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Personal profile



Kate Rossmanith is an author, essayist, and academic. She is the author of Small Wrongs (Hardie Grant Books 2018), a hybrid work of nonfiction about remorse in the justice system and remorse in our everyday personal lives. Small Wrongs has been nominated for Australian and international literary awards, including being longlisted for the 2018 UK Baillie Gifford Prize for Nonfiction Writing. 

Kate's background is in Performance Studies, which combines theatre and anthropology, and investigates how we perform ourselves in everyday life. This has laid the grounding for her ethnographic research that examines people's enactments in the courtroom, in particular enactments of remorse. Her essays about the people who work, and find themselves caught up, in the justice system have been used to educate the community about sentencing and parole processes, and have informed the working practices of judges and parole authorities. She has collaborated with anthropologists from the University of Oxford to examine the ways in which offenders on parole connect with mainstream groups.

Kate also researches creative writing, specifically the intersections between nonfiction, memoir and ethnography. She is currently part of a research team exploring the cultural afterlife of criminal evidence and how writers develop narrative from forensic material. Her nonfiction has appeared in The Monthly, The Australian, and Best Australian Essays 2007. In 2018, Kate's short documentary Unnatural Deaths was published by The Guardian as part of a series exploring archives on film.

Kate holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree and a PhD from the University of Sydney. She lectures in creative nonfiction writing and literary journalism.

Kate Rossmanith's website can be found at www.katerossmanith.com

Research Interests

Kate's research interests include ethnography, creative nonfiction writing, rehearsal processes, embodiment, and relationships between performance, emotion and the law.

Research student supervision

PhD Theses - Principal Supervisions

  • Josephine Wilson, ‘Ethical Storytelling and the Cultural Use of Criminal Evidence: Representations of Intimate Partner Homicide in Australian true crime stories’, Macquarie University, continuing.
  • Jessica Kirkness ‘Writing Deafness: Disability creative nonfiction writing and stories of lived experience’, Macquarie University, continuing.
  • Amy Bauder ‘Beyond the Bush Ballad: Authenticity in Australian country music since the 1980s’, Macquarie University, awarded 2016.
  • Vanessa Berry ‘Cataloguing Sydney:  Blogging and the classification of urban experience’, Macquarie University, awarded 2016.
  • Kathryn Knight ‘Strange Country: Explorations through the territories of motherhood and child disability’, Macquarie University, awarded 2015
  • Patrick Grant ‘The Body on the Boards: Materiality and movement in the production of comics and graphic novels’, Macquarie University, awarded 2014


Masters Research Theses - Principal Supervisions

  • Rosie Shorter, ‘Unhappily Ever-After: How a promise of happiness is used to regulate desire and behaviour in Protestant Evangelical Christianity’, Macquarie University, awarded 2017.
  • Jessica Kirkness ‘Dis-abling the Hearing Line: Deafness, deaf studies, and creative nonfiction’, Macquarie University, awarded 2014.


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Research Outputs

Remorse: multi-disciplinary perspectives on how law makes use of a moral emotion

Tudor, S., Weisman, R., Proeve, M. & Rossmanith, K., 2020, (Accepted/In press) Law and emotions. Edward Elgar Publishing, (Edward Elgar Research Handbook).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Remorse and criminal justice: multi-disciplinary perspectives

Tudor, S. (ed.), Weisman, R. (ed.), Proeve, M. (ed.) & Rossmanith, K. (ed.), 2020, (Accepted/In press) London ; New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.

Research output: Book/ReportEdited Book/Anthology

  • Remorse in the law

    Tudor, S., Weisman, R., Proeve, M. & Rossmanith, K., 2020, (Accepted/In press) Remorse and criminal justice: multi-disciplinary perspectives. Tudor, S., Weisman, R., Proeve, M. & Rossmanith, K. (eds.). London ; New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Courtroom contrition: how do judges know?

    Rossmanith, K., Tudor, S. & Proeve, M., 2018, In : Griffith Law Review. 27, 3, p. 366-384 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Small wrongs: how we really say sorry in love, life and law

    Rossmanith, K., 2018, Richmond, Victoria ; London: Hardie Grant Books. 230 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

  • Press / Media

    Conversations with Richard Fidler

    Kate Rossmanith


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities