothy Lamour, by Sean Brawley and Chris Dixon (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2015). Journal of American Studies 50.3 (2016).

"Edgar Huntly; or, Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker". The Literary Encyclopaedia. Online. http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=5441 

Identity in Place: Contemporary Indigenous Fiction by Women Writers in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand by Paula Anca Farca (Peter Lang, 2011). Reviews in Australian Studies 8.3 (2014). Online. 

Settler Sovereignty: Jurisdiction and Indigenous Peoples in America and Australia, 1788-1836 by Lisa Ford (Harvard UP, 2010). Reviews in Australian Studies 6.1 (2012). Online.

Well-Read Lives: How Books Inspired a Generation of American Women by Barbara Sicherman (UNC Press, 2010). Script & Print 35.4 (2011): 243-246.

The Female Complaint: The Unfinished Business of Sentimentality in American Culture by Lauren Berlant (Duke UP, 2008). Australasian Journal of American Studies 29.2 (2010): 112-14.


Key Research Interests

Hilary Emmett’s research interests cover a variety of topics in American Literature informed by a range of approaches including comparative literature and transnational studies, psychoanalysis and trauma theory, and childhood studies. 

Teaching Interests

Hilary Emmett teachers courses in American literature from the colonial period through to twenty-first century, with a particular focus on transnational American studies.

Current courses are:

  • AMAS5045: American Frontiers
  • AMAL6049: Aliens, Outsiders, and Expats: Writing America Outside In

Key Responsibilities

Hilary Emmett is currently the Co-Lead of the AMA Athena SWAN Bronze submission. She has served in a variety of roles in the School including Director of Learning and Teaching and Director of Year Abroad Dissertations. She served as the HUM representative on the university-wide committee for UEA's 50th Anniversary celebrations. 

External Activities

Hilary Emmett is a founding member of the British Association of Nineteenth Century Americanists (BrANCA). She has served on the Executive of BrANCA, the Australian and New Zealand Association of American Studies and the Charles Brockden Brown Society. Other memberships include the American Studies Association, Society for Early Americanists, the American Literature Association, and the Modern Languages Association.