2023 Conference: ‘Recentring the Region’ 

July 4-7, RMIT University and Deakin University, Naarm (Melbourne))

Conference Website: https://www.regionsconference2023.org/

Conference registration: https://events.humanitix.com/asal-and-aslec-anz-2023-conference-recentring-the-region

A partnership between ASAL (Association for the Study of Australian Literature) and ASLEC-ANZ (Association for the Study of Literature, Environment and Culture, Australia and New Zealand), the 2023 ‘Recentring the Region’ conference turns attention to ‘the region’ in Australian literary studies and environmentally-oriented critical and creative practice.

Regions pre-date colonisation in Australia, bringing them into tension with the nation and its structures. They encompass geographies, hydrologies, ecologies, networks and alliances. They are structural and affective, relational and fluid. They can bring entities together and move them apart. Regions are a way of thinking, narrating, and making, and they are continually being constituted by practices that encompass the literary and the artistic in all their forms.

‘Recentring the Region’ will be face to face (based at RMIT University in Melbourne’s CBD, with the opening keynote lecture held at the National Gallery of Victoria) with some fully online sessions to accommodate interstate and overseas participants.


Open Mic Night & Informal Dinner: Wedensday 5th July 6-8pm at Captain Melville in Naarm (All Welcome)

Calling all people who like words about the world: the inaugural ASLEC-ANZ open mic and informal dinner gathering is happening  on Wednesday 5th July at Captain Melville’s Indoor Courtyard (https://www.captainmelville.com.au/indoor-courtyard 34 Franklin St, Melbourne VIC 3000) from 6pm to 8pm. Bring yourself and/or something to read: they can be your words, but we also welcome your homages to other wordsters, alive and dead – or just come along to listen and join an informal get together with food and drink available for purchase. 5 minute performance limit. For those keen to register for the blackboard in advance please let us know here: https://forms.gle/jk9shapa11gMirwK7 

Plenary Roundtable: Thursday 6th July at RMIT (Conference Delegates Only)

Uncertainty’s Place: The Ambiguous Regions of Environmental Arts and Culture

Connecting scholarly and creative work to place is an established approach to environmental arts, criticism and activism. In the context of Recentring the Region, the ASLEC-ANZ conference team has curated a plenary roundtable to explore how a sense of place overlaps with and/or diverges from our activist affiliations and our creative and critical practices. In this zone of possible synergy and likely friction, we can be certain of uncertainty. And from this place, we invite reflection on the role of open-ended forms of cultural practice today: poetry, literature, performance, visual arts and critical reading and interpretation. In what ways does art, literature and critique rupture the ways we seek to assert, simplify or silo what is urgent environmental thought and action today?

Does the global rise of fascisms (including eco-fascism/nationalisms, and even fascist feminisms) to take one striking example, connect with localised responses to climate change, if so how? If not, how can we better understand both their friction and concomitance? (How) can we open to the pleasures, impracticalities and ambiguities of art and critique in a time of such widespread uncertainty?

Featuring: A/Prof Astrida Neimanis, Dr Hannah McCann, Dr Susan Reid, Elena Gomez and Anna Leibzeit

Chaired by Jennifer Hamilton

ASLEC-ANZ Extraordinary General Meeting (All Members Welcome – Bowen Street Press Space, RMIT & Zoom) – Friday 7th July 12.30-1.30pm AEST (GMT +10)

Draft Agenda

Zoom: https://une-au.zoom.us/j/86207097323?pwd=OUt2QytzYXdWNmIvOVFCLzRRQnRWQT09

  • Introduce current exec
  • Swamphen EOI for editorial collective members
  • EOI for ASLEC-ANZ Exec Vacancies
  • Update on ASLEC-ANZ activities / vision planned at 2022 AGM
  • Call out for Next Conference?
  • Thankyous to people who have resigned
  • Other Business (Member items from floor accepted)