6 // Atul Joshi

Beyond trauma: Queering biography and finding joy

University of Technology Sydney

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A former classical musician, Atul Joshi is an arts and culture manager currently working for Bangarra Dance Theatre. In this capacity he has also worked for companies such as the State Theatre and State Opera of South Australia, Griffin Theatre Company, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and Bundanon Trust in senior management roles. He has also led government funding programs at the former Australia Council (now Creative Australia) and City of Sydney.

Born in Myanmar of Indian parents, Atul migrated to Australia as a child. Returning to his own creative life later in his career, he completed a Master of Arts in Creative Writing at UTS in 2020. Since then he has been shortlisted for the Saturday Paper’s 2020 Donald Horne and the Newcastle Writers’ Festival 2022 Fresh Ink Prizes, had short fiction published in The Big IssueWesterlyIslandSeizure and Ricepaper Magazine, non-fiction in the Portside ReviewPeril MagazineSydney Review of Books and Benjamin Law’s Growing up Queer in Australia. His interest in the representation of queer lives and in the possibilities of creative non-fiction and auto/biography led him to commence a PhD in creative writing at UTS focusing on queer memoir and biography.

Atul and I share a passion for reading and writing, so our conversation came easily. I was especially intrigued by the manner in which his PhD project is being constructed around a creative component – quite different and, dare I say, a bit more intimate than completing a traditional thesis. I found it all very intriguing and I think you will, too.

This episode of The Knowledge Mill was recorded in my office at UTS on September 18, 2023.

Show Notes

University of Technology Sydney

UTS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

Australasian Association of Writing Programs

International AutoBiography Association

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice [Referendum]

Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey


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The Knowledge Mill is a podcast about PhD researchers and their work. Each episode features a longform conversation with a PhD candidate, with a focus on how they found themselves doing a PhD and the research they’re undertaking.

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