Selected proceedings from the Provocations Symposium hosted by the J.M Coetzee Centre at the University of Adelaide.
6:66am, narrow gate
In a time of no nexts, narrative is a problematic medium, but this is exactly why a number of contemporary writers have narrowed their focus to minutes and seconds. It’s high-frequency trading on cultural capital. What imaginative surpluses can literary language seize from financialised time?
The Flight of the Frigate Bird
The story of abuse and exploitation by a British firm of a small group of people from a little-known Pacific island may seem like an unremarkable one in the history of the colonial project, but it exemplifies in microcosm the fast-approaching condition of the whole world.
The Crumbling Tower
I suppose my ambivalence about scholarship actually comes down to a fear that, not only will I spend my life in scholarly pursuits rather than living it, as if living were an uncomplicated thing one does instinctively and without thought, but that I will spend it, like the protagonist of John Banville’s The Sea, with myself unsaid.
Trapped in Negation
I am well aware that academics have been complaining about managerialism and lamenting the fate of the humanities from time immemorial. But I can’t recall a time when the discipline of literary studies, in particular, has seemed as besieged and vulnerable as its does at present.