CFP: Fourth Triennial Australian Literary Studies Convention

July 2-5, 2024
Western Sydney University, Parramatta South Campus

Chaos and Order

This triennial event brings together major associations for the study of literature in Australia and welcomes scholars and postgraduate students working on any aspect or field of literary studies. We seek papers on the theme of ‘Chaos and Order’. Literary scholarship and literary practice can both be understood as ordering processes: a work of creative writing is an attempt to build meaning by drawing on, and framing, the chaos of experience. So too, whether the research be qualitative or quantitative in method, literary scholarship considers how meaning might traced and interpreted within literary works, forms, periods and literary fields, applying modes of order to them through this critical reception.

While literary study involves the broad expanses of time and space that comprise the histories of oral and written literature, such works are studied now because they continue to speak to us, in what is a challenging present moment. Order might be applied to make sense of chaos, but equally too much order, or newly applied kinds of
order have the potential to create chaos. Just as ‘order’ might be understood in positive or negative terms, ‘chaos’ does not have to be understood in solely negative terms: it might be understood, rather, as that which allows the potential for new kinds of creation.

We are open to all interpretations of ‘Chaos and Order’ and all methodologies applied to the study or practice of literature.

We invite papers and panels, including but not limited to the following topics:

  • How literature (from any period or tradition) helps us understand chaos and order.
  • What literature can do (be it political, ideological, affective, existential, ethical, imaginative, social, personal) in relation to the chaos and orders of the present.
  • How literature is imbricated in, produces, or resists systems of order or power (reproduces or contests dominant ideologies; literature and Empire; literature and propaganda; literature and social change/transformation for example)
  • How the opportunity to write and/or publish has been and is now determined by systems of order (gender, class, sexuality, race, ethnicity, cultural capital, markets).
  • How book history and print culture has responded to (or influenced) periods of chaos.
  • How particular methodologies might offer new ways of seeing old problems.
  • How particular methods might collaborate or generate chaos through conflict.
  • How pedagogical systems might solve or cause problems (both within universities and between primary, secondary and tertiary forms of education).

Deadline for submissions: 1 March 2024.

Please send an abstract of 150 words and biographical note of 100 words to Anthony Uhlmann

Jointly held by the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, the Australasian Universities Languages and Literature Association, the Australasian Association for Literature, the Australian University Heads of English, the Australasian Victorian Studies Association, The Australasian Children’s Literature Association, The Australasian Modernist Studies Network