Richard Freadman

Emeritus Professor Richard Freadman

  • Post Nominals: FAHA
  • Fellow Type: Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 2003
  • Section(s): English


Richard Freadman was born in Melbourne in 1951. After high school in Melbourne, Richard gained a Wein International Scholarship to Brandeis University where he completed an Honors BA in English and American literature (1970-73). With the help of an English Speaking Unit scholarship, Richard proceeded to the University of Oxford where he completed a DPhil in English on character and the novel, with particular reference to the work of George Eliot and Henry James. Richard’s three full-time academic positions have been at the University of Western Australia (1978-90) where he was Senior Tutor, Lecturer and Senior Lecturer; La Trobe University where he was Professor of English (1991-2012); and Lingnan University, Hong Kong, where he had a three year secondment as Tong Tin Sun Chair Professor of English (2007-09).

Richard is now Emeritus Professor of English at La Trobe. He has been a Professorial Fellow in the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne. In 1996 he founded the La Trobe Unit for Studies in Biography and Autobiography. He has been a Visiting Professor at various institutions including the Center for Biographical Research, University of Hawaii, the English Department at the University of Indonesia, and the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne.

Richard’s principal current interests are in autobiography, the uses of life-writing in health care settings (dementia, palliative care, cancer narrative), biography, ethics and the relations between these fields. Richard has published two memoirs: Shadow of a Doubt: My Father and Myself (Bystander, 2003); and Stepladder to Hindsight: An Almost Memoir (Hybrid, 2016). His academic books include: Eliot, James and the Fictional Self: A Study in Character and Narration (Macmillan, 1986); Re-thinking Theory: A Critique of Contemporary Literary Theory and an Alternative Account (Cambridge, 1992) (co-authored with Seumas Miller); Threads of Life: Autobiography and the Will (Chicago, 2001); This Crazy Thing a Life: Australian Jewish Autobiography (University of Western Australia Press, 2007).

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.