Louise Katz lectures in critical thinking and persuasive writing skills at Sydney University. She is also a novelist. Her 2015 book, The Orchid Nursery (Lacuna publishers) responds to certain cultural tendencies she finds dismaying. Some of these aren’t new – like mistaking propaganda for information, or accepting commonly held beliefs as truths. The novel homes in on current notions of appropriate female behaviour and ideas of what constitutes beauty within both traditional religions and the secular West. Conceptions of choice rhetoric and moral collusion are explored, but leavened through the use of much wordplay and sardonic humour. It is uncertain whether this book is a near-future dystopia or just a very black comedy.
Louise’s research interests include notions of monstrosity in literature and politics; cultural impacts of various ‘Newspeak’ forms of communication, particularly in the field of education; expressions of religious and mythic sensibilities in contemporary literature; theories of creativity and the relationship between creative and critical writing.