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Personal profile


Kirstin Mills is Lecturer in Higher Degree Research Programs and Director of the Master of Research in the Faculty of Arts. She holds a PhD and a BA (Hons, First Class) in Literature from Macquarie University.

Her research specialises in Gothic and fantastic literature and visual media, with a particular focus on literature of the long Nineteenth Century and its twenty-first-century adaptations. Her research projects have examined literary representations of space, the supernatural and the sciences of the mind, including nineteenth-century scientific theories of dreams, madness and alternative states of consciousness, and Victorian mathematical and cultural concepts of the fourth dimension. She also researches various intersections between the Gothic and the historical, cultural and technological contexts from which it emerges, including gender and animal studies. Current projects examine the relationships between Victorian Gothic and the occult, and the adaptation of classic Gothic texts into twenty-first-century digital forms.

Kirstin’s published research addresses a wide range of authors, including Mary Shelley, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Edgar Allan Poe, Washington Irving, Horace Walpole, Gottfried August Bürger, Lewis Carroll, George MacDonald, and Lucas Malet.

Her website and full research and teaching portfolio can be found at: www.kirstinmills.com

Research interests

  • Gothic Literature
  • Gothic Visual and Digital Media
  • Romantic Literature and Culture
  • Victorian and Long-Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture
  • Literature and Science
  • Literature and Medicine
  • Supernaturalism, Folklore and the Occult
  • Adaptation Studies

Research student supervision

Kirstin currently supervises PhD and Master of Research projects in the Discipline of Literature. She supervises projects focused especially on Gothic and fantastic literature, media and adaptations from the Romantic period to the twenty-first century, and literature of the long nineteenth century.

Current research supervision:

  • Niamh Delfendahl (PhD, 2022- ): EcoGothic and Tolkien's Middle Earth
  • Rachel Baldacchino (Master of Research, 2022): Empathy, Mental Illness and the Gothic in Charlotte Brontë

Teaching and Leadership

Kirstin Mills is Lecturer, HDR Programs and Director of the Master of Research in the Faculty of Arts. In this role she convenes the Faculty's Master of Research (MRes) and Bachelor of Philosophy (BPhil/MRes Year 1) programs, which seek to train students in key research and communication skills that prepare them for further postgraduate study (Doctor of Philosophy or Master of Philosophy) and academic or professional research careers. In this role, Kirstin is passionate about shaping the program as one that not only produces skilled, world-ready researchers with a strong sense of their identity and value as researchers, but also fosters collaborative, interdisciplinary connection and a closeknit, supportive academic community.

As well as convening the MRes/BPhil program, Kirstin also designs and teaches many of its core advanced coursework units, with a focus on research and writing theory and practice, research project design and development, researcher development, and digital literacies and communication. Kirstin currently convenes and teaches the following units:

  • FOAR7001 Research Communications
  • FOAR7002 Research Frontiers I
  • FOAR7003 Digital Literacies for Researchers
  • FOAR7000 Research Paradigms (co-convening)
  • FOAR8990 Research Frontiers II (MRes Year 2)

Kirstin has extensive experience in teaching and curriculum design. Prior to her current role, Kirstin taught as a sessional lecturer and tutor in the Department of English at Macquarie University (2009-1019), and as a Lecturer-in-Charge for the School of Arts at the Australian Catholic University, North Sydney (2019). Since 2009, she has regularly taught on a wide range of units at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, with subjects ranging from medieval literature to contemporary literature and creative writing. Kirstin has carried this wide experience of writing and storytelling into her current teaching of research communication skills.

Community engagement

Kirstin is committed to enhancing the research student experience and research training in both the Faculty of Arts and Macquarie University more broadly. She currently serves on the University's Higher Degree Research Management Committee, the Faculty of Arts Research Training Committee, and the Faculty of Arts Education Committee, where she represents the Master of Research and Bachelor of Philosophy programs. She also contributes to Macquarie's Graduate Research Advisory group, and is a member of Macquarie's Teaching and Leadership Community of Practice. She is also an accredited Mental Health First Aider, a member of Macquarie's Ally Network, and is constantly working to support and enhance the wellbeing of students and colleagues alike.

Kirstin is also passionate about the value of research shared with the wider community. She has contributed articles to Macquarie's The Lighthouse magazine, provided commentary for newspapers, and been interviewed about her research on ABC Radio. She has also appeared as a guest speaker on many episodes of the Discipline of Literature's From the Lighthouse podcast since its inception in 2017 (and also designed its logo and website photography). This research engagement experience feeds into her teaching where one of her aims is to empower students to tell their own stories that communicate and celebrate their research and its value for the world.

Education/Academic qualification

Literature, PhD, Macquarie University


Award Date: 24 May 2014

Literature, BA (Hons) First Class, Macquarie University


External positions

Lecturer-in-Charge, Australian Catholic University

Feb 2019Jul 2019

Twitter Manager for The George MacDonald Society

1 Jul 2016 → …


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