School of Culture and Communication - Research Publications

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    "What Creativeness in This?”: Maintenance and Generation in the Housework of Charmian Clift
    McLean, E (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 2022)
    In her 1959 memoir, Peel Me a Lotus, the expatriate Australian novelist and journalist Charmian Clift details her efforts to create and maintain a writers’ home on the Greek Island of Hydra. This involved the transformation of a pre-established structure that had fallen into a state of disrepair, into a space that was to be part-writer’s studio (for herself and her husband, George Johnston), and part-sanctuary for her family and their many visitors. While this dual functionality could be practically organized within the large structure of the Hydra house, the integral paradox of artistic production occurring in tandem with household maintenance instantiated a challenge for Clift, as she was expected to work simultaneously as writer, nurturer and housekeeper. In this essay I observe how Clift’s memoirs resultingly conjure a poetics of everyday life that minutely and honestly details and aestheticises the work of maintenance. Clift’s vision, which she describes as “my own bit of creation,” was one “of cleanliness and order and warmth and comfort.” Duly, housework—in both the abstract sense, of building and restoration, as well as in the more traditional sense, of housekeeping—receives sustained attention in Clift’s larger body of work. Clift’s memoirs are often absorbed in the details of domestic work performed both by her and by the local women living around her; these descriptions are devoted and artistic, in a way that shows women’s work to be too. Inspired by Mierle Laderman Ukeles’s Manifesto for Maintenance Art 1969!, this article discusses the relationship between maintenance and creativity that Clift problematises in the two memoirs she produced during the family’s period of living in Greece.
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    Multilingual negotiations: the place and significance of translation in multilingual poetry
    Niaz, N (The Observatory: Australian and Transnational Studies Centre, Universitat de Barcelona, 2021)
    Multilingual poetry, which weaves together multiple languages, necessarily straddles multiple cultural contexts. This raises the question of how poets who write multilingually negotiate and deploy their cultural knowledges, who they write for, and how their audiences receive them. Using Suresh Canagarajah’s Negotiation Model to examine poets’ linguistic choices, including whether and when to provide translations, and Mendieta-Lombardo and Cintron’s adaptation of the Myers-Scotton Markedness Model to consider audience and context, this paper will examine examples of contemporary bilingual and multilingual poetry published in Australia and Canada to identify the many conversations and negotiations that must take place between language-cultures as well as between multilingual poets and audiences for these poems to ‘work’.
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    Poetic Encounters
    Niaz, N (The Centre for Creative & Cultural Research, University of Canberra, 2019)
    Sound is essential to poetry and poetry is an essential element of human language. As a simultaneous trilingual engaged in the study of multilingual poetic expression, I will use the development of my own plurilingual poetic ‘instinct’ to map the location of poetry within and between languages. I argue that poetry does not grow out of language so much as inhabits the basic aural building blocks of language, the potential for it existing always just beneath the surface of speech. This is tested by examining multilingual poetry as well as translations of poetry across languages to see what is lost and what emerges.
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    Forgetting and remembering the Irish famine orphans: A critical survey
    Noone, V ; Malcolm, E (Irish Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2020)
    A decade ago, while researching family history, Richard Olive of Melbourne was pleased to discover shipping records that revealed his great-grandmother, Johanna Sullivan from County Cork, had arrived in Adelaide in September 1849 on the Elgin. Noticing that she was only 15 years old, he began to search the records for her parents, only to find, to his surprise, that all the 190 passengers on the ship were teenage girls. As Richard drove his granddaughter, Eva, home from school that afternoon, he told her about his discovery. She asked him in what year Joanna Sullivan had arrived and, when he replied '1849', they both quickly realised that this was during the Great Famine. Eva said: 'Sounds to me like she was an Earl Grey orphan'. But, although Richard knew his Australian history well, he had never heard of Earl Grey-beyond it being a type of tea. Eva told him that she had come across the Earl Grey orphans in a novel she had recently read: 'Bridie's Fire', written by Kirsty Murray and published in Sydney in 2003.
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    Creating new climate stories: Posthuman collaborative hope and optimism
    Hennessy, R ; Cothren, A ; Matthews, A (Australasian Association of Writing Programs, 2022-01-01)
    This paper considers an evolving project about climate change that will explore using collaborative creative writing strategies to emotionally support and engage writers, primarily focusing on how narratives of hope and optimism might counter affective responses of anxiety, and the resultant solipsistic inertia or surrender. We ask: what role could collaborative fiction play in helping to create positive futures that emotionally strengthen us to manage what may come and what already is? We outline the inspiration and background to our project and begin to theorise justification for applying posthuman approaches to the question of reimagining climate fiction. We review a number of collaborative climate change projects located outside of traditional writing but still drawing on narrative storytelling, and consider how our project – which focuses on genre fictions – might add to the horizon point; one that is not delusional, but also does not lead to dystopian despair.
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    Is This How Participation Goes?
    Papastergiadis, N ; Wyatt, D (The Department of Visual Arts, University of California, 2019)
    If the neoliberal regime is a constitutive force in a decentered and globalizing world, then what is the starting point for determining its flows, and what is its impact on art and culture? Conversely, have we not also seen art swell and expand through new kinds of transnational collaborations that are giving aesthetic form to cosmopolitan ideals? Are artists at the vanguard of the resistance against the gaping inequalities threatening to rip apart the social fabric or are they, despite their democratising intentions, an extension of an invidious system? These contradictory forces are played out on many fronts and with divergent inflections. In this brief essay we sketch out the hydraulic tensions between the corporate global culture and mass cultural participation by focusing on recent events in Melbourne. As a second-tier global city, celebrated for its livability and cultural vitality, the development of Melbourne’s cultural scene over the last fifteen years exemplifies the various spatial formations around which aesthetic experience is being organized and redistributed.
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    Governing creative industries in the post-normative cultural condition
    Wyatt, D ; Trevena, B (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2021-09-19)
    Contemporary cultural policy seeks to govern an increasingly complex terrain, one marked by rapid technological change, expanded channels for creative production and participation, global interconnectedness and social diversity, and a fluidity of cultural form. Through an analysis of Creative State, the first creative industries strategy in the state of Victoria, Australia, this article argues that the creative industries are, in part, a governmental response to the complexity of the cultural landscape. As critics have identified, these are ideological documents, often prioritising the economic benefits of culture over other forms of value. But they also reflect broader efforts to reconfigure government’s relationship to the cultural field, and to expand the set of actors involved in making culture. In this article we trace out these new relationships through the policy-making process, identifying its tensions and contradictions. Understanding the multi-sited, non-linear nature of policy forms the basis, we argue, for cultivating a generative cultural critique that might engage more productively with cultural policy, taking account of the plural and competing perspectives it must manage.
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    The Practice of Being Human: Narrative Medicine and Cultural Representation
    Ng, L (St. Cloud State University Digital Archives, 2020)
    Narrative medicine may take certain methodological cues from literary studies, linguistics and narrative theory, but until now it has remained firmly grounded in the health sector. It views storytelling and narrative as tools that can improve the performance of medical practitioners – first, by helping them process the confronting nature of their everyday jobs, and then by facilitating more effective communication with patients. Narrative competence thus provides an important supplement to the medical gaze, enhancing the clinical experience for practitioner and patient alike. But narrative medicine also has important implications from a literary point of view. It highlights the special position that the medical worker occupies in terms of being able to observe a cross-section of society. When a medical practitioner decides to engage not only with the scientific method of evidence-based medicine but also in the arts-based practice of narrative medicine, he or she has the opportunity to make an intervention in the broader culture. Consequently, the literature that emerges almost as an offshoot of narrative medicine is capable of creating forms of representation that more accurately reflect the heterogeneity of social conformance. It is a literature that draws attention to demographic sectors of society that might otherwise be denied mainstream representation. This essay examines the ways in which a medical practice can inform a writing practice, and vice versa. Using the work of Chinese-Australian author Melanie Cheng as a case study, I show how narrative medicine traverses an important space between the medical gaze and the empathetic instinct. Cheng has worked as a General Practitioner (GP) for over ten years, whilst developing a parallel writing career. Her debut collection of short stories, Australia Day (2017), functions on one level as a therapeutic outlet for Cheng’s day job. In addition, by recasting the GP as a repository of secrets, her stories provide matchless insights into the lives of people from a range of different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Cheng’s writing therefore transcends the boundaries of her own personal history and ethnicity, pointedly venturing beyond the territory expected of her as a Chinese-Australian author. Viewing Cheng’s work through the lens of her medical training shows us how the practice of medicine can work alongside that of writing to deepen our understanding of what is commonly referred to as the ‘human condition’.
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    Dead Europe and the Coming of Age in Australian Literature: Globalisation, Cosmopolitanism and Perversity
    Ng, L (Australian National University, 2013)
    This essay uses Christos Tsiolkas’ 2005 novel, Dead Europe, to re-examine the traditional binary established between old Europe and new Australia. The definition of cosmopolitanism put forward by Tsiolkas takes into account charges of Eurocentricity laid against the concept itself, as well as reflecting on the ways in which cosmopolitanism changes given the accelerated processes of twenty-first century globalisation. In Dead Europe, Tsiolkas links Australia to a pan-European history, bringing national borders into question and broadening notions of Australian identity. I argue that Tsiolkas’ novel is a key example of a recent coming of age in Australian literature - the shift away from Australian national identity as inward-facing, naïve and rural-based, towards a more mature, urban, outward-facing understanding of Australians as culpable participants in global culture.
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    Fighting off the bulldozers in the sacred kwila forests of Papua New Guinea
    Chandler, J (Guardian News & Media Limited, 2022-10-09)
    Villagers are pushing back against logging operations they say are encroaching on designated conservation areas.