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”

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”

literature, Spanish

Latin American Studies Seminar Series – Requiem with Yellow Butterflies

yellow and black butterfly
Photo by Miriam Fischer on Pexels.com

The University of Queensland is excited to announce that Dr James Halford will be joining them as part of the Latin American Studies Seminar series on Friday 13 September 2019.

Dr. James Halford writes fiction and essays, lectures in creative writing at UQ, and publishes academic work on contemporary Australian and Latin American literature. Continue reading “Latin American Studies Seminar Series – Requiem with Yellow Butterflies”

History, japanese, Japanese Culture, literature, memory, Novels, Transculture, Translanguage, trauma

Exploring Australia’s infamous ‘Cowra Breakout’ through fiction

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Cowra, NSW. August 1944. The burial of Japanese Prisoners of War who lost their lives in the mass outbreak from B camp – Australian War Memorial 073487

Submission by Rebecca Hausler PhD (Cand.).

Hausler, Rebecca. “The Cowra Breakout: Remembering and Reflecting on Australia’s Biggest Prison Escape 75 Years On”. The Conversation. 5 Aug. 2019.
https://theconversation.com/the-cowra-breakout-remembering-and-reflecting-on-australias-biggest-prison-escape-75-years-on-120410

In this piece for the academic news analysis website The Conversation, Rebecca writes about the way that the infamous “Cowra Breakout” has been remembered and reflected upon in the 75 years since the event. Writing on the anniversary of the breakout, Rebecca’s piece coincides with events held in the town of Cowra, with these commemoration events running from August 2nd-5th. Continue reading “Exploring Australia’s infamous ‘Cowra Breakout’ through fiction”

cultural history, film and visual cultures, japanese, Japanese Culture, literature, Transculture

Public film screening of “Star Sand”

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Photo by Pietro Jeng on Pexels.com

Roger Pulvers has had a various and illustrious career an acclaimed author, academic, playwright, theatre and film director, translator and journalist. He has also worked extensively in film and television.

Over the past fifty years, he has translated prose, drama, and poetry from Japanese, Russian and Polish. He has published more than fifty books in Japanese and English, including novels such as The Death of Urashima Taro, General Yamashita’s Treasure, Star Sand, Liv and The Dream of Lafcadio Hearn. Roger Pulvers also holds a position as an Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland.

His 2017 film ‘Star Sand’ is set in Okinawa in 1945, and centers on two wartime deserters, one from Japan and one from the US. They are joined by a 16-year-old bilingual girl who spent her early childhood years in Los Angeles. All goes well until the Japanese soldier’s brother appears… Some days later there is a violent scene, and three of the four are dead … but we do not know which one has survived. Continue reading “Public film screening of “Star Sand””

Animals, chinese, film and visual cultures, Folktales, literature

Beyond nostalgia: Reconsidering the magic of Monkey in a contemporary context

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Saiyuki (Monkey Magic) Stencil art by Elmic-Toboo (via DeviantArt)

Submission by Rebecca Hausler PhD (Cand.).

Hausler, Rebecca. “Far from white-washing, ABC’s Monkey Magic remake takes us back to its cross-cultural roots”. The Conversation. 31 Jan. 2018.
https://theconversation.com/far-from-white-washing-abcs-monkey-magic-remake-takes-us-back-to-its-cross-cultural-roots-90853

In this piece, I discuss the way in which an ancient Chinese folktale Xiyouji, known in English as The Journey to the West has appealed to audiences the world over, from its journey from China to “the West”. Earlier this year, the story was remade as an Australian-New Zealand co-production entitled The New Legends of Monkey. Continue reading “Beyond nostalgia: Reconsidering the magic of Monkey in a contemporary context”