Mathew, Nulley-Valdés & Peyton: Reviving the Author

Reviving the Author

Thursday 28 September, 1pm Milgate Room, AD Hope Bldg, SLL

The question of authorial intent looms large over literary studies. The influence of post-structuralist thought from Derrida to Barthes and the new criticism attempted to challenge the primacy of the author’s intention for the text. As critics we are still confronted with this problem in literary research, to what extent do we believe that there is authorial intent behind a text and how should this be dealt with in research? In these three short presentations we will discuss our responses to this problem in our research methodology. This heterogeneous roundtable will explore the (almost) inescapable presence of the author: Imogen researches Wiradjuri author Anita Heiss, Thomas studies Latin American short story anthologies from a world literature methodology, and Will applies linguistic literary analysis to the works of Liu Cixin. This inclusion of the author can be approached from a number of perspectives: how the author makes their intention known through the text, existing authorial commentary, oral interview methodologies, and how involving the author shapes the research project.

Imogen Mathew is a PhD candidate in SLLL. Her writing has been published in the Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (JASAL), Contemporary Women’s Writing, Australian Humanities Review and Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies (forthcoming 2017). Thomas Nulley-Valdés is a PhD student in contemporary Latin American literature in SLLL. For his doctoral research he has conducted over 25 interviews with contemporary Latin American authors and editors and has published some of these interviews. Will Peyton is a PhD candidate in Chinese literature and translation in SLLL. He completed his undergraduate studies in history at the University of Melbourne and has studied at the Renmin University of China, Peking University and the National Taiwan Normal University.

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