Professor Anne Pender

Professor - Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education; School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Anne Pender

Phone: +61 2 6773 3248



Anne Pender is Professor of English and Theatre Studies and was Australian Research Council Future Fellow from 2012-2016.


BA (Hons) (ANU), GradDip (Macquarie), EdM (Harvard), PhD (UNSW)

Teaching Areas

English, Theatre and Performance, and Writing.

Research Interests

Contemporary Australian literature, theatre and performance; Twentieth century Australian literature, theatre and performance; Writing for television; British modernism.


Recent Publications

Book cover with collage of Australian comedians Row of covers of Anne' Pender's books

'Seven Big Australians: Adventures with Comic Actors', Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2019.

'John Clarke: The Man, the Mask and the Problem of Acting', Journal of Comedy Studies, Spring, 2019, pp. 1-13.

2019 Review of Michael Ackland’s Christina Stead and the Socialist HeritageJASAL, March.

Robyn Nevin, Patrick White and the Art of the Modern in Australian Theatre, Australasian Drama Studies, 71, October, pp. 68-88, 2017.‘Players’, A Series of Biographical Essays, AustLit Online, 2016.

  • 'The Art of the Theatre: Helmut Bakaitis’
  • ‘Strindberg for Breakfast: Elspeth Ballantyne’
  • ‘Wendy Blacklock and the Transformation of Australian Theatre’
  • ‘I am a Camera: Julia Blake’
  • ‘Accidental Queen of Comedy’: Noeline Brown
  • ‘Mr John Clarke: New Zealand Boy’
  • ‘The Barry Creyton Show’
  • ‘Max’s Method: Max Cullen’
  • ‘Mags: the Magic and Mesmerising Maggie Dence’
  • ‘The Boy’s Sheer Poetry: Alan Hopgood’
  • ‘Living on Champagne’: Carol Raye
  • ‘Denise Scott: An Extraordinary Woman’
  • ‘Tony Sheldon: Child of the Theatre, Broadway Star’
  • ‘Henri Szeps: It’s My Party – Acting for Life’
  • ‘Strong Actor: Nick Tate’
  • ‘I’m Very Stella: Jacki Weaver

‘Learning to Act: Tony Sheldon’s Emotional Training in Australian Theatre’, Humanities, 5, 72, pp. 1-10, 2016.

‘Theatre Animals: Sumner Locke Elliott's Invisible Circus’, Australasian Drama Studies, 68, April, pp. 54-74, 2016.

Good Works: An Introduction, in Good Works, by Nick Enright, Currency Press, Sydney, pp. vii-xiii, 2015.

‘Worlds Within: Hayes Gordon, Zika Nester, Henri Szeps and the Transformations of Australian Theatre’, Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, 15, 3, pp. 1-12, 2015.

Actors and Heroes: My Brother Jack and the Great War on Television, Metro Magazine, No 184, Autumn 2015, pp. 96-101.

Portraits of Actors: Elspeth Ballantyne, Julia Blake and the Challenges of Biography, About Performance, No 13, 2015, pp.165-1822015.'

Eat, Pray, Laugh
!': Barry Humphries, Reg Livermore and Cross-dressed Australian Burlesque, Australasian Drama Studies,Vol 63, October, pp. 69-83, 2013.

From a Distant Shore: Australian writers in Britain 1820-2012, by Bruce Bennett and Anne Pender, Monash University Publishing, 2013.

'Kerry Walker, Patrick White and the Faces of Australian Modernism', Coolabah (9), p. 75-87, 2012.

One Man Show: The Stages of Barry Humphries, ABC Books, 2010.

"The Rude Rudiments of Satire‚: Barry Humphries‚ Humour", A Serious Frolic: Essays on Australian Humour, ed. Peter Kirkpatrick and Fran de Groen, UQP, pp. 189-201, 2009.

Nick Enright: An Actor's Playwright, co-edited with Susan Lever, Rodopi, Amsterdam, New York, 2008.

"Nick Enright: A Life in Theatre", Nick Enright: An Actor's Playwright. ed Anne Pender and Susan Lever, Amsterdam/New York, pp. 17-26, 2008.

"Summer Rain: Sweet Nostalgia", (co-authored with Susan Lever) Nick Enright: An Actor's Playwright. ed Anne Pender and Susan Lever, Amsterdam/New York, pp. 173-184, 2008.

"Modernist Madonnas: Dorothy Todd, Madge Garland and Virginia Woolf", in Women's History Review, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 519-533, 2007.

Christina Stead Satirist
, Common Ground, Melbourne, 2002.


Association for the Study of Australian Literature
Australasian Drama Studies Association

Consultancy Interests

Recent Projects

Fulbright Senior Scholarship, Harvard University, 2018

Australian Research Council Future Fellowship 2012-2016. Project Title: 'Players: The Lives and Work of the Actors Who Created the National Theatre of Australia 1950-2012'

Member of the National Advisory Board AustLit 2015 - Ongoing

Member Reading Australia Educational Steering Group 2012 - Ongoing

Australian National Data Service Research Grant 2015, Digital Futures in the Arts:  Discovering and Preserving Australian Plays, The Campbell Howard Collection

Anne was DEEWR Visiting Distinguished Professor in Australian Studies at the University of Copenhagen in 2011-12

Australian Research Council Discovery Project 2008-2010 'Reverse Diaspora: Australian Expatriate Writers in Britain since the 1830's'

Australian Research Council Discovery Project 2007-2009 'A Study of Australia's most popular internationally-known comedian, Barry Humphries'

Australian Television Drama