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, completed first year doctoral course work at the University of Alberta, and subsequently earned 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, has delivered two international keynotes and one Australian keynote, and is currently completing a full-length creative manuscript for publication.

Dr Kuttainen is an active researcher in three key areas: the literary and cultural history of colonial modernity and the Pacific; scholarship of teaching and learning, with a focus on regional students, regional higher education, and the Bachelor of Arts; and creative writing. 

The Literary and Cultural History of Colonial Modernity and the Pacific 

Trained as a scholar of postcolonial cultures and literatures, Victoria's background 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 from a trans-Pacific perspective.

Kuttainen's trans-Pacific research continues to inform her ongoing research, in her supervision of a PhD thesis on the history and role of narratives of gender violence in Pasifika and Oceanic Women's Literature, and in her work with Bianka Vidonja Balanzategui on narratives of the colonial sugar trade in tropical Australia with links to blackbirding from the South Pacific.  Victoria continues to expand studies of the interwar Pacific and its interlinkages and networks.  She brings print culture, popular magazines, and books that were well read in their day but now forgotten to the foreground of her scholarly approach to literary and cultural history.  

Extending her interest in colonial modernity and regional cultures, Dr Kuttainen with her former PhD student Dr Jilly Lippmann recently published "Searching for the Modern Girl" a special issue of the international Journal The Space Between recovering the iconic figure of the flapper in gloab print cultures worldwide, and inquiring into her visibility and invisibily in different national archives.  This research has resulted in new understandings of the literary histories of Germany, Australia, and Canada during the interwar era.  

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

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.

Victoria leads the multi-university ACHRC Community of Practice Humanities in the Regions, and has been the author of a number of public-facing as well as scholarly articles exploring and advocating for the transformative value of the SHAPE education (Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts for People and Economy) alongside STEM education for regional communities and regional students.

As well as serving as the coordinator of James Cook University's Bachelor of Arts degree, she serves as the external member of the Charles Darwin University Bachelor of Arts Advisory Committee. 

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. 

With Robert Clarke, Victoria Kuttainen is the General Editor of JASAL The Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, and has introduced three new streams to the journal that reflect her own areas of research and engagement: literary studies, scholarship of teaching and learning, and creative writing. 

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)
  • EL1008: Telling Tales: Approaches to Narrative (Level 1; TSV)
  • 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, James Cook University
  • 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 51+ 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.

  • Aboriginal Social theory: The commonalities of Aboriginal Social Knowledge (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on the Perception of Time in Narrative Fiction (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Gendered Violence in the Tropical Pacific: The Use of Storytelling to Address Global Social Inequality (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)
  • Affect and Relationality in #MeToo Literary Narratives (PhD , Advisor Mentor)
  • Searching for the German Modern Girl: Literary Representations of Womanhood during the Weimar Republic 1920s – 1930s (Masters , Primary Advisor)
  • Reading/Telling stories of Compounded Disadvantage: Regional perspectives in Novels and Memoirs of Higher Education (Masters , Primary Advisor)

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