Looking Forward/Looking Back: Writing Women in Australia

Looking Forward/Looking Back: Writing Women in Australia

'Despite the fact that two-thirds of published authors in Australia are women, two-thirds of the books being reviewed are by men – a ratio that has remained largely the same for 30 years' says Lisa Dempster, Director of Melbourne Writers Festival.

Is there a gender bias in Australian literature?

Join us at James Cook University for a town-hall style forum on the topic of women writers, women’s writing, and writing about women in Australia.

With guest panelists:

  • Dr Katherine Bode (JCU Alumnus, ANU)
  • Professor Leigh Dale (University of Wollongong)
  • Professor Carole Ferrier (University of Queensland)

And writers:

  • Sarah Holland Batt (award winning poet and poetry editor of “Island”),
  • Ariella Van Luyn (author of “Treading Air”), and others TBA

Sarah Holland-Batt

Sarah is a poet and senior lecturer in Creative Writing and Literary Studies at the Queensland University of Technology. Her first book, Aria (2008) was the recipient of the Anne Elder Award, the Arts ACT Judith Wright Poetry Prize and the Thomas Shapcott Prize, and her second book, The Hazards (2015) has been shortlisted for the West Australian Premier's Prize for Poetry, the Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize and the John Bray Memorial Prize. Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, Slate, Agenda, and many more journals. She currently serves as the poetry editor of Island magazine, and is the 2016 editor of the Best Australian Poems series.

Leigh Dale

Leigh is a Professor in English Literatures at the University of Wollongong. Her publications include The Enchantment of English: Professing English Literatures in Australian Universities (2nd ed. 2012), and Responses to Self Harm: An Historical Analysis of Medical, Religious, Military and Psychological Perspectives (2015). Dale has previously edited Crossings: Bulletin of the International Australian Studies Association, and served as the editor of Australian Literary Studies for over ten years. Her recent work focuses on the writing of Christos Tsiolkasm literary discussion in Australian newspapers of the 1930s, and she is currently preparing a scholarly edition of Katharine Susannah Prichard’s novel Coonardoo.

Carole Ferrier

Carole is a Professor of Literature and Women’s Studies at the University of Queensland. Ferrier is also the Director of the Women, Gender, Culture and Social Change Research Group at the University of Queensland, a former president of the Australian Women's Studies Association and editor of Hecate and the Australian Women's Book Review. Her publications include Gender, Politics and Fiction: Australian Women's Novels (1985), The Janet Frame Reader (1995), Jean Devanny: Romantic Revolutionary (1999)and Radical Brisbane: An Unruly History (2004).

Katherine Bode

Katherine is an Associate Professor in Literary and Textual Studies at the Australian National University. She headed ANU’s Centre for Digital Humanities Research from 2011-13, and is currently engaged in an ARC Discovery Project employing automatic search and harvesting methods to mine Trove to create an index and full-text archive of serialised fiction in nineteenth-century Australian newspapers. Bode’s most recent monograph, Reading by Numbers: Recalibrating the Literary Field (2012), explores the critical potential of quantitative and computational methods to survey trends in Australian literary history.

Ariella Van Luyn

Ariella is a writer and lecturer in writing at James Cook University. She holds a PhD in creative writing from the Queensland University of Technology. Her fiction has been published in Overland, Southerly, Australian Shorts, Voiceworks and The Lifted Brow. Her manuscript was shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards (2012). Her debut novel Treading Air , set in 1920s and 30s Townsville, was published in 2016.