Animals, Fairy Tales, film and visual cultures, Folktales, French, History, Poetry, Research

The Unicorn’s Journey from “Indica” to Instagram

boston terrier wearing unicorn pet costume
Photo by mark glancy on Pexels.com

Submission by Dr Jenny Barnett and Dr Joe Hardwick

When Dr Jenny Barnett started to research the history of the unicorn for her doctoral thesis it was unlikely she could have predicted the public’s interest in her work would have taken off as much as it has. A resurgence in the public’s fascination in the mythical unicorn has seen Dr Barnett’s expertise being called upon numerous times to provide a glimpse into the mysterious history of this fantastic creature. Just last year, she was interviewed by Paul McIntyre for ABC Radio Hobart, and more recently wrote an explainer article for the academic news website The Conversation.

Dr Barnett’s 2010 thesis explored Maurice Scève’s Délie, objet de plus haute vertu, a French book of emblems and poetry written in 1544 , and examines Scève’s use of woodcut images as a compliment to his textual explorations of the “dangerous” and “fatal” acts of seeing.  Scève uses figures such as the unicorn to reinterpret myths and legends to show that “the act of seeing is always pervaded by fear, deception and death”. Barnett notes that the “[s]cenes of sight and mirrored reflection in the woodcut images tell us more about the gaze than the ‘literary images’ in the text alone”. Continue reading “The Unicorn’s Journey from “Indica” to Instagram”

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

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

maxresdefault-35
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”

Humanities, japanese, Japanese Culture, literature, Poetry, Women

Acclaimed Japanese Poet Hiromi Ito to visit University of Queensland

itohiromi_20190802small
Photo provided by Hiromi Ito

Submission by: Assoc. Prof. Tomoko Aoyama

Internationally acclaimed Japanese poet Hiromi Itō is one of Japan’s most important highly regarded poets working today, having won a number of prestigious literary awards since her poetry debut in late 1970s. Born in Tokyo, Itō travelled extensively to the USA, and eventually moving there in the 1990s, where she worked exploring new genres and subject matter for over two decades . In recent years, Itō has returned to Japan, where she is currently working as a Professor of literature at the prestigious Waseda University. Continue reading “Acclaimed Japanese Poet Hiromi Ito to visit University of Queensland”