About Chris

I am a lecturer in private law at Sydney Law School at the University of Sydney. Currently, I teach Foundations of Law, Torts and a master’s unit titled Mental Illness: Law and Policy.

In 2021, I was Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Law and Genetics, University of Tasmania. My supervisor was Distinguised Professor Diane Nicol, Chair of the NHMRC Embryo Research Licensing Committee. The project we worked on was called Genome Editing: Formulating an Australian Community Response. Details of the project are here: https://www.miragenews.com/citizen-jury-will-deliberate-on-gene-editing-regulation-and-ethics/. I will continue to work on this project through 2022 and beyond.

In 2019, I was postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Melbourne. There I worked with Professor Megan Munsie on a project investigating the regulation and governance of autologous stem cell therapies in Australia and globally. I continue to work in the area of stem cell regulation as a Chief Investigator on an MRFF grant titled Improving Decisions about Access to Stem Cell Interventions, and in other ways.

In 2018, I conducted a major review of the scope of disciplinary powers exercisable by the NSW medical regulator under the relevant health practitioner law. I have also published original research on the the history and politics of novel psychiatric devices, including the e-meter and telepsychiatric devices. I have also published work on the legal frameworks regulating stem cell interventions in Australia and internationally.

I am managing editor of Philament and production editor of the Australasian Journal of American Studies.

Background

I hold degrees in Arts (Honours I) and Law (Sydney), and a PhD in the social history and literature of medicine (Sydney).

Conferred in 2015, my PhD thesis developed a novel theory of authorship based on a model of the posthuman subject as molecular and microbial. It examined various literary and essayistic representations of psychosis with reference to contemporary psychiatric and molecular models of mind disorder.

One of the thesis’s central arguments was that in many historical representations of mind disorder — including the essays and fiction of authors Aldous Huxley, Herman Melville, and Philip K. Dick — there emerges a series of consistent letimotifs, figures, or imagines. In the thesis, I called these leitmotifs “psychotropes.”  I made the claim that much of the diagnostic and taxonomic data in psychiatry emerged in collaboration with these psychotropes of mind disorder. In turn, psychiatry generated a worldview of mental harm and illness that remains firmly enmeshed in the symbolic ideas that preceded it.

My publications list may be viewed on my ORCID profile: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6629-8485