Research Themes

1. Precarity

In our era of increasing environmental and economic challenges, when the disparity between the rich and the poor has expanded, the lives of the most vulnerable have become ever more precarious. When these conditions become entrenched, this situation is referred to as precarity. Environmental disasters brought on by climate change, increasing job insecurity caused by the casualisation of the work force, global terrorism, nuclear disasters: the list of global challenges that induce precarity is long. The J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice is interested in artistic and critical projects or events that examine how art responds to conditions of precarity.

Past events:

  • Visions of Precarity: a seminar with A/Prof Kristina-Iwata Weickgenannt and Dr Luke Harrald.
  • Ecopoetics: a masterclass with acclaimed poets Jill Jones and Peter Minter.
  • Why Do Things Break: a day long creative symposium on the theme of "Why Do Things Break".
  • The Poetics of Place: a seminar with Western Australian luminaries John Kinsella and Tracey Ryan.
  • H2O: Life & Death: a two day international conference on the role of waters in shaping our identity in conditions of precarity.
  • Oratunga Winter School: Creating out of Place: four unforgettable days of collaboration, creative development and critical reflection on creating in response to Country. Set in the historic Oratunga sheep station on the traditional lands of the Adnyamathanha people.
  • Masterclass with Sisonke Msimang: Writing Lives: in this masterclass, activist and writer Sisonke Msimang will reflect on the writing of her memoir, Always Another Country: A Memoir of Exile and Home that examines her life growing up as the daughter of South African freedom fighters.
  • The Anthropocene Salon: a new conversation on why and how we live in a changing climate.
  • Oratunga Winter School #2: five full days of collaboration, creative development and critical reflection on the art of creative place-making in storied Country, set in the historic Oratunga sheep station on the traditional lands of the Adnyamathanha people.

Upcoming events:

  • Oratunga Winter School #3: five full days of collaboration, creative development and critical reflection on the art of creative place-making in storied Country, set in the historic Oratunga sheep station on the traditional lands of the Adnyamathanha people.
  •  Raining Poetry in Adelaide #4 (Precarity): for the fourth year in a row, curated poems will be painted on the streets of Adelaide with invisible paint that will only be revealed when it rains.

For more information about this research theme or to discuss potential projects, please contact Jill Jones or Jennifer Rutherford.

 

2. Intermediality

The interconnectedness of media is transforming the way we interpret and engage with artworks, literary texts and musical compositions, thus transforming social and cultural environments. Our researchers are exploring methodologies that are changing the way we perform, archive and represent material objects or intangible heritage in relation to evolving historical narratives, social frameworks and technological potentialities. This theme is subdivided into three subthemes: Immersive Curatorship, Adaptation and Word & Music.

Past events:

  • Traverses: J.M. Coetzee in the World mobile application: a project that curated an exhibition of rare archival material from the Harry Ransom Centre at the University of Texas Austin, held at the Kerry Packer Public Gallery at The University of South Australia. The mobile app also includes interviews with world-leading Coetzee scholars, giving users a new way into Coetzee's enigmatic and challenging oeuvre. Available now on the App store or Google Play.
  • Schubert on the Streets: Seraphim Trio take Schubert's beloved Trout Quintet out onto the streets Adelaide. View the video of the event, made by acclaimed street artist Peter Drew, on our Facebook page.
  • Macau Days: an exhibition about the cultural melting pot of Macau, featuring the dazzling poetry and prose of Brian Castro, the enigmatic images of renowned Adelaide artist John Young and the evocative sound art of Luke Harrald.
  • Tjungu Pakani - Together We Rise: a mini-festival celebrating Titjikala (NT) culture through art and music, featuring public art and music workshops, an exhibition and a concert at Ayers House. Workshops were held at Lot Fourteen. See our Facebook page for photos and more.
  • Seraphim Plus: A Weekend Mini-Fest: a weekend of classical music performed by Australian most enduring and acclaimed piano trio, Seraphim Trio, with a panel discussion exploring the intersections between music and the visual arts with Art Gallery of South Australia's Assistant Director, Lisa Slade.
  • Raining Poetry in Adelaide #1, #2 and #3: an annual street festival that brings poetry to the streets of Adelaide, as curated poems are stencilled on the pavement of Adelaide's CBD with invisible paint, only to be revealed when it rains. 
  • J.M. Coetzee: Photographs from Boyhood: an exhibition that showcased Nobel Laureate J.M. Coetzee’s youthful foray into photography, when he attempted to capture ‘the moment when truth revealed itself’.9 November - 9 December 2018, Ira Raymond Exhibition Room, University of Adelaide.

Upcoming events: 

For more information on this research theme or to discuss potential projects relating to this theme, please contact Catherine Speck or Anna Goldsworthy.

 

3. South/South

Inspired by its location in South Australia and by its patron’s assertion that ‘the South’ is a ‘unique world’, the JM Coetzee Centre is interested in latitudinal practices of creativity and critique that emanate from the South and those which bring different Souths into dynamic or oblique relation.

Past events:

  • Macau Days: an exhibition about the cultural melting pot of Macau, featuring the dazzling poetry and prose of Brian Castro, the enigmatic images of renowned Adelaide artist John Young and the evocative sound art of Luke Harrald.
  • Against World Literature: Photography and History in Life & Times of Michael K: this seminar with A/Prof Hermann Wittenberg (University of the Western Cape) argued against a transnational reading of J.M. Coetzee's novel, placing it within its local context through an examination of its links to photography and the story of a Northern Cape farmer Jan Pieriga.
  • Masterclass and Seminar with Sisonke Msimang: celebrated writer Sisonke Msimang explored the practice of life writing through reflections on her recent memoir of exile and home and her forthcoming biography of Winnie Mandela. 
  • In conversation with Elleke Boehmer: a seminar where Professor Elleke Boehmer discussed her latest book with Gillian Dooley, co-hosted with the Department of English and Creative Writing. The transcription of this seminar can be accessed in Writers in Conversation.
  • A Literary Evening with J. M. Coetzee and Ceridwen Dovey: a reading by Nobel Laureate J. M. Coetzee from "The Glass Abattoir" and by acclaimed author Ceridwen Dovey from Only the Animals, presented in collaboration with the Department of English & Creative Writing.

Upcoming events:

  • Hosted at the Research Centre for Transcultural Creativity and Education (TRACE) at Bath Spa University, Transnational Literature is an online, peer-reviewed, open access journal now affiliated with the JMCCCP. Its aim is to offer a platform for creative writers, educators, scholars and researchers from a range of transnational traditions to showcase their very best work. Its first Call for Submissions since its affiliation with us can be accessed via the journal's webpage. Submissions close 15 August 2020 for scholarly articles and 1 September 2020 for creative work.
     

For more information on this research theme or to discuss possible projects, please contact Meg Samuelson.