Sue Thomas

Emeritus Professor Sue Thomas

  • Post Nominals: FAHA
  • Fellow Type: Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 2015
  • Section(s): English


Sue Thomas is an internationally recognised specialist in the fields of nineteenth-century women’s studies and postcolonial feminism, with special reference to Caribbean writers and transcultural aspects of literary modernism. She is renowned for both contextual and theoretical research which informs her literary criticism. Her innovative research is credited for changing the landscape of Caribbean studies and shaping our understanding of nineteenth and twentieth-century women’s writing. She is Professor of English at La Trobe University, Melbourne. A graduate of the University of Queensland, she taught there from 1980-85, before taking up an appointment at La Trobe in 1986. She has a distinguished international profile in the fields of Modernist Studies, Caribbean Studies, Postcolonial Studies, and Nineteenth-Century Feminist Studies. Her scholarship has been at the forefront of a historicist turn in postcolonial feminist literary studies and a renewal of interest in Caribbean and transatlantic modernism.Her books include Telling West Indian Lives: Life Narrative and the Reform of Plantation Slavery Cultures 1804-1834 (2014), Imperialism, Reform and the Making of Englishness in Jane Eyre (2008), England through Colonial Eyes in Twentieth-Century Fiction (with Ann Blake and Leela Gandhi, 2001), and The Worlding of Jean Rhys (1999). She has held visiting positions at the Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University; University of London; University of Wales; and Wolfson College, Oxford. Her current large research projects are an ARC-funded monograph on Jean Rhys’s literary career and a joint comparative project Tracking the Literature of Tropical Cyclones, Hurricanes and Typhoons (with Anne Collett and Russell McDougall). She is currently Director of La Trobe University’s Disciplinary Research Program in English, Theatre and Drama.

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.