Masterclass: Ex-centric Australian Modernisms/Modernity

When:12 Mar 2019, 10am - 1pm
Venue:Room 335, Robert Webster Building
Who:UNSWriting, ASAL, Professor Sneja Gunew

UNSW/ASAL Masterclass with Professor Sneja Gunew (University of British Columbia)

Ex-centric Australian Modernisms/Modernity: Contributions of non-Anglo Refugees and Migrants.

Modernism remains a contentious term but, even so, to exclude a group from its capacious frame is to relegate them eternally to a belatedness linked to being ‘outside’ or pre-historic (as in the case of Indigenous writers). Today it would be considered absurd to exclude writers such as Alexis Wright or Kim Scott from Modernism and Postmodernism but that does not necessarily apply to non-Anglo-Celtic writers who draw on multilingual traditions. In Australian discussions of Modernism/Modernity it is rarely noted that the protocols and conventions of Modernism brought by those postwar immigrants who arrived (and continue to arrive) in Australia from all parts of the world inevitably reshaped Australian culture. One of the barriers to researching such revision is to focus only on contributions in one language. This remains an area where much research needs to happen.

There is a list of required readings in preparation for the masterclass which can be accessed via this link.

Postgraduate and honours students and ECRs all welcome!

Hot off the press, a review of Worlds At Home HERE!


Information on the ASAL conference HERE


Sneja Gunew

Sneja Gunew (FRSC) B.A. (Melbourne), M.A. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Newcastle, NSW) has taught in England, Australia and Canada. She has published widely on multicultural, postcolonial and feminist critical theory and is Professor Emerita of English and Women's and Gender Studies at the University of British Columbia, Canada. She was Director of the Centre for Research in Women's and Gender Studies (2002-7) and North American editor of Feminist Theory (Sage) 2006-10. She was Associate Principal of the College for Interdisciplinary Studies, UBC, 2008-11.

She has edited and co-edited four anthologies of Australian women's and multicultural writings: Feminist Knowledge: Critique and Construct and A Reader in Feminist Knowledge (Routledge 1990-91). In Australia, she compiled (with others) A Bibliography of Australian Multicultural Writers (the first such compilation in Australia) and co-edited Striking Chords: Multicultural Literary Interpretations (1992), the first collection of critical essay to deal with ethnic minority writings in the Australian context. She set up the first library collection of ethnic minority writings in Australia. Continuing her focus on cultural difference, Gunew edited (with Anna Yeatman) Feminism and the Politics of Difference (1993) and (with Fazal Rizvi) Arts for a Multicultural Australia: Issues and Strategies (1994).

Her books include Framing Marginality: Multicultural Literary Studies (1994) and Haunted Nations: The Colonial Dimensions of Multiculturalisms (Routledge 2004). Based in Canada since 1993, her current work is on comparative multiculturalisms and diasporic literatures and their intersections with national and global cultural formations. Her most recent book is titled: Post-Multicultural Writers as Neo-Cosmopolitan Mediators (Anthem 2017). 

Enquiries: Professor Brigitta Olubas -


Finding us
Robert Webster Building is located mid-way off the UNSW main walkway. Map Reference G14. Room 335 is located on the third floor.

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Supported by UNSW Creative Practice Lab

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