English Seminar: Brexit and the return of traumatic history in ‘Milkman’ & The extraordinary life of Michael J. Cousins – School of Literature, Art and Media English Seminar: Brexit and the return of traumatic history in ‘Milkman’ & The extraordinary life of Michael J. Cousins – School of Literature, Art and Media

English Seminar: Brexit and the return of traumatic history in ‘Milkman’ & The extraordinary life of Michael J. Cousins

Anthony Austin: Stoking Troubled Flames: Brexit and the return of traumatic history in Anna Burns’ ‘Milkman’

Abstract:

Stoking Troubled Flames investigates the political and cultural consequences for Brexit in Northern Ireland through a close analysis of Anna Burns’ Booker Prize-winning novel Milkman. The paper draws on the late Mark Fisher’s theorisation of hauntology, as well as elements of trauma studies, to illustrate how the post-Brexit contemporary present of Northern Ireland bears striking similarities to the traumatic era of the Troubles, and thus how the current moment may be understood as an ‘anti-future’. Using Milkman as a case in point, the paper illustrates how this socio-political psychology influences the production of fiction that is necessarily concerned with the past, and how it may open the door for the healing of trauma and the revitalisation of optimism.

Anthony Austin is a second-year MA (Research) candidate with a deep interest in and passion for contemporary British fiction. Stoking Troubled Flames is one chapter of his research thesis into cultural responses to Brexit in contemporary British fiction, which seeks to understand how the four countries of the UK have each reconciled the political cataclysm of Brexit, and how it has influenced literary production. Anthony was the winner of the Beauchamp Memorial Prize for Literature in 2019 for his paper Reclaiming the Future: Searching for a way out of our perpetual present, which explores the influence of neoliberal capitalism on British fiction. He intends to commence a PhD upon the completion of his Master’s thesis.

Gabriella Kelly-Davies: Breaking through the pain barrier. The extraordinary life of Dr Michael J. Cousins

Breaking through the pain barrier is the biography of Dr Michael Cousins AO, a trailblazing Australian pain medicine researcher and clinician who pioneered novel pain treatments. The biography explores the way historic events and larger forces shaped Michael and how he in turn shaped pain research, treatment, education and policy. It also highlights the personality traits that enabled him to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges and accept countless personal sacrifices.

Michael gave me my life back in 2005 after a cycling accident two decades earlier left me with crippling daily migraines. In Breaking through the pain barrier my story and the stories of some of Michael’s many patients are woven into the narrative to show how his progressive treatment approaches improved our lives.

Through nearly 50 years of research, Michael advanced pain treatments such as epidural analgesia and spinal cord stimulation to relieve lower back pain. He designed Australia’s National Pain Strategy that several countries replicated, and he was the driving force behind the creation of Painaustralia, a national peak body for pain management.

A passionate advocate for people living with chronic pain, Michael Cousins tirelessly crusaded to destigmatise the condition. He also persuaded governments and organisations around the world to accept access to pain management as a fundamental human right.

The book will appeal to readers of biographies and memoirs of pioneers and innovators. It will also appeal to the one in five people living with chronic pain as they hear the stories of people like them whom Michael Cousins helped. He restored their hope and in many cases, saved their life after decades of living in intolerable pain.

 

Gabriella Kelly-Davies is a biographer and has studied biography and life story writing at the University of Oxford, the Australian National University and Sydney University. She is currently enrolled in a PhD program in biography writing at Sydney University. As part of her PhD she wrote Breaking through the pain barrier. The extraordinary life of Dr Michael J. Cousins, the biography of the trailblazing Australian pain medicine specialist Dr Michael J. Cousins AO. Painaustralia is launching the biography in late July as part of National Pain Week events.  Gabriella’s exegesis, Choices. Choices. Choices. The Why, explores the many choices Gabriella made in writing Breaking through the pain barrier and why she made them.

Venue

This event will be held online via Zoom.

Contact: Liam Semler (liam.semler@sydney.edu.au).

 

Upcoming English Department seminars Semester 2 2021

 

22 Sept

 

Keyvan Allahyari and Tyne Daile Sumner, ‘The Point is to Change the World: Capitalist Realism and its Negation in Ali Alizadeh’s Transactions (2013)’

 

 

6 Oct

 

Georgia Monaghan, ‘In Search of the New York City New Woman Novel: Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie and the New Woman as Actress’

 

 

13 Oct

 

Paul Giles, ‘Decolonizing the University’

 

 

20 Oct

 

Nathalie Camerlynck, ‘Raymond Federman and Samuel Beckett, or “What the fuck am I doing here in this life?”’

 

 

10 Nov

 

Lynda Ng, ‘Climate justice, world literature and Alexis Wright’

 

Date

Sep 15 2021
Expired!

Time

3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

More Info

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Location

Via Zoom
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