University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu Associate Professor Brenda Machosky published “Girl in a White Dress: The Voices of Iris Milutinovic” in the journal Antipodes: A Global Journal of Australian/New Zealand Literature. Milutinovic is a little-known Australian writer from Tasmania and then Western Australia who published a novel and award-winning short stories. Milutinovic also wrote many radio broadcasts.
In the essay Machosky discusses how, although Milutinovic’s work was mostly about her own experiences and those of her immigrant husband, she reworked a short story about an encounter with a young Aboriginal girl more often than any other story. In its various versions, the story shows a white Australian woman’s attempt to understand her own reactions and responsibilities to the Aboriginals and the social and economic challenges they face.
“Girl in a White Dress: The Voices of Iris Milutinovic” is based on archival research at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas Austin, which houses her papers, including drafts of unpublished materials on which the article is based. Machosky’s research was sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship from the Ransom Center and a grant from the UH Endowment for the Humanities.
Machosky is the coordinator for the Center of Teaching and Learning Excellence at UH West Oʻahu where she teaches drama, world literature, pre-1700 literature and writing. After receiving her doctorate in comparative literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she held a three-year postdoctoral position at Stanford University and a one-year visiting assistant professorship at Cornell University.
Machosky’s research focuses on allegory with previous publications including Structures of Appearing: Allegory and the Work of Literature (Fordham University Press 2012) and an edited volume Thinking Allegory Otherwise (Stanford University Press 2010).
Her current research applies allegory as a theory of reading, with a focus on post-contact and post-colonial literatures of Australia and Aotearoa.
—A UH West Oʻahu news release