When: Wednesday October 12th 2011, 6 for 6:30pm
Where: Woolley Common Room, John Woolley Building upstairs, University of Sydney
RSVP: Tessa at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know if you would like to read
This issue of Southerly focuses on modern mobilities, the movements of people across the globe and the attendant dislocations and complex affiliations. The issue asks how this feature of late modernity dismantles and re-creates notions of identity, home, family, nation and literature. What is the role of writing in this circulation and how does it shape the dynamic mapping of Australia?
The issue includes a range of work deeply engaged with these questions. Bill Ashcroft offers a manifesto of sorts in his call for a new conception of diversity and for literature to produce the “anticipatory illuminations” that enable us to conceive of such possibilities. There are reflections by writers negotiating the movement to Australia and one, by expatriate author Jonathan Bennett now in Canada, that charts the fading of Australian idiom in his work as he becomes increasingly attuned to Canadian English and its writing.
Whatever the direction of the movement, what is striking about all the instances of migration and mobility published here is the individual circumstances and sensibility of each one. Of course, we know this already, don’t we? Or do we? The need to recognise peoples as a collective with shared history, language and identifications, and the need for writers to record and explore these cultural differences is enmeshed with the other need to write the differences within and between categories and collectives.
Each piece of work in Modern Mobilities, from the range of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, negotiates this relentless dilemma and the results are surprising and richly rewarding. Read together, there is a real sense of the way writing can make sense of inherited contexts and histories as well produce “anticipatory illuminations” to create Australia’s diverse future.
Please see our website for further information: www.southerlyjournal.com.au