English Seminar: Anne Rogerson, ‘Are Dons Monsters?: Dorothy L. Sayers’ Gaudy Night and the Aeneid’

Anne Rogerson, ‘Are Dons Monsters?: Dorothy L. Sayers’ Gaudy Night and the Aeneid’ The Aeneid echoes strangely through Dorothy L. Sayers’ Gaudy Night (1935). The poison pen letters that precipitate the story use Virgil’s horrendous Harpies as figures for the novel’s women dons, and throughout this classic work of detective fiction Virgilian allusions continue thick …

English Seminar: Rethinking Dramatic Irony with John Williams’s Stoner

Lucas Thompson, ‘Rethinking Dramatic Irony with John Williams’s Stoner’ John Williams’s recently rediscovered post-war American classic Stoner (1965) — virtually unknown until its republication in 2003 — has received widespread public and critical acclaim. But since the entire plot is told in capsule form on page one, why do readers keep reading? What do they want to …

English Seminar: Into the Wild: Characterising Hagar in Medieval Texts

Emma Knowles, ‘Into the Wild: Characterising Hagar in Medieval Texts’ Abstract: Ecocriticism and medieval biblical poetry might, at first glance, seem an odd mix. In this paper, however, I will argue that such a combination is actually the basis for a fruitful reinterpretation of the Old English poem Genesis A and related texts. Hagar and …

Symposium: Writing, Reading, Rioting (University of Melbourne)

2019 marks two hundred years since the ‘Peterloo massacre’, when cavalry charged a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St Peter’s Field in Manchester. This anniversary offers us an opportunity to look back on the interchanges between text, protest, and repression in the Revolutionary Age, and to bring this historical period into dialogue with the present, where …

English Seminar: Global Others, Global Selves

Anna Guttman, Lakehead University, Ontario Global Others, Global Selves: Jewish-Muslim intimacy in the literature of Ayad Akhtar While Ayad Akhtar, a Muslim-American writer of Pakistani descent, is best known for his critical examination of the place and identity of the American Muslim in the post-9/11world, I argue that Jewish-Muslim intimacy is the key to Akhtar’s …

English Seminar: Logistical Underworlds

Susan Zieger, University of California, Riverside Logistical Underworlds: Cocaine, Capital, and the Nonfiction Novel Logistics is the art and science of moving goods, information, and people to maximize profit. What are some of its literary genres and narrative techniques? Two recent “nonfiction novels,” Luca Rastello’s I am the Market (2010) and Roberto Saviano’s ZeroZeroZero (2013) play with genre, authorship, …

English Seminar: Land Rights/Rites

Evelyn Corr, University of Sydney Land Rights/Rites: Aboriginal Responses to the Post-Mabo Turn By charting the discursive conflict between settler literary aestheticisation of Native Title as simultaneously a triumphalist moment of bicentennial unity, and a haunting realisation of the crimes of dispossession, this paper seeks to interrogate a range of Aboriginal problematisations of what Kieran …

English Seminar: Eleanor Dark’s Interwar Fiction

Melinda Cooper, University of Sydney Middlebrow Modernism: Eleanor Dark’s Interwar Fiction Eleanor Dark is one of Australia’s most significant mid-century novelists, and her work is currently enjoying a revival of critical interest. In this paper, I argue that Dark’s fiction can be read productively in terms of a distinctive aesthetic of middlebrow modernism – a phrase that …

English Seminar: Cheryl O’Byrne and Paul Scully

A Meditation on the Ethics of Kate Grenville’s One Life (Cheryl O’Byrne) In the prologue of One Life: My Mother’s Story (2015), Kate Grenville describes herself looking through the “fragments” of memoir her deceased mother had written. Following this prologue is a seamless, third-person chronicle of the first forty years of her mother’s life. In interviews and other …