Stephen Muecke

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Stephen Muecke BA (Hons, Monash), Mes.L (Paris), PhD (UWA) FAHA is Professor of Ethnography at the University of New South Wales, Australia.[1] He studied linguistics and semiotics, completing his PhD on storytelling techniques among Aboriginal people in Broome, Western Australia.


Muecke's PhD research resulted in Gularabulu: Stories from the West Kimberley, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1983. The storyteller was Indigenous leader Paddy Roe (OAM). They later collaborated on the prizewinning Reading the Country: Introduction to Nomadology (Fremantle, 1984) with landscape painter Krim Benterrak, a postmodern ethnography of Roebuck Plains, near Broome. In 1993 Muecke became the first Professor of Cultural Studies in Australia, at the University of Technology, Sydney, where he worked from 1985 to 2009.

Muecke is a significant proponent of fictocritical writing, the travelogue No Road (bitumen all the way) (Fremantle 1997) being the first Australian monograph in this genre; a later collection is Joe in the Andamans and Other Fictocritical Stories (Local Consumption, 2008). Both books were shortlisted for major literary prizes.

With Adam Shoemaker he edited the writings of David Unaipon, Legendary Tales of the Australian Aborigines (Melbourne University Press, 2001), and co-edited with Jack Davis and Mudrooroo Narogin the first anthology of Black Australian writings, Paperback, (University of QLD Press, 1990). He identified that the book Myths and Legends of the Aborigines by William Ramsay Smith was actually mainly written by Unaipon.[2] Again with Adam Shoemaker, he co-authored a book about Aboriginal Australians entitled Les Aborigènes d'Australie (2002), which was published in the French collectionDécouvertes Gallimard”.[3] The English edition, Aboriginal Australians: First Nations of an Ancient Continent, appeared in 2004, published by Thames & Hudson.[4]

Cultural Studies research on the Indian Ocean from 2000 has led to Cultures of Trade, edited with Devleena Ghosh (Cambridge Scholars, 2007), and a collaborative work with the photographer Max Pam, Contingency in Madagascar (Intellect, 2012).

Personal life[edit]

A descendant of pioneering Germans in the Barossa Valley and Adelaide, Muecke has had three sons, Joe, Hugo and Sebastian with his partner Prudence Black. They live in Sydney, Australia. His brother Frances Muecke is a classicist at the University of Sydney.


  1. ^ The creative push: Stephen Muecke joins UNSW
  2. ^ Aboriginal `genius' was plagiarised
  3. ^ "Les Aborigènes d'Australie, collection Découvertes Gallimard (n° 428)" (in French). Éditions Gallimard. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  4. ^ "Aboriginal Australians: First Nations of an Ancient Continent, New Horizons series". Google Books. Retrieved 2018-02-02.

External links[edit]