Alan Theo Brissenden
Alan Brissenden was born on 13 October 1932 in Griffith, New South Wales.
Educated at Cowra High School, Sydney University (BA Hons, Dip.Ed.) and London University (PhD). He was a teacher and then a research officer for the NSW Department of Education in the 1950s .
Alan was then a member of the English Department of the University of Adelaide for more than 30 years -
- Senior lecturer, 1968—1981
- Reader in English, 1982—1994
- Chairman of the English Department, 1985-1986
- Honorary visiting research fellow, since 1995 .
He was a noted scholar of Shakespeare and Early Modern drama, as well as having a strong research interest in Australian fiction: his lively tutorials and play readings in these areas are fondly remembered by generations of Adelaide students. Indeed, he taught and inspired a number who would go onto play a significant role in the arts themselves, including Chris Westwood, Keith Gallasch, Libby Raupach and Rob Brookman. Alan was also a major player in the broader cultural life of the university, directing for the Theatre Guild, being instrumental in the establishment of first the drama, then the dance programs, and finally, in the setting up of the short-lived Faculty of Performing Arts, which at that time encompassed the Elder Conservatorium. 
Brissenden was also well known as a reviewer and as a dance critic. He began reviewing dance for Honi Soit in the 1950s, and has since written on and reviewed dance for SMH, The Advertiser, The Australian, Dance Australia, The Adelaide Review and Radio Adelaide. A founding member of the Adelaide Critics Circle, Alan’s contributions to dance were such that in 2013 he was the first non-dancer to be inducted into the Australian Dance Awards Hall of Fame. As was noted in his citation, “We often forget that those who have not danced themselves but have spent a lifetime of intellectual endeavour in the service of dance are fundamental to its ecology”. In June 2020 Ausdance SA honoured Alan with a lifetime membership. 
Alan was involved in a number of Australian and international organisations concerned with literature and the arts, including the Adelaide Festival of Arts, the Adelaide branch of the English Association, the Arts Council of South Australia, the Australian and New Zealand Shakespeare Association, Friends of the State Library of South Australia and the Australian Dance Council.
He chaired the Early Imprints Project in South Australia from 1977, and he edited Early Printed Books in South Australia: The Catalogue of the Early Imprints Project in South Australia (electronic resource, 1994). 
In 1996 Alan was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his services to the arts. 
Alan Brissenden passed away on 9 September 2020, aged 87.
1. https://www.austlit.edu.au/austlit/page/A24000 - Accessed 31 December 2020
2. https://prabook.com/web/alan_theo.brissenden/1671075 - Accessed 31 December 2020
3. University of Adelaide - Faculty of Arts - https://arts.adelaide.edu.au/intranet/news/list/2020/09/16/dr-alan-brissenden-am-a-member-of-the-english-department-from-1963-till-1994 - Accessed 31 December 2020
5. https://www.austlit.edu.au - op cit.
6. https://www.danceaustralia.com.au/news/vale-alan-brissenden-1932-2020 - Accessed 31 December 2020
7. University of Adelaide - Faculty of Arts - op cit.
Profile Image - courtesy of AusDance - https://ausdance.org.au/articles/details/dr-brissenden-honoured-by-the-australian-dance-community - Accessed 31 December 2020.