Conferences InAsa

Call for papers: The Power and the Passion: Contemporary Australian Literature and Politics University of New England 11 – 13 February 2015 Armidale, New South Wales

The Power and the Passion:
Contemporary Australian Literature and Politics

University of New England 11 – 13 February 2015

Armidale, New South Wales

Guest speakers

Fiona Capp
Helen Garner

This conference considers contemporary Australian literature and politics. Power, in all its forms, must and will be countered by the passion of resistance, defiance, challenge and contest. In this resistance, the literary imagination possesses its own power: the “passion” and ability, through challenge and constructive refusal, to transform social and political relations. The very nature of power necessitates opposition. Equally the relationship between the literary and the political is more nuanced than this stark contrast affirms, for it has been demonstrated that literature is always political in some sense or another. Yet, when this interplay between literature and politics itself is denied or obscured, when “art” is seen to exist for its own sake alone, the effects of “Power” can be destructive.

We invite participants to debate the current state of Australian literature and literary culture with reference to the ideas, ideals and ideologies animating and constraining it. Discussion may include the political context for Australian literature within and beyond our borders and the many challenges for authors, critics and scholars in an increasingly conservative political arena.

Will our literature survive free market fundamentalism?

What remains of the radical tradition in contemporary Australian literature?

What does the future hold for Australian literature and literary culture?

Possible Topics

  • Literature and the public sphere
  • Contemporary Australian Literature and global politics
  • The Politics of Commemoration
  • Contemporary Australian Literature and intellectual movements
  • Contemporary Australian Drama, Theatre and Politics
  • Contemporary Screen Writing and Politics
  • Indigenous Literature
  • Protest, dissent and satire
  • Environmentalism and Literature
  • Contemporary Feminist Literature in Australia
  • Australian Literature and the Politics of Higher Education

Please send enquiries and abstracts of 300 words for papers and for panels via our submission form or to Tuesday, 14 October 2014.

Paper-givers must be members of ASAL.  Please go to the link below in order to join:

Fiona Capp will deliver the UNE Inaugural Judith Wright Lecture as part of this Conference and a special tour of properties belonging to Judith Wright’s family will be included on the program.

Postgraduate students are especially encouraged to submit abstracts and ASAL will award bursaries to a limited number of postgraduate participants.


Associate Professor Brigitta Olubas

President, ASAL – Association for the Study of Australian Literature

Co-editor, JASAL – Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature


Honours Convenor, School of the Arts and Media

Room 225, Robert Webster Building

University of New South Wales

Sydney 2052, NSW, Australia

Tel +61 2 9385 2303