Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL)

(Status : Public)
  • Call for Papers: Genre Worlds: Popular Fiction in the 21st Century

    10 November 2017, State Library of Queensland, Brisbane

    “All artistic work... involves the joint activity of a number, often a large number, of people…. The work always shows signs of that cooperation” - Howard S. Becker, Art Worlds.

    Popular fiction is one of the most dynamic cultural and commercial divisions of twenty-first century publishing. Internally, it is organised along the lines of genres, creating what we call ‘genre worlds.’ This conference will consider the ways that contemporary genre worlds function as sectors of the publishing industry, as social and cultural formations, and as bodies of texts. Who is publishing popular fiction? Who is reading it? How do genre communities form, and how do texts circulate within them? How are terms like popular fiction, genre fiction, commercial fiction and trade publishing used, and what do they suggest about the way that popular fiction is conceived of and valued, by the industry and academy alike?

    We invite abstracts for presentations on aspects of Australian and international popular fiction genres, industries, markets and communities. Submissions are welcome from scholars across the humanities and social science disciplines, including those working in cultural studies, publishing studies, sociology, cultural economics, literary studies and creative writing. Possible topics include:

    • Close and distant reading of works of contemporary popular fiction
    • Career trajectories and models of authorship in popular fiction, within and across genres
    • Social media and popular fiction
    • Distribution and routes to readers, including studies of booksellers, libraries, and the use of advanced reading copies
    • Popular fiction readers, reading practices, and fan cultures
    • Pleasure and popular fiction
    • The material formats of genre texts and paratexts, including studies of ebooks, print books, and audiobooks
    • Systems of value and gatekeeping in popular fiction, including blogging, reviewing, booktubing, bestseller lists, prizes, festivals, and events
    • Genre writing and reading groups, both online and offline
    • The spaces and places of popular fiction, including studies of book tourism
    • The economics of genre fiction: persistent and emergent business models, including self-publishing, author services, marketing strategies, and sales patterns

    Plans for publications arising from the conference include a special issue of Australian Literary Studies. To be considered for inclusion, full papers of between 5,000 and 10,000 words will be due by 9 December 2017.

    200-300 word abstracts should be sent to Kim Wilkins ( at the School of Communication & Arts, University of Queensland, by 21 April 2017.

    Academic Conference in association with GenreCon.

    Convenors: Dr Kim Wilkins, Dr Beth Driscoll, and Dr Lisa Fletcher

  • Call for Papers: EASA Biennial Conference: Nationalism Old and New: Europe, Australia and Their Others

    Wed 16 - Fri 18 January 2018, University of Barcelona

    Europe is uncomfortably enmeshed in what is commonly perceived as a fight for social, political and cultural survival in the face of the increasing international circulation of capital and labour, the postcolonial aftermath of Empire and the growing, transnational impact of climate change—in short, the multifarious expressions of unstoppable globalisation. What started as a pragmatic need to control and eliminate continental conflict and an idealistic intent to preserve the gains of the welfare state in democratic Europe after the Second World War, has, after half a century of attempted and effectual integration, run up against its real and imagined limits.

    Bearing in mind the above context, this conference aims to explore the following questions:

    • How do Europe and Australia respond to the growing internationalisation of issues once deemed managable on the national level, be they of an economic, demographic, social, political or climatic kind?
    • To what extent is the re/turn to nationalism a credible and viable response to the problems that assail both continents? Are these the product of a common sense or fear?
    • What are the structural links between European and Australian policies towards migration, refugees and asylum seekers?
    • To what extent do the above issues affect the inequalities of ethnicity, class and gender already existent in both continents? To what extent is religion a factor of division?
    • To what extent is European identity a “question mark”, an identity in de/re/construction (Julia Kristeva in Ignacio Vidal-Folch’s interview, El Pais, 3 June 2008), and how does the recent context of fear, racism and intolerance impact on this process?
    • Likewise, to what extent is Australianness a postcolonial question mark rather than a neutral marker of identity? What is the place of ‘New Settlers’ and Indigenous peoples in the nationstate?
    • What are the connections/disconnections between European and Australian approaches to developing a human rights culture? What is the place of migrant peoples and Indigeneity in future expressions of Europeanness and Australianness? To what extent may/do European and Australian (policies of) identity inform and solicit each other?
    • How may discourses of Indigeneity influence notions of Europeanness? To what extent is Europe afraid of being ‘Aboriginalised’, that is, of suffering the same fate that Indigenous Australians experienced under European colonisation?
    • What can the role of Australian Studies be from the perspective of Europe in terms of furthering an understanding of politics of in/tolerance and in/exclusion?

    Due to the cross-disciplinary character of this Conference we shall consider papers on topics relating to any branch of Australian and European Studies inasmuch they inform each other and overlap, including History, Literature, Culture, Film Studies, Cultural Anthropology, Media Studies, Architecture, Geography, Spatial Studies, Environment, Political Science, Indigenous Studies, Gender Studies, Gerontology, Linguistics, Translation Studies, Education, Sociology, Art History, Religion, Philosophy. We welcome proposals for papers and panels that address but are not restricted to the following topics:

    • Connections and disconnections between European and Australian approaches to developing a human rights culture;
    • Problematizing mainstream immigration, refugee and integration policies;
    • Diasporic ‘takes’ on Australian and European identity in politics, literature and the visual arts;
    • Ghosts of the past: the ideological and material inheritance of Empire and the World Wars.
    • The exclusiveness of nationalist communities and arguments;
    • Territorial fragmentation and globalisation;
    • The analysis of discourses of Indigeneity and new settlement in the European and Australian context and their cross-overs;
    • Inherited responsibilities and the moral requirements of belonging;
    • Transnational perspectives on Australian and European culture, society and/or history;
    • Islam, the ‘war’ on terror and the revival of nationalisms in Europe and Australia.

    Please send your 250-word abstracts for 20 minute papers and 100-word bio notes ( by 1 June 2017. We do encourage panel proposals, which should be accompanied by a 100-word overall abstract in addition to the 250-word abstracts for a panel’s individual papers. Notification of acceptance/rejection of abstracts will be sent by 1 July 2017. All accepted participants will be expected to become members of the EASA as a precondition to presenting their papers.

    Details of EASA membership are available on the association’s website at this address: A call for full-academic-length papers derived from conference presentations will be issued after the conference for publication in the Association’s online journal JEASA (

    A conference website is under construction; full details on registration etc. are to be made public shortly.

    A PDF flyer is available here

  • Call for Papers: Happiness: A Special Issue of Writing from Below

    Emergent research into happiness is still largely situated in fields such as sociology, psychology, and neuroscience. Traditionally the uncontested domain of the Humanities, the question of “How should we live?” is too rarely approached in contemporary literary and cultural studies. Indeed, even in a thriving field such as affect studies, research still largely focuses on negative emotions, ugly feelings (Ngai), shame (Probyn), paranoia (Sedgwick), failure (Halberstam), and the cruelty of optimism (Berlant). But perhaps the critical tide is turning. Scholars are beginning to theorise the end of our well-rehearsed “hermeneutics of suspicion,” and conjecturing what comes after (Felski). They are mapping the potential path for a “eudaimonic criticism” (Pawelski & Moore) and an “ethics of hope” (Braidotti), looking towards a more positive future (Muñoz). Critical and historical studies on empathy (Meghan; Keen), joy (Potkay) and happiness itself (Ahmed) are also emerging.

    Inspired by the growing body of scholarship on optimistic representations of gender, sexuality, and queerness, Writing from Below enters the fray with this invitation to explore and interrogate positive, successful, fulfilling, life-affirming expressions of gender and sexuality in contemporary or historical literature, culture, and society.

    Papers could engage with (but are not limited to):

    • Pleasure, joy, jouissance, delight, splendour, enchantment, empathy, and kindness
    • Love, passion, and amour fou
    • Middlebrow pleasure
    • Living the queer life, and queer(ing) happiness
    • Eudaimonia, mindfulness, and wellbeing
    • Eudaimonic reading, and the eudaimonic turn in cultural and literary studies
    • The hermeneutics of suspicion, paranoid and reparative reading, and their aftermath
    • Ethical criticism, the ethics of hope, and hopelessness
    • The body as site of happiness, joy, pleasure, etc.
    • Affect, the theories and/or histories of positive emotions
    • Celebration, and celebration as protest
    • Burlesque, clowning, circus, carnivals, and the carnivalesque
    • Kitsch, camp, and drag
    • Sex and play, sex lives, fun
    • Vitality, verve, vigour, and liveliness
    • Biological life, bios, zoe, survival, sur-vivre [living-on], affirmation
    • The utopian tendencies of gender studies and queer theory
    • The (queer) future, queer futurity, and happy endings

    Gender studies and queer theory are located across and between disciplines, and so we welcome submissions from across (and outside of, against and up against) the full cross-/inter/-trans-disciplinary spectrum, and from inside and outside of conventional academia. Do not be limited. Be brave. Play with form, style, and genre. Invent, demolish, reimagine.

    The deadline for submissions is 29 May 2017.

    Written submissions, whether critical or creative, should be between 3,000 and 6,000 words in length, and should adhere strictly to the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. All submissions—critical, creative, and those falling in between; no matter the format or medium—will be subject to a process of double-blind peer review. For more information, please contact our guest editor, Dr Juliane Roemhild (

  • Call for Papers: Modern Language Association: New York City

    4-7 January 2018

    The American Association of Australasian Literary Studies (AAALS) welcomes abstracts for papers on any aspect of literature, film, or performance related to Australia or New Zealand. Particular topics of interest include, but are not limited to: Indigenous issues, immigration, health and well-being, and Australian identity. Comparative projects that engage with Australia in relation to other literatures and cultures are also encouraged.

    Please submit 250-word abstracts by 20 March 2017 to Brenda Machosky:


  • Call For Papers: a special session at MLA 2018 in New York: Biofictions from the Antipodes

    While literary works have long taken real figures as their subjects, the last decades have seen dramatic growth in this genre. Recently, a term has emerged to describe this approach and to group associated scholarly research: biofictions. Multiple areas of focus are appearing but, at this stage, no large-scale investigation has been undertaken of biofictions from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region. This is despite multiple popular and critically lauded works emerging from these areas (including those by Geraldine Brooks, Peter Carey, Steven Carroll, Richard Flanagan, Hannah Kent, Paula Morris and C.K. Stead). To begin to address this gap, we seek 20-minute papers that contribute fruitfully to this emerging area. Questions that papers might address include but are not limited to the following:

    • How do fiction writers from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region approach their biographical subjects and settings?
    • What authorial intention lies behind these writers’ decisions to render a life in fiction?
    • What creative and ethical decisions do writers from this region make when fictionalising real people?
    • What is the significance of the themes, personages, settings or time periods chosen by authors from these areas?
    • What does it mean when authors from this region fictionalise real people from elsewhere?
    • What differences emerge in the biographical portrayals by early and more recent Australasian authors?
    • How has biofiction addressed questions of colonialism and the interactions between indigenous and non-indigenous people?
    • What differences emerge in this region’s fictional representations of famous figures compared to family ancestors?
    • What role does gender play in Australasian portrayals of historical or contemporary figures?
    • How do biofictions from this region negotiate other genre categories (for example, historical romance, poetry, plays, crime, fantasy or young adult?)
    • How do different Australasian authors of this genre deal with their source material?
    • What similarities and differences exist between this and other related hybrid forms (for example, fictional biography or speculative biography)?

    Please email abstracts of 250 words and brief bios to Panel organisers: Kelly Gardiner (La Trobe University) and Catherine Padmore (La Trobe University)

    Deadline for abstracts: 10 March 2017

  • Call for Papers: Association for the Study of Australian Literature 2017 Conference: Looking In, Looking Out: China and Australia

    11-14 July 2017, Melbourne

    The 2017 ASAL conference will ask its presenters to continue to think about Australian literature at home and in the world following on from recent conferences highlighting the worlding of Australian literature, the centrality of indigenous literature, and the changing imperatives and pressures in the teaching of Australian literature in Australia and beyond. This conference asks contributors to look inwards and outwards: examining the continuing fascination with place, context and locality in the face of the global.

    One of the highest concentrations of Australian Studies centres in the world is in China. This conference invites Chinese and Australian scholars of Australian literature to come together with other international scholars of Australian literature to examine the teaching and study of Australian literature in the context of this transnational interest.

    Offers for single 20 minute papers considering any and all aspects of ‘Australian’ literature broadly conceived are welcomed. Conference themes include:

    • Literature and landscape
    • Cross cultural teaching
    • Theorising diaspora
    • Theorising transcultural literary production
    • Teaching Australian literature in China/Australia/ the world
    • Chinese Australian writing
    • Children’s literature
    • Translation of Australian children’s books in China
    • The idea of place in Australian literature
    • Translating Australian literature
    • Literature in translation
    • Reading Chinese literature in Australia
    • Reception of Australian literature
    • Studying literature in China and Australia –similarities and differences

    Please submit the following to with subject heading “ASAL Conference”:

    1) Title of Paper

    2) 250 word abstract

    3) Name, position, organisation and brief biography (100 words maximum).

    Extended deadline for abstracts: 28 February 2017

    Extended deadline PDF available here

    A PDF flyer is available here

  • Call for Papers: ASAL 2017 Mini-Conference: Australian Writing after the Internet

    Thursday 20 April - Friday 21 April, 2017, University of Newcastle, NSW.

    The Internet has changed the production and mediation of Australian literature: books are often sold online as ebooks or through e-retailers, such as The Book Depository, and discourse about Australian literature is increasingly digital, whether in the form of online reviewing sites, such as The Sydney Review of Books, customer reviews on Amazon, or discussions on social reading sites like Goodreads. Simone Murray has termed this the ‘digital literary sphere’ (2015), and demonstrated how such discourse alters the way that books are read and perceived.

    Rather than focusing on purely technological changes, such as the rise of ebooks and social reading sites, this mini-conference also seeks to understand how the internet has altered literary aesthetics. Recent scholarship—such as Sianne Ngai’s Our Aesthetic Categories (2012), Bruce Stirling’s ‘An Essay on the New Aesthetic’ (2012), and Florian Cramer’s ‘What Is “Post-Digital”?’ (2013)—has demonstrated how digital technology has produced a unique aesthetics that has been re-incorporated into non-digital media.

    We invite participants to consider these and other aspects of the relationship between Australian literature and the internet. Possible Topics:

    • Literature and the aesthetics of the Internet
    • The Internet in Australian poetry
    • Representations of digital technology in Australian literature
    • Literary publishing in the Internet age
    • Readers and the Internet
    • Genre fiction and the Internet
    • Book reviewing and literary criticism after the Internet
    • Teaching literature with digital technology
    • Literature as a site of resistance to digital technology
    • Australian literature and the digital archive

    We welcome submissions of both individual papers and complete panels on relevant topics. Abstracts of 250-words are due by 15 February 2017, and should be sent to Keri Glastonbury ( Extended deadline is 15 February 2017.


    Dr Keri Glastonbury (

    Dr Emmett Stinson (

  • Long list announced for the ALS Gold Medal

    Adam Aitken One Hundred Letters Home (Vagabond)

    Steven Amsterdam The Easy Way Out (Hachette)

    Georgia Blain Between a Wolf and a Dog (Scribe)

    Peter Boyle, Ghostspeaking (Vagabond)

    Michelle Cahill Letters to Pessoa (Giramondo)

    Tina Giannoukos Bull Days (Arcadia)

    Dennis Haskell Ahead of Us (Fremantle)

    Fiona McFarlane The High Places (Penguin/Hamish Hamilton)

    Zoe Morrison Music and Freedom (Vintage)

    Sean Rabin Wood Green (Giramondo)

    Heather Rose The Museum of Modern Love (Allen & Unwin)

    Rajith Savandasa, Ruins (Hachette)

  • Call for Papers: Detecting common ground: environmental crime fiction in Australia

    The crime novel has proven to be fertile ground for the critical treatment of all sorts of social issues (ref). Covering the grey, liminal area between the legal and illegal, the socially and morally acceptable and unacceptable, the genre has proven an apt tool to question uneven socio-political realities and reflect on their accompanying relations of power. Class, race and gender have been successfully addressed in what has become the social novel of the 21st century (cf. crime novelist Dennis Lehane, Estudios Irlandeses/Irish Studies [2012]: 110), and new areas such as ecology have also become the object of writerly interest. The Australian law scholar Justin Dabner (James Cook U) writes that multiculturality and the environment are the two major issues Australian society has to come to terms with in the new millennium (Coolabah 19, Dec 2016) and the latest International Australian Studies Association conference (Reimagining Australia, Perth Dec 2016) insisted on the strategic alliances between ethnicity and the environment, with special mention of Australian Indigeneity. With this volume, we would like to contribute to the forging of an inclusionary environmentalist agenda in Australia.

    From the springboard of our state-funded postcolonial crime fiction project POCRIF at the University of Barcelona, we aim for a volume of essays to be published in the Peter Lang Australian Studies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives series, whose editors have confirmed their interest in our proposal. The volume will investigate the interface of crime fiction, environment and ethnicity as a specifically Australian concern, reflecting on the continent’s fragile habitat and the way it has been affected and damaged by the globalisation of the capitalist production mode and its concomitant flows of capital, labour/people, raw materials and manufactured goods since early colonial times. For more than 200 years of Western colonisation, Australia’s ecological balance has been severely undermined by harmful, exploitative forms of Western land management in agriculture, city planning, mining etc., in which the white mainstream has used the nation-state’s legislative and executive powers to secure almost exclusive, long-standing access to vital resources, not only barring the Aborigines but also other nonwhite minorities, the so-called New Settlers. We aim to analyse to what extent Australian crime fiction has engaged with the eco-crime scenario and if so, in assimilative or subversive ways. Contributions will address mainstream and non-mainstream crime fiction in Australian settings that engages with this theme in the broadest sense possible.

    Please send 250-word proposals for articles up to 8,000 word articles including an abstract, five keywords and a bibliography to Martin Renes ( and Bill Phillips ( by 1 April 2017. Confirmation of acceptance will be sent out within a month after this deadline, and draft versions of papers will be due by 1 September 2017.

  • Fryer Library Fellowship Applications Open

    The annual Fryer Library Fellowship (formerly the Fryer Library Award) is one of the Library's annual awards and fellowships, made possible with the support of our donors and benefactors. The Fryer Library Fellowship aims to:

    • Support research into Australian historical and literary studies utilising the collections of the University of Queensland’s Fryer Library.
    • Promote The University of Queensland’s Fryer Library as a centre of scholarly activity.
    • Integrate a digital component (e.g. online exhibition) that will expand access and encourage engagement with the Fryer collections used in the research project.

    Applications are invited in the following areas:

    • Australian literature
    • Australian theatre
    • Indigenous studies
    • Queensland architecture
    • Art and design
    • Australian history and political culture
    • Women’s studies

    Successful applicants receive $20,000 as well as full UQ Library access and copying services.

    It is anticipated that the successful applicant will be based at the St Lucia campus of The University of Queensland for a negotiated period, with a maximum of six months. The appointment is to be taken up during the fellowship year. Applications are due by Friday 24 February 2017.

    Please see the website for further information:

  • The Rae and George Hammer Memorial Visiting Research Fellowship Applications Open

    This fellowship encourages scholars to visit UQ and to access the Fryer Library collection for your research. We invite Honours, Masters and PhD students, undertaking a research project or paper, from Universities outside of Brisbane to apply. Applications are due by Friday 24 February 2017.

    Please see the website for further information:

  • Call for Submissions JEASA: Journal of the European Association for Studies of Australia General Issue 1, 2017

    JEASA - The Journal of the European Association for Studies of Australia invites you to submit original articles for the new issue in 2017. This issue has no specific theme so we welcome articles presenting any topic that falls within Australian studies, including History, Literature, Culture, Film Studies, Cultural Anthropology, Media Studies, Architecture, Geography, Spatial Studies, Environment, Political Science, Indigenous Studies, Gender Studies, Linguistics, Translation Studies, Education, Sociology, Art History, Religion, Philosophy, Music, etc. All submitted articles will be peer reviewed.

    Please submit your proposals by 1 April, 2017 to the JEASA general editor, Dr. Martina Horakova (

    Please remove your name and any indications of your authorship from the text and write your name, affiliation, and a 150-word bio in a separate document. Submissions must follow these guidelines: Articles should be between 5,000-8,000 words long, Times New Roman, 12 point font, single spaced. The title should be followed by abstract and 5-6 keywords. In-text references and bibliography must follow the latest MLA style of documenting sources. Articles written by nonnative speakers must be proofread by a native English speaker prior to submission. A detailed style sheet is available at the journal’s website:

  • Call for Papers: AAL Literary Environments conference 2017: Place, Planet and Translation

    17-19 July, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus

    Literary Environments is concerned with the different environments in which literature can occur, and our methods of translating between them. At this critical juncture in the Anthropocene, planetary responsibility and situated knowledges need to be entwined in propositions for social and environmental justice. Bodies, texts and artworks are converging in old and new forms of politics and earthly accountabilities. The task of translation between these increasingly interconnected modes of existence is a crucial one: life in all of its manifestations – from DNA to forests – has textual qualities. What does it mean to ‘read’ such a staggering variety of data?

    We welcome proposals for individual papers and panels addressing any aspect of literature and the environment, including:

    • Zoopoetics, animal art and critical animal studies
    • Indigenous literatures from around the world and their transcultural relation
    • Literature of the Anthropocene, including cli-fi and other responses to climate change
    • Local, urban, and global ecological imaginaries
    • Indigenous ecologies and knowledges
    • Ecological ethics and law
    • Environmental attitudes in pre-Romantic writing
    • Romantic and anti-Romantic environmental sensibilities
    • Literary translation
    • Posthumanism, new materialism and dark ecologies
    • Intersections of aesthetic, political and scientific treatments of environmental issues

    While this conference is primarily concerned with literature, we envisage it as a multi-disciplinary event. We invite papers on any aspect of the environmental humanities, from environmental history to environmental philosophy. We also welcome papers addressing literary environments that are not ecological in orientation, such as studies of literary spaces, communities, and so on. We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers and panels comprising 3 papers.

    Please submit an abstract of 200 words (maximum) and a brief bio as PDF documents to the following email address by 15 March 2017:

    Accepted papers will be announced by 1 April 2017. Selected papers from the conference will be published in a special issue of a peer-reviewed journal. For inquiries about the conference, please email one of the conference convenors:

    Dr Stuart Cooke (

    Dr Peter Denney (

  • Call for Papers: 2018 Literary Studies Convention, The Literary Interface

    4-7 July, 2018, Australian National University, Canberra

    An interface describes a surface or plane that lies between or joins two points in space, but it also refers to ‘a means or place of interaction between two systems’ and ‘an apparatus designed to connect two scientific instruments so that they can be operated jointly’ (OED).

    This convention will bring together scholars working across the broad field of literary studies to discuss the literary as an interface between different forms of knowledge and processes of knowledge formation, looking at questions of how and through what means the literary is communicated, represented, negotiated, and remade. By placing the concept of the literary centre-stage while at the same time interrogating its role as an interface, we wish to open up for discussion questions about the role, dynamism, and value of the literary in a time of institutional change and ongoing disciplinary formation. We would also like to debate the role of the literary text - and literary studies as a discipline - as a site of encounter between diverse languages and potentially alien modes of reading and writing. Confirmed keynotes include Rey Chow and Lauren Goodlad.

    We invite papers and panel proposals, including but not limited to the following topics:

    • Mediation, remediation, and transmediation
    • Literary Formalism - its past, present and/or future
    • Multimedia forms as interfaces
    • The relationship between forms, networks, and hierarchies
    • Encounters between readers and modes of reading
    • Translation
    • The relationship between literary studies and other disciplines, e.g., environmental studies, maths, ethnography, science
    • The interface between academic and public critical cultures
    • Spaces of reading (online and otherwise)
    • The negotiation of literary value
    • The classroom as literary interface
    • Literary objects as interfaces: circulation, reception, paratexts
    • The stage and other spaces of performance as interface between temporalities, bodies, performers, writers and audiences
    • Cultural interfaces
    • Languages of colonialists/postcoloniality
    • Transnationalism and minor transnationalism.

    Abstracts due 1 July, 2017. Please send abstracts of 150 words and biographical notes of 100 words to Julieanne Lamond (

  • Call for Papers: Conference: Reading and Writing in the Twenty-First-Century Literary Studies Classroom: Theory and Practice

    6-8 July 2017, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

    Confirmed speakers: Dr David Aldridge, Oxford Brookes University, Dr Tully Barnett, Flinders University and Professor Helen Sword, University of Auckland.

    This broad-ranging conference will assume good reading and its concomitant good writing to be essential both to the mastery of disciplinary content and to the transformative potential of an education in literary studies. We seek papers that consider reading and writing from a range of perspectives, practical and theoretical.

    A PDF is available here

    Please send 250-word proposals for papers, panels, or workshops, together with a 75-word bio, to, using the subject line Reading and Writing cfp. Contact for General Inquiries: Judith Seaboyer ( Deadline for submissions: 3 February 2017.

    Please see the website for further details:

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

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

    Registration now open. Last minute abstracts still being accepted.

    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 (


  • The Colin Roderick Award

    The 2016 Shortlist (and winner) for best book published in Australian which deals with any aspect of Australian life, in 2015, is now public:

    Jones, Gail. A Guide to Berlin. * Winner

    Niall, Brenda. Mannix.

    Harding, Leslie and Morgan, Kendrah. Modern Love.

    Collins, Christie. The End of Seeing.

    Kinsella, John. Crow’s Breath.

    Winton, Tim. Island Home.

    The Colin Roderick Award is dedicated to the memory of Professor Colin Roderick (1911 - 2000), founder of the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies based at James Cook University. Professor Roderick was a writer, editor, academic and educator. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Foundation, commemorated with a town-hall style symposium at James Cook University in which Professors Carole Ferrier and Leigh Dale, as well as Associate Professor Katherine Bode and writers Sarah Holland-Batt and Ariella Van Luyn addressed issue of the Stella Count and the profile of women writers in Australia.

    The Award, commenced in 1967 as $500 prize (generous for its day) is now worth $20,000. Coupled with the silver H.T. Priestley Medal it recognises the best original book of the previous year. In 2016, the judges read over 150 entries submitted from publishers across Australia, in the areas of history, fiction, literary journalism, poetry, biography and memoir, politics, and more.

    Publications entered for the Award may be in any field of Australian writing, whether verse or prose, but must be published in Australia (they may be printed elsewhere) and deal with an aspect of Australian life.

    For further details please see:

  • Call for Papers: Living together on this Earth: Eco-Sustainable narratives and environmental concerns in English literature/s

    19 - 21 April 2017, University of Udine Contact: Giovanna Sgro, DILL – Dipartimento di Lingue e Letterature, Comunicazione Formazione e Società, Università di Udine

    The ANDA association (Associazione Nazionale dei Docenti di Anglistica) is pleased to announce a three-day conference on “Living together on this earth: eco-sustainable narratives and environmental concerns in English literature/s” to be held at the University of Udine on 19-21 April 2017.

    The conference aims at exploring and discussing the place of eco-sustainable narratives in English literature/s and the way they may contribute to our understanding of environmental issues, stimulate positive thinking, create a caring economy and foster alternative perspectives for the future of our mother earth. If the eco-degradation of the planet is a plague which dramatically and increasingly afflicts the world today and, as such, it is at the very centre of the contemporary political and intellectual debate and of creative writing, environmental concerns, inextricably intertwined with questions of rights and identity, can be seen as a fil rouge running across many anglophone literary texts throughout the centuries. Believing in the power of the creative word to promote social change by encouraging mutual understanding and respect for the Other and for the environment, we welcome papers on ecosustainable narratives from all Anglophone areas and historical periods.

    Possible topics of discussion are:

    • space, place and the identity question;
    • the imagination of place (and the reinvention of an eco-sustainable world);
    • environmental (in)justice;
    • gender difference and environmental representations;
    • nature and culture;
    • ethics of relation between humans and animals;
    • environment (in)balance of power in the globalized world;
    • ecological concerns in local and glocal contexts;
    • literature and environmental studies;
    • bio-imperialism;
    • ecology and critical language awareness.

    Abstracts of not more than 500 words should be submitted for review by 15 January 2017 to:

    Prof. Antonella Riem (

    Prof. Maria Renata Dolce (

    Papers selected for inclusion will be notified by 2 February 2017. No registration fee required.

    For any further information please contact the conference organisers: Prof. Antonella Riem, ( Prof. Maria Renata Dolce, ( Dr. Loredana Salis (

  • 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:

  • 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 (

  • 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