In 2016 the Sydney Review of Books established a fellowship program for emerging critics with the support of the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund. To mark five years of the SRB-CA Emerging Critics Fellowships, the SRB and WSRC present a seminar on critical practice and Australian literature. The seminar will feature four past fellowship recipients – Ali Jane Smith, Madeleine Gray and Cher Tan – who will reflect on their experience as critics and the material circumstances that condition critical writing. Chaired by SRB editor Catriona Menzies-Pike, the discussion will cover how these writers have emerged as critics – where they emerged from, and where they are heading – before turning to some of the contradictions and conflicts carried by the figure of the emerging critic. After all, to name a critic as emerging is to suggest a narrative of intellectual and creative progress. Are emerging critics, practitioners understood to be at the beginning of a linear trajectory, granted any special concessions by editors and audiences? What are the consequences of apprentice errors and pitfalls, especially in a precarious cultural economy? The narrative of the emerging critic is also one of rupture and innovation; the emerging critic portends new ideas and fresh perspectives. How receptive are Australian editors and audiences to critical innovation? And finally, if being an emerging critic marks a beginning, what’s next, both ideally and actually?
Friday 15 October
Chair: Dr Catriona Menzies-Pike
RSVP on Eventbrite. We’ll send a Zoom link to all RSVPs on the morning of the event.