Join us for this week’s CuSPP seminar:
Happily Never After
Thursday 14 March, 1pm, Milgate Room, AD Hope Bldg, SLLL
Young Adult (YA) fiction is having a dystopian moment: exploring a future that faces destruction. Dystopian literature explores a time when hard choices must be made, and YA dystopian literature does this with teenagers at the fore, preoccupied with solving the problems of their harsh societies, but with limited options. By reading YA dystopian fiction through a Queer Theory lens we gain an understanding of the futures we expect young adults to believe in. Queer Theory allows us to examine Young Adult protagonists who disrupt the future as it is ‘meant’ to play out.
This paper will discuss works in which children are compelled to fight other children and adults in order to achieve the goals of adults, and will explore two different understandings of the future. The Hunger Games trilogy (2008-2010) by Suzanne Collins has Katniss fulfil the cycle of reproduction in her epilogue, foreshadowing a better future in which our protagonist has had children. On the other hand, Isobelle Carmody’s Obernewtyn Chronicles (1987-2015) does not so closely follow this pattern of reward and continuation of the future through procreation. By considering child protagonists in dystopian societies, we trouble the idea of the innocent child and bring the legal strangeness of this category to trial. This paper will look at the endings of these works, and see how they bring about a recursive, unending future.
Ally Wolfe is a PhD candidate in SLLL and has taught in Gender Studies at ANU. She completed a Bachelor of Arts (Dean’s Scholar) in English Literature and History, as well as a BA (Honours) in English Literature at the University of Wollongong. Her research examines young adult fiction, gendered and generic norms, and dystopian fiction.
Join us for this week’s CuSPP seminar:
What does it mean to be a queer refugee woman? Collective self-discovery of lived experiences through trauma and agency
Thursday 7 March, 12pm, Milgate Room, AD Hope Bldg, SLLL
(Please note change of usual seminar time from 1pm to 12 midday)
Queer refugees occupy a marginal space within refugee narratives. They appear to be more tolerable for the hosting country as their queerness signifies modernity, yet they are excluded from the refugee community itself symbolising the clash of cultures. There is no space of belonging in the queer community either due to potential racism. Additionally, narratives are mostly male-centric.
My research is focused on the lived experiences of queer refugee women. Taking the point of departure in my personal story and moving to stories of other women, I view them through the lens of trauma theory and concepts of agency. Placing particular focus on the life after, I question whether the discovery and embrace of the multiplicity of new refugee identity still remains ongoing for them and whether in a new (presumably) safe home, queer refugee women may be still coming to terms with oppression, discrimination or violence.
Tina Dixson is a PhD candidate in SLLL. Tina has a strong record of engaging with the UN human rights treaties such as CEDAW and the UN programmes such as UNHCR through participating in the development of the Global Compact on Refugees. Tina is also a co-founder of the Queer Sisterhood Project, a peer-run support and advocacy group for queer refugee women in Australia.
Jane Scott, The Lost Amazon of the Strand
Thursday 14th February, 1pm, Milgate Room, AD Hope Bldg, SLLL
202 years ago in February 1817 Jane Scott’s gothic melodrama Camilla the Amazon was staged, at her own theatre in London’s Strand, the Sans Pareil – a house that four years later became the Adelphi, and is still in business. In the same year her contemporary, the other Jane – Jane Austen – published her comically gothic work, Northanger Abbey. Why does the world not know that Jane Scott came first? Austen was a quiet, middle-class spinster living in Hampshire, unknown in her own lifetime; Scott was a successful London entrepreneur, an actress and a theatre manager as well as a prolific writer. Her theatre is a foundation stone of the modern West End.
I launched this paradox in an article called “Genius comes in all disguises” twenty years ago. Little happened. Then the cause of the actress/manager was taken up by Gilli Bush-Bailey, and together we have written and talked and taught students about her ironic melodramas, her groundbreaking contemporary comedies, the manic edge of her burlesques, and the way in which her works anticipate and have been waiting for post-modern understanding of the pre-Victorian. In 2017 Scott’s comedy Whackham and Windham received its first professional outing for 200 years. Maybe her time has come.
This lecture will present a whistle-stop tour of Jane’s life and work, her extraordinary energy and creativity and the many new things she brought to writing for the popular stage.
Jacky Bratton is Professor Emerita of the University of London and an Honorary Fellow of Royal Holloway, University of London. Her most recent books are The Making of the West End Stage, New Readings in Theatre History and The Victorian Clown, all published by Cambridge University Press. She is still tying up the ends of a career-long preoccupation with the cultural worlds of the nineteenth century, especially those below the radar of ‘the legitimate’, and the high cultural waterline that has succeeded that old definition of what is respectable. Her subjects have mostly been women and children, and often not respectable at all.
Ugly feelings and passivity in the novels of Gabriel Tallent and Anne Enright
Thursday 7 February, 1pm, Milgate Room, AD Hope Bldg, SLLL
Kathryn Hind completed her undergrad with Honours at the University of Canberra, where her thesis was a multimedia piece on reading as construction. In 2013, she completed a Masters in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, UK. She began her first novel, Hitch, while on the course, and it will be published in June this year by Penguin Random House. Along with publication in Australian literary journals and some short story prize wins and short-listings, Kathryn has a poem published on an ACTION bus.
Join the CuSPP Writing Group on Mondays and Fridays, 10-12
A.D. Hope Common Room 113
Bring along the hot drink and research project of your choice for some friendly, Pomodoro-style writing sessions.
Join us for this week’s CuSPP seminar:
Creating A Place Among the Anthropo-scenes
Thursday 25 October, 1pm, Milgate Room, AD Hope Bldg, SLLL
For Indian writer Amitav Ghosh, the world is in the grip of a ‘Great Derangement’: human inaction in the knowledge of great, avoidable danger. This ‘danger’ manifests in several forms, but I am interested in the changes to environment and climate. To engage effectively with these, environmental and agricultural scientists call for a cultural turn to familiarity with the immediate natural world. At the same time, Ghosh predicts that future generations will hold writers and artists, as well as politicians, responsible for the inertia that characterizes derangement.
Ghosh’s and the scientists’ challenge invites experimentation; the relationship between place, culture and the material world is already one of the liveliest areas of inquiry in the humanities. In this paper I take a universal —the winds—and make them local. I focus on local place-writing and on the interplay of the natural world, language and experience, drawing on philosopher Edward S. Casey’s phenomenological and ethnographic approach to language as the expression of ‘intimate relationship between embodiment and emplacement, phenomena and culture’.
Barbara Holloway is a Visiting Fellow in SLLL. She researches and publishes across Australian literary history, place-making and environmental cultural studies in both critical and creative formats. Her most recent publication, ‘The Undead of Australian Forests’, appeared in ‘Land Dialogues,’ a special issue of Fusion, 2017.