ASAL 2014

Study of Australian Literature (ASAL) Conference

Conference 9-12 July 2014

Worlds Within

Hosted by the Australian Literature Program at the University of Sydney, the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL) Conference for 2014 will address issues such as:

  • worlds within: uncanny spaces of nation and/or globe
  • globe as national outside, nation as global inside
  • relations between interiors and exteriors
  • provincialism and world literature, provincialisation of world literature
  • ‘always localise’: location-oriented studies
  • reanimations in/of national/world literature
  • worlding settler, indigenous, migrant texts and experiences
  • writing careers: cosmopolitanism, expatriatism, repatriation
  • modernism and colonialism, modernism in the world
  • modes of memory in national literature
  • trauma and reconciliation in national literature
  • the poetics of relationality
  • questions of untranslatability and the incommensurable
  • the spectre of comparisons: double consciousness as writing or reading method
  • rhetorics of belonging, poetics of longing
  • linear and nonlinear movement – e.g. of narratives, genres
  • lost objects and oscillating identifications
Brigid Rooney Brigitta Olubas Robert Dixon
Department of English School of the Arts and Media Professor of Australian Literature
University of Sydney University of New South Wales University of Sydney
+61 2 9351 4517 +61 2 9385 2303 +61 2 9036 7231

Keynote Speakers:

Vilashini Cooppan is Associate Professor in Humanities at University of California Santa Cruz, and the author of Worlds Within: National Narratives & Global Connections in Postcolonial Writing (Stanford: Stanford UP, 2009). Her research interests include postcolonial studies, comparative and world literature, literatures of slavery, diaspora, colonialism, and apartheid, globalization studies, psychoanalytic theories of nationalism, critical theories of race and ethnicity, genre theory, and memory studies.

Kim Scott, a member of the Nyungar community, is Professor of Writing in the School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts at Curtin University. His multilayered storytelling is invested in language recovery projects that aim to ‘return oral histories and archival language material to their home communities’ (Curtin University Website). Scott’s fictional and non-fictional writings, include True Country (1993), Kayang and Me (2005), collaborative works for the Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project (, and two highly acclaimed Miles Franklin Literary Award winning novels – Benang: From the Heart (Fremantle Press, 1999) and That Deadman Dance (Picador, 2010).

Suvendrini Perera is Professor of Cultural Studies in the School of Media Culture & Creative Arts and Deputy Director of the Australia-Asia-Pacific Institute at Curtin University. She is the author/editor of six books, including Australia and the Insular Imagination: Beaches, Borders, Boats and Bodies (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2009), Our Patch (API 2007); Enter at own risk (co-edited with Graham Seal and Sue Summers, Black Swan, 2010) and Living Through Terror (coedited with Antonio Traverso, Routledge, 2011).

Call For Papers


For past conferences, our delegates have found Rydges Camperdown Hotel to provide convenient, moderately priced accommodation. The hotel is at close proximity to the University and will be offering 10% off its best available rate to ASAL conference delegates. To book at the discounted Rydges rate, contact Lauren Green either by telephone or email and quote “Sydney Uni ASAL Conference”.

Rydges Camperdown Hotel
9 Missenden Road
Camperdown NSW 2050
Phone:+61 2 8595 1576

Delegates to our past conferences have also found the Mercure Sydney Hotel conveniently close to the university and moderately priced.

Mercure Sydney Hotel
818 - 820 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Toll Free 1800 633 948
P +61 2 9217 6666 F +61 2 9217 6616

For an on-campus option, Sancta Sophia College is offering ensuite single and twin rooms for conference delegates at very affordable rates. Please fill out the booking form and mail to the Conference Coordinator, Sancta Sophia College, 8 Missenden Road, Camperdown, 2050.

Sancta Sophia College
8 Missenden Road
Camperdown NSW 2050
Phone:+61 2 9577 2333
Fax: +61 2 9577 2388

For more economical options, there are a number of backpackers' hostels in the vicinity.

Y Hotel Hyde Park
5-11 Wentworth Avenue, Sydney 2000.
T 1800 994 994
F (02)9285 6288

Sydney Backpackers Hostel - Sydney Central YHA
11 Rawson Place, Corner of Pitt Street and Rawson Place (opposite Central Station), Sydney 2000.
T (02)9218 9000
F (02)9218 9099

City Central Backpackers
707 George Street, Sydney 2000.
T (02)9211 9999
F (02)9212 4833

Bookings are the responsibility of individual conference participants. These accommodation options have not been tried by the university or conference convenors.