Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL)

(Status : Public)
  • Call For Papers: Excess, Desire and Twenty-First Century Women’s Writing

    8–10 February, 2017, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane

    Far from being in excess, are studies of gender in twenty-first century women’s writing dwindling, no longer “in vogue?” And yet, at the same time, we are told, public conversations about gender and sexuality are “too much,” “over the top,” out of bounds and out of touch. With a desire of adding to or redressing this feminist excess, Hecate: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Women’s Liberation, in association with the Contemporary Women’s Writing Association, invites proposals for conference papers dealing with the notions of excess and desire as they are developed in twenty-first century women’s writing.

    Jennifer McWeeny reads two female characters in de Beauvoir’s L’Invitée (1943) as “one woman who has multiple, contradictory, excessive selves” (2012). Monique Wittig made a similar claim about the division of the I (j/e) in The Lesbian Body (1973), arguing that “[t]he bar … is a sign of excess. A sign that helps to imagine an excess of ‘I,’ an ‘I’ exalted;” Teresa de Lauretis adds that we might think about excess precisely “as a resistance to identification … [o]r of a dis-identification with femininity” (Lauretis 2007). French feminist theory frequently deals with female “symbolic excess,” disruption and desire (see also Rosemary Hennessy 1993,Mary Russo 1995, Karen Kopelson 2006): bel hooks interprets desire as “yearning” for a better world: post-racism, post-exploitation. We invite abstracts which consider excess and/or desire in these ways, or others, including (but not limited to):

    • Female embodiment, both abled and disabled
    • Jouissance and enjoyment
    • Food, eating, consumption
    • Speaking out, current feminist discourses in the public sphere and excess and/or desire as feminist critique
    • Excess(es) of trauma and violence
    • The grotesque and the carnivalesque
    • The excess or uncanniness of literary language
    • The excess of theory
    • Desire, yearning and capitalism’s negative excess(es)
    • Desire and revolution
    • The “proper” and the ladylike
    • Excess affect
    • Comparison with antecedents in the pre-21st Century
    • Cross-cultural/transnational excess and/or desire

    Confirmed attendees so far include Sneja Gunew, Susan Sheridan, Gina Wisker, Sanjukta Dasgupta, Devaleena Das.

    Send abstracts of 250 words (for 20 minute papers) and brief biography to Prof. Carole Ferrier ( and Dr Jessica Gildersleeve ( by 18 November 2016.


  • Event: Inaugural Australian Short Story Festival

    Friday 21 October – Sunday 23 October, 2016, Perth, Western Australia.

    The inaugural Australian Short Story Festival launches with a vibrant program of top Australian and International authors and storytellers. The three-day festival will offer over 25 paid and free events and showcase not only the traditional written form, but also storytelling in the oral and recorded forms.

    Key events include In conversation sessions with prominent writers such as Ryan O’Neill (VIC), Ellen van Neerven (QLD), Cate Kennedy (VIC), Paddy O’Reilly (VIC), Fiona McFarlane (NSW) and Isabelle Li (NSW), publishing advice with three independent publishing houses, the launch of Westerly: New Creative issue, a collaboration between local storytellers and raconteurs - Barefaced Stories, Magnolias Late Night Live and Ships In The Night, a celebration of five years of the Margaret River Short Story Competition and a street reading walk of Northbridge. A total of thirty local and national writers, will be participating in the event, along with Parashar Kulkarni, who recently became the first Indian writer to win the prestigious Commonwealth Short Story Prize for his story ‘Cow and Company’. Host organisation Centre for Stories in Northbridge will be the main Festival venue, with activities also scheduled at the State Library and Northbridge Piazza which will showcase an Indigenous Yarning Session, featuring prominent personalities from Warakurna, a remote community of Western Australia situated 330km from Uluru. Cate Kennedy, one of Australia’s most celebrated short story writers, will give the opening address. The closing address will be delivered by Professor Kim Scott, twice winner of the Miles Franklin Award. Australian Short Story Festival Patron highly acclaimed author, Gail Jones, has described the event as “an audacious, intelligent and very welcome initiative at a time when the short story as a form is enormously popular with both emerging and established writers”.

    Tickets to all events are now available from

    For further information and interview requests please contact Jason Cleary (

  • The Retrospect: Australian Women's Writing: A Symposium

    1.00 pm – 7.30 pm Thursday, 3 November 2016, State Library of NSW, Dixson Room

    In collaboration with the State Library of NSW and the Sydney Review of Books, the Writing and Society Research Centre are pleased to present a one-day symposium on Australian women's writing.

    The symposium brings together leading scholars and award-winning writers from across Australia to register and explore the contributions and legacy of nineteenth-century Australian women's writing.

    Speakers will consider a variety of Australian female writers publishing throughout the nineteenth century, as well as the broad range of genres within which these writers worked, including poetry, science fiction, the short story, and crime fiction.

    The symposium will also include a special session on women's children's literature and education both past and present in Australia with author and NSW Ambassador for the Stella Prize Schools Program, Emily Maguire.

    Confirmed speakers include: Prof. Susan K. Martin, (La Trobe), A/Prof. Tanya Dalziell (UWA), Prof. Elizabeth Webby (USyd), Dr. Lucy Sussex (La Trobe) and Dr. Anne Jamison (WSU). The symposium will conclude with a roundtable discussion to reflect on the ongoing influence and legacy of Australia's nineteenth-century women writers.

    The roundtable includes contemporary writers Fiona Wright, Jessica White and Maggie Mackellar who will discuss their own recent re-encounters with Barbara Baynton, Rosa Praed and Ada Cambridge for a forthcoming series of retrospective reviews in the Sydney Review of Books.

    Registration is free but places are limited. To register, please email:

    For further details please see:

  • ASAL 2017 Conference: Australia in/and/with China: Looking In, Looking Out.

    July 11 - 14, 2017, Melbourne (La Trobe, Deakin & Melbourne Universities)

    The ASAL 2017 conference, themed Australia in/and/with China: Looking In, Looking Out, will be held from July 11-14, 2017, in Melbourne with La Trobe, Deakin and Melbourne Universities.

  • Call for papers: ASALvets

    ASALvets will be meeting again on Kangaroo Island, from 3-7th April, 2017. We will fit our papers around trips to various important places, such as wineries and restaurants. Chris Carter will be arranging our accommodation and tours.

    General enquiries to Susan Lever ( Proposals for papers should be sent to Sue Sheridan (

    Papers and presentations are welcome on any subject, but you may like to consider something related to the area. Kangaroo Island is the setting for several nineteenth and twentieth-century novels, and its literary associations include the fact that Patrick White and Manoly Lascaris spent several summer holidays at American River with Geoffrey Dutton and his family. If you consider Kangaroo Island as part of the Southern Ocean coast, literary links could extend to novels of the Coorong and the Murray mouth (like Lucy Treloar’s recent Salt Creek, Colin Thiele’s Storm Boy, Nancy Cato’s All the Rivers Run). Other places with literary associations are David Unaipon’s birthplace, Raukkan (Point McLeay), Robe (Adam Lindsay Gordon’s residence for a while), Mount Gambier (where Catherine Martin grew up) and, nearer to Adelaide, Encounter Bay, Victor Harbour and Goolwa.

  • Event: Seminar Series: Francis Webb: God’s Fool: A Survey of this Australian Catholic poet’s work by his biographer.

    10am – 12 noon, 7 – 24 February, 2017, Level 5, 141 Harrington Street, Sydney.

    One two hour seminar each week for four weeks on Tuesday 7, 14, and 21 February and Friday 24 February, 2017 from 10am – 12 noon. With his characteristic capacity to engage and draw forth the best from the participants Michael will unveil the depth and insights of Francis Webb – the subject of his Doctorate. Webb has been acclaimed by Sir Herbert Read as being “One of the greatest poets of our time … one of the must unjustly neglected poets of the century.”

    Michael is Associate Professor in Literature at Australian Catholic University, has a special interest in the relationship between the Sacred in Literature and the Arts, has co-curated a number of recent conferences: Writing the Sacred (2102), Addressing the Sacred (2013) and Grounding the Sacred (2015). On 6 July 2017 at the ACU Strathfield campus Michael is hosting an event: Awakening the Sacred with Fr Lawrence Freeman, Rachael Kohn and Professors David Tacey and Sasha Grishin. Please assist us by registering before classes commence.

    Please see for further details.

    For more information please email:

  • Call for Papers: Writing from Below: Queer Science Fictions

    Incited by recent conversations and controversies concerning queers and queerness in popular science fiction, we are joined by special guest editor Nike Sulway (Rupetta, 2013; Dying in the First Person, 2016) for a special themed issue on queer science fiction. The future beckons with a queer fist, and we need you to write it.

    We seek critical and creative works in any publishable format or medium on any aspect of queer science fiction and/or its critique in art, society and culture. We seek to make visible the invisible queer pasts, presents, and futures of science fiction, to critically and creatively cultivate science fictional possibilities pressed into service for the coming of future actual and imagined queer bodies, lives, relationships, communities. Do not be limited. Like your forebears: Be brave. Play with form, style, and genre. Invent, demolish, reimagine. We welcome submissions from across (and outside of, against and up against) the disciplinary spectrum, inside and outside of conventional academia. Topics might include (but should not be limited to):

    • Representations of queerness in science fiction, across various mediums
    • The history of queer science fiction, its legacies and our inheritances
    • The future of queerness: what will queer be (if it persists) in future science fictions
    • Hope, hopelessness, and queer science fictional futures
    • Dystopian and utopian representations of futuristic queerness
    • Bodies and texts in science fiction: non-human queerness, post-humanist queerness, queerness without bodies
    • Dildos and deathrays: sex, sexuality and technology
    • Queers Destroy/Destory Science Fiction: canons and cannons

    We are open for submissions until 7 November 2016.

    We are also seeking reviews of contemporary science fiction film, television, theatre, live or recorded music, artwork or exhibition, etc. We typically publish longer review-essays of between 1000 and 2000 words, and again encourage generic and stylistic experimentation. If you’re interested in reviewing for Writing from Below, please contact our managing editor.

    Please visit the Writing from Below website for more detailed submission guidelines and procedures, and to submit your work:

    For more information, any editorial enquiries, or questions about unusual submissions, please contact our managing editor, Quinn Eades (

  • Call for Papers: American Association of Australasian Literary Studies Annual Conference

    20 April – 22 April 2017 Claflin University, Orangeburg, South Carolina

    The American Association of Australasian Literary Studies (AAALS) invites paper proposals for its 2017 Annual Conference, to be held at Claflin University in Orangeburg, SC, 20 April – 22 April 2017. Papers addressing any aspect of Australian, New Zealand, and South Pacific literary, film, and cultural studies are welcome. Papers on Aboriginal, Maori, or other indigenous topics are especially welcome. Proposals from graduate students or advanced undergraduate students are strongly encouraged. Presentations are generally 20 minutes long; however, alternate presentation formats will be considered.

    Please send a paper title and 250-word proposal (or alternate format description) by 14 October 2016 to Brenda Machosky ( and Belinda Wheeler ( Please label the email subject line: AAALS 2017 proposal. Since these dates fall during most Australian universities' mid-semester break, we hope many Australian scholars will be able to attend. We also hope many other colleagues from around the world will consider joining us in lovely South Carolina.

  • The Voss Literary Prize Longlist Announced

    Adrian Caesar: The Blessing

    Stephen Daisley: Coming Rain

    Lisa Gorton: The Life of Houses

    Gail Jones: A Guide to Berlin

    Myfanwy Jones: Leap

    Mireille Juchau: The World Without Us

    Leah Kaminsky: The Waiting Room

    Malcolm Knox: The Wonder Lover

    Ilka Tampke: Skin

    Charlotte Wood: The Natural Way of Things

    The Voss Literary Prize is an award dedicated to the memory of Vivian Robert de Vaux Voss (1930-1963), an historian and lover of literature from Emu Park in Central Queensland who studied History and Latin at the University of Sydney and modern languages at the University of Rome. His will stipulated that a literary award be established to reward the best novel from the previous year. The executors of the estate have appointed the Australian University Heads of English, the peak body for the study of English at Australian Universities, to oversee and judge the award. The award for the best novel from 2016 will be announced on 6 December at the annual meeting of the AUHE. The short list will be announced on 7 October 2016.

  • Call for Papers: Rencontres: A Gathering of Voices of the Vietnamese Diaspora

    1-2 December, 2016, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

    Literature of the Vietnamese diaspora in the English and French speaking worlds, as well as scholarship on Franco- and Anglophone Vietnamese writing, flourish for the most part in separation from one another. At present, no substantial work brings these voices into dialogue. This two day colloquium seeks to facilitate such an exchange through a gathering of writers and scholars of the Vietnamese diaspora, its literature and artistic production.

    We will host author readings by French, New Caledonian and Australian writers of Vietnamese origin in a public reception in the early evening on 1 December prior to an academic colloquium to take place all day on December 2.

    The following writers will present their work at the public lecture: Anna Moï, Thanh-Van Tran-Nhut, Marcelino Truong (France), Jean Vanmai (New Caledonia) Chi Vu, Hoa Pham (Australia).

    Topics of interest for scholarly papers include, but are in no way limited to:

    • Connections /comparisons between Vietnamese diasporic literatures and arts
    • Diaspora Literary Studies
    • 1st, 1.5 and 2nd generation writers of the diaspora
    • Narratives of refugee experience
    • Narratives of migration and exile
    • Trends in genre
    • Positions on “Vietnamese Francophone", "Vietnamese Australian", "Minority" or "Ethnic" literatures.
    • Post-colonial literature
    • The Vietnam War in literature and artistic production

    Please send an abstract of up to 250 words to Alex Kurman ( by 15 September.

  • Call for Papers: Independent Publishing Conference 2016: ‘Publishing: A Solitary and Social Enterprise’

    Wednesday 9 to Saturday 12 November at the Wheeler Centre, Melbourne.

    All accepted presenters will be invited to submit content for possible publication by Monash University Publishing in a book of essays resulting from the conference. Reading is often a solitary act; publishing, on the other hand, is undeniably social. News of published work circulates through social networks, both digital and analogue, transforming publications into conversations. Distribution networks deliver books to bookstores and libraries that enable both access and engagement in those works. Simultaneously, the same works are delivered globally in digital form, connecting people who have never met in person. Though new technologies have enabled previously muted voices to be heard, the social ills of marginalisation and inequality remain.

    In Imagined Communities, Benedict Anderson argues that national identity is built on a communal literary and historical past, a past constructed by the distribution of print material. Publishing, in this formulation, not only trumpets the development of social consciousness, broadcasting the contents of individual and collective minds, but also transforms those individuals and collectives by presenting to them the contents of their own and other minds. Published works reflect the societies that produce them, of course, but they also change societies, both their own and others.

    We are seeking papers that explore the social side of Australian publishing. We want to hear how publishing engages with both society and its constructs. How does publishing engage with and negotiate between different social spaces? How are contemporary social patterns, particularly the growth of online social spaces and hyper-connectivity, influencing the business practices of independent publishers?

    Although our preference is for papers that focus on independent publishing, presentations on all aspects of publishing are welcome. We also encourage papers from related disciplines, such as literary studies, creative writing, and media and communication studies. Possible topics might include:

    • Impacts and uses of social media and other online social spaces
    • Relationships, hierarchies and power in publishing
    • Sociological approaches to independent publishing
    • Social mores, ideology and censorship
    • Publishing and literary communities
    • Publishing and ‘imagined communities’
    • Publishing and publics
    • Publishing as construction of cultures, sub-cultures and counter-cultures
    • Representation of social and political movements in literature
    • Libraries and bookshops as social spaces
    • Author tours, book launches, readings, literary festivals, and other social events

    The 2016 Independent Publishing Conference will run from Wednesday 9 to Saturday 12 November at the Wheeler Centre, Melbourne. Academic panels will be held on Thursday 10 November.

    Extended Deadline: 15 August 2016

    We invite proposals by Monday 15 August 2016. Proposals should contain an abstract of 200-300 words. Please include your paper title, institutional affiliation, bio-note and contact details in the abstract. Submissions and enquiries should be sent to Millicent Weber (

    Please see the website for details:

  • Call For Papers: JASAL special issue: Australian Literary Networks

    This issue of JASAL replaces the usual conference issue for 2015 (In 2015 the annual ASAL conference was incorporated into the very successful “Literary Networks” Convention at the University of Wollongong).

    We invite submissions on the theme of literary networks where a network is understood very broadly as a group or system of interconnected people or things. This may mean networks which are exclusively ‘Australian’ as well as those which extend outside the parameters of the national literature; networks which connect Australian writers, readers and texts with writers, readers and texts from other traditions and locations.

    Essays may consider literature’s engagement with any of the following:

    • Acoustics, aesthetics, the visual
    • Affect, emotion, contagion
    • Animals, environment, space/place
    • Appetite, consumption, food
    • Communities of creative practice
    • Communication, technology, transport, trade
    • Festivals, prizes, publishing
    • Film, media, new media, television
    • Gender, sexuality, corporeality
    • Indigeneity, ethnicity, citizenship, diaspora
    • Institutions: writers, students, scholars
    • Neurology, cognition, the body
    • Reading, reception, research

    We welcome submissions of papers developed from the 2015 conference, but we are also interested in new work on the theme. Essays developed from postgraduate papers presented at the conference will be eligible for be considered for the 2016 AD Hope prize for Best Postgraduate Essay.

    Please submit via the JASAL site by 30 June 2016:

    Please prefix your paper title with ALN15.

    Postgraduate essays to be considered for the AD Hope prize, should be prefixed ADH15.

    For further details, please contact the editors, Brigitta Olubas and/or Tony Simoes da Silva

  • Call for Papers: Issue No. 16 of Le Simplegadi: Sacred Journeys: Exploring Literature at the Intersection of Aboriginality, Sexuality, Nature and Spirituality

    Issue no. 16 of Le Simplegadi is dedicated to the memory of our dear friend and most distinguished scholar Veronica Brady (1929-2015), a tribute to her invaluable contribution in promoting Australian literary studies and world literatures in English beyond hegemonic and hierarchical models of culture. Brady’s role has been in pioneering Australian literature, in times when it was frowned upon, and in championing the sacredness of life and of every human being as fundamental for the achieving of authentic humanist dialogue, respect and care among different cultural traditions. Aboriginality, Sexuality, Nature and Spirituality are essential topics on which she spoke and wrote for over fifty years where literature continues to be seen as effectively transcending narrow nationalisms, authoritarian structures and patriarchal domination.

    We therefore welcome submissions focusing on these areas of interest, not necessarily limited to Australian literature. Contributions should conform to any of the three main sections of the journal: articles, book reviews and creative writing. Le Simplegadi follows a multilingual policy and promotes linguistic and pluricultural diversity; contributions in languages other than English are therefore welcome.

    Submissions must conform to the guidelines that can be found on the journal’s website, section Notes for Contributors. Only contributions that are in line with the guidelines and which arrive before the deadline (31 May 2016) will go through the peer review process. Authors must submit an abstract in the language of the article and in English (max. 200 words). To facilitate the reviewing process, submit articles in RTF format to All submissions should be accompanied by a cover message including postal and e-mail addresses, telephone and fax numbers, and a brief biographical statement (max. 100 words). The deadline for submissions is 31 May 2016.

    For further information please see the website:

  • Call for Papers: The Literature of Remembering: tracing the limits of memoir

    The genre of memoir is read so widely that it now ‘rivals fiction in popularity and critical esteem and exceeds it in cultural currency’ (Couser 2012, p.3). This call for papers urges scholars from around the globe to find and describe the practice of writing and reading memoir within their own borders as a cultural phenomenon. How does it differ from country to country? How has it evolved? What are the ethical constraints of different countries? Who are each nation's unique memoirists?

    We aim to compile a comprehensive and academically entertaining snapshot of the genre. There is a long and deep history of memoir, most agree, that begins with Saint Augustine’s Confessions. Scholars concur that the contemporary surge in memoir as a favoured genre began in the mid-1990s, with Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, and it has kept building in momentum. Not only are well-known authors rendering their memoirs to acclaim, but seemingly ordinary people finding themselves in extraordinary circumstances, are finding an audience. Sportspeople, politicians, sex workers, trauma victim/survivors, are telling and sharing their stories as a mode of knowing the self.

    Sue Joseph, Bunty Avieson and Fiona Giles, the editors, are seeking scholarly essays for this book (of up to 300 pages) to be published in 2017. We are hoping to work with a major international publisher towards this end. While we welcome papers from all countries, submissions must be in English.

    Section One: The Memoir in History: life-writing throughout the ages:

    Chapters here could focus on:

    • Saint Augustine
    • Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    • Mary MacLane and the sex memoir
    • Holocaust memoir
    • War memoir

    Section Two: The ethical/theoretical dimensions of memoir: political, fabricated, celebrity:

    Chapters here might look at:

    • The PR of celebrity memoir
    • Consent: whose story is it?
    • Memoir writing about the dead
    • Competing memoir
    • Is memoir literary journalism?
    • Fake memoir

    Section Three: The practice of memoir writing:

    Chapters here might examine:

    • Parental: patriography; matriography
    • Pathography: narratives of illness and death
    • Mis-mem
    • Sports memoir
    • Personal trauma narrative
    • Political memoir
    • Ghosting the memoir
    • Erotica: kiss and tell memoir
    • Travel memoir
    • Memoir and comedy
    • Nobody memoirs

    These subjects are neither prescriptive nor exhaustive. They merely indicate a possible range of topics that might create new ways of understanding the genre. There are clearly many other equally important routes to explore.

    Please send 200-word chapter abstracts to Sue Joseph at by July 30, 2016. Selected contributions (5-6,000 words) will be confirmed by September 30, 2016. First copy will be due by February 30, 2017. The editors will send out for peer review, then return the copy with any suggested changes by April 30, 2017, with the final copy deadline of May 30, 2017.

  • Call for Papers: EASA Conference: Australia–South Asia: Contestations and Remonstrances: Deadline extended

    26-28 January 2017, University of Liège

    This literary and cultural studies conference, to be held at the University of Liège under the auspices of the European Association for Studies of Australia (EASA) and the local postcolonial studies centre CEREP, will seek to draw attention to the multifarious encounters which have occurred between South Asia and Australia from the nineteenth century to modern times. We are particularly interested in papers that tackle aspects of the epistemological differend that may have informed these encounters and their various manifestations, as well as the possibly unsettling impact which specific South Asian perspectives may have had, or still have, on the delineation of an alternative historical narrative for Australia, also in terms of the narrativisation of Aboriginal oppression since European settlement.

    We are proud to announce that the distinguished novelist Chandani Lokuge has confirmed her participation as a plenary guest speaker. Possible questions pertaining to the conference theme that participants may wish to consider could include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • What are the tensions, discontents and challenges, both old and new, that characterize the relationship between the two regions?
    • How do cultural texts (including literature, film, music, and sporting practices, among other discourses or activities) grapple with the changing relationship between South Asia and Australia in the context of global capitalism?
    • How do cultural texts imagine (or reimagine) the historicity of the ties between the two regions as well as their future?
    • In what ways have Australian and South Asian (mis)readings of each other been encouraged (or, conversely, mitigated) by a common (or not so common) experience of imperialism?
    • How have specific instances of oppression and resistance been contextualized and represented, possibly with reference to Aboriginal histories?
    • How are South Asia and its citizens currently represented by Australia’s white settler culture, notably in today’s contexts of large-scale immigration and the so-called refugee crisis?
    • What are the linguistic dilemmas or difficulties besetting South Asian–Australian cultural intersections, as represented in diasporic and/or in white settler corpuses?

    We welcome abstracts for 20-minute papers on literature, film, popular culture, Aboriginal studies and sociology as well as other related fields of inquiry. Note that, while the ‘South Asian’ region is usually limited (as by the Encyclopedia Britannica) to ‘the Indo-Gangetic plain, peninsular India, and Sri Lanka’, abstracts relating to South East Asia will also be expected. Please email abstracts of no more than 300 words and a 100-word bio-note to the conference email address ( by 15 May 2016.

    Notification of acceptance/rejection of abstracts will be sent by 1 June 2016. All accepted participants will be expected to become members of EASA. Details of EASA membership are available on the association’s website at this address:

    The conference registration fee is EUR 80,00 (and EUR 40,00 for postgraduate students). Postgraduate participation is encouraged and a competition for the best postgraduate paper will be organized. Delegates will be invited to register separately for an optional conference dinner and/or a cultural group outing (to be determined). Selections of the conference papers will be published as a special issue of EASA’s in-house peer-reviewed international journal JEASA or as a volume of essays to be released by the academic press of the University of Liège. Please check the conference webpage at

  • Cultural Studies in Australia and China

    7 July 2016, Shanghai Jiaotong University

    A proposal has arisen from discussions with Professor Peng Qinglong of Shanghai Jiaotong University to hold a one-day symposium/workshop on 7 July to discuss work in cultural/media studies in China and Australia and the potential for building stronger relations and collaboration between researchers in the two countries. At present there is little contact between Chinese cultural/media studies scholars and Chinese Australian Studies scholars, and there is an enormous amount of potential for putting Australian cultural/media studies scholars in closer contact with their Chinese counterparts. One proposal to be discussed is the establishment of a Sino-Australian Cultural Studies Association.

    Professor Peng is keen to involve Australian scholars and researchers in the event and he has approval from his university and funds to cover accommodation and local costs. It is not likely to have formal papers but rather reports on current work and brainstorming about the potential of such an Association. Those attending would also have the possibility of attending the Chinese Australian Studies Association conference which is taking place in Beijing, at Peking University, immediately afterwards, 8-10 July. Please see the website for details:

    If you’re interested in attending the event, or interested in following developments but unable to attend this particular event, please contact David Carter (

  • Call for Papers: Australian Association of Writing Programs Conference 2016: Authorised Theft

    28-30 November 2016, University of Canberra

    The 21st annual conference of the AAWP will be a site for the exploration of the processes of making creative works in writing. TS Eliot famously said that mature poets steal, and we steal his idea for the framework for this conference. Where do we find the sources for our ideas, our language, our stories? What are the ethics of making through theft, homage, citation, appropriation? What modes of poiesis are involved?

    This conference will showcase creative works and highlight creative modes of writing; it will enable investigations of how we make and say; and it will provide opportunities to explore how creative writers engage with research.

    Papers and creative presentations are encouraged to explore, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Writing as homage or as theft
    • Collaborative practice
    • The economy of writing
    • Indigenous writing and Australasia
    • Sociologies of writing
    • Changing the guard: generational change in writing
    • The ethics of transgression
    • Writing and dispossession
    • Writing and property, and ownership, and authority

    Submissions due 31 July 2016.

    Papers are invited in four streams:

    • a refereed scholarly stream (a work of scholarship on or about creative practice, intended for inclusion in the published conference proceedings);
    • a refereed creative stream (a creative work accompanied by a scholarly research statement, intended for inclusion in the published conference proceedings);
    • a general (non-refereed) scholarly stream; and
    • a general (non-refereed) creative stream; this should incorporate a scholarly framework that will be presented along with the creative element.

    Please see the website for further details:

  • Australian Studies in China

    Have you ever wondered what to do with all of those Australian journals on your bookshelf?

    ASAL aims to reach out to Chinese scholars by helping to establish or consolidate print-based research collections, particularly journals and magazines such as Australian Literary Studies, Journal of Australian Studies, Meanjin, Southerly, Quadrant etc.

    If you have runs of these journals and magazines that you wish to donate to a Chinese Australian Studies Centre, please contact ASAL Treasurer, Roger Osborne (, who will arrange for their collection and distribution.

  • Teaching Australian literature?: Help keep Aust Lit up to date

    AustLit collects information about the teaching of Australian literature texts at universities and tertiary institutions around Australia and internationally, and links to this information from the work and author records.

    At a glance, AustLit tells you:

    • how, where, and in what context, a particular text is taught
    • what degree or course the text is part of
    • which Australian texts are taught with non-Australian texts in thematically driven courses, such as nineteenth century women’s writing, popular fictions, eco-criticism, drama, life writing, etc.

    So, if you’re teaching Australian texts in your university class, please send AustLit the:

    • titles of set works
    • course code and course title
    • contact details

    to or