2018 Professorial Inaugural Lecture Series

Wed 22 August 2018 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm FREE!
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2018 Professorial Inaugural Lecture Series - UNSW GATE 9 - Sydney - NSW
51 newly promoted and recruited Professors are taking part in the 2018 Professorial Inaugural Lecture series at UNSW Sydney to mark their achievement and showcase their specialist knowledge. Please join us for the fourth Inaugural Lecture for the 2018 series.

Professorial Inaugural Lecture: Arts and Social Sciences

Timings: Talks 3.30 - 5pm, followed by a cocktail reception 5 - 6pm

Registration: Open from 3.00pm


1. President and Vice Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs

2. Professor Brigitta Olubas

3. Professor Jon Eugene von Kowallis

4. Associate Professor David Blaazer Deputy Dean

Professor Brigitta Olubas

Brigitta Olubas teaches in the School of the Arts and Media. She is a past president of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature and a former editor of the association’s scholarly journal JASAL. In 2016 she edited the nonfiction writings of expatriate-Australian author Shirley Hazzard for Columbia University Press. She is currently writing a biography of Shirley Hazzard for Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and working on writing by refugees and asylum seekers from Australian detention centres. She is also working to develop Live Crossings – an online creative practice magazine featuring the work of Indigenous and refugee writers.

Lecture 1: Reading Australian Literature

In our increasingly digital world, readers and writers of literature inevitably confront questions about the relevance and value of literary culture. For readers and writers of Australian literature, such questions are sharpened by our awareness of the tenuous significance of local forms and concerns within global contexts. My research in the field of contemporary Australian writing responds to literature’s appeal to veracity, to what author Shirley Hazzard called our “responsibility to the accurate word”. It is driven by the belief that literature continues to be central to our passionate and articulate lives as national and international citizens and as individual beings.

Professor Jon Eugene von Kowallis

Jon was born in Pennsylvania, studied Chinese language and culture at Columbia, Taiwan, Hawaii, and Beijing Universities before completing his PhD in Chinese literature at the University of California, Berkeley. He writes in both English and Chinese on poetry and prose, literary history and film studies, teaching Chinese language and literature from the ancient and modern periods, translation, critical theory, Chinese cinema and orientalism. At UNSW he attained the ARC Discovery grant as a sole investigator. Monographs include Wit and Humour from Old Cathay, The Lyrical Lu Xun, and The Subtle Revolution. He is President of the Oriental Society of Australia.

Lecture 2: “Takeuchi’s ‘Lu Xun’; China’s Takeuchi” 竹内《魯迅》、中国の竹内好

Despite the ups and downs in their relationship, Japan and China have been engaged in a process of cultural exchange for nearly two millennia. A recent outcome of this interaction has been the discourse surrounding the founder of modern Chinese literature, Lu Xun 鲁迅 (1881-1936), his foremost exponent in Japan, the writer and philosopher Takeuchi Yoshimi 竹内好 (1910-1977) and the effect of this “interaction” ever since on intellectuals in both countries. It has been an interaction which had substantial influence on the intellectual climate in post-war Japan and now plays an important role in intellectual discourse in contemporary China, particularly in debates surrounding the role of the literatus (bungakusha 文学者) in society, modernity and nationalism.


Location: The Chancellery, Council Chambers (C22), UNSW Sydney, Kensington.

Please see the UNSW Map here and Google map (The nearest entrance is Gate 9 off High St, and the nearest building is the Sir John Clancy Auditorium)

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Wed 22 August 2018
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
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The Chancellery - Council Chambers,
2052, Australia