Professor Katherine Bode

BA (Hons); PhD; Grad Cert, Education
Professor of Literary and Textual Studies
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: 6125 9845

Research interests

  • Digital Humanities, Computational Literary Studies, Data-Rich Literary History
  • Book History, Publishing Studies, Reading and Reception Studies
  • Australian Literature, Literature in Australia, Literary Cultures


Professor Bode completed a PhD in English at the University of Queensland in 2006, and prior to arriving at ANU, held an ARC-funded Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (2007–10) at the University of Sydney and a lectureship in English at the University of Tasmania. 

Appointed to the ANU's Centre for Digital Humanities Research (then the Digital Humanities Hub) in 2011, Professor Bode headed the Centre from 2011 to 2013. In 2013 she was awarded an ARC-funded Discovery Project to explore Australian and international fiction in digitised 19th-century Australian newspapers (2013–16), and in 2016 moved to a continuing appointment in ANU's School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics. She has subsequently received other ARC grants to extend her exploration of newspaper fiction, including a Special Research Initiative, in 2020, to investigate 20th century newspapers, and a Discovery Grant in 2023, to explore Irishness in Australian literature. From 2018 to 2023 Katherine was an ARC-funded Future Fellow, for a project exploring the relationship computing, reading and writing in literary studies.

Katherine is author of books including A World of Fiction: Digital Collections and the Future of Literary History (2018) and Reading by Numbers: Recalibrating the Literary Field (2012) and editor of other projects including "Data Worlds" (the inaugural special issue of Critical AI), "To be continued: The Australian Newspaper Fiction Database" (a digital platform, launched in 2018), the edited collections Advancing Digital Humanities: Research, Methods, Theories (2014) and Resourceful Reading: The New Empiricism, eResearch and Australian Literary Studies (2009), and "Reading," a special issue of Australian Literary Studies pubilshed in 2007.

Researcher's projects

From 2018 to 2023 I am funded by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship for a project entitled "Reading at the Interface: Literatures, Cultures, Technologies." This project aims to use new, extensive digital evidence of reception to progress a central insight of cultural criticism: that meaning is not carried by texts but produced in interactions between texts, contexts, and readers. It will create an interactive digital platform to connect scholarly work in Australian literary studies to public discussions of literature, enrich reading experiences and provide a vehicle for literary research that engages diverse publics and enhances understanding of Australian literature. Read more about the project here.

From 2013 to 2016 I was funded by an ARC Discovery Project for "To be continued," which aimed to explore fiction in historical Australian newspapers. By analysing the millions of newspaper pages digitised by the National Library of Australia‘s Trove database, I discovered over 21,000 publications of fiction in Australia in the 19th and early 20th centuries. These stories came from across the globe, including Britain, America and Australia, as well as France, Germany, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, and elsewhere. Exploring their circulation and contents provides new insights into how literature travelled globally in this period, and the consequences of this movement for literary, reading, and cultural history. This project also motivated a reconsideration of the relationship of literary history to the archive in this age of digital remediation. Find more information about the project here.

In 2020, the "To be continued" project was supported by another ARC grant, a Special Research Initiative, to continue discovering and exploring fiction in Australian newspapers, this time with a focus on 20th-century publications. That project, called "Read all about it" also investigates public participation in literary curation and digital library collections and creates digital infrastructure for Australian literary studies and the National Library of Australia. In December 2023, I will begin another ARC funded project, with Professor Ronan McDonald and Associate Professor Maggie Nolan, called "Irishness in Australian Literature."

More information about my projects as well as links to my publications and a full cv are available here

Available student projects

I am available to supervise PhD, Masters and Honours projects that employ computational methods to explore research questions in literary studies, reception studies and/or book history, or use humanities methods to explore computational technologies, infrastrucutres, and cultures. 

Current student projects

Chair of Panel/Primary Supervisor:

Galen Cuthbertson, Artifacts of Interpretation: Machine Learning in the Study of Literary Reception

Neil Hogan, Locating Fiction: Retrieval, Analysis and Critiques of Speculative Fiction Subgenres from Twentieth Century Newspapers

Fiannuala Morgan, Visualising Australia’s Literary Imaginary

Miriam Potter, An Ecocritical Reading of Patrick White


Charlotte Bradley, Imaginative Methods: Exploring and Evaluating Creative Futures-Oriented Methods for Engaging Publics in the Responsible Scaling of Cyber-Physical Systems

Past student projects

Chair of Panel:

Tobi Evans, Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things: Masculinities in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire


Alice Grundy, Editing and publishing of post-war, award-winning fiction by female Australian authors
Xiang Li, Female Identity in "The Drover's Wife" Stories and Adaptations
Imogen Matthews, Anita Heiss as Public Intellectual


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  23 June 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers