Chile, cultural history, film and visual cultures, Spanish, trauma

Life imitating art imitating life: The raging discontent of Chile

1024px-Concepcion,_Chile_protests_2019
Alvaro Navarro / CC BY-SA. Concepcion, Chile protests 2019 via Wikipedia

Post submission by Dr. Joe Hardwick and Oscar Cárdenas (PhD Candidate)

Recently, popular Chilean magazine The Clinic conducted an interview with acclaimed filmmaker and PhD candidate at the University of Queensland, Oscar Cárdenas (also known as Oscar Cárdenas Navarro). The interview, which is available on The Clinic‘s website here, focused on Cárdenas’ ability to capture the discontent of Chileans which until recently, had quietly simmered under the surface of normalcy. However, recent events in Chile have brought that simmer to a raging boil, making international headlines.

Chile has experienced ongoing protests and a civil uprising which started on 18 October 2019. These are the largest protests Chile has experienced since the end of the Pinochet’s dictatorship. They began in response to a fare increase on the Santiago Metro’s subway line, emblematic of a much larger issue of disparity in living conditions in the country, with protestors citing factors such as the rising cost of living, income inequality, political corruption, and mass privatisation of services. The crisis has been heralded as yet another “brutal legacy” of the Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet neo-liberalism who ruled from 1979 – 1990.  Continue reading “Life imitating art imitating life: The raging discontent of Chile”

Family, japanese, Japanese Culture, Women

A Rose by any Other Name: Japanese Conservatives and the Question of Retaining One’s Family Name

woman wearing white long sleeved dress beside man
Photo by Trung Nguyen on Pexels.com

Submission by Assoc. Prof. David Chapman

In many countries around the world, including Australia, it is commonplace for a woman to take on her husband’s surname after marriage. As the ABC reported last year, recent estimates suggest that approximately 80% of women choose to change their name after marriage. However, many are turning to away from traditional expectations, with some brides keeping their own name, choosing hyphenated names, and some husbands/spouses choosing to take on their wife’s name.

In Australia, expectations around a woman’s choice to change her name after marriage are usually limited to her family and immediate social circle. It may be more acceptable to do so in certain social contexts than in others. As name changes are a “matter of custom, not law“, there is no government intervention to keep track of, nor enforce this practice in any way. Continue reading “A Rose by any Other Name: Japanese Conservatives and the Question of Retaining One’s Family Name”

film and visual cultures, French, Humanities, literature

In memoriam: Still Loitering — Australian Essays in Honour of Ross Chambers

silhouette of person standing facing window
Photo by Marcos Camargo on Pexels.com

Post Submission by: Dr Joe Hardwick and Prof. Greg Hainge

In October 2017, the world of French studies was saddened to learn of the passing of Ross Chambers. Chambers was a prolific scholar whose dedication, not only to French studies, but also fields such as comparative literature, cultural studies, queer studies, and literary and narrative theory made him an admired teacher and mentor to many within the academic community.

Arguably, Ross Chambers’ most famous book was Loiterature. In this text, Chambers argues that in Western literary tradition “waywardness itself is at work, delay becomes almost predictable, triviality is auspicious, and failure is cheerfully admired”. As Chambers argues, literature that falls into the “loiterly” genre, “blurs the distinctions between innocent pleasure and harmless relaxation on the one hand, and not-so-innocent intent on the other”. Loiterature thus “prescribes both “slow and careful reading practices but also quick-witted analysis” of such texts.

man standing on rooftop facing brown highrise building
Photo by Matthew T Rader on Pexels.com

In 2019, in memory of the work of Ross Chambers, Peter Lang Publishing released an edited collections of essays by Australian authors in honour of Ross Chambers. Still Loitering: Australian Essays in Honour of Ross Chambers is named for Chambers’ acclaimed book Loiterature. Still Loitering “draws together tributes, essays and critical responses to his wide-ranging work from Romanticism to the present, all demonstrating, through practice, the generative value of ‘loitering'”.

Two academics from the University of Queensland have contributed to this fantastic new collection honouring Ross Chambers: Dr Joe Hardwick and Prof. Greg Hainge. Continue reading “In memoriam: Still Loitering — Australian Essays in Honour of Ross Chambers”

cultural history, heritage, History, Humanities, Intellectual history, japanese, Japanese Culture, literature, memory, Uncategorized

The Importance and Intangibility of Heritage

 

640px-Dainichi-dō_bugaku_godai_sonmai_01
Dainichi-dō bugaku godai sonmai by Wc018 via Wikimedia Commons

Post Submission by: Dr Natsuko Akagawa

We often talk about heritage in relation to our familial and linguistic connections to countries, with these connections passed down from generation to generation. However, as the ABC recently reported it only takes three generations for many migrant families to lose their native tongue, leading some to suggest that Australia is a “graveyard of languages”. In order to understand how these cultural and linguistic linkages become muddied or even lost, it is important to look at the bigger picture, how the memories and objects in the world around us become elements of heritage to which people relate and hold dear.

Dr Akagawa, considers these questions and more in a number of publications that investigates the nature of heritage as it applies to people, nations and global interactions, and more specifically, the important links between heritage conservation and national identity. Continue reading “The Importance and Intangibility of Heritage”

Art, heritage, History, Humanities, Immigration, japanese, Japanese Culture, literature

Japan in Australia: Culture, Context and Connection – A New Edited Collection

adult back view backpack beautiful
Photo by Tim Gouw on Pexels.com

Submission by: Assoc. Prof. David Chapman

In 2007, Assoc. Prof. David Chapman led a project  highly successful symposium held at the University of Queensland entitled “Japan in Australia“. The symposium sought to investigate a curious gap in the literature on Japan-Australia relations. While previous discourse on the two countries had focused primarily on the relationship between Japan and Australia, there had been little focus “on Japan’s place within Australia and within the nation’s social, cultural and historical landscape”. Furthermore, “with the changing dynamic of Australia’s relationship with Asia [particularly with Australia’s increasing focus on Chinese and South Korean relations] there is a need for a fresh look at Japan within Australia and how Japan has been understood and conceptualised”.

From the research presented at the symposium, Assoc. Prof. David Chapman and Assoc. Prof. Carol Hayes (ANU) edited the newly published collection: Japan in Australia: Culture, Context and ConnectionThis collection is “a work of cultural history that focuses on context and connection between two nations. It examines how Japan has been imagined, represented and experienced in the Australian context through a variety of settings, historical periods and circumstances”. Continue reading “Japan in Australia: Culture, Context and Connection – A New Edited Collection”

German, History, literature, memory, Translation, trauma, Women

From Nazi Austria to New York’s 9/11 Attacks: Ilse Aichinger’s “Improbable Journeys”

asphalt road between trees
Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

Submission by Dr Geoff Wilkes

Ilse Aichinger (1921-2016) was one of the most significant prose writers to emerge in Austria after the Second World War. Her work was acknowledged by numerous national and international awards, and has received considerable attention from scholars around the world. Aichinger was particularly known for her novel Die gröβere Hoffnung (The Greater Hope; 1948), which was prompted by her experiences in Vienna in 1938-45. During those years, Ilse and her mother Berta (one of the first women to study Medicine in Vienna) were forced to leave their flat and work in government-assigned jobs, her twin sister Helga emigrated to England on the last Kindertransport, and her grandmother Gisela, aunt Erna and uncle Felix were deported, and murdered in a concentration camp. Continue reading “From Nazi Austria to New York’s 9/11 Attacks: Ilse Aichinger’s “Improbable Journeys””

History, Indonesia, memory, mental health, Oral History, trauma

A Lifetime of Hearing Voices: Mental Illness, Trauma, and Oral Histories

person in grass field
Photo by Mash Babkova on Pexels.com

Submission by: Dr. Annie Pohlman

Amak Dahniar has heard voices, and sometimes seen people, that others cannot since she was in her early 20s. A few years ago, when Amak was in her early 70s, a psychiatrist at the hospital in the city near her home in the mountains of West Sumatra diagnosed her with paranoid schizophrenia. It was a diagnosis that meant very little to Amak; she doesn’t care for the psychiatrist, the hospital, or the medicines that she was given that made her feel sleepy.

For Amak’s children, however, the diagnosis gave a new name to their mother’s interactions with voices, visions and dreams. The voices who speak to their mother are hallucinations, the signs only she can divine that others in the village mean her harm are delusions.

Annie Pohlman and her colleagues from Andalas University in West Sumatra first interviewed Amak Dahniar as part of a project investigating oral histories of trauma in that province.  Continue reading “A Lifetime of Hearing Voices: Mental Illness, Trauma, and Oral Histories”