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World Literatures and the Global South Conference

23–25 August 2019
This international conference will engage with literary production on and from the Global South in their own languages as well as in translation.

Co-convened with the Peking University Australian Studies Centre and the World Literature Association, the School of Languages and Cultures is proud to host the third international congress of the World Literature Association on 'World Literatures and the Global South'.

The concepts of world literature(s) and the Global South are two widely discussed notions that are continuously being debated and redefined. Australia – shaped by its colonial history and multiethnic, multilingual and transnational population – bears an ambiguous relationship to the Global South, making it an ideal location to explore and interrogate these two unsettled terms.

Through its focus on the ‘Global South’, and on the transnational and postcolonial perspectives implied by the term, it brings together writers and academics, giving equal billing to streams in English, Chinese, Arabic, French, Indonesian/Malay and Spanish.


What are the dominant representations past and present, or narratives from and of the Global South? How do literary productions from the Global South participate in renewing and challenging existing Western and Eurocentric representations? What worldviews and perspectives on world issues, including Western societies, emerge from literatures of the Global South?

Topics include:

  • (Re)Inventing the Global South
  • Self-representations of the Global South
  • Representations of the ‘West’ and the ‘North’ in literatures from the Global South 
  • Global perspectives on/from the South
  • Real and imagined spaces

How do world literatures move away from a nation-based understanding of literary production and what models do they assert in its place? What are the historic and emerging modes and methodologies for acknowledging, assessing and exploring transnational literatures?

Topics include:

  • Travel, translation and translatability of cultures
  • Multilingual writers
  • Exophonic writing
  • Diasporic literatures
  • Literary migrations and networks

In what ways are world literatures enriched and/or affected by globalisation in its various forms – notably political, cultural, financial, social and environmental? How is the present resurgence of nationalism and populism across the globe represented in contemporary world literatures? What is the place of world literatures from the Global South in an increasingly digital world? 

Topics include:

  • Ecocriticism from the Global South 
  • Science fiction from the Global South
  • New media in the Global South
  • Digital platforms, new genres and world literatures

What dialogues, interactions and conflicts characterise the relationship between world literatures from the Global South and other art forms (eg. film, visual art, music, dance, etc)? How do these productions participate in challenging traditional understandings of genres and forms? What are the potential new generic and formal avenues offered by contemporary literatures from the Global South?

Topics include:

  • Global South and film adaptations of literary texts
  • The Global South through iconotexts
  • Global South across disciplines

Keynote speakers

Keynote speaker Alexis Wright

Photo: Vincent Long

Alexis Wright

Alexis Wright is a member of the Waanyi nation of the Gulf of Carpentaria. She is an author and essayist writing in fiction and non-fiction. Wright has written widely on Indigenous rights and has organised two successful Indigenous Constitutional Conventions in Central Australia, Today We Talk About Tomorrow (1993) and the Kalkaringi Convention (1998).

Recent publications include the collective memoir Tracker (2017) which was awarded the 2018 Stella Prize for Women’s Literature, the essay What Happens When You Tell Somebody Else’s Story (2016) which was awarded the Hilary McPhee Award 2016, The Swan Book (2013), which was awarded the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal in 2014, and Carpentaria (2006), which was awarded the 2007 Miles Franklin Award. She is the Boisbouvier Chair in Australian Literature in the Australia Centre at the University of Melbourne.

Keynote speaker Gauri Viswanathan, Professor at Columbia University

Gauri Viswanathan  

Gauri Viswanathan is Class of 1933 Professor in the Humanities and Director of the South Asia Institute at Columbia University. She has published widely on education, religion and culture; 19th-century British and colonial cultural studies; and the history of modern disciplines. She is the author of Masks of Conquest: Literary Study and British Rule in India (Columbia, 1989; 25th anniversary edition, 2014) and Outside the Fold: Conversion, Modernity, and Belief (Princeton, 1998), which won the Harry Levin Prize awarded by the American Comparative Literature Association, the James Russell Lowell Prize awarded by the Modern Language Association of America, and the Ananda K. Coomaraswamy Prize awarded by the Association for Asian Studies.

She also edited Power, Politics, and Culture: Interviews with Edward W. Said (Vintage, 2001). She is co-editor of the book series South Asia Across the Disciplines published jointly by the university presses of Columbia, Chicago, and California under a Mellon grant. She has received Guggenheim, NEH and Mellon fellowships, and was honored with the Mark Van Doren Award for Teaching in 2017-2018. Her current work is on genealogies of secularism and the writing of alternative religious histories.

Participating writers

Nicholas Jose has published seven novels, including Paper Nautilus (1987), The Red Thread (2000) and Original Face (2005), three collections of short stories, Black Sheep: Journey to Borroloola (a memoir), and essays, mostly on Australian and Asian culture. He was Cultural Counsellor at the Australian Embassy Beijing (1987–90) and Visiting Chair of Australian Studies at Harvard University (2009-10). He is Adjunct Professor in the Writing and Society Research Centre at Western Sydney University, and Professor of English and Creative Writing at The University of Adelaide where he is a member of the J M Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice.

Cristian Aliaga is a journalist, teacher, poet, and researcher based in Chubut, Argentina. He runs the publisher Espacio Hudson in Lago Puelo and the paper El Extremo Sur. His poetry includes Musica desconocida para viajes/Unknown Music for Journeys (2nd ed., 2009), The Foreign Passion/La pasion extranjera (bilingual edition, 2016) and the anthology Estrellas en el vidrio/Stars in the Glass (2003).

Carlos Gamerro studied literature at the University of Buenos Aires, where he taught until 2002. His novels in English, all translated by Ian Barnett, include The Islands (And Other Stories), The Adventure of the Busts of Eva Perón (And Other Stories) and An Open Secret (Pushkin Press). In addition he has published several other novels and collections of essays on Argentine literature. Along with Rubén Mira he wrote the film script for Tres de corazones (2007), directed by Sergio Renán, and he has translated works by Graham Greene, W. H. Auden, Harold Bloom and Shakespeare. In 2007 he was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge and in 2008 participated in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. In 2011 his theatrical version of The Islands premiered at the Teatro Alvear in Buenos Aires, directed by Alejandro Tantanian. He was the co-author of the catalogue of the 11th International Biennale of Lyon, and in 2012 participated at the International Congress of Writers in Edinburgh. He has been translated into German, French, English and Turkish.

Ju (real name Tin Tin Win) is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Her first novel, Ahmat Ta Ya (Remembrance) (1987), was an instant best seller. Since then she has been one of the most popular and influential writers in Myanmar publishing 21 novels, many of which were made into hit movies. Her stories often feature independent young women who do not rely on men, which reflects the reality of many women in Myanmar, and she is also a keen advocate of keeping the world clean and green. Ju won the Readers’ Choice Award from Ta Ha Ya Book Club (Mogok city) for her novel Thu Min Ko Beh-thawt Hmat (He will never …… you) and a prize from the Tun Foundation for her book on environmental conservation, Kyama Chit Thaw Kaba Mye (My Loving Land in this World). In 2018 she published her latest novel Thet Thant-to Phyint Yet Phwet Chit Thu Yet Chon Hwa (The Blanket Made of Rainbow).

Sabal Phyu Nu is a Yangon-based novelist who is representing up-and-coming writers from Myanmar’s new generation. She began writing short stories in 2006 for Myanmar magazines including Shwe Amyu Tay, Teen and Khit Yanant. In 2013, she wrote her first novel, Myauk Phya Ka Alwan Yadhi (The Sentimental Time in the far North), based on the civil war in her homeland Kachin State, which won her Myanmar’s prestigious National Literary Prize. She has since published four other novels, Khit Yel Achit Yel (Years in Affection) (2015), She She Donka Gant Gaw Pwin-twe (Ironwoods in the Old Times) (2015), Hlat Ywet Hlwint Thaw Kaba (Light and Fluttering World) (2016) and Alwan Hsaing (Longing or Saudade) (2018), and is also well-known for her children's literature series featuring Elni, an eight year old Myanmar girl.

Isa Qala is a New Caledonian writer based in Lifou in the Loyalty Islands Province where she is also a teacher. Hailing from the local Kirinata tribe, Isa Qala contributes through her writing to the production and transmission of cultural traditions. She is the recipient of several writing prizes and a well-known figure in the New Caledonian literary landscape. She has published short stories, including L’Enfant de la route (2015), La Fille aux étoiles (2017) and La Tribu des veuves (2017). She has taken part in a collective volume of folktales (2012) and collaborated with the dance troupe Wetr Kréation on the performance Trenge ewekë (2014).

shane carreon is author of travelbook (2013), History of Consolacion (2014) and Then, Beast (2017). Ze received an Academy of American Poets Prize, Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards Honorable Mention, and the Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature. Hir poems have been nominated for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Intro Journals Project and appear in places such as Kritika Kultura, Little Things: An Anthology of Poetry, and The Achieve Of, The Mastery: Filipino Verse and Poetry in English, mid-1990s to 2016. Ze is Assistant Professor at the University of the Philippines in Cebu and a Fulbright Fellow at Binghamton University, New York.

Special event – Documentary launch

Introduction by Alexis Wright. Clarence Walden will give a short address at the launch.

When: Friday, 23 August 2019

Gangalidda political leader Clarence Walden takes us on a harrowing and insightful journey through the hardships of growing up in the 1950s and 60s on the remote Doomadgee Mission in the Gulf of Carpentaria, to the enormity of the political struggles with governments and mining companies in the modern era.

He tells the stories of brutal beatings and having his mouth washed out with soap for speaking his own language when he was a child.  A 1950 government report described living conditions in the children's dormitories at Doomadgee as akin to ‘slavery.’

His story is about survival, cultural resilience in his traditional homelands, and sheer political determination which includes locking a government minister out of his community.

Clarence Walden is a compelling and powerful storyteller who never deviates from his role as a story maker and story keeper in pursuit of justice for his people.

More information: Clarence Walden – Other Worlds


Early bird registrations are now open. Register now.

Pricing (AUD)

Early bird











Conference dinner


Key dates

Registrations now open

Call for papers open

1 December 2018

Proposals of abstracts close

15 March 2019

Notification of proposal acceptance

From 1 March 2019

Early bird registrations close

15 May 2019

Normal registrations open

16 May 2019

Normal registrations close

30 June 2019
Late registrations open 1 July 2019
Late registrations close 31 July 2019

Third International Congress of the World Literature Association: World Literatures and the Global South

23–25 August 2019


The following hotels provide discounts for our conference registrants. Please note that places are limited. We encourage you to book as early as possible to take advantage of the discounts*.

Adina Apartment Hotel, Sydney

Discount code: WLC2019

2 Lee Street
Sydney NSW 2000
+ 61 2 8396 9800
Contact form

Atlas Serviced Apartments Camperdown

Discount code: SYDUCON19 (15% discount)

13 Layton Street
Camperdown NSW 2050
+61 2 9281 6888

Novotel Sydney Central

Discount code: SYDN0819

169-179 Thomas Street
Sydney NSW 2000
+61 2 9281 6888

Vulcan Hotel

Discount code: GSC2019

500 Wattle St
Ultimo NSW 2007
+61 2 9211 3283

The Collectionist Hotel

Discount code: WLC2019
Early Booker Discount (book by 21 July): 25% off Bar** 
Regular Discount (book between 22 July–21 Aug): 15% off Bar**
**subject to availability

9-13 Marsden Street
Camperdown NSW 2050
+61 2 7922 3845

*Conference registrants must book their own accommodation by contacting the hotel directly via phone and/or email in order to quote the conference discount code.

The following is a list of accommodation options that are within 5–15 minutes of the University of Sydney by public transport, or a 15–30 minute walk.

Hotel Contact

Adina Apartment Hotel
Sydney Chippendale

74-80 Ivy Street
Chippendale NSW 2008

+61 2 9311 8800

Contact form

Darlington @ University of Sydney

152 City Road
Darlington NSW 2008

+61 2 8091 9959

Contact form

IBIS Sydney World Square

382-384 Pitt Street
Sydney NSW 2000

+61 2 9282 0000


Mercure Sydney

818-820 George Street
Chippendale NSW 2009

+61 2 9217 6666


Meriton Serviced Apartments, Campbell Street

6 Campbell Street
Sydney NSW 2000

+61 2 9277 1125


Rydges Camperdown

9 Missenden Road
Camperdown NSW 2050

+61 2 9516 1522


Sydney Central YHA

11 Rawson Place
Sydney NSW 2000

+61 2 9218 9000


The Ryals Hotel

253 Broadway
Glebe NSW 2037

+61 2 9640 6888

Contact form

Urbanest Glebe

25 Arundel Street
Glebe NSW 2037

+61 2 8091 9959

Contact form

Vulcan Hotel

500 Wattle Street
Ultimo NSW 2007

+61 2 9211 3283


YHA Australia Glebe

262-264 Glebe Point Road
Glebe NSW 2037

+61 2 9692 8418


St Paul's College's Events Stays provides conference guests with short-term accommodation on the University's Camperdown/Darlington campus. It is a 10–15 minute walk to the centre of the University of Sydney.

St Paul's College – Short Stays and Conferences

Discount code: WLC2019*

9 City Road
Camperdown NSW 2050
+61 2 9550 7444

*Conference registrants must book their own accommodation by contacting the hotel directly via phone and/or email in order to quote the conference discount code.

Our people

  • Professor Liu Shusheng, Peking University
  • Professor Zhao Baisheng, Peking University


Headshot of Professor Yixu Lu
Head of School of Languages and Cultures


Conference Committee