Anne Surma  from Murdoch University in Perth Australia.

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    Associate Professor Anne Surma
    BA Hons (First Class), PGCE, MA, PhD

    Associate Professor

    About me

    I’m an associate professor in the English and Creative Arts program. I teach undergraduate students in literary studies and professional writing, and supervise several postgraduate students working on writing and literary topics. I have also worked in private industry as an editor and writer, and as a workshop facilitator and consultant, advising on communication strategy and practice. My research interests include critical cosmopolitan orientations to communicating and writing; public communication as ethical discourse and creative practice; writing corporate responsibility; and discursive approaches to dominant and marginalised narratives in public and organisational stories. I’ve published chapters and refereed journal articles from my work, and my first monograph, Public and professional writing: ethics, imagination and rhetoric, was published by Palgrave in 2005. My second monograph, Imagining the cosmopolitan in public and professional writing, was published in 2013, again by Palgrave. An editorial board member of international journals, including TEXTJournal of Communication Management and Public Relations Inquiry, I also hold the honorary title of Distinguished Editor, conferred by the national organisation, the Institute of Professional Editors.

    Teaching area

    I teach in the areas of professional writing and literary studies.

    In 2016 I’m co-ordinating two undergraduate units:

    • EGL121 Turning Points in Literature
    • EGL232 Professional Writing and Editing.


    Research areas

    My research focuses on ethical, imaginative, creative and discursive approaches to professional and public communication, particularly written modes (including fiction). In recent work I’ve been adapting theories of critical cosmopolitanism to reflect on corporate, government and community writing practices in the context of globalisation and neoliberalism.

    Doctoral and masters supervisions

    I supervise postgraduate students working in the areas of literary studies, professional and creative writing, public communications, gender.

    Current PhD students (including co-supervisions) include:

    • Danielle Gilson
    • Sameeha Olwan
    • Lynn Gumb
    • Renae Desai
    • Stu Knox
    • Keegan Martens
    • Danny Sheaf
    • Geoff Power-King
    • Elaine Llarena
    • Rob Payne
    • Mags Webster
    • Steven McQueen
    • Heather Bloor



    Anne Surma, 2013, Imagining the cosmopolitan in public and professional writing. Basingstoke, Hants: Palgrave Macmillan

    Anne Surma, 2005, Public and professional writing: ethics, imagination and rhetoric, Basingstoke, Hants: Palgrave Macmillan


    Book chapters 

    Anne Surma, 2018, ‘Writing is the question, not the answer: A critical cosmopolitan approach to writing in neoliberal times’. In Xiaoye You, ed., Transnational Writing Education: Theory, History, and Practice, 61-76. New York and London: Routledge

    Anne Surma, 2016, ‘Pushing boundaries: a critical cosmopolitan orientation to public relations’. In Jacquie L’Etang, David McKie, Nancy Snow and Jordi Xifra, eds, Routledge handbook of critical public relations, London and New York: Routledge

    Anne Surma, 2015, ‘Writing—through a cosmopolitan lens’. In Darren O’Byrne and Sybille De La Rosa, eds, The cosmopolitan ideal: Challenges and opportunities, London: Rowman and Littlefield International

    Anne Surma and Christine Daymon, 2013, ‘Caring about public relations and the gendered cultural intermediary role’. In Christine Daymon and Kristin Demetrious, eds, Gender and public relations: Critical perspectives on voice, image and identity, London and New York: Routledge

    Anne Surma, 2013, ‘Bringing them home’, in Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziell, eds, Telling stories: Australian literary cultures 1935-2010, Monash University Press

    Anne Surma, 2006, ‘Challenging unreliable narrators: Writing and public relations’, in Jacquie L’Etang and Magda Pieczka, eds,  Public relations: critical debates and contemporary practice, second edition, Lawrence Erlbaum, pp. 41-69

    Anne Surma, 2006, ‘Texts and human bodies: An ethical approach to public and professional writing’, in Nigel Krauth and Tess Brady, eds, Creative writing: theory beyond practice. Post Pressed, pp.34-47


    Refereed journal articles and refereed conference papers  

    Anne Surma, 2018, ‘In a different voice: “A letter from Manus Island” as poetic manifesto’. Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 32, 4, 518-526.

    Anne Surma and Kristin Demetrious, 2018, ‘Plastic words, public relations and the neoliberal transformation of twentieth century discourse’. Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics 15, 1/2, 92-107.

    Anne Surma, 2013, ‘Writing otherwise: A critical cosmopolitan approach to reflecting on writing and reading practices in fiction and non-fiction’, TEXT, 17,1, April,

    Christine Daymon and Anne Surma, 2012, ‘The mutable identities of women in public relations’, Public Relations Inquiry, 1, 2, 177-196.

    Renae Desai and Anne Surma, 2012, ‘Online dialogue? Engaging stakeholders on a public health issue through collaborative storybuilding on the Internet’, Refereed proceedings of the World Public Relations Forum Research Colloquium, 18 November, Melbourne, Victoria.

    Christine Daymon and Anne Surma, 2011, ‘Working woman/PR professional: The multi-faceted identities of women working in public relations’. Refereed proceedings of the Barcelona Meeting COM #1: International PR 2011 ConferenceBarcelona, 28 and 29 June. Available

    Anne Surma, 2009, ‘Taking time: An ethics of temporality for the discipline of writing’ (paper available at  In The Margins and Mainstreams papers: the refereed proceedings of the 14th Conference of the Australian Association of Writing Programs Margins, Hamilton, New Zealand 26-28 November, available

    Anne Surma and Christine Daymon, 2009, “Critical discourses in the culture-public relations relationship.” Refereed conference paper presented at 17th BledCom International Public Relations Symposium, Lake Bled, Slovenia July 3-4, available

    Anne Surma and Kate Fitch, 2007, ‘”Spin with ethics”? Discourses of corporate social responsibility in Singapore and Malaysia’, refereed proceedings of the World Communication Association Conference, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, 27-29 July, available

    Anne Surma and Kate Fitch, 2006, ‘The challenges of international education: Developing a public relations unit for the Asian region’. Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 3, 2, available

    Anne Surma, 2006,’The rhetoric of reputation: Vision not visibility’, PRism 4,1, available

    Anne Surma and Kate Fitch, 2006, ‘Challenges for public relations: working in an international framework’, paper presented at the Australia and New Zealand Communication Association 2006 conference, Adelaide, 5-7 July

     Anne Surma, 2004, ‘Public relations and corporate social responsibility: Developing a moral narrative’, Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, special issue on Citizenship and Public Relations, 5, 2, available:

    Peta Bowden and Anne Surma, 2003, ‘Codes of ethics: Texts in practice’ Professional Ethics: A Multidisciplinary Journal, vol.11, no.1, Spring, pp.19-36

    Anne Surma, 2001, ‘Professional writing as ethical rhetoric: The Australian Government’s response to the Bringing them home report’ The Australian Journal of Communication, 28,2, pp.33-47

    Anne Surma 2000, ‘Defining professional writing as an area of scholarly activity’, TEXT, 4 (2), October, available: