This conference, taking its title from a Leonard Cohen song about the Aegean (Greek) island of Hydra, explores the theme of post-war literary sociability in a spectacular location where it was famously practiced.
From 1955-1964 Hydra was home to the Australian authors George Johnston and Charmian Clift, who played a central role in the island’s expatriate community. Its ‘members’ at various times included Australians Sidney and Cynthia Nolan, Cedric and Pat Flower, Nancy Dignan, Rodney Hall, and Mungo MacCallum, and numerous non- Australians including New Zealand novelist Redmond Wallis; Norwegian novelist Axel Jensen and his wife Marianne; Greek-American painter Demetri Gassoumis and his wife Carolyn; American queer novelist Gordon Merrick and his partner Charles Hulse; American photographer James Burke; English journalist and author Christopher Booker, and Canadian poet and aspiring novelist and songwriter, Leonard Cohen.
This conference will present new interpretations of post-World War II expatriation, cultural endeavour and social exchange. While papers on the Hydra expatriates have been particularly encouraged, we have also welcomed contributions that consider other aspects of post-World War II literary and artistic expatriation, and/or that focus on the emergence of increasingly transnational creative communities and economies, both real and imagined; counter-cultures of literary or artistic endeavour; literary utopianism; ‘islanded’ creativity; and other aspects of post-war literary and cultural sociability.