Free event: Queer Sentiments

This Friday, join an afternoon discussion and reading of Australian and U.S. queer poetry and poetics, with an emphasis on affective aspects, based around the visit of Professor Brian Reed, of the University of Washington in Seattle. The panel also features poet and scholar Assoc. Professor Kate Lilley, of the University of Sydney, and Dr Michael Farrell, Melbourne poet, co-editor of the lesbian and gay poetry anthology Out of the Box, and author of a recent book on colonial Australian poetics: Writing Australian Unsettlement. It is a unique event seeking to theorise and investigate relations between the queer history of Australian poetry with the contemporary; as well as correspondences – and differences – between Australia and the U.S.

The event will begin with a panel of papers, chaired by UNSW Art and Design’s Dr Astrid Lorange, poet and author of How Reading is Written: A Brief Index to Gertrude Stein, followed by discussion. There will be a short break followed by a poetry reading from all four speakers.

To be held at Io Myers Studio, UNSW Kensington, 3-6pm 9 September 2016. Jointly hosted by UNSWriting, Centre for Modernism Studies in Australia, UNSW Art & Design, School of the Arts & Media.

To reserve a seat, go to:

Upcoming seminar: “Working with zombies, from Haiti to Wall Street”

All are very welcome to an upcoming seminar featuring Dr Sascha Morrell at the Writing & Society Research Centre at Western Sydney University. The seminar will be held on Friday, 12 August, from 11.00am -12.30pm in Building 3.G.55, Bankstown Campus, Western Sydney University.

This paper examines how the walking corpse and tropes of living death were used to represent the dehumanizing effects of repetitive, alienated labour in industrial, bureaucratic and plantation settings both prior to and after the passage of the Haitian zombie slave into U.S. culture via the publication of William Seabrook’s The Magic Island in 1929. Examining nineteenth-century and still earlier western precedent for twentieth-century appropriations of the Haitian folkloric figure provides fresh insight into how the Afro-Caribbean zombie interfused with western traditions of living death. Existing accounts of the zombie’s reception in Anglophone culture not only underestimate the extent to which the zombie was transformed upon entry by established traditions, but actually ascribe authenticity to aspects of zombie mythology that may be the product of a distorting western influence. For instance, the association of the Haitian zombie with organized labour seems to have been exaggerated in western representations of Haitian lore, including recent critical treatments. As well as shedding new light on the complex origins of the literary zombies of the early-twentieth century, my paper will briefly consider how the zombie’s subsequent evolution in popular culture into a figure of mindless consumerism and predatory capitalism might assist critics in (re)assessing the usefulness of “modernism” and “postmodernism” as critical categories.

Sascha Morrell studied Arts and Law at the University of Sydney and completed her PhD in English Literature at Trinity College, Cambridge. She has taught at the University of Cambridge, the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales, and was Visiting Research Scholar at New York University in Fall 2015. Dr Morrell is the co-editor of Flann O’Brien and Modernism (Bloomsbury 2014) and has published widely on American and modernist literatures while completing a book project on race, labor, historiography and visual culture in the fiction of William Faulkner, Herman Melville and others. She has a special interest in the appropriation of Haitian history and cultural motifs (including the zombie) in U.S. fiction, theatre and film. She is currently developing a project investigating connections between different ideas of ‘the south’ (including Australasian and other transpacific spaces) in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century U.S. literature.

Just launched: the BAMS Modernist Review

The British Association for Modernist Studies will now be hosting its own online space for new work in modernist studies, The Modernist Review.

The Modernist Review is designed to provide a platform for scholars and others with a keen interest in modernism to share emerging work across a range of interests.

We believe that accessible does not necessarily mean less rigorous. While we intend to make The Modernist Review an interesting read for non-academic audiences, we also want it to be a good place to share those research off-cuts that don’t really fit anywhere else.

If you’ve come across a curious book, poster, film or quotation which doesn’t work in your current project, this is where to send it. Similarly, if a late-night thought leaves you with a thousand words on the state of modernist studies, we’d like to see them.

Follow on twitter @modernistreview

Thank you,

Helen Saunders and Stephanie Boland (BAMS PGR reps)