Faculty expanding Sydney Writers' Festival sponsorship in 2014

3 March 2014

Sydney Writers' Festival
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are pleased to sponsor the Sydney Writers' Festival
out-of-season events with Alexander McCall Smith and Elizabeth Gilbert on March 7.

The University of Sydney is giving bookworms a teaser of this year's partnership with the Sydney Writers' Festival, with two special off-season events featuring best-selling authors Alexander McCall Smith and Elizabeth Gilbert.

The University of Sydney's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is proud to announce it will partner with the Sydney Writers' Festival (SWF) for a third successive year, in a collaboration dedicated to unleashing bold ideas and inspiring fresh debate on contemporary issues.

This year, the faculty will also co-sponsor two special events in the festival's off-season, featuring internationally acclaimed author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, Alexander McCall Smith, and best-selling author of Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert.

The authors will discuss their new novels in two separate, highly anticipated events at City Recital Hall on March 7, offering a taste of what the SWF will have on offer when its official program is released in early April in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Professor Duncan Ivison, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, said the partnership with SWF offers a "terrific" opportunity for students, staff and alumni to participate in the festival.

"We love working with people who are as passionate about great writing and big ideas as we are, and we're also delighted that our brilliant students, academics and alumni are able to contribute to the ongoing success of the Festival," he said.

"A vibrant public culture is something that needs constant support, cultivation and provocation - and we're committed to working with the SWF to do just that."

Australia's largest annual literary festival will feature some of the faculty's distinguished academics as part of its program, with events running from May 19-25 in the Walsh Bay precinct, the Sydney Opera House, Town Hall, and other city venues.

Artistic Director of SWF, Jemma Birrell, said: "We're thrilled that The University of Sydney are supporting Sydney Writers' Festival for a third year. After two successful years of partnership, we share a mutual passion for bringing literature, ideas and discussion to the public."

"We've also been the great beneficiary of rich talent that is Sydney University staff and alumni and look forward to seeing more University of Sydney participants in the 2014 line-up," she added.

Our leading academics' diverse research backgrounds and interests were reflected in the 2013 SWF program, which included panel discussions on issues such as China's rise to power, featuring Professor Bates Gill, CEO of the United States Studies Centre, and Professor Kerry Brown, director of the China Studies Centre, to the popularity of fan fiction, which was explored by PhD candidates Joseph Brennan and David Large. The faculty also hosted international guests James Wood, literary critic for The New Yorker

In 2014, the University of Sydney will again be thoroughly immersed in the festival buzz with academics, student volunteers and 'Media Hub' interns all contributing to Australia's premier literary festival.

For further details of the festival or volunteering opportunities, visit

'A Festival Night in March' event details

When: 6pm, Friday, March 7

What: An Evening With Alexander McCall Smith

Where: City Recital Hall, Angel Place

Cost: Reserve $28 (Concession $22)

When: 8:30pm, Friday, March 7

What: Elizabeth Gilbert: The Signature Of All Things

Where: City Recital Hall, Angel Place

Cost: Reserve $28 (Concession $22)

Bookings: City Recital Hall

Media Enquires: Kate Mayor, 02 9351 2208, 0434 561 056,

Follow the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences on Facebook here