Deborah Jordan is currently preparing an expanded and revised edition of her Climate Change Narratives in Australian Fiction to be published by AustLit.
And while we're generating lists of solarpunk and ecopunk, post-apocalyptic narratives and dystopias, environmental destruction and cyclones, we're also putting out a call to you, readers of Australian fiction.
Do you read cli-fi? Ecopunk? Solarpunk? Dystopian fiction? Have you come across Australian films, television series, short stories, or poems that explore the ramifications of global warming and climate change? Is there a novel you've been desperate to talk to everyone about? Talk to us!
Send us your recommendations using the hashtag #AustLitCliFi, and help us create a comprehensive listing of fictional responses to this urgent topic.
Songs Back Home is a CD of songs compiled by Jessie Lloyd as a part of her Mission Songs Project. The Project is 'an initiative to research and present a collection of Indigenous songs that were composed and performed from 1900 to 1999. Focusing on songs from the Christian missions, Aboriginal reserves and the fringes of township where Indigenous people were relocated.'
Further information on the Mission Songs Project can be found online.
Explore this collection of exemplary work by students from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences undertaken in 2016. Using the new teaching teaching and learning platform built on the AustLit system, Cirrus allows teachers and students to undertake innovative assessment activities. The best outcomes will be published annually by AustLit.
Newly indexed on AustLit is the latest edition of Hecate (42.1). Carole Ferrier, in her Editorial introduction, discusses the well-researched essay “Crossing the Boundaries : The Versatility of Women in the Novels of Janette Turner Hospital” by Fiona Duthie. She states :
Hecate has from the mid-1970s published work from cross-disciplinary perspectives that contest hegemonic received ideas regarding gender, class, ethnicity and race, and sexualities, and how these things have played out at particular times in particular places. In this issue, Fiona Duthie's article discusses some female characters in Janette Turner Hospital's novels who aim at 'interesting forms of internationalism' and who challenge 'cultural and political systems that seek to enforce division,' so that they can try 'to achieve the truth and justice they so earnestly desire against the backdrop of the general bleakness.' While this could be said of many fictional female characters in much of the literature of the past decades, the reference her to 'bleakness' seems particularly apposite when 'interpreting the world' in 2016.' (4)
Of particular note in this edition is the Dymphna Cusack poem ‘We Are the Sons’ edited by Marilla North. An AustLit title search of this poem returned no results; however, a first line search of the poem revealed a perfect match. The poem ‘The Spirit of Anzac’ was published under the pseudonym ‘Atalanta’ in The Bulletin, 23 April, 1930. A fabulous discovery, indeed–as we had no record of other writing names Cusack may have used.
Bringing attention to freshly indexed publications across the fields AustLit covers. A new regular posting...
The recent issue of AnthroVision is a fascinating exploration of the relationship between texts and visuals. And it's online!
"This collection of essays and video contributions both focuses and relies on interactions between texts and images. AnthroVision – as an online journal aiming to “include audiovisual material and to promote innovative ways of writing within an academic framework” – is therefore an ideal publication avenue for this volume, which also addresses the strategies, choices, and constraints that shape research that is conducted with these two media (texts and visuals). The articles do not only unveil the “epistemological backstage” (Olivier De Sardan 1992: 185) of visual documents; they question the dialogic relationship between images and texts. Magali McDuffie, Rosita Henry and Daniela Vávrová, as well as Flora Aurima-Devatine and Estelle Castro-Koshy, for example, chose a two-tool writing process. In their articles, the film questions, completes, and gives more depth to the written text; it does not “double” it. In all the contributions, the film and/or the photographs and the text are mutually enriching. This is also the case in Barbara Glowczewski’s book, Totemic Becomings. Cosmopolitics of the Dreaming/Devires Totêmicos. Cosmopolitica do Sonho, which is reviewed by Gerko Egert: Egert stresses that the bilingual book “composed as a rich assemblage of images and text […] charts the complex cartographies of Warlpiri Dreaming cosmologies” – a mapping that Glowczewski also explicates and gives examples of in her video contribution to this issue."
It's that time of year when we look back on what has happened with AustLit in the last ten months, and what the last two months of the year will bring.
New Bibliographical Records:
As always, AustLit regularly adds to the bibliographical records that form the core of our database. New works are added to AustLit on a daily basis, and one of the great joys of working for the only database of national literature in the world is finding these new works and new authors every time we come to work.
Here are some of the statistics on new works and authors that caught our attention in the twelve months since October 2015.
Records for more than 28,000 new works that have been added to AustLit in the past year, including new records for over 12,000 new works with a 2016 publication date. Australians: they know how to write.
AustLit doesn't just index current works: we're regularly adding new records for old periodicals and newspapers. For example, did you know that we added 60 works published in 1905 in the last twelve months? Not to mention 80 works from 1891.
In terms of genre, here's a breakdown of some of the new works added in the last twelve months:
Scholarly bibliography: the most exciting job out there!
Both of these projects are very exciting to AustLit staff, and we are hoping they'll prove very exciting to you, as well!
Perhaps the most exciting research work of the early part of this year was AustLit's work with the Ian Potter Foundation and UQ drama students to bring back to the stage the lost work of Dorothy Blewett. AustLit's director, Kerry Kilner, wrote about the discovery and production of The First Joanna earlier in the year, when it was beautifully produced by UQ students under the aegis of director Sue Rider. Students involved in that production also produced online exhibitions about their experiences with the play, which were published on AustLit.
In second semester, student interns assisted in digitising more of Dorothy Blewett's plays and other unpublished works and produced work around teaching with AustLit, including detailed teaching notes on Australian Gothic drama. Stay tuned to see these new materials unveiled.
Exhibitions and Information Trails:
When we published our yearly round-up for 2015, we highlighted some of the fantastic new additions to the database, including Anita Heiss's BlackWords essays and a new information trail on the Stolen Generations.
BlackWords has continued to gain in strength in 2016, with a new information trail on the Gulf of Carpentaria region about to be published. This trail will highlight writings by the Garawa, Waanyi, and Anindilyakwa people and languages, among others.
In 2016, AustLit also published Diversity in Australian Speculative Fiction : A Bibliographical Exhibition. This online exhibition is a series of reading lists targeting Australian speculative-fiction works that showcase racial and ethnic diversity; physiological, neurological, or sensate diversity; sexual and gender diversity; and religious diversity. Showcasing dozens of works in categories from short stories to graphic novels, the exhibition is accompanied by a list of further reading. Both list and exhibition are regularly expanded.
Late last year, our big excitement was the new 'Follow' function. This allows you to follow an author's or organisation's AustLit record, and receive updates when a new work is added or substantial changes are made to a biography–an excellent options for fans and students alike. To follow an author or organisation, go to their AustLit page and add your email address to the 'Follow' box on the right-hand side of the record.
In June this year, we announced our new programmer, Brenden Jeon. Brenden has been busy working with our lead programmer, Jonathan Hadwen, on the development of AusArts, perhaps our most exciting new technological update of the year. AusArts is a large project that allows the AustLit content management system to be used by tertiary students. As well as allowing students to create mini web sites that they can publish and use as part of their web portfolio, AusArts also allows for online annotation of text and images. The system has been in development throughout 2016, and is generating much excitement about academics and students at UQ, its first trial site, not to mention AustLit staff.
With the Melbourne Writers Festival, the Queensland Poetry Festival, and the Brisbane Writers Festival just behind us, and a staggering 5000 attendees at the inaugural Canberra Writers Festival, it's time to consider what else is out there for the discerning reader who actually likes leaving the house occasionally. By no means a comprehensive list, this is only some of the festivals awaiting you in the last quarter of the year.
29 September kicks off the National Young Writers Festival. This is always one of the liveliest festivals on the calendar, and they're not kidding when they call it the future of Australian fiction.
30 September is the first day of Conflux, the speculative fiction gathering, with guest of honour Alan Baxter and some seriously shiny workshops and presentations. (We know you got the joke, Firefly fans.)
26 October sees the start of Ubud Writers & Readers Festival, a Southeast Asian festival that draws writers from across the region.
1 to 11 November is a festival for all those readers who don't necessarily want to leave the house: the Digital Writers Festival. An innovative sequence of online-first content, the Digital Writers Festival is in its second year this year.
18 to 20 November offers you Queermance, a celebration of queer romance in fiction. For authors and publishers of GLBT fiction, this is your place to be.
18-19 November also offers you a short convention with Sisters in Crime: SheKilda 3 packs more than 40 authors into less than two days.
And if you're outside the urban centres, check out the following regional and rural festivals:
Image credit: The Bibliomaniac, from 'Navis Stultifera' (The Ship of Fools) (1497). From Sebastian Brandt, A Brief History of Wood-engraving from its Invention, Joseph Cundall, 1895 (via Wikimedia Commons).
With the Australian Paralympics team having just walked the stadium in Rio for the opening ceremony, let's look at some of the Australian athletes who have told their own stories of competition in the Paralympic Games.
(Image source: Basketball at the 1964 Paralympics.)
Sam Bramham is known as much for his larrikin attitude as for his athletic prowess–although a few among us will definitely shudder at the anecdote about the shark-attack prank.