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Personal profile


Dr. Denise Chapman is a counternarrative storyteller, spoken word poet, and critical autoethnographer who lectures in children’s literature and early literacy at Monash University.  She’s served as a literacy specialist focused on critical media literacy in Australia, Fiji, and the United States.  Denise uses oral stories, children’s literature, poetry, and digital images as counternarrative windows for social disruption and liberation. When she’s not spending her time writing poetry and tweeting, Denise enjoys obsessing over Afrofuturistic / Sci-Fi pop culture media and purchasing children’s picturebooks, Black poetry and folktales. 

Denise has been a repeat guest on ABC Radio National, was runner-up at Poetryspective’s 2019 Retro Slam, and has also presented her artistic work at The Wheeler Centre, Melbourne’s Emerging Writers Festival, University of Melbourne’s Digital Studio, Melbourne Spoken Word & Poetry Festival, RMIT’s Present Tense non/FictionLab, 3CR, and the Community Reading Room’s Black Tourmaline.

In 2016, Denise received Monash University’s Faculty of Education Dean’s Award Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.  She also served as a Deputy College Head for Monash University’s Aquila College for non-residential students from 2017-2019 and has also served as a student advisor for Monash University Education students in the Early Childhood/Primary course.  

She is currently exploring the lack of diverse transmedia stories for children and how teachers and parents see its impact on children’s imagined possibilities.

Her most recent publication entitled “The Crooked Room: Intersectional tap dancing, Academic Performing, and Negotiating Black, woman, Immigrant” is a critical poetic autoethnography that shares her wayfinding experience as an African American woman academic working in a White-privileged Australian university, trying to survive systems of oppression unacknowledged by those within the university space. 


Research area keywords

  • Media literacy
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Critical race studies
  • Technology use
  • Culturally responsive digital learning spaces
  • Inclusive Education


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