23-26 July 2015, Australian Catholic University, Sydney.

The Grounding the Sacred conference invites papers and presentations from artists, writers, musicians, academics and religious who are interested in the interplay between the arts and the sacred. The conference asks how literature and the arts can make the sacred tangible: do they enable us to touch the sacred? Do they offer a way of structuring our experiences of the sacred? Do they provide a common ground for people of different faiths – or none – to explore the ineffable? And where does creativity sit in relation to religion and the search for meaning? Are a sense of the sacred and the means to express it essential for human flourishing?

Abstracts of 250 words are invited for 20 minute papers and presentations that address the conference theme. They may be from creators talking about their work as it expresses the sacred; from researchers seeking to explain the relationship between creativity, religion and well-being; and from interpreters bringing to light the sacred dimensions of pre-existing creative works. Submissions should include the author’s name, affiliation, email address, title of abstract, body of abstract, and a short biography. Potential presenters who wish to have their work considered for inclusion in a special Australian issue of Literature and Theology should forward full papers.

Abstracts should be sent to Elaine Lindsay at slaconference@acu.edu.au by 27 February 2015. Full papers intended for Literature and Theology are due by 13 March 2015. Grounding the Sacred will be held from 23-26 July 2015 at Australian Catholic University, 25A Barker Road, Strathfield NSW 2135, Australia. The conference is part of ACU’s 25th anniversary celebrations.

For further details, visit:

Inquiries can be made of the conveners:
michael.griffith@acu.edu.au or elaine.lindsay@acu.edu.au.

6-8 December 2014, University of Melbourne 

Australian and New Zealand History of Education Society (ANZHES) invites abstracts for panel sessions and individual papers for its annual conference. This year’s theme is ‘Knowledge, Learning and Expertise’. Sub-themes include:

- Historiographical studies relating to changing understandings of knowledge and expertise in the history of education
- Historical curriculum wars: hierarchies of knowledge within systems of education
- Specialisation and the ‘expert’, educated professional
- Faith-based educational institutions, knowledge and concepts of teaching and learning
- Gender and educational systems, institutions, policies and teaching practices
- Historically under-represented populations
- Diversity, cultural and linguistic value systems and education practices
- First Peoples
- Catering for student abilities and life stages
- Technologies and their impact on knowledge, teaching, learning and expertise
- Policy-making and the politics of knowledge, expertise and learning
- Educational biographies of learning and expertise
- Useful methodologies
- New knowledges, curriculum and the history of education
- Schools and other educational institutions as knowledge disseminators, expertise builders and learning factories
- Visual representations of knowledge, expertise and learning encompassing historical photographs, textbook illustrations, cinema,  book covers,  posters, architectural styles, classroom maps and other educational ephemera and paraphernalia.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words with paper title, institutional address and 60 word biography to Dr Sianan Healy by 31 August 2014:

A PDF flyer is available here


Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for two PhD scholarships in Theatre, commencing in 2015.

The PhDs scholarships are generously funded through Professor Mary Luckhurst’s recent appointment at the University of Melbourne through the Research at Melbourne Accelerator Program. Successful candidates will be supervised by Professor Luckhurst and based at the Victorian College of the Arts. The scholarships cover tuition fees for and provide an annual stipend for the duration of the course. The successful scholarship recipient’s research will address a topic within the scope of Professor Luckhurst’s research fields. These include:

-actor or director training;
-theories of acting, directing and dramaturgy;
-performing real people;
-political theatres;
-theatre and feminism;
-theatres of war;
-theatre and human rights;
-theatre and celebrity;
-theatre, the Gothic and spectrality.

Applications in relation to theatre and war, in particular the staging of soldiering and trauma in the 20th and 21st centuries, and performing the real, actors representing real people, would be particularly welcomed.

Applicants should hold a high honours degree in theatre, literature, history, or in an arts discipline related to theatre studies. For more information please contact Professor Mary Luckhurst directly at:

Applications for the 2015 round of admissions are open now and close on 31 October 2014 (applications must be received and receipted by this date).  For enquiries regarding the application process and eligibility, please contact the VCA-MCM Research Office:

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Theatre

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Melbourne, commencing in 2015. The fellowship provides three-year funding at Academic Level A as well as a project grant for the duration of the fellowship.

Applicants should hold a doctorate in theatre, literature, history, or in an arts discipline related to theatre studies, from a University other than the University of Melbourne. For more information please contact Professor Mary Luckhurst directly:

Applications for the 2015 round of fellowships are open now and close on 22 September 2014 (applications must be received and receipted by this date).  For enquiries regarding the application process and eligibility, please contact the VCA-MCM Research Office:

For further information about the McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme, see:


11 August- 22 September, University of Sydney

11 August – Michelle de Kretser on Tirra Lirra By The River by Jessica Anderson
1 September – Drusilla Modjeska on Visitants by Randolph Stow
22 September – Fiona McFarlane on The Aunt’s Story by Patrick White

Writers’ festivals and other popular forums invite writers to talk about their own work and creative practices. But what might they have to say about the books that excite their imaginations? There are few opportunities for writers to substantially engage with literature in the public sphere.

Reading Australian Literature is a series in which acclaimed Australian writers reflect on the Australian books they value. In a thoughtful and engaging public lecture, each writer will discuss a favourite Australian literary text. What has led them to these books? What do they find remarkable about them? Have these encounters with Australian books left an imprint on the speakers’ own writing?

Reading Australian Literature offers a unique insight into an ongoing writerly dialogue with our literary heritage. In the inaugural series, to be held in the second half of 2014, Drusilla Modjeska will speak on Visitants by Randolph Stow, Michelle de Kretser will speak on Tirra Lirra By The River by Jessica Anderson and Fiona McFarlane will speak on The Aunt’s Story by Patrick White.

Please see the website for details and to register:

A PDF flyer is available here

Many ASAL members and delegates at last week’s annual conference signed the statement put together by our keynote Suvendrini Perera and Joseph Pugliese. Others missed out but indicated they were keen to sign. If you are interested, please see Suvendi’s message:

Dear Colleagues,

Some of you would have seen the statement on asylum policy issued by a group of international academics last week: https://newmatilda.com/2014/07/10/scholars-6-nations-condemn-abbott-refugees.

The signatures were collected over a few hours, with scores more pouring in after the deadline. We have received a number of calls for follow up, and have therefore decided to send the statement with an accompanying letter to the PM and Immigration Minister.
If you would like your name to be included in this document, could you let us know before Tuesday, July 22? We would also appreciate it if you could circulate the statement to others who might want to sign.
Thank you for your support and solidarity.



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