Professor Stephanie Trigg 

Stephanie is Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Melbourne and is the Primary Investigator and project lead for Literature and the Face: A Critical History. She was one of ten foundational Chief Investigators and one of four Program Leaders in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (UWA), 2011-18. She is interested in the long afterlife of medieval literature and culture and has published studies on the reading history of Geoffrey Chaucer (Congenial Souls: Reading Chaucer from Medieval to Postmodern, U of Minnesota P, 2002) and the cultural history of the Order of the Garter (Shame and Honor: A Vulgar History of the Order of the Garter, U of Pennsylvania P, 2012). Her most recent books, co-authored with Thomas A. Prendergast, are Affective Medievalism: Love, Abjection and Discontent (Manchester UP, 2019); and 30 Great Myths about Chaucer (Wiley-Blackwell, 2020). 

Stephanie’s inspiration for this project arose out of her fascination with Chaucer’s use of the ‘speaking face’ trope: the first instances of this complex textual phenomenon in English. She is especially interested in tracking the relationship between culture and rhetoric, in the different ways literary texts conjure the visual phenomenon of faces expressing thoughts, emotions and feelings.  

Professor Guillemette Bolens 

Guillemette is Professor of Medieval English Literature and Comparative Literature at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. Her research interests are in embodied cognition, kinesic intelligence, and sensorimotricity in verbal and visual arts. She is the author of La Logique du corps articulaire: les articulations du corps humain dans la littérature occidentale (Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2000/2007, Latsis Prize and Barbour Award of Literary Criticism); The Style of Gestures: Embodiment and Cognition in Literary Narrative (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012); L’Humour et le savoir des corps: Don Quichotte, Tristram Shandy et le rire du lecteur (Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2016); and Kinesic Humor: Literature, Embodied Cognition, and the Dynamics of Gesture (Oxford University Press, 2021). She has published on embodiment, gesture, and kinesis in Homer, Virgil, Beowulf, Chrétien de Troyes, Layamon, the Gawain Poet, Chaucer, Beryn, Cervantes, Milton, Sterne, Stendhal, Flaubert, Proust, Joyce, Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Jacques Tati, and Eddie Izzard. 

Guillemette is a leading exponent of cognitive literary studies and has developed the method of kinesic analysis that is key to our examination of the moving, expressive face as it is conveyed in literary texts. 

Dr Joe Hughes 

Joe is a Senior Lecturer in English and Theatre Studies at the University of Melbourne. He has written widely on postwar French thought and on the history of the novel, focusing on writers like Aphra Behn, Eliza Haywood and Henry James, among others. His current book project, Novel Scenes, traces the formal evolution of the European novel between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries by focusing on the category of the ‘scene’. His most recent book is Philosophy After Deleuze (Continuum, 2012) and his research and teaching interests include the history of criticism, history of the novel, theories of media and theories of literature. 

Joe is particularly interested in the ways the literary representation of the face stages transformations in racial thinking and categories. He will lead the project’s work on the political and ethical dimensions of the face and faciality developed in the work of postwar thinkers like Gilles Deleuze and Emmaneul Levinas.  

Dr Tyne Daile Sumner 

Tyne is an ARC DECRA Fellow in English & Digital Humanities at The Australian National University. Her key research areas include: modern and contemporary literature, surveillance studies, digital humanities, and facial-recognition technology. She has also published on poetry and poetics, Australian Literature and cultural analytics. Tyne’s first monograph is Lyric Eye: The Poetics of Twentieth-Century Surveillance  (Routledge, 2021) and she is co-editor of Small Data is Beautiful (Grattan Street Press, 2023). 

Tyne leads the project’s Digital Humanities activities, including large-scale corpus analysis, student engagement via digital methods workshops and interdisciplinary collaboration with fields such as Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, digital ethics and psychology. She’s particularly interested in researching the relationship between literary descriptions of the face and recent developments in facial-recognition and emotion-tracking technology.  

Guy Webster 


Guy Webster is a graduate researcher at The University of Melbourne and the Research Assistant for Literature and the Face. His doctoral research looks at conceptions of fear in the early 20th century and their function in the works of Virginia Woolf, D.H. Lawrence, May Sinclair and Mary Butts. His work has appeared in Textual Practice, Cambridge Quarterly, The Conversation, Cambridge Review of Books, British Modernist Association. He is Resident Arts Tutor at St Hilda’s College, Co-Editor of Platform Journal and Vice-President of the Culture and Communication Graduate Committee (CCGC) and a freelance theatre critic for Time Out Melbourne, Limelight Arts Journal and The Age.