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University speakers among Sydney Writers’ Festival highlights

31 March 2016
Sharing our spark from May 16 to 22

This year's festival features a wide range of University staff and alumni and a special Sydney Ideas event with international author and philosopher Julian Baggini. 

The Sydney Writers' Festival at Walsh Bay. Image: SWF

A stellar Sydney Writers’ Festival program on the theme of Bibliotherapy has been announced, with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney playing its biggest role to date.

The Festival, which will be held on the piers at Walsh Bay from 16-22 May 2016, will see a record 38 academics and alumni rub shoulders with some of the world’s most exciting thinkers and writers, and will see the return of the festival to our Camperdown campus for a special Sydney Ideas event that is part of the official program.

As a proud Major Partner, the Faculty has announced it will be sponsoring the attendance at the festival of international author and prominent British philosopher Julian Baggini, who will be part of a special Sydney Ideas event In Conversation with Julian Baggini to be held in the Sydney Law School on Thursday 19 May. Previous international authors sponsored by the faculty include big name writers such as James Wood from The New Yorker, Pulitzer Prize winning author Adam Johnson, and New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Lethem.

The Curiosity Lecture Series returns to the festival by popular demand this year, now expanded to four full days of fascinating talks, with the University of Sydney once again the exclusive sponsor.

In addition to having University experts speak as part of this inspiring program, the event will also be hosted by a number of University academics, including Professor Sahar Amer, Dr Peter Chen, Dr Dalia Nassar, Dr Aaron Nyerges, Dr Juanita Ruys and Professor Glenda Sluga.  

Program highlights

  • Dr Megan Mackenzie on questions and myths about female soldiers at Do Women Belong on the Frontline?
  • Associate Professor Kate Lilley will join fellow award-winning poet Geoffrey Lehmann to discuss how words are the fuel that drives life forward at A Life in Words
  • PhD candidate, author and social commentator Tara Moss will release a 21st century handbook for women and girls in Book Launch: Speaking Out by Tara Moss
  • Dr Christopher Neff will explain why shark bites enrapture the attention of politicians and the public at Christopher Neff: The Shark ‘Attack’ Myth
  • PhD candidate Jacqui Newling rediscovers forgotten tastes from experimental colonial kitchens at Our Food History: In Black and White
  • Dr Beth Yahp will speak about her journey to Malaysia with her parents to revisit their honeymoon trail, sparking love, family and nationhood at Beth Yahp: Eat First, Talk Later
  • Adam Spencer will host an outrageously educational evening at Night of the Nerds.

"The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are proud to be a major partner of one of Australia's most vibrant cultural festivals," said Professor Barbara Caine, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

“As a faculty that is passionate about spreading big ideas, we are thrilled to be sponsoring the Curiosity stage, where local and international speakers bring exciting new ideas to a wide audience.

“Our many speakers in the program illustrates not only the diversity and importance of the research that we undertake in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, but also the importance to us of creative writing.”

For full details of our festival partnership, including latest news, events, ticket details, and speaker biographies, visit our micro-site. Details of exciting student internship opportunities will be announced soon.