1963 …2019

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Personal profile


Professor Gibbs retired in 1998 after holding the Chair of English at Macquarie University for more than twenty years. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in the 1950s and subsequently held lectureships in English at the Universities of Adelaide, Leeds and Stirling, and from 1969-75 was Professor of English and Head of Department at the University of Newcastle (NSW). At Macquarie, he served periods of office as both Head of the Department of English and Head of the School of English, Linguistics and Media, and had several terms of appointment to the University Senate. In 1982 he was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and has served periods of office in the Academy as Council Member, Vice-President and Editor. He has served on the Executive Committees of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literature and the Sydney branch of the English Association. Since the 1970s, he has been a regular recipient of research support from the Australian Research Council Large Grants Scheme, and served on the ARC Social Sciences and Humanities Panel in 1992-3. In 2003 he was awarded a Commonwealth of Australia Centenary Medal for services to Australian Society and the Humanities, and was appointed a member of the Founders Council of the International Shaw Society established in that year.

Research interests

Professor Gibbs' research ranges from the Renaissance to the twentieth century, with special interests in modern drama, literature and biography, in relation to intellectual, cultural and social history. He is internationally known as an authority on the life and work of George Bernard Shaw. His most recent book, Bernard Shaw: A Life (2005) was runner-up for the Robert Rhodes Prize for a book on Literature awarded by the American Conference for Irish Studies; shortlisted for the Nettie Palmer Prize for non-fiction in the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards, and for the General History Prize in the NSW Premier's History Awards; and included in the US Choice list of outstanding academic titles of 2006; highly commended in 2007 Australian National Biography Award Competition. His previous publications include: Shaw (Writers and Critics Series, 1969); Sir William Davenant: The Shorter Poems, and Songs from the Plays and Masques (1972); The Art and Mind of Shaw: Essays in Criticism (1983); Shaw: Interviews and Recollections (1990); "Heartbreak House": Preludes of Apocalypse (1994) and A Bernard Shaw Chronology (2001).


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