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University community features at Sydney Writers’ Festival

7 April 2017
Guests will be brought together under the theme of ‘Refuge’

More than 40 University of Sydney staff and alumni will join the stellar line-up of guests to speak at this year's Sydney Writers' Festival.

Student at Sydney's Writers' Festival

Our Media Hub is based at the festival's home in Walsh Bay, where students interview authors and review events.


Walsh Bay was the setting last night for one of the most anticipated announcements of the Sydney cultural year: Sydney Writers’ Festival 2017 Program Launch. Big name international and local authors will alight the festival stages this May 22-28 alongside a whole host of our University of Sydney academic and alumni community in a program of events that will delight readers and writers alike.

Sydney Writers’ Festival Artistic Director Michaela McGuire unveiled the timely theme for the 2017 festival as ‘Refuge’, and has said “there is already a long list of forces that people are seeking refuge from – the worsening effects of climate change, civil unrest and Orwellian politics ­– and, more than ever, readers will be turning to literature to find solace”.

More than 40 University of Sydney staff and alumni join the stellar line-up of guests to speak at the festival this year, with highlights including a Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences panel that considers our path to survival in Food and water: Fundamentals for living featuring Professor Elspeth Probyn, Dr Beth Yahp, Dr Chin Jou and Dr Astrida Neimanis speaking to Associate Professor Tess Lea, as well as award-winning poet Ali Cobby Eckermann in conversation with Dr Peter Minter, Associate Professor Nicholas Rowley speaking to Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and environmentalist Tim Flannery, and NPR’s Shanghai correspondent Rob Schmidt in conversation with new Director of the China Studies Centre Professor Luigi Tomba, to name a few.

We hope you’ll find refuge in Sydney Writers’ Festival 2017.
Michaela McGuire, Sydney Writers’ Festival Artistic Director

Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Professor Annamarie Jagose said of the launch “The 2017 Sydney Writers' Festival program showcases an impressive mix of some of the world's great writers and thinkers that is well matched by the breadth of expertise on show from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences”.

Each year the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences co-sponsor a dynamic international author to attend the festival. Previous writers include chief literary critic for The New Yorker James Wood, acclaimed American novelist Jonathan Lethem, and British philosopher Julian Baggini.  2017 will see us host Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Susan Faludi, who will be speaking at a special on-campus Sydney Ideas event Susan Faludi in Conversation on Thursday 25th May.

The Faculty are also proud sponsors of the free Curiosity Lecture Series which will take place down at the Walsh Bay precinct and include short lectures by authors and academics, including Olivia Murphy: On the Problem with Jane Austen to celebrate 200 years of the beloved author’s death, Chris Rodley: On How to Build a Novel-Writing Machine and historian Mark McKenna: On Music and Writing. The stage will also be hosted by University of Sydney academics.

“Across the 2017 Festival, some of the world’s most curious and compassionate, irreverent but respectful, intelligent and argumentative writers will be offering up their brilliant works as temporary respites, while also interrogating the forces that compel us to come together and find sanctuary,” said Michaela McGuire.

“We hope you’ll find refuge in Sydney Writers’ Festival 2017."

The University of Sydney is a Major Partner of Sydney Writers’ Festival. For full details on the University of Sydney’s involvement, visit our website