Event Details

Wednesday, 27 April 2016 - Wednesday, 27 April 2016
5:15 pm - 7:00 pm
Terrace Room, Building 14
UQ Location:
Sir Llew Edwards Building (St Lucia)
Event category(s):

Event Contact

Ms Brittany Smethills
3365 2593
Org. Unit:
Communication and Arts

Event Description

Full Description:
Presented by S.W. Brooks Fellow for 2016, Dr Alice Te Punga Somerville. The lecture will be followed by refreshments.

What do Indigenous texts demand of us as readers? What do they demand of literary and cultural studies critique in the twenty-first century? What demands do Indigenous texts issue for universities, communities, publishers, writers, and scholars?

Writing in her 1979 poem “Education Week” about her experience of teaching in Australia, Māori writer Evelyn Patuawa-Nathan observes that her Aboriginal school students “reach among comments/ for names of cousins/ and brothers/ and fathers.” Two decades later, writing about her experience of visiting New Zealand in her 2001 poem “from turtle island to aotearoa,” Anishinaabe (First Nations Canadian) poet Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm reflects on being Indigenous-from-elsewhere in Indigenous-from-here space, and realizes: “Here I must reach across an ocean to find the right words.” For both poets, an act of reaching is demanded both through and by the presence of Indigenous words.

Although accounts of Indigenous writing often focus on Indigenous/non-Indigenous encounters, and on Indigenous texts in the context of specific nation states, this talk is interested in Indigenous/Indigenous connections. This focus demands and makes possible simultaneous attention to the Indigenous (local) and the Indigenous (global); it walks the line between Australian, transnational, settler colonial and Indigenous conversations. Taking Patuawa-Nathan’s and Akiwenzie-Damm’s poems as starting points for discussion, and working with a range of published, unpublished and missing texts, the talk will in order to explore the kinds of “reach” which are made visible, compelled and modelled by Indigenous literary, cultural and scholarly texts. Ultimately: what demands, and risks, and promises, are contained in Indigenous acts of writing?

Directions to UQ

Google Map:
To St Lucia Campus, UQ Ipswich, and UQ Gatton.

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