Jen Webb
writer, poet, academic
Jen Webb is a writer, poet and academic based in Canberra. She was born in South Africa, and moved to New Zealand in her mid-teens, and then first to Canada and after that to Australia, where she currently lives.
She is Distinguished Professor of Creative Practice, and the director of the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research at the University of Canberra (
Jen's creative work takes the form of short stories, poetry, visual essays and artist books. Her academic work focuses on the relationship between the world of art and the wider social world. Previous projects have investigated the connections between creative practice and human rights; globalisation; and the links between creative practice and research.
Jen is currently working on two Australia Research Council funded projects: one is a case study of poetry as a site of creative excellence, and the second investigates how creative arts graduates build their creative vocations. Details available below.
  1. Understanding creative excellence: A case study in poetry
    Funded by the Australian Research Council. Research team: Prof Jen Webb, Prof Michael Biggs, Prof Kevin Brophy, Ms Monica Carroll, A.Prof Paul Magee
  2. Working the Field: Creative Graduates in Australia and China
    Funded by the Australian Research Council. Research team: Prof Jen Webb; Prof Justin O’Connor; Asst Prof Scott Brook; Prof Shilian Shan; Dr Xin Gu Studies in the UK and Australia show that cultural sector employment outcomes for creative graduates are poor, and yet people still enrol to study creative arts degrees, and continue to work in the field, despite the long hours, low wages and free labour that is often involved. There is at present little research into what motivates their participation and persistence in the field, nor how such commitments are converted into a sustainable creative vocation. This project seeks to understand the motivations for, and rewards of, unpaid cultural work, and how graduates of creative arts programs in Australia and China build creative vocations, in two United Nations recognised Creative Cities: Melbourne and Shanghai.
Current funded research projects