Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL)

(Status : Public)
Total words
  • 2018 Literary Studies Convention: The Literary Interface

    The Convention will be held at Australian National University, Canberra, from 4-7 July 2018.

    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.

    Invoking the possibility of melding, soldering, and/or merging different elements, the literary interface suggests the resilience as well as the suppleness of disciplinary boundaries. It conjures the possibility of new meeting points; zones of contact and interaction but also sites of contention and disruption that might challenge received platitudes yet help us to bring to the surface new meanings.

    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.

    Deadline for submissions: 25 August 2017.

    Please send an abstract of 150 words and biographical note of 100 words to

    Jointly held by the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, the Australasian Association for Literature, the Australasian Universities Languages and Literature Association, and the Australian University Heads of English.


  • ASAL Mini Conference

    The ASAL mini conference webpage is now live and can be accessed here: 

    The webpage includes a link to register for the conference by 1 February. A full / concession registration includes the keynote and masterclass on Thursday as well as the symposium on Friday. The conference dinner on Friday night is an additional cost but promises to be an enjoyable evening at Darwin's award-winning Char restaurant.

  • Call For Papers: Risk Anything!: Modernist Women between Centre and Periphery

    Friday 6 April 2018, UNSW Sydney, Australia
    A symposium presented by the Australasian Modernist Studies Network
    Keynote: A/Prof Natalya Lusty (The University of Sydney)
    “Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.”
                    – Katherine Mansfield, journal entry 14 October 1922
    The peripatetic New Zealand modernist Katherine Mansfield wrote these words towards the end of her life, urging herself to be courageous, to pursue her creative convictions. Mansfield’s approach to life and work is an example of the countless creative women who embraced, employed and drove the modernist cultural experiment.

    Nearly a century later, our own era is equally defined by contingency and risk, offering a unique opportunity to reflect on the history and legacies of creative behaviour that defines itself in terms of risk. We invite proposals from scholars on topics relating to risk, women and modernist culture, and from female-identifying artists, writers and performers whose practice engages with the legacies of modernist women. We especially welcome contributions focusing on women who have traversed the ‘risky’ division between centres of modernism – Britain, Europe, and the United States – and so-called ‘peripheries’. These may take the form of a 20-minute presentation/10-minute question format or a team-led 90 minute roundtable discussion or workshop format. 

    Risk may be interpreted in relation to:

    • Creative experimentation and the avant-garde
    • Cultural and gender norms
    • Sexuality
    • Reputation
    • Failure
    • Personal motivation
    • Finance/business
    • Danger – personal, political, social
    • Political struggle

    Selected papers will be published as a special journal issue.

    Please send 250-word proposals for papers, roundtables or workshops, along with a 50-word bio to by 31 January 2018. Responses will be distributed in early February.

    Event organisers: Dr Baylee Brits (UNSW), Dr Louise R Mayhew (Griffith University) & Dr Helen Rydstrand (UNSW).

  • Call for Submissions JEASA - Journal of the European Association for Studies of Australia

    Guest-edited Issue 1 / 2018 The Tides of Distant Isles: Transnational &Transcultural Readings of Contemporary Australian Poetry The issue, guest-edited by Dr. Matthew Hall (Deakin University, Australia), will comprise of interviews, select poems, and a series of articles on recent Australian poetry, it’s constructs, influences, means and ends. This issue will explore the underexposed, the difficult, the experimental poets of the continent and consider their work in contemplation of a ‘networked history’ of language. If, as John Mateer has argued, Australia is not an island, then this issue will address the crosscurrents, tides and voyages that link a body of land to the broader ocean. How might these currents create their own cultural products? How have changes in world literature begun to address and impact Australian poetry? How have individual writers been influenced from abroad? Is there an Australia at the heart of Australian literature? How has Australian Unsettlement used to tell alternate histories? How might Australian Indigenous poetry be read through networks of relation or through forces of global Indigeneity?
    Examples of essays that might tackle broader poetry and publishing forces might include:

    • Prague as a distant shore: Louis Armand, VLAK and the framing of  Australian poetry
    • SALT publishing: UK and Australian publishing and networks of difference
    • Diasporic poetics as a productive tension
    • Australian-US connections as symbiotic exchange
    • The history of Jacket: an antipodean state of communicative exchange
    • Yellowfield

    Acts of Curation across the seas But we will certainly welcome more focused poetic studies that contemplate, discuss and disseminate ideas from contemporary Australian poetry, broadly conceived, for those who call Australia home, and those whose ties remain literary. The European Association for Studies of Australia, founded in 1989, seeks to promote the teaching of and research in Australian Studies at European tertiary institutions, as well as to increase an awareness of Australian culture throughout Europe. EASA promotes the study and discussion of a wide variety of aspects of Australian culture: Indigenous studies, literature, film, the media, popular culture, history, political discourses, the arts. EASA's area of interest also includes New Zealand Studies. All submitted contributions will be peer reviewed. The publication of the issue is expected in the first half of 2018.
    Please submit your articles by December 31, 2017 to the JEASA’s guest editor, Matthew Hall, at and general editor Martina Horakova at 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, singlespaced. 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. Other formats (interviews, reflections, narrative prose, etc.) are to be consulted with the guest editor. A detailed stylesheet is available at the journal’s website:
    Matthew Hall, guest editor
    Martina Horakova, general editor

  • Unsettling Australia: International Australian Studies Association Biennial Conference

    3-5 December 2018, The University of Queensland 
    Australia, the oldest continental landmass on Earth, has had a relatively stable geographical history and, situated in the middle of a tectonic plate, it currently has no active volcanism. However the advent of colonisation led to massive upheavals in Australia’s extant cultures, history and environment. Prior to this, Indigenous peoples too dramatically impacted the environment.
    Two hundred and thirty years later, these ruptures are being experienced more intensely than ever. Politics has seen the rise of populism; climate change is destabilising human and non-human populations; and discrimination remains entrenched despite feminism, social justice, and human rights movements and legislation. Technology has disrupted the traditional media landscape while creating new global networks. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have survived enormous hardship and displacement, yet respond strategically to assert a national voice, to call for agreement-making between governments and First Nations, and to insist on truth-telling about history.
    These timely issues create a sense of urgency, a need to make sense of and to react in intelligent and creative ways. While this is a time of great unsettlement, it is also an opportunity: as scholars, we have the capacity to interrogate, contextualise and disseminate innovative responses to these issues. The 2018 InASA conference, Unsettling Australia, seeks to create an environment in which ideas and answers can be articulated, discussed and debated. We welcome papers which address any of the following eight streams:

    • Unsettling the Transnational Turn
    • Unsettling the Environment
    •  Unsettling Colonial Networks
    • Unsettling Resource Extraction
    • Unsettling Intimacies in the Pacific Rim
    • Unsettling Gender, Sexualities, Bodies
    •  Unsettling Race and Sovereignty
    • Unsettling Class

    Please submit your abstract of no more than 250 words via the 2018 InASA Conference website at 
    Select the conference stream that best fits your proposed contribution, then use the “Submit” button to generate an email that will be directed to the relevant stream convenor. Abstracts are due by 1 March 2018. General inquiries can be sent to

  • Announcement: JASAL Editorial Change

    For many years now, the Association’s journal JASAL has benefitted enormously under the capable editorial stewardship of Brigitta Olubas and Tony Simoes da Silva. So it is with considerable regret that we convey the news that Brigitta is stepping down from her role as general co-editor, effective once the forthcoming general issue is launched.
    The ASAL Executive thanks Brigitta on behalf of members and the field at large. We are deeply appreciative of her outstanding contribution as editor. Her intellectual verve and inclusive spirit have yielded a dynamic range of guest edited issues and expanded diversity of output. We know Brigitta will continue to make a leading contribution to Australian literary studies.

    We are delighted to say that Tony Simoes da Silva has agreed to continue on as JASAL editor. The continuity of Tony's editorship is of immense value and we are very thankful for his ongoing involvement.

    Position of JASAL General Editor: Seeking Expressions of Interest

    The ASAL executive therefore invites expressions of interest from members who would like to be considered for the position of JASAL co-editor with Tony Simoes da Silva. Expressions of interest or any questions about the role can be directed to ASAL President Brigid Rooney (


  • The Grattan Street Press

    The Grattan Street Press is a university teaching press at the University of Melbourne.  Its Colonial Australian Popular Fiction series has now published two novels, John Lang’s The Forger’s Wife (1853, 1855) and Ellen Davitt’s Force and Fraud (1865):

    Ken Gelder is general editor of the series, which aims to publish two colonial novels each year across different genres: crime fiction for 2017, colonial romance – J.D. Hennessey’s An Australian Bush Track (1896) and Louise Mack’s An Australian Girl in London (1902) – for 2018. These novels are reprinted from first editions or original magazine serialisation. They are each given an informed scholarly introduction, a note on the text, and explanatory footnotes where appropriate, following the Oxford World’s Classics model. The overall aim is to produce colonial novels for contemporary readers that are a pleasure to read, but also suitable as teaching texts at universities and upper level secondary schools.

    The series would welcome expressions of interest, and publishing suggestions, from potential future editors: especially RHD students working on colonial Australian literary projects. Introductions are usually around 2500 words and formats are now established. Send an email to Ken Gelder:

  • Conference: Call for Papers: Writers, Dreamers, Drifters and the Aegean

    25 and 26 September, 2018, Hotel Bratsera, Hydra
    Following on from the Half the Perfect World Conference held on Hydra in 2016, Writers, Dreamers, Drifters and the Aegean continues the exploration of post-war literary and artistic exchange centred on Greece and the Aegean.
    Mainland Greece and the Aegean islands, sitting within the orbit of three continents and at the crucible of several civilisations and empires, have been at the centre of intellectual, cultural, commercial and migratory exchange for millennia. As the second half of the Twentieth Century dawned they struggled for relevancy. Despite enjoying some of the planet’s most enticing natural and cultural attractions and an enviable climate, they were also poor, underdeveloped and depleted by a decade of war and by generations of development that had driven populations to mainland cities. But what modernity had taken, it might yet give back, as post-war Europe looked to make the most of economic growth and expanding opportunities for leisure, travel and cultural tourism. For a generation of writers and artists the Aegean continued to serve as inspiration, respite, escape, or touchstone. This is the subject matter of Writers, Dreamers, Drifters and the Aegean.
    Papers might focus on the international expatriates and visitors who are now associated with the region; including George Johnston, Charmian Clift; Sidney Nolan, Axel Jensen; Henry Miller, Gordon Merrick; Patrick Leigh Fermor, Lawrence and Gerald Durrell, and Leonard Cohen. There are many others. Papers might also consider Greek writers and artists such as George Seferis, George Katsimbalis, and Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika. Again there are many others.

    The conference also invites contributions on subjects in the context of the Aegean, such as twentieth century literary and artistic expatriation; cultural travel, and intellectual exchange. They could also relate new ideas about emergent tourist literature focused on the Aegean; consider post-war promotion of the Mediterranean and Aegean and the impact of mass-tourism; discuss the significance of islands in post-war Greek literary culture (and/or other literatures); or consider women’s contributions to the imagination and realisation of Greek island living.
    While papers associated with Hydra are particularly relevant, we also welcome contributions that consider literary and artistic expatriation, cultural exchange and travel to mainland Greece and other Aegean islands or the wider Mediterranean.
    Conference Convenors: Tanya Dalziell (University of Western Australia) and Paul Genoni (Curtin University)

    Abstracts: 250 words, due by: 2 February, 2018

    Address to:; and/or Please contact convenors with any queries about the suitability of topics etc.
    Papers: 25 minutes, with 15 minutes for discussion.

    This conference is supported by the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, The University of Western Australia, and Curtin University

    Website: Coming soon!

  • Call for Papers: The Australasian Modernist Studies Network presents AMSN4: Modernist Comedy & Humour

    26-28 October 2018, University of Melbourne
    Is modernism funny? During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Sigmund Freud theorized jokes and their relation to the unconscious, while Henri Bergson argued that laughter is produced by “something mechanical encrusted on the living.” English literary modernists held Victorian earnestness in contempt, often while taking themselves extremely seriously. Early twentieth-century Dadaists committed themselves to nonsense and irrationality and, in 1940, the surrealist André Breton edited and published an anthology of “black humour.” The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries also saw the rise of popular and parodic forms of comedy and humour such as the comic strip, vaudeville, camp, and Buster Keaton’s deadpan acting style. These comic forms and styles were bound up with histories of immigration, gender and sexuality, race, technology, and culture industries.

    Humanities scholars are devoting new attention to the aesthetics, politics, and social significance of comedy and humour. For instance, in their 2017 special issue of Critical Inquiry on comedy, Lauren Berlant and Sianne Ngai note competing trajectories of modern social life: on the one hand, “people are increasingly supposed to be funny all the time,” and on the other, “humourlessness is on the rise.” In the same issue, Ngai opposes the labor-saving operations of the “gimmick” to Victor Shklovsky and Bertolt Brecht’s practices of making methods of production visible. These tensions and oppositions suggest the usefulness of attending to comedy and humour in the field of modernist studies, which in recent years has rethought traditional oppositions among popular, high modernist, and avant-garde cultural forms.

    We invite papers that engage with comedy and humour across the interdisciplinary field of modernist studies. How do comedy and humour reflect and affect the geographical, temporal, and cultural expansiveness of contemporary modernist studies, and what might Australasian scholarship contribute to this expansion? When are comic genres and styles normative, subversive, or ambivalent? When is laughter a mode of detachment, and when is it a way of being in relation? Who is in on the joke, and why does it matter?
    Possible topics might include:

    • Camp, kitsch, taste, judgment
    • Comic performance genres and styles: vaudeville, music hall, variety,
    • minstrelsy, burlesque, standup, the deadpan, slapstick, shtick, gimmicks
    • Humourlessness, earnestness, seriousness, the unfunny
    • Jokes, comic timing, comic tones
    • Comic strips, political cartoons, caricature
    • The ridiculous, the absurd
    • Humour and/of the avant-garde
    • Laughter and audience behavior
    • Ways and theories of reading
    • The mechanical, grotesque, or nonhuman; humourous objects
    • Pleasure, play, fun
    • Comedy as and at work
    • Commodity culture, advertisements
    • Affect and emotion
    • Ethnic, national, or cosmopolitan comic perspectives
    • Queer humour, sexual parody
    • Overstatement and understatement
    • The epigram, the bon mot, the cutting remark
    • Normative and subversive humour, harmlessness, vulgarity, offensiveness
    • Theories and histories of comedy and humour

    Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and a bio of no more than 150 words to as an attachment by 30 March 2018.

    A link to the full CFP is here:

    Confirmed keynote speaker: Professor Nick Salvato (Cornell). This speaker is supported by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions.

    Conference committee:
    Dr Sarah Balkin, University of Melbourne
    Professor Ronan McDonald, University of Melbourne Elizabeth McLean, University of Melbourne
    Jessica Marian, University of Melbourne

    Questions may be directed to

  • ARC Centres of Excellence Workshop

    Workshop to support applications for ARC Centres of Excellence in the Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) sector. The ARC, the Academies of Humanities and Social Sciences, and DASSH are running a day-long workshop in Canberra on 11 December to increase the number of strong expressions of interest that have a HASS component.

    For further information, please see the website:  

  • Call for Papers: SHARP 2018: 'From First to Last Texts, Creators, Readers, Agents' the 26th annual conference of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP)

    Monday 9 July to Thursday 12 July, with an optional excursion (details TBC) on Friday 13 July, 2018. This international book history conference will be held in the Southern Hemisphere for the first time, at Western Sydney University, New South Wales, Australia.

    As SHARP moves into its next 25 years, participants are encouraged to think creatively about how the book has been an agent that both anchors cultural continuities and provokes changes in mentalities throughout human history; the connectivity between oral / aural traditions and written cultures etc.; challenging assumptions about centre / periphery and Anglo / Euro-centrisms in Book History; and states of the discipline which address book historiographical concerns and trends, but also stimulate book history to become truly adventurous and methodologically innovative.
    In the fictional work The Last Witchfinder (James Morrow, 2006), the book’s narrator—also a book, in this case Newton’s Principia Mathematica—claimed that “unlike you humans, a book always remembers its moment of conception”. Equally we might argue that a text rarely ever dies and may go through many rebirths and incarnations. The conference theme of origins, endings and renewal may be approached from several angles. Potential topics include (but are not limited to):

    • What is the beginning and the end of the book?
    • Exploding book histories, geographies and chronologies;
    • Alternative models: knowledge communities and practice in Indigenous cultures.
    • Transitions, overlaps and reinventions in orality, manuscript, print and the digital;
    • Transhistorical, transgender and transcultural comparisons in book history;
    • Books and the non-human / post-human world;
    • The textual human and the human text;
    • Literary agents and non-literary forms of agency that shift book history conventions;
    • The many lives of books: destroying, defacing, unmaking, repairing & restoring texts;
    • Non-literary forces, power structures, language politics and the book;
    • Authorship, originality and creative processes;
    • Materialising text and making containers;
    • Primary motives and end rewards in publishing and related industries; and
    • Temporalities, durations and revolutions in reading.

    See the full Call for Papers at along with further details, submission instructions and multilingual versions.

  • Omar Musa Patrons' Lecture Recording

    The Patrons' Lecture given by Omar Musa is now available on SoundCloud at Sydney Ideas. This link is now available at the ASAL AustLit website:

  • AustLit Database Reminder

    ASAL members with publications in the AustLit Database are strongly encouraged to check that your profile and entries are up-to-date. Providing biographical details, photos and updated records will help elevate AustLit in google rankings and consequently drive more traffic to your scholarship. The email address for updates and questions is:


  • PhD Scholarships at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities

    The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) at the University of Queensland is offering up to two PhD scholarships to study under the following research project: 

    Literary and Book History after Colonialism

    Australian settler modernity was shaped by distinct orders of knowledge that can be traced through book history and studies of print culture. The key aim of Associate Professor Anna Johnston’s ARC Future Fellowship project is to provide fresh and challenging readings of Australia’s literary and cultural history, and to map the aftermath of colonialism in contemporary culture.

    Successful applicants will be supervised by Associate Professor Anna Johnston, and will be enrolled in the School of Communication and Arts. While all relevant dissertation projects will be considered, proposals that articulate with Fellowship themes and approach are encouraged. Indicative projects could include:

    • Settler colonialism and Australian literature, past and present
    • Colonial science and natural history publications
    • Travel writing
    • Missionary writing
    • Archival or book history projects, particularly using UQ’s Fryer Library and / or AustLit
    • Non-fictional prose and literary studies

    Students in literary studies, cultural and intellectual history, and postcolonial cultural studies are encouraged to apply and to refine their proposal in consultation with the project leader.

    For more information about the scholarship, please see the following link:

    For any further enquiries, please contact Associate Professor Anna Johnston (

  • Sri Lanka ASAL tour: 12 November - 2 December 2018

    Australia has had a close relationship with Sri Lanka since both were established as British colonies at the end of the eighteenth century.  Ceylon was the nearest British colony to the Australian colonies, a source of supplies and a port of call for travellers from Europe to Australia. Many of the ruling military class of the early Australian colonies exchanged positions with those in Ceylon, and the country appears in travellers’ accounts and sometimes in stories written by Australians—in Martin Boyd’s Lucinda Brayford, for example, Lucinda’s mother takes a holiday trip there.

    After the Second World War many Ceylonese came to Australia, some initially on Colombo Plan exchanges, others during the political upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s when Ceylon became the independent nation of Sri Lanka. Yasmin Gooneratne and Michelle de Kretser may be the best-known of the Australian-Sri Lankan writers, but others include the novelist, Chandani Lokuge, the playwright Ernest McIntyre and poets such as Dipti Saravanamuttu and Sunil Govinnage. As well, many Australian writers have visited Sri Lanka, writing about their experiences of it.

    During our trip to Sri Lanka in November 2018, we will hold a conference at Viharagala Estate, once owned by Yasmin Gooneratne and her husband and operated as a writers’ retreat, Pemberley.  Papers on any aspect of Australian-Sri Lankan culture, or the wider literary connections between Australia and South Asia, will be welcomed.

    Please send proposals and enquiries about the tour to:
    Susan Lever (

  • Creative Writing/Literature PhD project available at Curtin

    A creative writing / literature PhD position is now open for application at Curtin University for an innovative collaborative PhD program with the University of Aberdeen commencing early 2018. The PhD candidate will be enrolled at both Curtin University and University of Aberdeen and will, on completion, receive a joint award. The first and third years will be spent based at Curtin (Bentley campus, Western Australia) with the second year based in Aberdeen, Scotland. The candidate will receive world-class supervision from staff at both universities. The position will be fee-waived (ie no fees payable) and with an APA scholarship for three years. High calibre honours or Masters students or graduates are invited to contact Dr Rachel Robertson, Senior Lecturer at Curtin University on or 08 9266 2615 to discuss this opportunity. The proposed project, which is open to negotiation, is around travel writing. Travel Writing Project This project explores the literature of travel and travel writing through a literary and/or creative practice lens. Projects could include:

    • Writing a travel narrative (creative non-fiction)
    • Analysis of travel writing
    • Examination of tropes of travel in fiction, non-fiction or poetry
    • Comparison of Australian and Scottish literatures of travel
    • Historical travel writing
    • Newer forms of travel writing (eg blogging, multi-media or experimental writing about travel)
    • Contested issues in travel writing (eg the role of the tourist, new environmental perspectives, post-colonial perspectives)
    • Other aspects of creative writing and travel.

    Curtin University contact person: Rachel Robertson (

  • Call for Papers: Writing and writers of Gippsland: ASAL vets, Gippsland 2018

    Call for Papers: Writing and writers of GippslandASAL vets, Gippsland 2018
    19-23 March 2018, Paynesville, Gippsland
    Gippsland, in Eastern Victoria, has inspired many writers to rhapsodise about its mountains and fern forests, its coastal reaches and lakes. Patrick Morgan characterises it as the ‘writing of the urban dweller seeking rest and solace in the forests; of women on farms wandering into the bush as a break from pioneering chores; of the naturalist exploring a new, diverse and attractive environment; and of the romantic temperament drifting into solitary contemplation of nature’s sublimity and man’s littleness in the face of it all’ (xv. Shadow and Shine an anthology of Gippsland Literature). Gippsland has also been the site of enormous environmental destruction as the dense forests stretching from the southern slopes of the alps to the sea were cleared for farming. Some writing about Gippsland is elegiac, some polemical, and there is bitter conflict over logging in the remaining old growth forests.
    The region has been home to many writers such as Hal Porter, Eve Langley, Mary Fullerton, Bruce Pascoe, and Don Watson and the subject of books by writers as various as Chester Eagle, Laurie Duggan and George Seddon.
    From Monday 5 March to Friday 9 March, the ASALvets will meet at Paynesville, on the Gippsland lakes, to celebrate the literary heritage of Gippsland and enjoy some of the region’s contemporary pleasures, including, wineries, boat trips, walks in the forest and swimming for those so inclined.  We welcome papers on any
    Paynesville is about 20 minutes from Bairnsdale, which is accessible from Melbourne by train. We plan to meet on Monday night and finish the conference after breakfast on Friday morning.
    The most central accommodation is at the Mariner’s Cove which has a range of options: 
    Conference goers will need to book their own accommodation there or nearby.   Inquiries to Judy Brett ( or Susan Lever (
    Please note that all ASAL members are very welcome to attend and present.

  • Call For Papers: Westerly: Asia and the Indian Ocean region

    This special print issue of Westerly continues the Magazine’s exploration of Australia’s (and especially Western Australia’s) geographic and cultural position within the Asian and Indian Ocean region. While deeply rooted in Australian creative writing, the Magazine has historically situated itself within a broader literary landscape, enriched by influences from Asia, India, West Africa and the Middle East. 
    Westerly 62.2 is dedicated to opening a creative and scholarly space to foster these diverse cultural networks, and explore the connections between Australia and our geographic region. It will combine commissioned work from international writers and organisations publishing in this area (including the China Australia Writing Centre and the Australia-Korea Foundation), with submissions from a general call out. We are looking for writing which engages with the connections between Australia, Asia and the Indian Ocean Region, in any genre and from any perspective. We encourage both Australian and international authors to submit. This issue follows a history of westward-looking special issues, available for free download from the Digital Archive.
    For further details and to submit, please go to:

  • Call for Papers: Science/Literature

    A panel session on the interface between science and literature is proposed for the July 2018 Literary Studies Convention in Canberra. This will be followed by a special issue in Australian Humanities Review, edited by Jessica White and Clare Archer-Lean.

    In keeping with ‘The Literary Interface’ theme of the Literary Convention, in particular its definition of an interface as ‘an apparatus designed to connect two scientific instruments so that they can be operated jointly’, we welcome proposals which explore ways in which literature can translate, communicate, or re-imagine the systematic study of human and/or non-human worlds.

    Please send proposals of 200 words, for an essay or a conference paper or both, by 25 June 2017 to Jessica White ( and Clare Archer-Lean (

  • 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 (

  • 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