ESSE 10 Conference, Torino

24/08/2010 - 10:10
28/08/2010 - 10:10

Tuesday 24 – Saturday 28 August 2010 TORINO

Call for Papers
Seminar: On Whiteness and its Borders: Current Debates in Australian Cultural Studies

CONVENORS: Anne Brewster, Lars Jensen, Katherine E. Russo

Since their first appearance, Ghassan Hage’s White Nation (1998), and Aileen Moreton-Robinson’s essay, “Talkin’ Up to to the White Woman”(1999), have arguably redressed Australian Cultural Studies by demonstrating how whiteness is constituted in forms of epistemic privilege and in the asymmetrical access to visibility and voice. Since then, the debate on Australian history,  multiculturalism, immigration, and decolonization, has been shaped by ambivalent desires to deny or abandon the invisible white norm. Following American Whiteness Studies, whiteness has been redefined as a discursive category of privilege and authority, whose power derives from its invisibility and ordinariness, but also as a mobile social category exercised in the inclusion/exclusion of subjects from the imagined sovereignty of the national community. As a consequence, Australian Whiteness Studies have often crossed the paths of Indigenous, Gender, Migrant and Post-colonial Studies, contributing to the defamiliarization of Australian sovereignty based on the implementation of a permanent state of exception as a justification of obsessive biopolitical governmental practices.
We invite contributions that deal with questions of national and ethnic identity in
Australian literatures, cultures and languages and aim to expand or question the whiteness approach in Australian Cultural Studies.

Anne Brewster teaches at the University of New South Wales. Her books include Literary Formations: Postcoloniality, Nationalism, Globalism (1996), Aboriginal Women's Autobiography (1995),Towards a Semiotic of Post-colonial Discourse: University Writing in Singapore and Malaysia 1949-1964 (1988) and Notes on Catherine Lim's Little Ironies: Stories of Singapore, with Kirpal Singh (1987). She co-edited, with Angeline O’Neill and Rosemary van den Berg, an anthology of Australian Indigenous Writing, Those Who Remain Will Always Remember (2000). She has widely published on whiteness studies in journals such as JASAL, Australian Humanities Review, Australian Literary Studies and Journal of Postcolonial Writing and in edited collections including Literary Theory and Criticism in English, ed David Carter (in press), Practice-led Research, Research-led Practice in the Creative Arts, eds Roger Dean and Hazel Smith and The Racial Politics of Bodies, Nations and Knowledges eds Barbara Baird and Damien Riggs. She is the Regional Chair of the Commonwealth Writers Prize (South Pacific and Southeast Asian Region) for 2009-10.

Lars Jensen is Lecturer at Cultural Encounters, Roskilde University, Denmark. He has worked on and off in Australian Studies for two decades. He is the co-editor of A Historical Companion to Postcolonial Studies: Continental Europe and its Empires (EUP, 2008). He has published a book on Australian Studies, Unsettling Australia: Readings in Australian Cultural History (Atlantic Publishers, 2005). His most recent publication is “Locating Asian Australian Studies' in the special Journal of Australian Studies issue, “Asia@Home: New Directions in Asian Australian Studies” ed. by Tseen Khoo and Jacqueline Lo (Dec, 2008).

Dr. Katherine E. Russo holds a PhD at the University of New South Wales (Sydney) and is currently post-doctoral fellow in English at the University of Naples “L’Orientale”. Her research focuses on Australian and New Zealander languages, literatures and cultures, modernity and modernism, Translation, Gender, Post-colonial and Whiteness Studies. Her publications include ContamiNATIONS (2005), a special issue of New Literatures Review, and, as co-author, Middle Passages: English for Cultural and Postcolonial Studies (2007).

Please send abstracts and a short biographical note to a.brewster [at] unsw [dot] edu [dot] au, hopeless [at] ruc [dot] dk and krusso [at] libero [dot] it by the 31 January 2009

Further details about the conference can be found at the official conference website: