This symposium explores the praxis of storytelling and creativity generally during our time of human-induced global environmental change.

Date: Thursday, 7 June 2018

Environmental Writing Program and abstracts


Rachel Carson's Silent Spring led to the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency and the banning of synthetic pesticides. Henry Thoreau's writings are commonly understood to have founded the modern environmental movement. Despite such examples, many writers concerned with environmental issues prefer to protect their writing from what author Robert Macfarlane calls an 'instrumentalising view'. Such a view 'subdues literature to a single end and presupposes a simplistic model of consequence: that Cultural Action A leads to Political Outcome B'.

As Rebecca Solnit notes, transformation instead 'comes about as much because of pervasive changes in the depths of the collective imagination as because of visible acts'.

Keynote Speakers

Professor Alexis Wright (Boisbouvier Chair in Australian Literature at the University of Melbourne) and Professor Tom Griffiths AO (W K Hancock Professor of History and Director of the Centre for Environmental History at the Australian National University).

Featuring

  • Dr Saskia Beudel (University of Canberra)
  • Dr Tom Doig (Monash University)
  • Ms Suzy Freeman Greene (Arts Editor, The Conversation)
  • Dr A. Frances Johnson (The University of Melbourne)
  • Dr Mireille Juchau (University of Sydney)
  • Dr Laura McKay (The University of Melbourne)
  • Dr Cameron Muir (University of Sydney)
  • Dr Hayley Singer (The University of Melbourne)
  • Ms Wendy Somerville (University of Canberra)
  • Dr Lara Stevens (The University of Melbourne)
  • and others...

Each has been invited to speak about their creative research and the ethical imperatives undergirding their imaginative responses to anthropogenic environmental change.

This event is co-hosted with the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research, Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra.

Symposium convened by Dr Saskia Beudel and Dr A. Frances Johnson.

More information

Enquiries

Dr Amanda Johnson
Dr Saskia Beudel

School of Culture and Communication Creative Writing study area

University of Canberra Environmental Writing event listing

Environmental Writing symposium poster

Banner image: 'Supported Exotic: Brachychiton rupestris (Dragon Tree)' (detail) (Amanda Johnson, 2010. oil on canvas)

University of Canberra logo

This symposium explores the praxis of storytelling and creativity generally during our time of human-induced global environmental change.