Postgraduate Program and Information

Postgraduate Program

The postgraduate program includes postgraduate presentations of both critical and creative material, craft-focused workshops, a reading and writing group and a writing retreat. It provides opportunities for analysis, discussion and collegiality, information on practical aspects of your research and guidance beyond the scope of your supervisor. We regard the program as an essential part of your candidacy. Most importantly, the meetings will allow you to communicate with other postgraduate students who are in a similar position to yourself. Studying for a postgraduate qualification can be a very isolating experience. Participation in the Writing & Society postgraduate program will not detract from your research activity: on the contrary, it should have the opposite effect, motivating you to continue when your motivation is low, connecting you with other students who can act as a support network, and extending your research interests in unexpected and fruitful ways.

Postgraduate seminar papers

This year the Writing & Society Research Centre will be running four postgraduate research presentation dates when you can present a critical seminar paper or a creative piece of work: Friday 22 April, Friday 24 June, Friday 23 September and Friday 25 November.

For the presentation of a critical piece of work you may present a section of a chapter or a conference paper in preparation for an external conference. The presentation of such work is an excellent way to receive feedback from fellow postgraduate students and academic staff.

For the presentation of a creative piece of work you will be encouraged to present as though the piece is complete (that is, not a work in progress). This will be good preparation for the presentation of creative work at Writers' Festivals and other literary symposia. You may choose to have feedback or not.  

In regards to these seminar slots, this year the Writing & Society Research Centre encourages all students to present a piece of research prior to the completion of your second year. If you have already surpassed the second year and not yet presented please consider doing a seminar paper in 2016. The Centre has made this decision after reviewing the Doctorate Policy which states that, "Candidates will present their work on campus at least once per year, at School or University Institute conferences or colloquia", and candidates are expected to "contribute to the research culture of their School or Institute through participation in seminars, forums and conferences at the University".

Please contact Melinda Jewell if you wish to present a paper and indicate which date you choose.

If you elect to present a paper it will be necessary for you to send the title of your paper, a brief abstract and biography to Melinda so she can use this information to advertise the seminar. This will be required approximately three weeks prior to your seminar date.

Writing Group

This year the Writing & Society Research Centre is going to continue its reading and writing group. Like last year the writing/reading group will be scheduled for approximately once per fortnight, all 1:30 – 4:00pm in room 3.G.54 on the Bankstown campus. Dates are: 18 March, 22 April, 13 May, 10 June, 24 June, 29 July, 12 August, 9 September, 23 September, 14 October, 11 November and 25 November.

The writing and reading group will consist of two components:

1. A 'shut up and write' session. This will run for approximately one hour and will be an opportunity for you to write uninterrupted in the presence of other students doing the same thing. It will be structured by the Pomodoro technique where you write in two 25 minute blocks and resist all temptations for disruption. This will be followed by a brief chat and a cup of tea, if people wish.

2a. EITHER a reading group session where the writing of a nominated student will be workshopped. This piece of writing may be critical or creative. This student can either circulate a piece of work prior to the meeting or read out a section of work in the meeting. Students will be asked to pre-schedule a date for their writing to be discussed and a student may have their work discussed more than once per year. On the postgraduate table of events these sessions are titled 'Pomodoro and Writing Group'.

2b. OR a reading group where a piece of literary criticism will be precirculated and then discussed. Decisions about these critical pieces and which ones will be chosen will be discussed at the first writing group meeting on the afternoon of 26th February. On the postgraduate table of events these session are titled 'Pomodoro and Reading Group'.

Writing Retreat

One writing retreats is planned for 2016. This retreat will be held at Varuna – The Writer's House from 14 – 21 November. The focus of this retreat will be announced later in the year.

Postgraduate Soiree

Writing & Society postgraduate meet and greet. An opportunity for interested postgraduate students to meet current postgraduate students and academic members of staff. Includes literary readings: Sappho Books Café and Wine Bar, Glebe. Monday 12 September (tbc).

Craft-focused workshops

This year the Writing & Society Research Centre will be running three postgraduate practical workshop days. Each of these days will consist of two workshops, one in the morning (10:00am till 12noon) and one in the afternoon (1:00pm till 3:00pm).

The workshop titles and dates are listed below:

Friday 27 May

Navigating a Humanities Conference PART ONE: Preparing for a Conference (finding a conference, writing an abstract, writing the paper, preparing to present) with Hazel Smith and James Gourley
Navigating a Humanities Conference PART TWO: Getting into Print – Journal Articles and Post-conference Publication with Anne Jamison and Lorraine Sim 

Friday 26 August

Interdisciplinary and Humanities Research with Chris Peterson
The Creative Process – Q&A with Giramondo Authors with Michelle Cahill, Sean Rabin and Aden Rolfe (chaired by Alice Grundy). 

Friday 28 October

Negotiating Theory in a Humanities Doctorate – Roundtable Discussion with Chris Fleming, Alex Ling, Rachel Morley and Milissa Deitz (chaired by Chris Conti)
Memory Training as a Tool for Contemporary Writers with Jane Goodall.
Like the Postgraduate Research Seminars the Centre strongly recommends you attend these postgraduate workshop days. We understand that some may not be of relevance to your studies, for example the creative writing workshops would not be relevant for theory-based doctorates, so we suggest you attend those relevant to your studies. Although you are most welcome to all.

Masterclass – 'The Craft of Poetry' – Friday 4 March

Esteemed American poet and critic Linda Gregerson will discuss the craft of poetry with Writing & Society Research Centre candidate Kate Middleton. Linda will also read from her most recent poetry collection Prodigal: New and Selected Poems and this will be followed by a Q&A. A selection of Linda's poems will be circulated prior to the masterclass for discussion.

State Library of NSW – a day going behind the scenes at the State Library – Friday 8 April

Education and Scholarship coordinator, Rachel Franks, along with Dr Matt McGuire, will lead a group of postgraduate students on a tour of the State library including an examination of literary manuscripts by some of Australia's leading authors. Through a viewing of works in progress it will allow students to see how such authors have edited and drafted their work; that is an opportunity to learn from the masters. Students will also be asked to provide their doctoral topic prior to the day and State library librarians will source archival materials of relevance to each topic.

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