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

 

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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””

French, History, Humanities, japanese, Japanese Culture, literature, Novels, Poetry, Women

Assoc. Prof. Tomoko Aoyama to present at International Yukio Mishima Symposium in Paris

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Shirou Aoyama [Public Domain] via Wikipedia Commons
Submission by: Assoc. Prof. Tomoko Aoyama

From the 21-23 November 2019, Paris-Diderot University will host an international symposium on the Japanese writer Yukio Mishima. The symposium is entitled “50 Years After: Another Mishima?” The author, who died in a shockingly dramatic manner after a failed coup attempt in 1970, was also a poet, playwright, actor, model, and film director, and is considered one of the most important Japanese authors of the 20th century. On the 50th anniversary of his death, experts from around the world will converge in Paris to revisit his works with fresh eyes.

The symposium organisers noted that too often, Mishima’s work is read through a biographical prism, which results in his texts being surrounded by an air of seriousness. Fifty years on, by reassessing Mishima’s work, the symposium hopes to establish an inventory of criticism, to review translation or retranslation projects, and to examine the most playful and ambiguous aspects of this work. Ultimately, to present “another Mishima”.

Continue reading “Assoc. Prof. Tomoko Aoyama to present at International Yukio Mishima Symposium in Paris”