Other Worlds: Forms of World Literature

Nicholas Jose and Alexis Wright with Chinese critic Chen HongPhoto: Alexis Wright (left) Nicholas Jose (centre) and with Chinese critic Chen Hong

Researchers: Anthony Uhlmann, Alexis Wright, Ben Etherington, Gail Jones (Writing and Society Research Centre), J.M. Coetzee and Nicholas Jose (University of Adelaide).

This project aims to develop an innovative approach to deepening our understanding of the concept of world literature and the capacities of literary form. It begins with the interests of four eminent Australian writers – Alexis Wright, Nicholas Jose, Gail Jones and J.M. Coetzee – and examines them critically. The premise is that creative writing is itself a way thinking, and that new possibilities arise from the exchange between literary criticism and literary practice. This will involve critical and creative dialogues between indigenous and non-indigenous Australia, Argentina, China, and England affording a unique opportunity to examine how Australian writing might meaningfully be considered in the terms of world literature.

Cultural exchange is crucial to developing relationships between Australia and its partners. This project supports basic research that aims to foster the international competitiveness of Australian literary scholarship in addressing major theoretical questions around the role and value of literature. It will involve some of our best writers, staging collaborative international workshops, research and publications that will examine the idea of world literature and the capacities of literary form.

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