Sue Ballyn


Sue Ballyn is Professor Emerita at Barcelona University from where she graduated with a BA in 1982. Her MA thesis on the writings of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes won the Faculty prize in 1983. In 1986 she won the Faculty prize again, this time for her PhD thesis on Australian Poetry, the first PhD on Australian Literature in Spain.

She joined the English and German Philology Department on graduation 1982 and has remained at the university ever since. In 1990 she founded the Australian Studies Program which was recognised as an official Barcelona University Observatory - Studies Centre in 2000, known as CEA, Observatorio Centre d’Estudis Australians. It is the only Australian Studies Centre in Spain and one of the most active in Europe.

Over the last twenty-five years, Sue Ballyn’s research has been focused on foreign convicts transported to Australia, in particular Spanish, Portuguese, Hispanics and Sephardim, and she works closely with the Female Convicts Research Centre, Tasmania. She has published and lectured widely in the area, very often in collaboration with Prof. Lucy Frost. 2016 will see the publication of a book on Adelaide de la Thoreza, a Spanish convict, written by herself and Lucy Frost.

More recently she has become involved in a project on ageing in literature DEDAL-LIT at Lleida University which in turn is part of a European project on ageing: SIforAge. As part of this project she is working on Human Rights and the Elderly, an area she started to research in 1992. In 2016 a book of interviews with elderly women, with the working title Stories of Experience, will be published as part of this project. These oral stories are the result of field work she has carried out in Barcelona.

She is also involved in a ministry funded Project, run out of the Australian Studies Centre and headed by Dr Bill Phillips, on Postcolonial Crime Fiction (POCRIF) This last project has inevitably intertwined itself with her work on convicts and Australia. She currently holds the position of Profesor Emerita and Founder/Co-Director of the Australian Studies Centre, at Barcelona University.

Spotlight Presentation (2017) | “(…) For those in peril on the sea”: The Important Role of Surgeons on Convict Transports
Featured Panel Presentation (2017) | The Challenges of Doing Cultural Studies Today

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