Associate Professor Rob Pensalfini

Associate Professor

School of Languages and Cultures
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Associate Professor

School of Communication and Arts
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
r.pensalfini@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 52245

Overview

Dr Rob Pensalfini received his PhD in theoretical linguistics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1997, with research based on his fieldwork in the Barkly Tableland of Australia's Northern Territory. He then worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago for two years prior to commencing as a Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Queensland in 1999. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in Linguistics and Drama in 2003, and to Associate Professor in 2016. He has published several books and numerous articles in both linguistics and drama, including ground-breaking work on the performance of Shakespeare in prisons. He leads Australia's only ongoing Prison Shakespeare program and is the Artistic Director of the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble.

Research Interests

  • Australian languages
    The structure and use of Australia's indigenous languages, particularly morphology, phonology and syntax. Language documentation and description. Language endangerment and maintenance.
  • Prison Shakespeare
    The performance or study of Shakespeare's dramatic works in prisons, typically faciliated by external artists. The impacts and challenges of such projects and the history and development of the phenomenon.
  • Shakespeare in Performance
    Particularly in Australia.
  • Actor training
    Use of the voice and body in acting. Performing rhetoric and verse.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours1), The University of Western Australia

Publications

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Grants

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Publications

Featured Publications

Book

  • Dixon, Shannon Kulngankarri, Hughes, Wendy, Dixon, Janey Walanyku Lunjabirni, Dixon, Raymond Dimakarri, Bill, Maureen, Bill, Sarah, Bill, Raylene, Kingston, Susan, Nangkurrunyungu, Johnny Devlin, Hamilton-Hollaway, Amanda, Osgarby, David, Pensalfini, Rob and Meakins, Felicity (2019). Birrka marnini: making things Mudburra. Batchelor, NT, Australia: Batchelor Press.

  • Green, Rebecca, Green, Jennifer, Hamilton-Hollaway, Amanda, Meakins, Felicity, Osgarby, David and Pensalfini, Rob (2019). Mudburra to English Dictionary. Canberra, Australia: Aboriginal Studies Press.

  • Raymond, Pompey, Dixon, Pharlap, Dixon, Sue, Dixon, Shannon, Dixon, Ray, Dixon, Jeffrey, Dixon, Janey, Dixon, Elizabeth, Raymond, Mark, Dalywaters, Harold, Collins, Jumbo, Woods, Robin, Peterson-Cooper, Eileen, Meakins, Felicity, Pensalfini, Rob and Wightman, Glenn (2018). Jingulu and Mudburra Plants and Animals. Batchelor, NT, Australia: Batchelor Press.

  • Pensalfini, Rob (2015). Prison Shakespeare: For these deep shames and great indignities. London, United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1057/9781137450210

  • Rob Pensalfini, Myfany Turpin and Diana Guillemin eds. (2014). Language description informed by theory. Studies in Language Companion Series, Amsterdam, Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing. doi: 10.1075/slcs.147

  • Pensalfini, Rob (2011). Jingulu texts and dictionary: An Aboriginal language of the Northern Territory. Canberra, A.C.T., Australia: Pacific Linguistics.

  • Pensalfini, Rob (2003). A Grammar of Jingulu, an Aboriginal Language of the Northern Territory. The Australian National University, Canberra ACT: Pacific Linguistics.

Book Chapter

  • Pensalfini, Rob (2019). The play's the thing: performance in Prison Shakespeare. Performing arts in prisons: captive audiences. edited by Michael Balfour, Brydie-Leigh Bartleet, Linda Davey, John Rynne and Huib Schippers. Bristol, United Kingdom: Intellect.

  • Meakins, Felicity and Pensalfini, Rob (2016). Gender bender: Disagreement in Jingulu noun class marking. Loss and Renewal: Australian Languages Since Colonisation. (pp. 425-450) edited by Felicity Meakins and Carmel O'Shannessy. Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter Mouton.

  • Pensalfini, R. (2015). Jingulu. Edinburgh Handbook of Evaluative Morphology. (pp. 416-422) edited by Nicola Grandi and Livia Kortvelyessy. London, United Kingdom: Edinburgh University Press.

  • Pensalfini, Rob, Guillemin, Diana and Turpin, Myfany (2014). Editors' introduction. Language description informed by theory. (pp. 1-13) edited by Rob Pensalfini, Myfany Turpin and Diana Guillemin. Amsterdam, Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing.

  • Pensalfini, Rob (2014). Verbs as spatial deixis markers in Jingulu. Language description informed by theory. (pp. 123-152) edited by Rob Pensalfini, Myfany Turpin and Diana Guillemin. Amsterdam, Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing. doi: 10.1075/slcs.147.07pen

  • Pensalfini, Rob (2013). Shakespeare of the oppressed. Teaching Shakespeare Beyond the Centre: Australasian Perspectives. (pp. 225-236) edited by Kate Flaherty, Penny Gay and L. E. Semler. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1057/9781137275073.0025

  • Pensalfini, R. J. (2006). Configurationality. Encyclopedia of Language & Linguistics. (pp. 23-27) edited by K. Brown. UK: Elsevier Ltd.

  • Laughren, Mary, Pensalfini, Rob and Mylne, Tom (2005). Accounting for verb-initial order in an Australian language. Verb First: On the syntax of verb-initial languages. (pp. 367-401) edited by Carnie, Andrew, Harley, Heidi and Dooley, Sheila Ann. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

  • Pensalfini, R. J. (2005). Kriol (Roper River Creole). Encyclopedia of Linguistics. (pp. 585-587) edited by P Stranzny. New York: Fitzroy Dearborn.

  • Pensalfini, Robert (2001). On the Typological and Genetic Affiliation of Jingulu. Forty Years on: Ken Hale and Australian languages. (pp. 385-399) edited by Simpson, Jane, Nash, David, Laughren, Mary, Austin, Peter and Alpher, Barry. Australian National University, Canberra: Pacific Lingustics.

  • Pensalfini, R. J. (2000). Encyclopedia-lexicon distinctions in Jingulu grammar. The Lexicon-encyclopedia interface. (pp. 393-431) edited by Bert Peeters. Oxford: Elsevier.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Edited Outputs

Other Outputs

  • Pensalfini, Rob (2021). Bogga. Brisbane, Qld, Australia: Playlab Theatre.

  • Pensalfini, Rob (2018). The Blood Votes. Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, Qld: Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble.

  • Pensalfini, Rob (2017). Bogga. The University of Queensland: Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble.

  • Pensalfini, Rob (2017). Bogga. The University of Queensland, Queensland: Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble.

  • Pensalfini, Rob (2016). Music and Madness. The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland: Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble and UQ.

  • Pensalfini, Rob (2016). Twelfth Night. Brisbane, Australia: Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble.

  • Pensalfini, Rob, Sanderson, Leah, Franklin, Jo and Dekker, Kat (2014). A Midsummer Night's Dream - Shakespeare Prison Project. Southern Queensland Correctional Centre: Gatton, QLD, Australia.

  • Pensalfini, Rob, Kosch, Angel, Franklin, Jo and Sanderson, Leah (2013). The Comedy of Errors. Gatton, QLD, Australia: Southern Queensland Correctional Centre.

  • Pensalfini, Rob (2013). A Midsummer Night's Dream. Brisbane, Queensland: Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble.

  • Pensalfini, Rob (2012). The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Brisbane, Queensland: Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble.

  • Pensalfini, Rob, Edwards, Gavin, Tofteland, Curt, Heard, Emma, Trnka, Irma and Pensalfini, Anne (2011). Shakespeare in prison. Ironbark, QLD, Australia: Borallon Correctional Centre.

  • Barry, Jane, Hoey, Aisling, Pensalfini, Anne, Pensalfini, Rob and Verbraak, Liz (2010). Macbeth. Ironbark, QLD, Australia: Borallon Correctional Centre.

  • Carne, Andrea, Kosch, Angel, Pensalfini, Anne, Pensalfini, Rob and Small, Belinda (2009). Julius Caesar. Ironbark, QLD, Australia: Borallon Correctional Centre.

  • Jäger, Andreas and Pensalfini, Rob (2007). Introduction. School of English, Media Studies and Art History, The University of Queensland.

  • Pensalfini, Rob (2007). Verbs as Spatial Deixis markers in Jingulu. School of English, Media Studies and Art History, The University of Queensland.

  • Pensalfini, Robert J. (2006). Shakespeare Prison Project (formerly known as Arts in Community Enhancement - ACE). Borallon Correctional Centre: Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble.

  • Pensalfini, Rob (2003). Part Of Speech Mismatches in Modular Grammar: New Evidence from Jingulu.

  • Pensalfini, Rob (2003). Towards a Typology of Configurationality.

  • Pensalfini, Rob (2003). Verbs as Spatial Deixis Markers in Jingulu.

  • Pensalfini, Rob (1999). Case Suffixes as Discourse Markers in Jingulu.

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision