Katherine Russo is an Italo-Australian scholar who has lived her entire life in between Italy and Australia. She received her PhD at the University of New South Wales (Sydney) with a thesis that investigated the use of Aboriginal English varieties in Indigenous Australian Literature, but also Indigenous/Non-Indigenous editorial and artistic collaborations.
Her research in Australian Studies ranges across the fields of Language Variation and Change, Audio-visual and Translation Studies, Critical Discourse Analysis, World Englishes and Learning, Media Discourse, Ecocritical, Post-colonial, Whiteness and Gender Studies. She is Associate Professor at the University of Naples “L’Orientale” and since her first appointment as a lecturer in 2007, she has worked towards creating strong ties with Australian Universities and cultural institutions, hosting several events in the field of Australian Studies with renowned scholars such as Bill Ashcroft, Anne Brewster, Brigitta Olubas, Behrouz Boochani and many others.
She is the author of Practices of Proximity: The Appropriation of English in Australian Indigenous Literature (2010), which won the ESSE Book Award in 2012. The book investigated the appropriation of the English language taking place in the Australian literary contact zone between an official ‘white’ Australia – the apparent owners of both the land and the English language – and Australian Indigenous peoples. Documenting language variation and rescuing the debate from seemingly peripheral locations – the ‘empty’ Great Sandy Desert, or the abject urban margin – it insisted on the complex, ultimately open-ended and multilateral ownership of the English language by all who inhabit its intersubjective space, rendering the inherited authority of who ‘owns’ meaning problematical and ethically suspect. Her second monograph, Global English, Transnational Flows: Australia and New Zealand in Translation, addressed the central, yet unresolved, theoretical debate concerning the translation of post-colonial English language varieties. Her recent research centers on Climate Change and Climate-induced Migration Discourse, Populist Discourse, and Social-media Activism with many case-studies from the Australian context. Her most recent monograph, The Evaluation of Risk in Institutional and Newspaper Discourse: the Case of Climate Change and Migration, provides an analysis of the evaluation of climate change and climate-induced migration risks in institutional and newspaper discourse. Katherine is collaborating closely with Prof. Adone and team.