Arts transcend transgender monsters

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Michelle Smith

Literature and film have shifted from demonising transgender people to attempts to understand them and represent them positively.

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About the author

Michelle Smith is a Research Fellow in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University and will take up an Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Fellowship in mid-2015. In 2013, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship on the Australian Research Council Discovery project 'From Colonial to Modern: Transnational Girlhood in Australian, Canadian and New Zealand Print Cultures, 1840-1940'.

Michelle's research focuses on gender in Victorian literature and culture, as well as children’s literature. Her current project examines female beauty in Victorian print culture. She completed her doctoral dissertation on British girls' literature and empire at the University of Melbourne in 2007. It was published as Empire in British Girls' Literature and Culture: Imperial Girls, 1880-1915 by Palgrave Macmillan (UK) in 2011. It won the 2012 European Society for the Study of English's Book Award for best book by a junior scholar. She is also the editor (with Kristine Moruzi) of Girls' School Stories, 1749-1929 (Routledge, 2013) and the collection Colonial Girlhood in Literature, Culture and History, 1840-1940 (Palgrave Macmillan).

Her research has been published in journals including Women's Writing, Victorian Periodicals Review, English Literature in Transition, The Lion and the Unicorn, Continuum, Papers: Explorations into Children's Literature and in numerous edited collections.

Michelle has published opinion pieces in The Age, the Washington Post, New Statesman, and The Drum and has been interviewed on numerous radio and television programmes.