Sydney University Arts Association Lecture

29 September 2009

The Sydney University Arts Association presents The Professorial Lecture of Professor Cassandra Pybus, Australian Research Council Professorial Fellow, School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry entitled 'Black Caesar and Billy Blue - Subversive African Performance in Early Colonial Sydney'.

One of the least known aspects of early Australia was the presence of a number of African American convicts in the colony of New South Wales. These men were runaway slaves who had defected to the British during the American Revolution and in 1783, poor and hungry, fetched up in England, where they inevitably fell foul of the law. Several of these black convicts became notorious in the early penal colony and this talk will focus on two of these larger-than-life characters: Black Caesar, who was Australia's prototype bushranger between 1789 and 1796; and Billy Blue, the ferryman and smuggler who became Sydney's first proletarian celebrity in the 1820s and 1830s.

When: Thursday 24 September, 6pmWhere: Woolley Theatre N395, Woolley Building, the University of Sydney - Refreshments in the Woolley Common Room from 5.30pm.

Further Information: Contact Emerita Professor Nerida Newbigin / (02) 9660 2612 or Dr Michael McDonnell / (02) 9351 6733.