Julieanne Lamond in conversation with author Gail Jones

CuSPP member Julieanne Lamond will be interviewing Gail Jones about her new novel, The Death of Noah Glass, at Muse on Sunday 6 May at 3pm.

Reserve your place and read more about Jones’ book here.

The author of seven novels and two collections of stories, Gail Jones is one of Australia’s most celebrated writers. Her work has been translated into twelve languages and awarded several prizes in Australia. Internationally her fiction has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize, and shortlisted for the IMPAC Award and the Prix Femina Étranger.

Dr Julieanne Lamond focuses on researching and teaching literary culture at the turn of the twentieth century, especially that written and read in Australia, and the intersection between literary and popular cultures of reading, especially as mediated by newspapers and libraries. She is currently working on a study of book reviewing in Australia from 1985-present and is the editor of Australian Literary Studies.

ANZAC Day: ‘Arthur Streeton, the art of war’ poetry reading

This ANZAC Day, the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra is hosting a collaboration with the ANU Theatre Society and the Australian War Memorial:

Arthur Streeton: The art of war poetry reading (Wednesday April 25, 11:00am – 12:00pm)

A recital of Australian poetry and illuminating letters written by Arthur Streeton during his time as an official war artist in May 1918 by the ANU Theatre Society.

Venue: Project Gallery, NGA
Price: Free (bookings essential here)

More information here.

Image credit: Arthur Streeton, ‘Troops bathing, Glisy’ 1918.

Leslie Barnes on Nicolas Kristof as Global Saviour

Join us for next week’s CuSPP seminar:

Live-Tweeting and Distant Suffering: Nicholas Kristof as Global Saviour

Thursday 26 April, 1pm, Milgate Room, AD Hope Bldg, SLLL

In his foreword to Somaly Mam’s The Road of Lost Innocence, Nicholas Kristof celebrates the Cambodian sex-trafficking survivor for embodying “the resilience, courage, and nobility of the human spirit.” Kristof, a journalist for The New York Times, has played a significant role in defining sex trafficking on the global stage. He has penned numerous editorial pieces about sexual violence toward women around the world; created a “trans-media project,” called Half the Sky, aiming to “put an end to the oppression of women and girls worldwide”; documented in his NYT column his interactions with two Cambodian sex workers whose freedom he purchased in 2004; and in 2011, live-tweeted a brothel raid orchestrated by Mam.

In this essay, I situate Kristof’s narrative self-fashioning in the context of the neoimperialist rescue fantasies his writing perpetuates. I am interested in the tensions created in Kristof’s texts, and in particular, the ways in which the Twitter episode suspends the implied witness somewhere between the immediacy of what Craig Calhoun calls the “emergency imaginary” and the physical and temporal remove of Luc Boltanski’s “distant suffering.” In his writings, Kristof constructs and disseminates a set of claims about the truth of sex trafficking, presents himself as a global saviour figure, and encourages the “ironic” participation of his witness, who is moved less to take part in a cosmopolitan morality centred on justice for the Other than to identify with the celebrity/saviour figure and to contemplate his or her own narcissistic performance of solidarity.

Leslie Barnes is Senior Lecturer in French Studies in SLLL. Her publications include Vietnam and the Colonial Condition of French Literature (University of Nebraska Press, 2014).

Call for Submissions: The Cinema of Rithy Panh

The Cinema of Rithy Panh (tentative title)

Rithy Panh¹s cinematic project offers a sustained meditation on genocide, with nearly every one of his films addressing to some degree the horror that befell his native Cambodia between 1975 and 1979. At the same time, his examination of the Cambodian genocide is not limited to its attendant phenomena of war, displacement, dehumanization, and loss, though these themes are fundamental. Instead, the central premise of this volume is that genocide in Panh¹s work is at once the object of study and the catalyst for explorations of themes occasioned by, but that also surpass, the brutal reign of Democratic Kampuchea. Among these, we find reflections on rites and rituals, legality and governance, human rights, colonialism, global capitalism, and sexual exploitation, to name but a few. Moreover, as a cinematic art, Panh¹s work explores the intersection of aesthetics and violence, ethics, and memory, encouraging discussion of framing and editing, the mise-en-scène of voice and testimony, the use of visual archives and animation, and the visual and narrative establishment of point-of-view (e.g., of the victim, perpetrator, or autobiographical subject). We hope to account for Rithy Panh¹s work as a direct confrontation with the Cambodian genocide and its causes, but also as a creative exploration of the continuation of life in its aftermath.

The author of such films as S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine, Duch: Master of the Forges of Hell, The Missing Picture, and nearly twenty other documentaries, feature films, film adaptations, and audio-visual productions, Rithy Panh has garnered international recognition and numerous awards. He has been in competition for the Palme d¹or at the Cannes Film Festival and the Oscar for best foreign film. He has won the Un certain regard at Cannes, a Lumière for best documentary, and awards at film festivals in Vancouver, San Francisco, and Torino, and at the International Human Rights Festival in Nurenberg. In 2013, Panh was named the Asian filmmaker of the year at the Pusan International Film Festival. He is also a producer, contributing to the filmic endeavors of others in Cambodia, including the Franco-Cambodian documentary filmmaker, Davy Chou, and Angelina Jolie, who has recently released an adaption of Luong Ung¹s First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers. In addition to his cinematic work, in 2006 Panh opened the Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center, a site devoted to recovering and preserving the images and sounds of Cambodia¹s past and to training the next generation of Cambodian filmmakers and archivists.

No monograph or edited volume to date has surveyed the work of Rithy Panh. The proposed volume not only fills this gap in research, but also contributes to scholarly debates on documentary film, the cinema of genocide, Cambodian history, and contemporary (transnational) Cambodian culture and society. In this volume, we seek to account for the conceptual, thematic, historical, and aesthetic richness of Panh¹s layered and ongoing engagement with genocide. We envision a multidisciplinary examination of his work, with contributions from scholars working in a range of relevant disciplines, including Southeast Asian studies, anthropology, history, legal studies, postcolonial studies, and film studies. We are aiming for a volume that combines analyses of the style and narrative content of Panh¹s films with essays that position his films as a lens through which to study, for example, religion, community, and political violence in Cambodia, past and present, from specific (inter)disciplinary perspectives.

We encourage contributors to follow one of these approaches and to reflect on the ways in which Rithy Panh¹s work looks at and beyond genocide. In addition to those listed above, topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

-Khmer mythology

-Khmer rouge propaganda/ideological practices

-Revolution and civil war


-History, trauma, and the ethics of documentary cinema

-Displacement and exploitation

-French colonialism/American imperialism

-Buddhism and religious identity (including burial rituals)

-filming of perpetrators

-Family, gender, and society during/in the wake of political violence

-Urban development and decay; rural life and its practices

-Cultural heritage and preservation

-Visual language and cultural/historical inquiry (e.g., photography, architecture, dance)

-Memory and the archive (including reflections on the mission and work of the Bophana Center)

-Techniques for Œimagining¹ the past, individual and collective memory, etc.

-Cinematic technique: style, mediation, the photographic image, framing, montage, sound/voiceover/music, animation, realism versus invention, fiction/documentary, techniques of narration, modes of interpellation of viewers, etc.


Site 2 (1989)

Les Gens de la rizière (1994)

Bophana, une tragédie cambodgienne (1996)

Un soir après la guerre (1998)

La terre des âmes errantes (2000)

Que la barque se brise, que la jonque s¹ouvre (2001)

S21, la machine de mort khmère rouge (2003)

Les Gens d¹Angkor (2003)

Les Artistes du théâtre brulé (2005)

Le Papier ne peut pas envelopper la braise (2007)

Un Barrage contre le Pacifique (2008)

Gibier d¹élevage (2011)

Duch, le Maître des forges de l¹enfer (2012)

L¹Image manquante (2013)

La France est notre patrie (2015)

Exile (2016)

We ask that contributions include:

-a 250-300-word abstract for a 6,000-word essay

-a brief biography (app. 75 words) plus a list of publications relevant to proposed essay

Timeframe: Abstracts due to us May 15, 2018 for drafts of essays due Summer 2019.

Accessing films: Many of Rithy¹s films are available on dvd in American or French versions. Some are not. In such cases, we the editors may be able to provide some limited-time vimeo versions (most with English subtitles) thanks to the generosity of the Bophana Center.

Please send queries to:

Leslie Barnes (leslie.barnes@anu.edu.au) and Joseph Mai (jmai@clemson.edu)





Image credit: Exil, Rithy Panh 2016

CFP: The Bildungsroman, form and transformations

The Bildungsroman: form and transformations


A conference hosted by the Novel Network at the University of Sydney, 22-25 November 2018

This conference will explore the past and present condition of the Bildungsroman, with its myriad transformations and diversifications not only in the novel proper but also in memoir, film and long-form television. It will bring together exciting work in disciplines often separated by periodising and disciplinary paradigms and gather experts in prose fiction, film and television from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries and from a range of language areas to concentrate on this key narrative form. The novel of the emotional and social development or formation of a young person as they learn to make their way in an often hostile world, the Bildungsroman ­was a key form taken by the European novel from the early 19th century. How has it made its way across transhistorical formations and transgeneric remediations?


Nancy Armstrong, Gilbert, Louis & Edward Lehrman Professor of English, Duke

Joseph Litvak, Professor of English and Chair of Department, Tufts

Katie Trumpener, Emily Sandford Professor of Comparative Literature and English, Yale

We invite proposals for individual papers, panels, roundtables and single text discussion sessions, on the following or other related topics. The panel format will involve pre-submission of the paper to ensure closer audience engagement with its arguments:

Theory and the bildungsroman

The bildungsroman, the künstlerroman, the erziehungsroman: overlaps and distinctions

The origins of the bildungsroman

The contemporary bildungsroman

The female bildungsroman

The queer bildungsroman

Gender in the bildungsroman

Narrative theory and the bildungsroman

Psychology and the bildungsroman

The postcolonial bildungsroman

The coming of age film as bildungsroman

The bildungsroman and television

The Bildungsroman and the city

Transnationalism and the bildungsroman

Memoir and the bildungsroman

The anti-bildungsroman

The eco-bildungsroman

200 word abstracts should be emailed by June 15 to vanessa.smith@sydney.edu.au.

Image credit: Boy, Taika Waititi 2010 via bildungsroman.org.

Millicent Weber on digital publishing and audiobooks

Please join us for next week’s CuSPP seminar:

Digital Publishing Collectives and Public Domain Audiobooks

Thursday 19 April, 1pm, Milgate Room, AD Hope Bldg, SLLL

Cooperative digital publishing enterprises enrich the public domain and model productive collaborative practices in an increasingly hostile online world. This talk examines one of these enterprises, Librivox, whose volunteers create free audiobooks of public domain texts. Working in the intersection of innovative social, cultural and professional missions, Librivox volunteers have produced nearly 11,000 audiobooks. This talk positions Librivox as literary repository, new media form, practice and community. It demarcates Librivox’s relationship to other digital repositories such as Project Gutenberg and non-literary volunteer-driven enterprises such as Wikipedia. It also scopes out a project that understands Librivox within broader publishing industry trends, including the uptick in audiobook listening, and the rise of volunteerism and precarious employment in related creative industries.

Dr Millicent Weber is a Lecturer in English at the ANU. Her first monograph, Literary Festivals and Contemporary Book Culture, will be published by Palgrave Macmillan later this year. She co-convenes the annual Independent Publishing Conference, and has written  on contemporary literary culture for scholarly and literary journals including  Convergence, Continuum, and Overland.

Image credit: Humane Pursuits, ‘Exploring the World of Librivox’

Kate Flaherty at the HRC: Is Shakespeare a Book?

Please join us for Kate Flaherty’s Books That Changed Humanity talk this week:

Is Shakespeare a Book?

Friday 6 April, 5.30 – 7pm, Theatrette, Sir Roland Wilson Building. Register here.

In early April of 2016 a multitude of international news outlets reported the ‘discovery’ of a copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio in a stately home on the Scottish Isle of Bute. The scale of excitement reflects Shakespeare’s ongoing influence on the human imagination. The press also registered wonder that we can hold in our hands an object closely connected with the poet and playwright of 400 years ago. But how is the First Folio connected with Shakespeare? It is certain he never held a copy in his hands; it was published by his colleagues seven years after he died. Yet there are many plays – Macbeth and Julius Caesar among them – which we would not have today were it not for this famous book. This paper tells a story of how Shakespeare’s relationship with text has been understood through history, and reveals the benefits and limitations of understanding Shakespeare as a book.

Kate Flaherty is Lecturer in English and Drama at the Australian National University. She researches how Shakespeare’s works play on the stage of public culture. Her monograph Ours as we play it: Australia plays Shakespeare (UWAP, 2011) examines three plays in performance in contemporary Australia. Her more recent work investigates the interplay of Shakespearean drama with education, imperial cultural politics, and female creative agency in colonial Australia. She has been published in a variety of journals including Contemporary Theatre Review, New Theatre Quarterly, Australian Studies and Shakespeare Survey. Kate loves to share her research and speaks frequently at public events and school workshops.

Gemma King at the French Film Festival

The 2018 Canberra French Film Festival closes tomorrow, Wednesday March 28, but there are still plenty of films to see. Listen to Gemma King speaking on 2CC radio about the festival, stereotypes about French cinema, and how French films are actually far more diverse than you might expect:

Head to affrenchfilmfestival.org or Palace Electric cinemas for tickets.

Sangjoon Lee on the Chinese film market and Hollywood

Please join us for next week’s CuSPP seminar:

The Chinese Film Market and Hollywood, Or, How China is Remaking the Global Film Industry

Thursday 29 March, 1pm, Milgate Room, AD Hope Bldg, SLLL

Nobody can deny how significant the Chinese film market is in the global film industries today. Most industry experts and market analysts now safely predict that the size of the Chinese film market will surpass North America in 2019. Moreover, high-quality Asian local products, particularly powerful regional filmmaking forces like South Korea, India, and rapidly emerging industries in Southeast Asia, flowed outward to global film markets to connect with international audiences in commercial cinemas, art theatres, at major international film festivals and through digital platforms. Chinese media conglomerates have been recruiting regional talents, particularly technicians, performers, and creative personnel, and buying out film and media companies, theatres, and TV stations in the region and beyond. The global film industry is indeed experiencing a time of great transformation, spearheaded by the rapid development of Chinese cinema. By focusing on the Chinese film industry’s dynamic coproduction practices with Hollywood, this presentation will examine this unprecedented phenomenon in the new millennium by considering a number of critical issues, including questions of ownership and control, global/regional dimensions of the Chinese film industry, transnational division of creative workers, the national versus the transnational, and the unprecedented cultural flows and mixes in cinema around Asia, Hollywood, and the globe.

Sangjoon Lee is Assistant Professor at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He is currently editing two special issues on the Chinese film market for Screen and The Journal of Chinese Cinemas.

Tim Sargent on Melancholy

Please join us for this week’s CuSPP seminar:

Making Sense of Melancholy in Feminist and Queer Cultural Studies

Thursday 22 March, 1pm, Milgate Room, AD Hope Bldg, SLLL

There is a lot of interesting work on the subject of melancholy. Within feminist and queer cultural studies, however, this topic is under‐developed. This is despite an explosion of discourse on the subject of ‘abject’ mood within the same field. How do we ‘make sense’ of melancholy in this context? This thesis places several key feminist and queer scholars in dialogue with one another, with specific attention placed on their deployments of melancholy, where they might fall short, and how they can inform one another. This thesis seeks to bring melancholy further into the realm of active discussion within feminist and queer cultural studies.

Tim Sargent is a PhD candidate in SLLL. He leverages his interdisciplinary approach to explore research interests in emotion, mood, and identity.