Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The BlackWords 5th Anniversary Celebration and Symposium

The BlackWords 5th Anniversary Celebration and Symposium
The School of English, Media Studies and Art History, AustLit, and the University of Queensland Art Museum are sponsoring a symposium to celebrate five years of work on the BlackWords resource for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers and storytellers. Coinciding with the UQ Art Museum’s Desert County exhibition, this symposium will focus on written and oral storytelling in its many manifestations; on art as storytelling; on research and teaching; and on cultural exchange and expansion in the early 21st century.
We invite proposals for 15-20 minute papers from writers, researchers, teachers and others engaged in relevant fields to address ideas around the place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Writing and Storytelling in contemporary Australian education, research and publishing.
Accepted papers will form the basis of panel discussions on particular themes and be considered for publication in an edited collection.

DATE:     20 October 2012
...following an evening of celebration and readings
at Avid Reader Bookshop, West End.
VENUE: UQ Art Museum
Convenor & Chair: Dr Anita Heiss, inaugural BlackWords National Coordinator

Papers and presentations could explore the following questions/themes/issues: 

·       How do the varied formats of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writing and storytelling fit into the idea of Australian literature?
·       Is there such a thing as an ‘Aboriginal genre’ of writing?
·       Protocols and methodology in researching and writing about Aboriginal Australia.
·       Developing Indigenous literacy through literature.
·       Life writing, oral histories, and trauma texts.
·       Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander texts in the national curriculum.
·       Children’s literature and Indigenous stories.
·       What are the most appropriate ways of teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literature and story?
·       Post-colonial and continuing colonisation investigations.
·       The international presence of Australian Indigenous literature in teaching and research.
·       Translations into and out of language: English to Indigenous languages, English and Indigenous languages to other languages.
·       What is Indigenous visual literacy?
Expressions of interest including 200-300 word abstracts are due by 10 March 2012
Contact:    Dr Peter Minter & Kerry Kilner with your abstract and contact details, at
The Avid Reader Bookshop in West End will host a celebration and reading event on Friday 19 October, 6-8pm.

What is BlackWords?                         
BlackWords is an informative website and a database of information relating to the lives and work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers and storytellers. As a research project of the AustLit resource for Australian literature BlackWords researchers and records detailed information about Indigenous story in all its forms, poetry, oral history, life writing, and related scholarship. BlackWords is the only database of its kind in the world.
The research for the content in BlackWords has been undertaken by Indigenous researchers and librarians at five of AustLit’s partner universities (UQ, UWA, Flinders, Sydney and Wollongong) and AIATSIS in Canberra. BlackWords has grown from a base of some 700 entries relating to the published works of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers, to become a unique resource that now records details of the lives, writing and storytelling activities of more than 4,800 people and it grows by the day.
The BlackWords team has included award-winning writers and researchers, including Dr Anita Heiss, Dr Jeanine Leane, Dr Peter Minter, Yvette Holt, Jake Milroy, Yaritji Green, Elizabeth Hodgson, Janine Dunleavy, Irene Howe and has benefitted from the involvement of Uncle Sam Watson, Dr Jackie Huggins, Dr Jaky Troy, Professor Gus Worby, and staff from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit, the School of EMSAH and the Library at UQ; the Yunggorendi First Nations Centre for Higher Education and Research at Flinders University; the Scholar’s Centre at UWA Library; and the Research Division and Library at AIATSIS.
BlackWords was launched on the 6th of June 2007 by Uncle Sam Watson at the State Library of Queensland
Kerry Kilner, Director, AustLit  
School of English, Media Studies and Art History         Ph: 07 3365 3313

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