The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.
'In the winter of 2010 I darned a jumper belonging to my partner. It was a nice jumper - an upmarket streetwear label - but had been stored in a plastic bin bag, attacked by moths and was now scattered with bullet-sized holes and fraying at the cuffs. In an attempt to make the mending seamless and return this neglected, ten- year-old garment to a state of relative newness, I used three different wools. When the darning was too tight, the ply too thick or the colour wrong, I undid my handiwork and started over again. Despite these efforts, the end result was not quite the feat of invisible mending I had imagined, and his jumper looked somewhat imperfect and scarred. Around this time, I was due to present a conference paper on fashion, clothes and memory. And because it had been his idea to write the paper, and because he was a man who considered himself resolutely outside of fashion, and because he was in hospital and could not attend, I ended the paper by describing Mark's reaction to my not entirely successful darning. Running his hand over the valleys of uneven wool, he said: 'I love that you can see where it's been darned.' ...'
'Australia’s geographical location (within ‘Asia’)—seen as a negative into the twenty-first century when the nation defined itself as culturally and aspirationally linked to the major Euro-American metropolitan cultural centres (the ‘West’)—must now be reevaluated. After two hundred years of white settlement and of turning its back on the region in which it is located, some Australian writers are writing texts that illuminate an aspect of Australian literature that is in transition, becoming, by definition, in, of, and with the region as well as in, of, and with present time. Art historian Terry Smith’s theory of the three currents of contemporary art, particularly the third current, suggests a new paradigm, a potential break from modernism, and a different kind of entanglement and interconnection in a world that is witnessing shifts in world power, voluntary and involuntary mass movements of people, and real time global communication technologies. Adrian Snodgrass and David Coyne’s application of hermeneutical theory to the architectural design studio via the metaphor of excursion and return illuminates some imaginative intersections, understandings and energies in three texts by Australian authors—Michelle De Kretser, Chi Vu and Jennifer Mackenzie. In Smith’s terms too, the texts perform original leaps of the imagination in their diversity, freshness, and ability to surprise and invite questions about literature’s potential to stir up prior understandings and invite new ways of being in the present. In terms of Giorgio Agamben’s definition of the contemporary, the three texts bring the reader to a plurality and intercultural connectedness that we have yet to fully recognise and live. They represent a line of flight towards a literary imaginary in Australian writing that is contemporary, locally grounded, but also regionally and globally entangled. ' (Publication abstract)
'Stuart Hall was many things: public intellectual, academic leader, writer, editor, teacher, political activist, family man and friend. We write here of the two aspects we knew personally, writer and friend. Like so many of us engaged in the early formation of cultural and media studies, we both read and were seriously influenced by his work. John discussed Stuart Hall's work extensively in his PhD thesis on Australian literature of the 1890s in international contexts, and Stuart was one of his examiners. Ann read Stuart's work in the late 1970s, having just arrived to teach in the BA (Communication) degree at what was then the NSW Institute of Technology, ten years later to become University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). ...'