Video Recording: How to Run a Writers Week in Beijing: The Costs and Benefits of Cultural Exchange

Live Q&A of Dr Geoff Raby with Professor Jocelyn Chey

Dr Geoff Raby AO, Chair of ACIAC Advisory Board, initiated the Australian Writers Week in China 《澳大利亚文学周》 while he was Ambassador to China from 2007 to 2011.  Many well-known writers such as Tom Keneally, John Marsden and Alexis Wright have attended the Writers Week events during this time or later, and have met distinguished Chinese writers including Yu Hua, Zhang Yueran, as well as translators and publishers. The embassy-sponsored meetings have in some senses paralleled the biannual China Australia Literary Forums organised by the Writing and Society Research Centre and ACIAC at Western Sydney University, in collaboration with the Chinese Writers Association.

Professor Jocelyn Chey, the first Australian Cultural Counsellor in China after the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1972, will discuss with Dr Raby the thinking behind the Writers Week, how it was negotiated and organised, what long-lasting results have followed, as well as the way forward in the present climate of political tension and global pandemic.

The conversation will form part of the teaching program of the Master of Cross-Cultural Relations offered at ACIAC.