'I am writing about my own daughter, Winnie': Our Rights to Our Stories
Free Public Lecture
Kathleen Fitzpatrick Theatre
T: 8344 5944
The Wednesday Lectures 2018 hosted by Raimond Gaita
In a recent interview in the Guardian, the celebrated novelist, Lionel Shriver, commented 'I’m very unhappy that writers and editors are exercising self-censorship, especially with regard to group membership, to [writing about groups to which they do not themselves belong such as] gender, race, ethnicity, disability.' Shriver's comments follow her appearance at the 2016 Brisbane Writers Festival, when similar remarks by the author caused 'outrage'. Writers (in particular) who have supported Shiver's 'bravery' call upon their right to 'creative freedom' and a necessary 'challenge to censorship' in defence of the right to write on whatever subject, and from whatever point of view, they please. In defence of artistic freedom often refuses to address the repression of communities and nations that have not experienced the privilege of writing with freedom. In fact, some communities have, in both the past and present, had their stories and identities stolen. If we have any commitment to reciprocity and justice, surely we must allow people who have been silenced the dignity to recover and tell their own stories?
The Wednesday Lectures is an annual series of talks hosted by Professor Raimond Gaita that invites speakers from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds to offer their perspective on a subject of pressing public, and sometimes intensely personal, concern.
Professor Raimond Gaita, The University of Melbourne
Professor Raimond Gaita
The University of Melbourne
Raimond Gaita is Professorial Fellow in the Faculty of Arts and the Melbourne Law School at the University of Melbourne, and Professor Emeritus of Moral Philosophy at King's College London In 2009 the University of Antwerp awarded Gaita the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa “for his exceptional contribution to contemporary moral philosophy and for his singular contribution the role of the intellectual in today’s academic world”. Gaita's books, translated into many languages, include: Good and Evil: An Absolute Conception, the prize wining Romulus, My Father, which was made into a feature film of the same name, A Common Humanity: Thinking About Love & Truth & Justice, which the Economist judged to be one of the best books of 2000, The Philosopher's Dog, Breach of Trust: Truth, Morality and Politics, After Romulus and, as editor and contributor, Gaza: Morality Law and Politics and Muslims and Multiculturalism.
Professor Tony Birch
Professor Tony Birch is the inaugural Bruce MacGuinness Research Fellow in the Moondani Balluk Academic Centre at Victoria University. His current research is concerned with climate change, protection of Country and Indigenous Knowledge Systems. tony Birch is also a widely published fiction writer, twice shortlisted for the Miles Franklin prize and the only Indigenous Australian to win the Patrick White Prize. His books include *Shadow Boxing, Blood, The Promise* and *Ghost River*.