Victoria Kuttainen is an Associate Professor in the College of Arts, Society and Education at James Cook University in the field of English and Writing. She holds a BA Honours and Masters of Arts from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and a PhD in postcolonial literature from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.  In 2018, as part of her exploration of the nexus between secondary and tertiary education, she completed a Graduate Diploma of Education (Secondary) at James Cook University.

Her books include Unsettling Stories: Settler Postcolonialism and the Short Story Composite (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010) and The Transported Imagination: Australian Interwar Magazines and the Geographical Imaginaries of Colonial Modernity (co-authored with Susann Liebich and Sarah Galletly, Cambria, 2018). She is also the author of over forty journal articles, and has delivered two international keynotes.

Dr Kuttainen is an active researcher in three key areas: settler colonialism and colonial modernity; scholarship of learning and teaching; and creative writing. 

Settler colonialism and colonial modernity

Trained as a scholar of postcolonial cultures and literatures, Victoria's primary focus in literary scholarship involves the intersections between geography, history, and cultural identity. Her first book Unsettling Stories (Cambridge Scholars, 2010) investigaged the complex aftermath of settler colonialism in the literatures of Canada, Australia, and the USA. Her second scholarly book, for which she was research-lead of a team including two postdoctoral scholars (Susann Liebich of the Karl Jaspers Centre for Transcultural Studies, University of Heidelberg and Sarah Galletly of University College Dublin), culminated in The Transported Imagination (Cambria, 2018). This research made a significant contribution to the underresearched entanglements of colonialism and modernity.

Extending her interest in colonial modernity and regional cultures, Dr Kuttainen is editor of the forthcoming Special Issue of the international Journal The Space Between which attempts to recover traces of the flapper in global print cultures as geographically diverse as China, Spain, Australasia and beyond.

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning/ English Education

A faculty teaching citation winner, Victoria is a passionate teacher and a self-reflexive scholar of teaching and learning. Originally trained as a teacher of English as a Second Language, Victoria has long been an advocate for the transformative potential of education for communities and individuals in local and global settings, and a champion for community engagement and social justice.

The topics she has investigated and continues to focus on include decolonising praxes; transition pedagogies; secondary-tertiary collaborations; humanities in the regions; as well as engaging and supporting diverse learners.

Creative Writing as Engagement

For Victoria, the natural and practical output of literary studies is the practice of creative writing, which she regards as a way of finding language for—and engaging public audiences with—complex issues. As well as writing and pubishing poetry, Victoria is currently writing a long-form creative manuscript, for which she has been awarded two residencies (The Historic Joy Kogawa House, Vancouver 2019; Varuna: The National Writers' House, Katoomba NSW, 2021).  As a mental health storyteller, her creative work explores themes of mental health and grief, place, and displacement. 

Victoria loves being in nature, bush-walking, kayaking, and enjoying wood-fired pizzas and good conversation in the company of family and friends.

  • BA1002: Our Space: Networks, Narrative and the Making of Place (Level 1; CNS & TSV)
  • CU1010: Effective Writing (Level 1; TSV)
  • EL1008: Telling Tales: Approaches to Narrative (Level 1; TSV)
  • EL2055: Literature, Print and Society in Comparative Contexts 1920-50 (Level 2; CNS)
  • EL3050: Postcolonial Narratives: Writing, Place, and Identity (Level 3; TSV)
  • Executive Director, Foundation for Australian Literary Studies
  • General (Co-) Editor, JASAL -the peak body journal for studies of Australian Literature
  • Board Director, Ryan Catholic College
  • Portfolio Chair: Humanities in the Regions, ACHRC Australasian Centre for Humanities Researchers and Centres
  • 2019 to present - Associate Professor, JCU
  • 2012 to present - Senior Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2016 to 2020 - Member of the Academic Board, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2013 to 2018 - Margaret and Colin Roderick Scholar, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2009 to 2012 - Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2008 - Lecturer, Bond University (Gold Coast, Australia)
  • 2003 to 2008 - PhD, University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia)
  • 2007 - Lecturer, University of the Sunshine Coast (Sunshine Coast, Australia)
  • 2002 to 2003 - PhD Coursework, University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada)
  • 1999 to 2002 - Masters, University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada)
  • 1996 to 1999 - Teacher of English as a Foreign Language, Various (Global)
  • 1991 to 1996 - BA Hons, University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2015 - Rising Star Award
  • 2012 - Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning
  • 2012 - Regional Arts Award
  • 2011 to 2012 - Rising Star Early Career Researcher Award, James Cook University
  • 2021 - Fellow, Queensland Academy
  • 2013 - Visiting Researcher, School of Humanities, Strathclyde University, Scotland
  • 2013 - Margaret and Colin Roderick Scholar of Comparative Literature
  • 2004 to 2008 - SSHRC Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship
  • 2003 to 2008 - University of Queensland International Postgraduate Research Scholarship
  • 2013 - Visiting Scholar, Menzies Centre and Department of English; King's College London

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 48+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Victoria Kuttainen from 2006 onwards.


Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • We are made with water: an ontological exploration of water in the Dry Tropics of Northern Queensland. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Gendered Violence in the Tropical Pacific: The Use of Storytelling to Address Global Social Inequality (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • The Beautiful and Damned: Searching for the Flapper in Australian Print Culture, 1930s (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • A Call to Art: Expressing the affective power of Art in times of emergency through historical, literary experience. (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Reappraising the Land -Patrick White's Landscape Legacy and its Afterlives (PhD , Primary Advisor)

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