Doctor Robert Phiddian is Head of the Department of English and Cultural Studies at Flinders University, and is also the Convenor for Postgraduate Studies in English and Drama.

Doctor Phiddian’s research interests include Jonathan Swift, late seventeenth and early eighteenth literature and culture, parody, and, most recently, much of his attention has been focused on Australian political satire. He is the author of Swift's Parody (1995) and his essay “A Name to Conjure with: Games of Verification and Identity in the Bickerstaff Controversy” has been awarded the Richard Rodino Prize for 1996. He is currently working on a biography of political cartoonist Bruce Petty.

Doctor Phiddian is Director of the Flinders Humanities Research Centre for Cultural Heritage and Cultural Exchange.

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Please visit the Flinders Humanities Exchange website for further information about the Flinders Humanities Research Centre for Cultural Heritage and Cultural Exchange.

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Recent Submissions

  • Political Cartoonists and the Law 

    Phiddian, Robert Andrew; Handsley, Elizabeth (Network Books, 2008)
    Political cartoonists feel various forces for ‘censorship’ on and in their work. Often these are informal pressures that are based on moral or commercial interests, or the amorphous notion of ‘good taste’.1 This chapter ...
  • Defining parody and satire: Australian copyright law and its new exception 

    Condren, Conal; Phiddian, Robert Andrew; Davis, Jessica Milner; McCausland, Sally (2008)
    The new exceptions to the Copyright Act in ss 41A and 103AA, providing protection of re-use for ‘the purpose of parody or satire’ seem clearly intended to provide protection for both parody and satire, not merely some ...
  • Defining parody and satire: Australian copyright law and its new exception: Part 2 - Advancing ordinary definitions 

    Condren, Conal; Davis, Jessica Milner; McCausland, Sally; Phiddian, Robert Andrew (2008)
    In Part 1 of ‘Defining Parody and Satire’ we sought to show that, for the purposes of the new exception to infringement of the Copyright Act in ss 41A and 103AA (the ‘new exception’), it is unsafe to construe parody and ...
  • Introduction: Controversial Images 

    Phiddian, Robert Andrew; Manning, Haydon Richard (Network Books, 2008)
    There appears to be a growing sensitivity to cartoons’ potential impact in public debate, and so it is a good time to ask what the role of cartoons is in Australian politics, policy and media. This collection brings ...
  • In defence of the political cartoonists' licence to mock 

    Phiddian, Robert Andrew; Manning, Haydon Richard (2004)
    In a previous issue of The Drawing Board: An Australian Review of Public Affairs, Michael Hogan discussed the role of political cartooning in Australia. Hogan argued that we ought to be concerned about how cartoons erode ...
  • Review of 'A Companion to Jane Austen' edited by Claudia L. Johnson and Clara Tuite. 

    Phiddian, Robert Andrew (2009-05-11)
    Review of 'A Companion to Jane Austen' edited by Claudia L. Johnson and Clara Tuite.
  • The Life of a Long-Distance Satirist: How to Write a Book about Bruce Petty. [abstract]. 

    Phiddian, Robert Andrew (2006)
    In this paper, Robert Phiddian explores four pragmatic issues involved in writing a biography of Australian cartoonist and illustrator, Bruce Petty. When your subject has published at least weekly and often daily since ...
  • "Foucault's Pendulum" and the Text of Theory 

    Phiddian, Robert Andrew (University of Wisconsin Press, 1997)
    Umberto Eco denies that "Foucault's Pendulum" is an allusion to the theories of Michel Foucault: 'I was aware from the very beginning that somebody could have smelled an allusion to Michel Foucault... [but] as an empirical ...
  • Are Parody and Deconstruction Secretly the Same Thing? 

    Phiddian, Robert Andrew (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997)
    In this essay, Robert Phiddian argues that Derridean deconstruction is not just a (serious) theory couched in a parodic mode (that it is a parodic theory of language), but also that it treats language and questions of truth ...
  • Political arithmetik: accounting for irony in Swift's "A Modest Proposal" 

    Phiddian, Robert Andrew (MCB University Press, 1996)
    Writing as a literary critic and literary historian rather than as a professional or academic accountant, Phiddian proposes to highlight two ways by which accountants might resist the rhetorical power of positive accounting ...
  • Irony in the Eye of the Beholder. Review of "Irony's Edge: The Theory and Politics of Irony" by Linda Hutcheon 

    Phiddian, Robert Andrew (School Humanities and Social Sciences, Monash University Gippsland, 1995)
    Hutcheon's fundamental principle, and the point which sets her work apart from the mass of formalist and intentionalist analysis of irony that has gone before, is that irony is an event which is inferred by the ...
  • Petty Notions, Grand Designs 

    Phiddian, Robert Andrew (Victoria University of Technology, 2004)
    A survey of the life and work of Australian political cartoonist and animator, Bruce Petty, from birth to mid-career (early 1976): In this piece, I focus on Petty’s early years, until the major seachange in his and ...
  • Was it merely Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee? Political Satire in the 1996 Australian Federal Election 

    Phiddian, Robert Andrew (University of Melbourne, 1998)
    This paper focuses primarily on the cartoonists operating in major daily newspapers rather than on the periodical and electronic media. The thing that most obviously needs to be explained in a survey of political satire ...
  • Review of "Swift as Nemesis: Modernity and Its Satirist" by Boyle 

    Phiddian, Robert Andrew (University of Chicago Press, 2002)
    Phiddian's review of Frank Boyle's book "Swift as Nemesis" Modernity and Its Satirist" (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000).
  • Have you eaten yet? The reader in "A Modest Proposal" 

    Phiddian, Robert Andrew (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996)
    In Swift's "A Modest Proposal", the Proposer discusses recipes for stewed baby. If Swift's plan for the readers was first to trick us into temporary assent to the proposal, and then to follow this with an instructive ...