Understanding book censorship

UNSW Canberra Academics Involved: 
Professor Nicole Moore

The life of Australian writer Dorothy Hewett was an extraordinary one. A Communist Party member during the mid 20th century and one of three writers to appear before the Petrov Royal Commission, Hewett was suspected of involvement in Russian espionage in Australia.  

Professor Nicole Moore, ARC Future Fellow and Professor of English at UNSW Canberra, is writing a biography of Hewett. Moore has authored several other books, including The Censor's Library: Uncovering the Lost History of Australia's Banned Books, shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award in Australian History, winner of the Walter McCrae Russell award from the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL), and shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Award and the award from the Australian Law, Literature and the Humanities Association.  

Moore has been interviewed by media numerous times - she’s a go-to person for radio producers on the topic of book censorship in Australia.  

Her books have been lauded for their veracity and literary flair. Her most recent, an edited collection of papers designed for international teachers of Australian literature, was published by the Modern Language Association of America, the biggest literary studies association in the world.  

Active on social media and an in-demand speaker at conferences, Moore typically presents five papers each year, as well as running professional workshops. She’s the past President of the Australian University Heads of English, a peak body for the discipline of literary studies in Australia.  

Packing out a marquee at the esteemed Byron Bay Writers Festival was one of Moore’s most memorable moments. “That was thrilling,” she recalls. “To have so many people so engaged with what you’re doing is wonderful.”