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Personal profile



Kate Rossmanith is an ethnographer, a writer, and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow. She researches narrative and emotion in legal processes, as well as methods and forms of writing.

She leads a program of research on poetics, knowledge, and experience: how researchers and writers use writing-forms – traditional scholarly writing as well as fiction, essay, memoir, poetry – to open up new thinking-and-feeling spaces. Her research on ‘voice’ and its epistemological affordances is informing the fields of fiction and nonfiction via her widely read essays ‘Ditching the New Yorker Voice’ (2022) and ‘On Not Asking “Should I Insert Myself in the Text?”’ (2023). Her essays have appeared in publications including Public Books, Lit Hub Daily, Sydney Review of Books, The Monthly, Guardian Australia, The Australian, Inside Story, and Best Australian Essays 2007.

Kate is recognised as a leading scholar on remorse. She is the author of Small Wrongs: How we really say sorry in love, life and law (nominated for national and international literary awards), and co-editor of the collection Remorse and Criminal Justice: Multi-disciplinary perspectives (Routledge 2022)She has led symposia and workshops nationally and internationally for criminal justice researchers and practitioners; and has collaborated with scholars worldwide. Her research has informed the working practices of judges, coroners, lawyers, police, and parole authorities, and has improved outcomes for people caught up in criminal justice processes.

Kate’s ARC Future Fellowship project is on ‘closure’ as an emotional expectation in the justice system and in people’s lives.

Kate is Associate Professor of Media, Cultural Studies and Creative Writing at Macquarie University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree and a PhD from the University of Sydney. 


Research student supervision

PhD Theses - Principal Supervisions

  • Josephine Wilson, ‘Mixed Messages: Representations of intimate partner abuse in Australian true crime narratives’, Macquarie University, continuing.
  • Graeme Friedman,‘The Weaponised Witness in Apartheid’s Political Trials: Shame, Terror and Storytelling in the Waging of Lawfare’, Macquarie University, awarded 2023 (with Vice-Chancellor's Commendation).
  • Belinda Lopez, 'Finding Papua in Java: Papuans encounter stories about the past and themselves', Macquarie University, awarded 2020.
  • Jessica Kirkness ‘Writing Deafness: Disability creative nonfiction writing and stories of lived experience’, Macquarie University, awarded 2019 (with Vice-Chancellor's Commendation).
  • 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

  • Tiffany Hambley, 'Body as Writer, Writer as Body: Siri Hustvedt, Hillary Mantel, and Hanif Kureishi', Macquarie University, continuing.
  • 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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