English Seminar: Writing climate catastrophe: the challenge of representation, ethics and politics

Danielle Celermajer, ‘Writing climate catastrophe: the challenge of representation, ethics and politics’ Abstract: In the midst of the black summer fires, Danielle Celermajer began to write about the cataclysm that was unfolding for the multispecies community in which she lived. These seeds of writing became Summertime, a book of creative non-fiction – a genre that departed …

English Seminar: The politics of disruption and the functions of speech

Nick Riemer, ‘The politics of disruption and the functions of speech’ Abstract: Debates on free speech and academic freedom, whether scholarly or polemical, often pay insufficient attention to situations where speech is not censored by the state or other sovereign authority, but disrupted by competing speakers. In this connection, David Estlund notes an ‘enormous moral …

English Seminar: The ironic hero and the beloved villain: ambivalence in Charlotte Brontë’s ‘The Professor’ and Emily Brontë’s ‘Wuthering Heights’

Stephanie Last, ‘The ironic hero and the beloved villain: ambivalence in Charlotte Brontë’s The Professor and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights.’  Abstract: The protagonists in The Professor and Wuthering Heights are conflicted, highly ambivalent characters. Existing in the liminal space between villainy and heroism, these characters evade straightforward categorisation and provoke mixed feelings, and thus readers …

English Seminar: On Waiting Upon: Speculations by an Australian Novelist on the Experience of Writing a Commissioned Novel

Sue Woolfe, ‘On Waiting Upon: Speculations by an Australian Novelist on the Experience of Writing a Commissioned Novel’ Abstract: Sometimes a book has a mysterious power over readers. Conventionally, the power is explained by theme, plot, character, narrative, style. This paper, written by a novelist using an interdisciplinary approach, draws on the work of turn-of-the …

English Seminar: Critical Relationality: Relational Histories between Europe and the Middle East Since 1987

Isabelle Hesse, ‘Critical Relationality: Relational Histories between Europe and the Middle East Since 1987’ Abstract: This paper gives an overview of my current book project which traces an important shift in how German and British culture have engaged with the conflict in Israel/Palestine since the 1987. The first Palestinian Intifada (1987-1993) significantly changed international perceptions …

English Seminar: How to Build a Glass Church: Peter Carey’s ‘Oscar and Lucinda’

Belinda Castles, ‘How to Build a Glass Church: Peter Carey’s Oscar and Lucinda’ Abstract: In my forthcoming edited essay collection, Reading Like an Australian Writer, Australian writers of fiction share their readings of other writers’ work. Julienne van Loon writes in her essay on ‘play’ in Kim Scott’s That Deadman Dance, that ‘stories become blueprints …

English Seminar: Alex Howard, ‘Asbos, Strangers, Fences: Some Notes on the State of Contemporary British Fiction’

Alex Howard: ‘Asbos, Strangers, Fences: Some Notes on the State of Contemporary British Fiction’ This paper focuses on recent fictional and non-fictional work produced by a series of major contemporary British writers such as Martin Amis, Sarah Waters, and Zadie Smith. It considers what these writers have to say about the concerns of contemporary British …

English Seminar: Sophie Frazer, ‘“Speaking brokenly”: George Eliot’s Romola and the phenomenology of loss’

Sophie Frazer, ‘“Speaking brokenly”: George Eliot’s Romola and the phenomenology of loss’ George Eliot’s historical romance Romola (1862-3) has long been considered a failure. An ambitious revivification of Renaissance Florence, with an awkward, obsessive verisimilitude, Romola has often been judged a failure of style and story. Much of the derision has centred on the eponymous …

English Seminar: Lauren Weber, ‘Empathy and Autism in Contemporary Education: Reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’

Lauren Weber, ‘Empathy and Autism in Contemporary Education: Reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ Empathy as an outcome of literary study is a core feature of the way English as a subject is figured in educational policy, and conceived of by English teachers. Mark Haddon’s 2003 novel The Curious Incident of …

English Seminar: Samantha Poulos, ‘Reading Femininity and Gender Possibility in YA Fiction’

Samantha Poulos, ‘Reading Femininity and Gender Possibility in YA Fiction’   Young Adult (YA) literature is a genre that can expose and explore the performativity of gender. Texts of this category often highlight the binary hierarchy of masculinity and femininity through their emphasised noting of the clothing and physical appearance of characters. These descriptions of …