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CREATEC Weekly Seminar Series - Professor Glen Phillips

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

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Presenter: Professor Glen Phillips

Title: Subtlety Could Not Be Handed Out To The Men, Or Seeking Subtlety In The Australian Short Story — Katharine Susannah Prichard and Peter Cowan Compared

Biography: Born 1936 in Southern Cross, Western Australia and educated in country schools and Perth Modern School, he graduated from UWA with First Class honours in Education and MEd (1968) and gained a PhD from Edith Cowan University in 2007. Glen taught English for more than 50 years in CAEs and universities. An Honorary Professor at ECU, he is Founding Director of its International Centre for Landscape and Language. More than 35 books of his poetry have been published. Poems also appear in some 30 anthologies and many national and international journals. A recent book is Five Conversations With the Indian Ocean (2016, Platypus Press).

Abstract: My illustrated presentation is entitled: “Subtlety Could Not Be Handed Out to the Men1: Prichard vs Cowan as prose fiction authors.” I will discuss the truth of this commentary by Dale Spender on Australian literature by making a comparison of selected stories of two of the greatest Australian prose writers of the mid-twentieth century: Katharine Susannah Prichard (1883-1969) and Peter Cowan (1914-2002). The above quotation implies that Australian women authors by virtue of their deeper insights and more delicate descriptive writing can claim a uniqueness in their depictions of Australian life and landscapes in their short stories compared to male authors. I will focus on stories by both authors that I will claim to be appropriate for testing the truth of this claim for superiority in Prichard’s work as opposed to Cowan’s. Both writers published many volumes of stories and in fact Prichard’s first story to be translated (Christmas Tree) was published in Chinese in the 1920s. Cowan was almost a generation younger than Prichard but their writing careers overlapped. He published 8 volumes of stories, she published 5. Post-colonialism and ecocriticism will be the theoretical references for my paper since both authors chose Aboriginal characters and the Western Australian landscapes for stories.

Event details

Date: Wednesday, 19 October 2016
Time: 12.30pm - 1.00pm
Venue: ECU Mount Lawley Campus, Building 10, Room 10.308
Cost: Free
Lunch will be provided.

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