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Foundation for Australian Literary Studies News & Events EVENT: 2021 Lecture & Award Announcement

2021 Special Events

This year the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies has combined the annual Colin Roderick Memorial Lecture with the announcement of the 2021 Colin Roderick Literary Award winner.

During the event you will hear from Roderick Lecture special guest Tony Birch in conversation with JCU's Roger Osborne. After the lecture we will announce the literary award winner for 2021 with a guest appearance by the winner.

  • Colin Roderick Memorial Lecture featuring Tony Birch
    Thursday 14th October | from 5pm (AEST)
  • Colin Roderick Literary Award announcement
    Thursday 14th October | from 6.15pm (AEST)

From 5pm (AEST) Tony Birch in conversation with Roger Osborne.

Photograph by Savanna Kruger

‘What did you do in the boat’: the universality and cultural specificity of writing and story’

Tony will initially focus on the influences of his development as a reader and the impact of literature from other places. ‘I want to talk about my reading history as a means of developing my interests in writing and storytelling. I also want to discuss the vital need to ensure that stories about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people need to be owned and told by specific nations and local mob. I want to provoke a discussion, not of censorship or 'culture wars', but of ethics and the potential for cooperation and mutual respect.’

Tony Birch is the author of three novels: the bestselling The White Girl; Ghost River , which won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing; and Blood, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. He is also the author of Shadowboxing and three short story collections, Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People. In 2017 he was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award. Tony is a frequent contributor to ABC local and national radio, a regular guest at writers’ festivals, and a climate justice campaigner. Tony has recently released a new poetry collection, Whisper Songs, with a new book of short stories, Dark As Last Night, due out in August 2021(both with UQP).

Roger Osborne is a Senior Lecturer in English and Writing at JCU. His research on the trans-national nature of Australian print culture has been published widely, and his co-authored book, Australian Books and Authors in the American Marketplace 1840s-1940s, the first of two projected volumes, was published by Sydney University Press in 2018. His textual and cultural history of Joseph Furphy's Such is Life will be published by Sydney University Press in 2021.

From 6.15pm (AEST) Who will win the 2021 Colin Roderick Literary Award?

Women and fiction dominate the 2021 Colin Roderick Literary Award Shortlist.  Join us at 6.15pm (AEST) after the Memorial Lecture to find out who the winner will be.

The Colin Roderick Literary Award, presented by the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies, comes with a $20,000 prize and the H.T. Priestley Memorial Medal which recognises the best Australian book of the year that deals with any aspect of Australian life.

Date:  Thursday 14th October 2021
Time: Lecture starts at 5.00 pm (AEST Queensland time)  |  Award Announcement starts at 6.15pm (AEST)
Where: Watch online or join us at JCU Townsville to watch together at the Central Plaza.

For more information, please contact the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies fals@jcu.edu.au


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