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Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL)

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  • ASAL Patrons Lecture: Ellen van Neerven

    6-8pm, Friday 13 July 2018, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, Baylis Street, Wagga Wagga, NSW
    Ellen van Neerven is Mununjali from the Yugambeh language group of South East Queensland on her mother’s side. Her first book, Heat and Light (UQP, 2014), was the recipient of the David Unaipon Award, the Dobbie Literary Award and the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Indigenous Writers Prize. Heat and Light was also shortlisted for The Stella Prize, the Queensland Literary Award for State Significance, and the Readings Prize. Ellen was named as a Sydney Morning Herald‘s Best Young Australian Novelist in 2015.
    Until 2016 Ellen was the Managing Editor of black&write! Indigenous Writing and Editing Project at State Library of Queensland. She received the 2017 Queensland Writers Centre Johnno Award and the 2015 Express Media Award for Outstanding Contribution by a Young Person in Literary Arts for her work as editor, mentor and advocate for First Nations writers. She currently lives in Melbourne.
    Patrons Lectures are hosted by ASAL with funding from the Copyright Agency. These lectures support emerging and distinguished Australian writers to travel to locations around Australia to present a public talk or lecture on a topic of his or her choosing for a broader public.
    By bringing Australian writers into a wide range of communities, Patrons Lectures aim to stimulate broad interest in Australian writing and facilitate deeper understanding between writers, the academy, secondary teachers and the reading public.
    This event is free. Please see the following link to register:

  • Call For Papers: ASAL 2019 mini-conference: New Australian Modernities: Antigone Kefala and Australian Migrant Aesthetics

    15 March 2019, UNSW
    This symposium works from the premise that a key Australian literary and aesthetic modernity begins at the mid-twentieth century with the arrival of refugees from the Displaced Persons camps of post-war Europe, and continues through the many subsequent waves of arrivals. It aims to provoke consideration of the wider significance of what were termed “New Australian” arrivals to the intellectual and cultural life of the nation from the mid-century, as an alternative reading of the Australian modernist project in terms of Sneja Gunew’s 1983 designation of migrant writing as a Derridean “dangerous supplement” to Australian literature.
    Within this configuration of New Australian Modernities, the symposium invites contributors to examine the important work of Antigone Kefala. Kefala is a significant Australian author who has produced more than a dozen acclaimed works including novels, novellas and poetry. Her significance was acknowledged by the award in 2017 of the Judith Wright Calanthe Poetry Award for her most recent collection Fragments (Giramondo) in the Queensland Literary Awards. A collection of critical writing about her work over four decades was published in 2009 in Antigone Kefala: A Writers Journey(Owl Publishing). This collection brought the range and significance of Kefala’s work back into public view. A decade later, this symposium invites new consideration of Kefala’s work. Contributors are invited to approach her writing in terms of the history of writing by non-Anglo writers in Australia, and also in the context of the recent upsurge of interest in writers from diverse backgrounds. We also invite contributors to explore the milieus within which Kefala worked, and the networks of other artists and writers with whom she was connected.

    Convenors: Brigitta Olubas and Elizabeth McMahon
    Keynote Speaker: Sneja Gunew

    Please send abstracts by 30 September 2018 to: Brigitta Olubas with the subject line: ASAL19KEFALA.


  • Event: Fellowship Presentation: The Tyranny of Distance: Charles Lamb and the Australian Common Reader

    5:15 for 5:30pm, Thursday 12 July, Conference Room, National Library of Australia

    Professor Gillian Russell explores the Library’s Prance Collection to explain why British Romanticist Charles Lamb was interested in Australia and how this was repaid by devotion from Australian readers.

    Gillian is a graduate in English literature from Queen’s University Belfast and the university of Cambridge. She has held positions as professor of English, ANU, and the Gerry Higgins Professor of Irish Studies, University of Melbourne, where she is now based as Honorary Professorial Fellow.

    Professor Russell is the 2018 National Library Fellow for Research in Australian Literature, supported by the Ray Matthew and Eva Kollsman Trust.

    Free Event. Bookings essential:
    Or ph 02 6262 1111

    Livestreamed on facebook (AEST):

  • Call for Papers Extended: Colonialism and Its Narratives: rethinking the colonial archive in Australia conference

    University of Melbourne, 10-11 December 2018

    The call for papers has been extended to 3 August

    Keynote speakers are now confirmed: Tim Bonyhady, Penny Edmonds, Bruce Pascoe and Lynette Russell:

    For further details please see the website:

    All enquiries to Ken Gelder at the Australian Centre, University of Melbourne:

  • 2018 AUHE Prize for Literary Scholarship open

    The Australian Universities Heads of English (AUHE) is calling for nominations for the AUHE Prize for Literary Scholarship, which will be awarded to the best book of literary scholarship published by an Australian-based author in the last twelve months.

    Works eligible for the prize include single-author or co-written monographs, multi-authored books including edited collections, reference works, born-digital works equivalent to printed books, bibliographic works of substance and other forms of equivalent scholarly production. All forms of literary scholarship are acceptable, including critical, theoretical, empirical, historical, textual and so on. Interdisciplinary scholarship is not precluded though a work must engage with what is understood as books and writing in whatever form.

    Nominated books need to have been published between July 2017 and July 2018. The prize is decided by a panel of members nominated by the AUHE executive. The winner will be announced at the time of the AUHE AGM, usually in late November or early December. Please forward all nominations to the Chair of the judging panel, Ann Vickery ( by 5pm, 3 August 2018.

    Nominators should supply or ensure access to three copies of the nominated text. Either hard or electronic copies are acceptable, with electronic copies preferred. Authors may self-nominate. If nominating a book you have not authored, please contact the author of the text you are nominating to avoid duplicate entries. Publishers may also nominate books. Details also available on the AUHE website: 
    Please circulate. For any queries, please email the Chair of the judging panel.

  • Call for Papers: Special Edition Desert Lines: Interventions in the Borderlands of Australian Literature

    Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts

    The Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts aims to publish articles which advance our knowledge and understanding of social contexts in Australia and internationally with an emphasis on the socio-cultural dimensions of learning in these different contexts and configurations.

    This journal occupies a unique place in international publications by reporting research, makes research-to-practice connections, and examines the intersection of learning with the social contexts in which the learning occurs. Learning communities can be large or small groups of people, who learn together, often in pursuit of a common purpose. All research articles in this journal undergoes rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and anonymous double-blind refereeing by at least two referees.

    This is a call for completed papers for a special literary studies edition. We encourage articles in various fields of research relating to the objective of the theme Desert Lines: Interventions in the Borderlands of Australian Literaturewhich may include, but are not confined to the
    the analysis of works that occur at the margins of Australian literature, pointing to newer areas of scholarly investigation.  Examples of essays will include:

    • Representations of the Northern Territory
    • Analysis of writing from the “outback” regions
    • Concerns of marginal identity in literature
    • Debates among avante-garde movements
    • Parameters of publishing and promoting
    • Themes of urbanisation and immigration
    • The teaching of creative writing beyond borderlands

    Please submit your articles by 1 August, 2018 to the guest editors Adelle Sefton-Rowston at and Ben van Gelderen Please remove your name and any indications of your authorship from the text but include your name, affiliation, keywords (max 8) and a 150 word bio in a separate document. Submissions must follow these guidelines: articles should be between 4000-8000 words long, line spacing 1.15 for whole document, Arial 10 point, justified, 6pt spacing after, APA referencing. Other formats (interviews, reflections, narrative prose etc) are to be consulted with the guest editors. More details on the journal and a detailed style-sheet is available at the journal’s website: 

  • Scientia PhD scholarship opportunity in English

    Expressions of interest are invited for a “Scientia” PhD scholarship at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, on the topic “Digital media and the 21st-century novel”, to commence in 2019. The scholarship is open to students who have a Masters or Honours degree, or who will complete one of these degrees in 2018. UNSW’s Scientia scholarships include a generous stipend, an annual allowance for research and travel, and a special focus on career mentoring.

    For more information and to register your interest before 10 July 2017, click here, or visit  

  • Call for Papers: Deadline Extended: Marginalia: Bibliography at the Margins

    29 -30 November 2018, the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

    Readers have always responded to books, often by inscribing their reactions – of approval or outrage – in the margins. This conference seeks to explore the condition of being bibliographically “in, on, or at the margins” ranging from examples of significantly annotated copies of books to the relationship of bibliography to cognate disciplines such as history, literature, biography, and critical theory. The conference will also address issues in interpreting, editing, recording and preserving marginalia.

    BSANZ invites proposals for 20-minute papers on matters marginal from the early modern period to the present and beyond. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

    • Celebrated annotators, and particular annotated texts
    • The interpretative challenge of anonymous doodles and notes
    • Marginalia as deep engagement and social intertext
    • The charged vacillation between readership and authorship
    • Marginalia as biographical writing
    • Digital technologies and contemporary marginalia
    • Australasian contributions to the field of marginalia studies
    • Recording and cataloguing marginal traces in library collections
    • Valuing the personal inscription – association, marginalia and the market

    Some financial assistance towards travel costs may be available for postgraduate students who are presenting papers. Please enquire when submitting your proposal, and include a brief budget outlining your anticipated travel costs.

    Proposals – including, a 250-word abstract title of paper, name and institutional affiliation of each author, a brief biography of each author, email address of each author, and 3-5 keywords – should be sent to the convenor, Simon Farley

    Presenters must be members of the Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand.

    The deadline for submissions is Friday 27 April 2018.


  • Call for Abstracts: Evolving Minds: Integrating Philosophy, Science and the Arts.

    17-19 September, 2018, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT.

    Professor of Philosophy, Daniel Dennett, has been selected as the 2018 Charles Darwin Scholar, and he is visiting Charles Darwin University in Darwin, Australia from September 8 - 21, during which time he is going to present the “Charles Darwin Scholar Oration.” To coincide with this visit by Daniel Dennett, the ArtLab at Charles Darwin University is staging a conference. This event is going to be themed around the Charles Darwin Scholar Award, with a priority placed on research interests of Dennett in the topics of human consciousness and evolutionary biology, particularly as these topics relate to adaptation, both cultural and biological.

    The Charles Darwin Scholar Program was established in 2013 to enhance the work and legacy of its namesake, Charles Darwin. This link provides more information on the Scholar Program and the role of the Charles Darwin Scholar ( Daniel Dennett is the author of many books, including Breaking the Spell (Viking, 2006), Darwin's Dangerous Idea (Simon and Schuster, 1995), and recently From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds (Norton, 2017). Dennett is the Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. He has delivered many talks, including not only the John Locke Lectures at Oxford in 1983, but also the Young Lectures at Adelaide in 1985. He has received two Guggenheim Fellowships, two Fulbright Fellowships, and five honorary doctorates. He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Science, and he has been awarded the Erasmus Prize (the highest, academic honour in the Netherlands—an honour bequeathed by Queen Beatrice in Amsterdam).
    Keynote Addresses and Special Events: 
    Daniel Dennett will deliver a key-note address to open the conference. We expect to include other invited speakers, one of whom is Professor Stephen Mumford [Durham University]. 
    Panel Session on Consciousness: 
    Daniel Dennett, Stephen Mumford and other invited speakers will also take part in a conference special event, a panel session on the topic of consciousness.

    Call for Papers:
    The organisers invite contributors to submit, in the first instance, abstracts for papers. Topics for papers may include the following themes:

    • Consciousness and Naturalism
    • Cultural Change and Evolutionary Theory
    • Innovating for Adaptation
    • Indigenous Futures and Cultural Responses
    • Cultural Change and Creativity in Science and the Arts

    Please submit an abstract of 200 words (max), accompanied by a bio of 50 words (max). Deadline for submission of abstracts:  Wednesday 9 May, 2018.  

    Please send abstracts (with biography) via email to Dr Sharon Ford (Subject Heading: Conference: Evolving minds 2018):

    More information will follow shortly about the program for the conference, including information about registration, participation, and accommodation, as well as other events pertaining to the proceedings.

    Conference Organisation and Contact: 
    Lead organiser and contact person: Dr Sharon Ford (

    General organisation committee: members of ArtLab, College of Indigenous Futures, Arts and Society, CDU:

    Dr Sharon Ford
    Dr Nicolas Bullot
    Dr Adelle Sefton-Rowston
    Dr Christian Bok

  • Call For Papers: Life Writing in the Anthropocene: A special issue of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies

    We have, arguably, entered the age of the Anthropocene, a time when our environment has been substantially shaped by humans rather than vice versa. It is an age marked by environmental decline and extinction: the last forty years have witnessed the irrevocable disappearance of half the world’s vertebrates; sixty percent of the world’s wild primates are facing extinction; and the geographic range of Australia’s iconic gum trees is threatened to shrink by half within the next sixty years. Given these statistics, it is timely to consider the intertwining of our selves with our ecology, particularly given the historically anthropocentric focus on auto/biography.
    a/b: Auto/Biography Studies seeks original articles for a special issue on “Life Writing in the Anthropocene” to be published as volume 35.1. How can autobiography, a form which has traditionally dwelled upon representations of the human self, extend to representations of non-human lives? How do we write about the impact which our life has upon other lives? Can we describe the non-human without anthropomorphising it? What is the role of literature in illuminating the non-human and its importance to our selves? How can we articulate relationships with non-human lives in ways that underscore their significance?
    The need to address such questions is becoming increasingly urgent in this new epoch. With this in mind, we welcome contemplation of the representation and imagining of non-human and human selves in the Anthropocene. Articles might canvas the following:

    • representations of ecosystems and identity formation
    • the prevalence of narratives about grief and environment or, more largely, the role of emotion in our literary entwinement with nature
    • the imagination and articulation of extinct lives
    • the meaningful representation of lives in the span of deep time, given the 
insignificance of human time against this scale
    • the impact of colonisation upon ecosystems, particularly in consideration of constitution of Indigenous selves and communities
    • the possibilities of digital enmeshments with environment
    • distinctions between communal and singular selves
    • issues of style or genre, such as ecobiography or eco-memoir
    • lives in urban ecologies
    • depictions of non-human lives and/or ecosystems
    • Indigenous and non-Indigenous representations of landscapes and country
    • the composition of posthuman selves and their environments 

    This issue is an exciting opportunity to bring non-human lives into conversations about life writing. We welcome essays from a wide range of disciplines, including the humanities, social sciences, sciences and creative arts. Cross-fertilisation of disciplines is also warmly welcomed. 
    Essays should be 6,000-8,000 words including citations. Shorter pieces, up to 4,000 words, are also sought for scholarly reflections on writing and/or representing non-human lives such as insect, air, plants or animals.
    Please include a coversheet with your name, contact details, and a brief biographical statement. Authors must also include a short abstract and two to four keywords with their submissions. Images with captions should be submitted in a separate file as 300 dpi (or higher) tif files. It is the author’s responsibility to secure any necessary copyright permissions and essays may not progress into the publication stage without written proof of right to reprint. All essays submitted for the special issue, but not selected, will be considered general submissions.

    Submissions are due 1st September 2018. Please email submissions to the guest editors: Jessica White and Gillian Whitlock Inquiries welcome.
    Guest Editors: Jessica White & Gillian Whitlock
    The University of Queensland
    Biographical Statements 
    Dr Jessica White is the author of A Curious Intimacy (Penguin, 2007) and Entitlement (Penguin, 2012). Her short fiction, essays and poetry have appeared widely in literary journals and she is the recipient of funding, residencies and numerous awards. Jessica is currently an Australia Research Council DECRA postdoctoral fellow at The University of Queensland, where she is writing an ecobiography of nineteenth-century Australian botanist Georgiana Molloy.
    Professor Gillian Whitlock is a Professor of English in the School of Communication and Arts at The University of Queensland and a Fellow of the Academy of the Humanities. She is the author of a series of monographs on life writing, including Postcolonial Life Narratives. Testimonial Transactions (OUP, 2015) and Soft Weapons: Autobiography in Transit (Chicago UP, 2007), as well as numerous chapters and articles. Her current project focusses on asylum seeker narratives from the Pacific.

  • Symposium / Public Forum: Provocation #1: Who Shot the Albatross? Gate-keeping in Australian Culture

    10.30am-4pm Forum: 5-7pm Hartley Concert Room University of Adelaide, 26 April 2018
    Provocation #1 asks: What unchallenged orthodoxies still govern Australian cultural production? Are cultural institutions receptive to new voices or are they living in a literary echo-chamber? We are inviting submissions for papers and performances for a day long symposium and public forum. Confirmed keynote speakers and discussants include:

    • Professor Sneja Gunew
    • Michelle Cahill
    • A/Professor Mark Davis
    • Professor Brian Castro

    Papers should be no more than 20 minutes in length and might address the following topics:

    • Cultural institutions and gate-keeping
    • Awards, grants, anthologies and reviewing networks
    • If the centre is still white… Why?
    • Marginalisation
    • Generationalism or institutionalism?
    • New establishments; new orthodoxies
    • Old elites recycled
    • Moral panics
    • Endemic silences
    • Self-censorship
    • New perspectives on the new pluralism

    Email: Selected papers and presentations will be published in the Sydney Review of Books.
    Provocations is a new public forum tackling controversies in the arts and humanities, hosted by the J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice.

  • Event: Poetic Presence: John Forbes in the archive: Duncan Hose

    9.45am for 10.00am-10.45am, Tuesday, 27 March 2018, followed by morning tea Terrace Room, Level 6, Sir Llew Edwards Building 14

    John Forbes (1950-1998) was a totem favourite of later 20th century poetry in Australia. 

    In this presentation, 2017 Fryer Library Fellow, Dr Duncan Hose will speak of his pursuit of the daemon or “literary ghostmark” of John Forbes through personal papers that remain charged with the aura and charism of the poet some 20 years after his passing. Part of the ‘Generation of 1968’, Forbes continues to have a marked influence upon younger writers coming to poetry today. This is allied to an insistence in his work on poetry as a critical science of joy.
    Throughout the term of his Fellowship, Dr Hose delved into the Fryer Library’s collection of Forbes’ manuscripts that include correspondence, notes and drafts. He will speak about the uncanny aspects of seeking out the daemon, or composite metaphysical forces, that drives a poetic practice characterised as “pagan sermons” within this modern, secular era
    RSVP by Friday, 23 March 2018 Register online at or phone (07) 3365 6362

  • Call For Papers: Colloquium on the work of John M. Clarke

    25-26 May 2018, Massey University, Palmerston North. 
    John Clarke (1948-2017) was one of Australia’s and New Zealand’s most accomplished and most celebrated humourists. From his early performances as the iconic character, Fred Dagg, to his creation of one of Australia’s most acclaimed screen comedies, The Games (1998-2000), and through his three decades of incisive comic interviews alongside Bryan Dawe, Clarke emerged as the pre-eminent antipodean political satirist, working across multiple media and formats. His influence was such that he did not simply embody the comic traditions of two nations but transformed and extended them. Clarke’s comedy occupies a central place in the cultural landscape of both countries that he called home.

    One year after his untimely death in 2017, contributors are invited to propose papers for a colloquium that will critically examine his life and work. The event will be held at Massey University, Palmerston North—the city of Clarke’s birth and childhood—from May 25-26. The academic program is planned to accompany several other events remembering Clarke’s life and work.

    Papers are welcome on any aspect of Clarke’s life and work, his relationship to comic and national traditions, his work across different media, and his role as a satirist, commentator and public figure. A limited number of papers may be selected for inclusion in a forthcoming 2019 special issue of the Journal of Comedy Studies dedicated to Clarke’s comedy.

    Submission of Abstracts and Bionotes
    Abstracts should be no more than 500 words, including a title and any essential references.  Please prepare a word-document using Times New Roman 12 pt font and double spacing. 

    The Call will close on 18 March 2018 (though extensions can be discussed). 

    Submit your abstract, accompanied by a 150 word bio-note that includes your affiliation and contact details, by email to:

    Dr Nicholas Holm
    English and Media Studies
    Massey University, Wellington

  • Conference: Last 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: February 16, 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.

  • Announcement of Visiting Professors in Australian Studies: Distinguished Australian Academics Appointed Visiting Professor in Australian Studies, University of Tokyo

    Leading Australian scholars Professor Melanie Oppenheimer (Flinders University) and Professor David Lowe (Deakin University) have been appointed to the annual Visiting Professor in Australian Studies position at the Centre for Pacific and American Studies (CPAS), University of Tokyo, for 2018–19 and 2019–20 respectively.
    ‘Australia and Japan have important historical, economic and cultural ties, with more Australians visiting Japan now than ever before.  The Visiting Professor in Australian Studies contributes to deepening academic co-operation between the two nations, and enabling Japanese students to learn in depth about Australian society’, says Professor Kate Darian-Smith (University of Tasmania), Chair of the Selection Committee.
    Melanie Oppenheimer is Professor and Chair of History in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Flinders University. Her research on twentieth century Australian history has concerned voluntary action, volunteering, gender and war. She has expertise on humanitarianism and the history of the Australian Red Cross and the broader Red Cross Movement. She will use her time in Japan to develop research involving the development of international humanitarianism and the role played by the Japanese Red Cross in the evolution of the League of Red Cross Societies, formed in 1919. Professor Oppenheimer is delighted to be appointed to the Visiting Chair and is very much looking forward to engaging with students and academics to enhance relationships between Japan and Australian studies in the humanitarian field. 
    David Lowe is Professor and Chair of Contemporary History in the Faculty of Arts and Education at Deakin University in Victoria. He is Australia’s leading historian of Australia’s international relations in the Asia-Pacific, and has published several books in the area including a biography of Percy Spender and other studies of the Cold War and Australian public diplomacy. Professor Lowe’s research program will focus on the connections between Australia and Japan in the realm of foreign aid. He is looking forward to engaging Japanese students on the changing composition of Australia's population, Australia's involvement in postwar decolonisation, and Australians' encounters with atomic energy.
    Contact for interviews:
    Professor Melanie Oppenheimer
    Chair of History
    Flinders University
    Telephone: +61 8 8201 2322
    Professor David Lowe
    Chair in Contemporary History
    Deakin University
    Telephone: +61 3 5227 2691
    The position is supported by the Australia-Japan Foundation (AJF). The AJF is a non-statutory, bilateral foundation in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It was established in 1976 with the aim of strengthening and further developing Australia-Japan relations. The AJF provides funds in support of a range of projects that help advance Australia’s engagement with Japan. The International Australian Studies Association (InASA), the peak global Australian Studies organisation, manages the selection process on behalf of the Australia-Japan Foundation. Applications for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 Professorship will open in mid-2020.
    Further details about the position can be found at:

  • Event: Katherine Bode: Uncovering the true history of Australian Literature

    6-7pm, Thurs 1 Mar, ANU
    Newspapers were the main sources of fiction, international and local, in Australia in the nineteenth century. But the lack of records of this fiction and the enormous size of the newspaper archive have left us with very little understanding of the types of stories published, where they came from and how they were sourced and presented. The mass digitization of historical newspapers changes this situation dramatically. The millions of digital newspaper pages available through the National Library of Australia's Trove database support an entirely new history of literature in Australia and Australian literature.

    Alongside previously unknown colonial authors and titles by well-known writers, this new history includes the surprisingly international nature of reading in the Australian colonies, the astonishing scale of nineteenth-century local literary production, the previously unrecognized importance of provincial newspapers in publishing and promoting such fiction, and a radically new version of the Australian bush tradition. The digital environment also presents opportunities for members of the public to add to and enhance our record of Australian literature, and perhaps even to make new discoveries that transform understandings of our literary heritage.

    Associate Professor Katherine Bode teaches Australian and digital literary studies in the School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics at the Australian National University. She has published extensively on Australian literature and digital collections, including in a forthcoming book with University of Michigan Press entitled A World of Fiction: Digital Collections and the Future of Literary History. In 2018 she will begin a prestigious Future Fellowship to investigate professional and social media reception of Australian literature.

    There will be pre-event book signings from 5.30pm then again after the lecture. Books will be available for purchase. 

    For further details please see the following link:

  • New Issue of JASAL

    The current issue of JASAL can be accessed at the following link:

  • 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:


  • 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

  • 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:

  • 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:  

  • 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 (

  • 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