Key Texts 2016

Presented with the Sydney Intellectual History Network

Sydney Ideas is pleased to work with the Sydney Intellectual History Network (SIHN) again this year to bring you a series of talks on Key Texts. Following on the tradition of the Key Thinkers and Key Concepts series presented by the University, Key Texts invites our leading academics to discuss a text that has influenced their way of thinking. By text, we conceive of this in the widest possible sense to include not only the written word in book form, but a work of art or a building, a legal case or decision, rituals and aural traditions, a medical or scientific model.

Furthering the aims of the Sydney Intellectual History Network to “initiate cross-disciplinary discourse in the pursuit of intellectual history” we start the series this year with dynamic speakers from the disciplines of history, philosophy, the history of science, and Italian Renaissance studies. Come along to be challenged and think again.

You can review the 2014 and 2015 programs.


9 June - The Manifesto: from Surrealism to the present

9 MAY, 2016

André Breton’s Surrealist Manifesto (1924) is one of the most iconic manifestos of the 20th century. Defining “psychic automatism’ as a process that encouraged a freeing of the mind from rational and utilitarian values and constraints as well as moral and aesthetic judgement, Breton’s manifesto conceived of Surrealism as a revolution of the mind that would fundamentally transform everyday experience.

This talk explores how the manifesto became a defining genre of the artistic avant-garde and other political movements across the 20th century, from Futurism and Surrealism to radical feminist manifestos by Valerie Solanas and the Riot Grrrls.

It coincides with Julian Rosefeldt’s moving image 2014-2015 artwork, ‘Manifesto’,which brings to life the enduring provocation of the historical art manifesto.

Natalya Lusty is an Associate Professor in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. She is the author of Surrealism, Feminism, Psychoanalysis (2007), Dreams and Modernity: A Cultural History (2013), with Helen Groth and the edited collection, Modernism and Masculinity (2014), which was shortlisted for the Modernist Studies Association book prize. She has spent the last decade writing and talking about manifestos in numerous academic contexts and public forums and is currently completing a book on feminist manifestos.

Register online now