ASAA NEWSLETTER :Association for the Study of Australasia in Asia- July/Aug 2020

HLF Report  21-24 January 2020

 The guest nation at this year’s Hyderabad Literature Festival was Australia, and two groups of Australian writers, one organised by ASAA, and the other by the Australian Consul- General were in attendance. The ASAA

contingent, consisting of Alf Taylor, Rashida Murphy, Lynnette Lounsbury, Stephen Alomes and Kieran Dolin, all stayed in the same hotel, along with other guest writers, from both India and overseas, so we got to know quite a

few others in a convivial way. It was also good to meet the other Australian writers, including Anita Heiss, Bronwyn Fredericks, Caroline Overington, Gideon Haigh, John Zubrzycki, Kim Wilkins and Lisa Heidke, and to be on panels with them, along with many distinguished writers, artists and scholars from India and elsewhere.

The venue for the festival was the picturesque Vidyaranya High School in the city, rather an oasis in the midst of the bustle. The festival sessions are free and open to the general public, and the event was abuzz with activities, stalls, and many sessions and workshops. There was a wonderful spirit throughout, and student helpers made it easy for us to find our sessions, and kindly assisted in many other ways.

The festival was inaugurated with a moving opening ceremony, which included official representatives from India, the Australian Consul- General in Chennai, Susan Grace, and the renowned Mayalalam film-maker Adoor Gopalakrishnan, who delivered an inspiring keynote address on Cinema, Literature and Society.

This was followed by a packed session on Aboriginal writing, entitled Indigenous Australian perspectives, in which Anita Heiss and Bronwyn Fredericks, Indigenous writers based at the University of Queensland, were the main speakers. It was a very engaging session, that drew numerous questions from the audience.

A session on Australian poetry with senior Noongar writer Alf Taylor and Kieran Dolin was very well received. Kieran Dolin gave a brief overview on publishing and participation, recurrent preoccupations, and key themes. Alf Taylor read a selection of his work and spoke about the events and observations that inspired them. The panel ended with a reading of two

poems by Glen Phillips, who was originally scheduled to read but withdrew due to ill-health.

A highlight of the Australian programme on the second day was an absorbing panel on Immigrant Voices involving Rashida Murphy and Roanna Gonsalves, two Indo-Australian writers, who responded to a range of questions on some of the challenging aspects of Indian diasporic life in Australia. Roanna read an extract from her work, Sunita da Silva Goes to Sydney (Australian title, The Permanent Resident), and Rashida from her novel, The Historian’s Daughter.

The  third  day,  January  26,  is Republic    Day    in    India    and    also Australia   Day,   and   the   former   was movingly acknowledged with a reading of     the     preamble     to     the     Indian Constitution,        and        the        latter acknowledged     ‘in     solidarity     with Aboriginal   people.’   At   the   following panel,  on  New  Age  Fiction,  Lynnette Lounsbury spoke about and read from her reworking of Jack Kerouac, We Ate the    Road    like    Vultures,    and    the Portuguese    writer    Filippa    Martins presented  a  defence  of  literature  for postmodern times.

Later that day, the national theme was front and centre in a panel on ‘Games Nations Play,’ at which Stephen Alomes (RMIT) was joined by the Australian newspaper’s cricket writer, Gideon Haigh. Sport and social values, cricket, the games of politics, and the politics of games were among the topic discussed with an enthusiastic audience.

ASAA members at the Selfie Point HLF

This is a very selective summary of what was a richly varied and highly enjoyable event. On behalf of the ASAA guests I would like to express my appreciation to the organisers, especially Professor Vijay Kumar, for their hospitality and for the inclusive vision that animates the HLF.

Kieran Dolin

University of Western Australia

Stephen Alomes Author, painter and poet

 

Growing     up     in Tasmania, Stephen              Alomes has           written    the stories            of        the varieties                                  of Australian nationalism                (A

Nation  at  Last?,  1988),  war  memory, popular  culture  and  sport  (Australian Football   The   People’s   Game   1958- 2058, 2012, 2017).

Faces of the Donald Following          studies           of                     the       colonial cultural  cringe  to  Britain,  he  explored the  call  of  London  to  Australians  in writing  and  the  creative  arts  (When London  Calls,  1999).  His  forthcoming prose poetry                collection                   is                     entitled Selective   Ironies   Ginninderra   Press, 2020).                                His             expressionist portraits explore  the  faces  of  populist  leaders across several continents, from Donald Trump  and  Pauline  Hanson  to  Silvio Berlusconi   and   Vladimir  Putin;   they follow                       contemporary             populism,       the subject   of   his   academic   research   in

global   studies   at   RMIT   University Melbourne.

Alf Taylor – Author/Poet

Alf  Taylor  is  a  Western  Australian Nyoongah  writer.  Born  in  the  late 1940s,  Taylor  and  his  brother  while children   were  removed   from   their family and placed in the New Norcia Mission,  making  them  members  of the      Stolen      Generation.      Taylor discovered his heritage only when he left  the  Mission  as  a  teenager  and searched    for    his    family.    Taylor worked  in  the  Perth  and  Geraldton areas   as   a   seasonal   farm   worker, before  joining  the  armed  forces  and living   in   several   locations   around Australia.  Taylor  and  his  wife  had seven  children,  of  whom  only  two survived.

Although  Taylor  had  enjoyed writing  from  an  early  age,  he  only published  his  first  book  of  poetry, Singer   Songwriter   in   1992.   Later Taylor published an acclaimed short story  collection,  Long  Time  Now  in 2001, and an excerpt of his memoirs God, the Devil and Me, about his life in   New   Norcia,   in   2003   in   the literary journal, Westerly.

His      publications      include Long   Time   Now:   Stories   of   the Dreamtime,        the        Here        and Now(20010):  Rimfire:  Poetry  from Aboriginal Australia (2000); Singer Songwriter    (1992);Winds    (1994); People  of  the  Park  (1994).  Awards 2004   and   2006   Literature   Board Grants  for Established Writers.

Rashida Murphy

Writer, poet

Rashida   Murphy   is   a   writer,   poet, reviewer     and     blogger.     She     has published her short fiction  and  poetry in      various      international      literary journals   and   anthologies      such   as Westerly, Open          Road          Review and Veils   Halos   and   Shackles.   Her debut            novel, The      Historian’s Daughter was      shortlisted      in      the Scottish Dundee    International    Book Prize in   2015   (UWA   Publishing). In 2016    she    was    a    guest    editor    at Westerly and   was   on   the   editorial board   at Cafe   Dissensus  from  2014– 2018.Rashida has a Masters degree   in English    Literature    and    a    PhD    in Writing  from  Edith  Cowan  University

.She   has      worked   as   an   Education lecturer   for   several   years   in   Perth before  undertaking  her  PhD.  In  2016 she    was    the    joint    winner    of    the Magdalena  Prize  for  feminist  research for    her    thesis    which    includes    the novel The Historian’s Daughter.

She       has       judged       literary competitions       such       as the       Spilt Ink competition, the                       Talus Prize, the Ellen   Kemp Memorial   Prize and the  KSP short  story   competition. She    won    a    writing    residency    at the Katherine      Susannah      Pritchard Writers centre in 2017 and has been an invited     guest     and     facilitator     at the Perth  Writers  Festival  from  2017- 2019.  She  was  a mentor  in  the  Indian Ocean   Writing   project   in   2018   and 2019.   She   has   recently   completed   a

writing residency in NSW. She lives in Perth and is currently working on a new novel and a collection of short stories.

Lynette Lounsbury

Novelist

Lynette Lounsbury writes            particularly for an audience of youth       amongst which                     she                                has established                                                    a distinguished reputation.                         Her novels                                  include Afterworld                   (Allen and                                  Unwin,

Melbourne  2014)  ;We   ate   the   Road Like  Vultures  (     Inkerman  &  Blunt, Melbourne 2016”, Haunted: Claws and Teeth”,    in     Rossignol,    Rachel    ed, “Hauntings    Special    Issue”,    Bukker Tillibul: The Online Journal of Writing and   Practice-led   Research,   Vol   10, 2016”;  A  Girl  and  the  Beats”,  Nieuwe Vide    Journal    of    the    Humanities,

 Amsterdam, January, 2017.                    

UWA-OU Discussions

L-R: Y L Srinivas, Kieran Dolin,

  1. Murali Krishna, Parimala Kulkarni at Osmania University, Hyderabad

 

Formal    discussions    were    held    in January 2020, between  the officials of Osmania        University        and        the University  of  Western  Australia  with the     aim     of         promoting     further

negotiations for signing an MoU between the two institutions. Prof. C. Murali Krishna, Head, Dept. of English, Prof. Y L Srinivas, Chair, Board of Studies, Dept. of English, Dr. Parimala Kulkarni, faculty member from Osmania University participated. Dr. Kieran Dolin Associate Professor, English and Cultural Studies, represented the University of Western Australia.

Bridge differences instead of vilifying the unfamiliar

Meira Chand

Meira Chand

In     Singapore,     we     are     struggling nationally    with    the   huge   spike   in Covid-19      cases      among      migrant workers, just when we thought we had the   virus   under   control.   From   the status   of   being   an   almost   invisible community,  this  huge  workforce  has now taken centre stage.

We    all    know    that    without migrant  workers,  the  glitzy  miracle  of modern Singapore could not have been built with such ease. Yet now, because Covid-19   has   ravaged   this   transient community,  these  men  have  become visible in a new way.[…]

The successful control of Covid- 19 cases earned Singapore the accolade of    setting    the    gold    standard    in stemming  the  virus.  Now  that  status appears  to  have  been  tarnished.  In  a recent        article,        The        Guardian

newspaper in Britain reported that to some Singaporeans, this international demotion in status is upsetting.[…]

Our  rightful  national  pride  in Singapore’s        achievements        make derogatory     international     reportage, such     as     that     in     The     Guardian, uncomfortable  reading.  Yet,  we  must ask     why     the     rights     and     living conditions  of  these  men,  now  thrown into the spotlight by Covid-19, have not generally      been      issues      of      more importance.    Perhaps    the    simplistic answer is that they are “Other”[…]

Othering is a collective failure to recognise the darker side of human nature and out of this failure comes the mechanism of scapegoating. Black or white, physically handicapped, refugee or immigrant, whatever the differences we find to categorise people – ultimately, we are all one.[…]

Beyond the impressive skyline of modern Singapore, a visit to the humble premises of the Chinese Heritage Centre in Pagoda Street is a deeply moving experience. Here, in touching detail, is documented the beginnings of modern Singapore. The coolies and amahs, the rickshaw men and house boys whose lives are documented here, came to a city whose streets were supposedly paved with gold.[…]

In British colonial Singapore, early Chinese immigrants were Other and remained so in the British colonial psyche until our relatively recent independence and the end of British rule.

The narrative that emerges from that early pre-independent Singapore of Chinese immigrants is a narrative of courage and hope, of hard work and reinvention. It is a narrative to be proud of and one that has produced all we take so easily for granted in today’s Singapore. Our narratives reflect not only our histories, hopes and fears, but also the values we live by.[…]

In creating bridges, we celebrate diversity, deepen our sense of ourselves and create a society where all can belong, contribute and grow.

(A  version  of  this  article  appeared  in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 31, 2020)

Born and educated in London, Dr Meira Chand is regarded as Singapore’s premier novelist. She is the author of nine novels, whose themes examine the conflict of cultures and the search for identity.

Meira Chand has graciously accepted the position of Patron of ASAA. She is a long time member of ASAA and is well-known to an international readership..Her career has spanned both East and West: UK., India, Japan and Singapore. We like to think she has a bond with Australia having completed her doctoral studies at the University of Western Australia.

See her website:

https://www.meirachand.com

The Economy: Gota’s Enemy Number One Sri Lanka

Dr. Ameer Ali

 

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s   victory over LTTE and limited           victory over Covid-19 are fast        turning           into just    sweet                                but distant memories. A

new enemy […]the economic virus is hitting every one[…] By the second quarter of this year, almost 300  million jobs [would] have been wiped out. In short, the world is experiencing the worst economic recession ever. Given this gloomy scenario what chance does tiny Sri Lanka have to swim against the tide?

[…]. As consumer spending falls, businesses will suffer,

unemployment          will          increase, household                                        income                   will    fall,    and government                        revenue                                     collection    will fall. It is going to be a vicious circle[…] In  several  of  my  earlier  pieces  I  have emphasised  the  point  that  economic recovery  should  be  a  collective  effort involving                       every              community                      in  the country.  Any  policy  or  measure  that keeps     communities                     divided       and disunited  is  a criminal offence against the  economy  and  the  country.  This  is lesson   number   one   that   should   be learnt from                  the        experience     of 1970s.[ …]The  crying  need  of  the  time therefore is economic survival, and any impediment   that   disrupts   economic output  in  any  part  of  the  country  by any  section  of  the population  must  be removed       forthwith.           This        is                                               a fundamental   truth   that   the   regime must  understand.  Unfortunately,  the heat   of   an   election   is   accentuating disunity                   and     obstructing                       recovery efforts. The  Economy  is  Gota’s  enemy no.1.  If  he  fails  to  defeat  it,  he  would become peoples’ enemy no.1.

The Colombo Telegraph 26 July 2020

https://www.colombotelegraph.com/ind ex.php/the-economy-gotas-enemy- number-one/

 

Statues…When They Fall

 

Satendra Nandan University of Canberra

 

Sceptre and Crown

Must tumble down,

And in the dust be equal made With poor

crooked scythe and spade.

Only the actions of the just Smell sweet and blossom in the dust.

[James Shirley 1596 -1666]

Years ago I wrote an essay on why the bust will survive the city. Today, even as archaeologists are digging up ancient ruins to find the human route to civilization, the statues which adorned many a city and cobbled streets are being toppled.

Many are under serious public scrutiny as people dig out the dirty linen of history by some of our revered ‘heroes’ whose lives chime with those cruel times.

Many were despots, slave owners, tyrants, dictators and those who abused and suppressed some part of our humanity with most brutal means.

Black Lives Matter, BLM, marches have brought all this to a crescendo and the sight of statues being so unceremoniously rolled down the streets like rubbish bins is not an uplifting sight.

Push these into the rubbish bin of history, where they belong, seems the catch-cry of the many.

No  time  is  better  than  this  contagion: COVID-19.It’s   this   virus   that   is   not only  affecting  our  daily  reality  but  is turning  the  pages  of  history  to  be  re- read  as  a  man’s  memory  rejuvenates just before he faces death.

The  mental  anguish  of  COVID- 19  will  take  us  a  generation  or  two  to understand:  it  will  make  us  dig  our own lives as Death makes us read and re-read texts that the living created for us to face this one fatal reality.

This, I hope, is not seen as a pessimistic view: it is what great upheavals in human affairs do. The world, though, is born anew with a new light and message.

The Crucifixion and Resurrection seem part of that metaphor. The Mahabharata is the most apocalyptic endgame of our existential fate: the Bhagavadgita is its preamble.

*

The current tragedy enveloping the whole            world  is         a          time                 for

contemplation and critical evaluation of our modern civilization.

These thoughts come to my mind as I’m writing a rather long essay for a book on Mahatma Gandhi to be published from Washington: I mention Washington advisedly. My editor- friend, who teaches there, has written only today: ‘the work of ours will be weighty and relevant–so crucial in India and for the world’.

Gandhi is not an easy subject: he questions   all   your   assumptions   and fixed  ideas.  His  book,  Hind  Swaraj, written   in   10   days   on   a   ship,   SS Kildonan   Castle,   is   a   classic   of   its genre:   it   is   a   severe   indictment   of European civilization at its peak.

The   volume   was   published   in 1909   and   promptly   banned   by   the British   Raj.   It   was   composed   when Gandhi was returning from London to Durban  where  he  spent  twenty  years fighting   against  racial   prejudice   and significantly  changed  the  world  in  its relentless  pursuit  of  life  and  liberty, greed and aggrandizement.

He considered western civilization self-destructive with its brute colonization but not beyond redemption by its Christian ethics, although he knew that Christianity, like all religions, was complicit in exploitation.

He believed that there’s a possibility of a better world even as Europe was marching towards a chasm on the road of immorality after immorality.

Within five years of the publication of the volume, Europe was plunged in that devastatingly destructive war from which it has never recovered.

Brexit is simply a footnote to that historical suicide of a mighty civilization and the world’s greatest but very brief Empire. Joseph Conrad’s great short novel Heart Of Darkness was not about Africa: it was more about Europe.

When Gandhi’s book was published one professor was writing: Britain controls today the destinies of some 350,000,000 alien people, unable yet to govern themselves.

Within forty years the empire that governed roughly ‘a quarter of the world’s population, covered about the same proportions of the land’s surface and dominated nearly all ocean’, unraveled.

Today many monuments of kings and queens lie upon one another in obscure museums, gathering dust and eaten by rust and rats.

How the mighty have fallen is best shown in sharp steel images in the demolition of some of the statues in the current crisis.

As if people are asking for a new evaluation of our historical past in the context of new knowledge and perspectives on history itself.

Dig but how deep do you want to dig? And   it’s   not   only  history’s   distorted truth  that is  being questioned: it’s  our democracies, our economic structures, our   financial   arrangements   ,     our glorification              of        globalization,                     our treatment                of               asylum           seekers           and refugees  :  the  100  million  displaced roaming  the  seas  and  land  to  find  a place in the lands of the conquered and more significantly the conquerors.

Mr Donald Trump promised to build several walls: today the White House itself has a steel fence.

Nothing will stop now the peoples’ migration: just as empires were built with guns and genocide on all the continents and so many islands: often with divine sanction in the name of civilizing missions.

The modern world is created by migration: the new migration has disturbed the status  quo. And COVID-

19   has   reshaped   the   world   by   its invisible   presence   and   made   us   all deeply   vulnerable:   wave   after   wave, until  it  becomes  a  tsunami,  unless  we combine    the    world’s    resources    to

combat this with hope, innovation and collective determination.

No-one is safe until all are safe.

So far the signs are not promising: from Washington to New Delhi, London to Sao Paulo. Beijing and Moscow seem to be on another planet altogether.

The future is no longer like the pandemic of the past: our priorities and pride, our perceptions and prejudices, must undergo a sea-change even as the world’s climate is changing catastrophically, invisibly very moment.

The Earth is not wearing any mask: look around from your backyard, across your street and see the setting sun or the rising moon and say if you’ve cared for the largest life- giving force: our one and only Mother Earth.

*

I’m not much for statues. Ultimately they are good for pigeons, or perhaps a few monkeys, only.

But I’ve been involved in the erection of one statue: that of Mahatma Gandhi installed in Glebe Park in Canberra in the heart of the city. It was an initiative of a friend of mine–a devotee of the Mahatma: the statues are his gift to several cities.

He’s planning to send one to Fiji also: luckily he’s a rich accountant with more than an accountant’s accountability to a society that has given him a home and security.

So today, among several statues, we’ve two in Canberra that I’ve some interest in: Gandhi of course. But there’s another one: I’d not noticed it on the ANU campus where I had a cottage for three years.

Across the road from where we lived, shrouded in the ghostly gum tress, is another statue : that of Winston Churchill. It stands there covered in leaves unlike the one in London protected by a steel fence.

Because it was camouflaged, I hadn’t noticed it.

It was only when we were thinking of installing a Gandhi statue that someone pointed it out to me that there’s one of Winston Churchill.

Gandhi and Churchill, were inveterate adversaries; Churchill saw that if Gandhi wins, the Empire will be dismantled. Hitler for him was an easier enemy; violence can be defeated with violence.

How do you fight someone who doesn’t see you as an enemy but a friend.

My bet is with the half-naked fakir; rather than the man with a big cigar– all cigars, after all, end in ashes. The half-naked understood the true meaning of nakedness in a world where we, the other half, overload ourselves in the Emperor’s new clothes, presumably ‘Made in China’.

—————————27 June, 2020.

Note

Satendra Nandan’s two books, GIRMIT: Epic lives in Small Lines ; Twin Journeys: Love and Grief, will be published later this

 year.                                                                             

Few national leaders were as friendly as Gandhi to the British Empire, trained as a lawyer in London, and where he discovered many treasures of his Indian heritage and cultivated enduring friendships in exile.

Isabel Alonso-Breto

Churchill, of course, was the British hero who won the war, helped by Russian, American and Empire’s soldiers, more than a million from India alone.

Today Sir Winston Churchill’s statues are under threat in England and elsewhere; Gandhi’s have been defaced by some rebels in the Eastern India and in some African campuses; and the Indian Parliament now has installed a portrait of the man who conspired to assassinate the Mahatma . The ironies of history are manifold.

I remember being briefly a Fellow in Churchill College in Cambridge some years ago: as you approach the Dining Hall there’s a statue of Churchill right in the front: what strikes you is the shining feet where people must have touched them as they entered the hall for a meal.

Today I think that the man who never fasted, and the one who fasted to save others, are two different qualities of   heroes.   Whose   bust   will   survive COVID-19?

Remember

 

In the memory of the COVID 19 victims

I shall be in a daisy I shall be in a finch

I shall be in every chime of the bell in its tower

I shall be in every laugh

I shall be in the crack of the snow when you walk

in sharp winter

I shall be in the sea and the meadows Find me too in the sigh

of an elderly person

I shall be in the angle chosen by the camerawoman

in the stroke aflamencado wept out by the guitar

in the white sky, in the hunger in the failure not to dream

I shall be in Teruel’s mighty holm oaks and Australian eucalypti

in the cheerful rhythms of summers of old

and in every one of the books we accepted

as life presents including Geometry and Byung Chul Han’s

I shall be in Bruno’s yawning and stretching

its swift catty laziness

and in the silence of those who do not have

I shall be in your eyes and in your hands

and in the fresh light of every early morning

I shall be

in all the poems

Springtime that year

Written on 21 March 2020

Every sign cried out to heaven The plastic, the sea, the rush

The orange leader’s gold faucets

apartment

Nasdaq composite index, private burials

Children soldiers, children wives Monsanto

Howls in the world democracy tribunes

The over-famous fifteen minutes of fame

Our oblivion of being

The plastic, the sea, virtual kissing Flags as garment, guns

Skint lunch family gatherings at home on the sidewalk

Walls sealing in affluence and sealing off need

Animal, human abuse Putting an end to one life And killing thousands

Tanks, refugee camps Walls sealing in affluence The plastic

The sea

The oblivion The urgency

Every palpable sign cried out to heaven that spring

Isabel Alonso-Breto Centre for Australian and Transnational Studies University of Barcelona, Spain

 

Australia Unmasked – We’re all in this together but not quite…*

-Stephen Alomes           12 July 2020

* An Australian view written in June – when the gravity of the pandemic was not fully apparent.

Scenes from the Pandemic war zone

…a light on a society’s complexities Australia  has  done  well  with  just  over 100 deaths and around 8,000 cases. ‘We have a moat and  we’ll use it’ said the  Tasmanian  Premier.  Restricted  or no  entry  was  implemented  by  several states and by the federal government.

Coffee Tribalism, Flat White Wars – suggesting the Victorian view of the quality of coffee in New South Wales.

Except there are complexities involving every social category.

The rich – skiers who came  back from Colorado brought the virus from the US (luckily slightly less affluent skiers went to Japan)

Women   …who   lost    more   jobs    in service, hospitality, retail than men Men           …who   die   more   easily   from Covid-19

Boomers …older people who die more   easily   from   Covid-19   …in   an amusing black joke on social media the virus   was   described   as   a   ‘Boomer Remover’

Millennials and after …who spread the virus by failing to social distance Grandparents and those in aged care …often unable to see or to hug their younger relatives

Workers …who have jobs which can’t be done at home … and economically need to go to work …and sometimes, like Singapore building workers, live in more crowded or smaller spaces

Different ethnicities …some of whom have larger families in houses, may not have received all the information in their languages, and have cultural traditions of large gatherings and embracing plus…

Victorians           …to           some Queenslanders the ‘Mexicans’ who remained banned from that northern border in early July …in a state with a June outbreak, following those other Mexicans from New South Wales who had the biggest outbreaks from a  cruise ship and in aged care homes

…interestingly ‘state patriotism’ had strong moments, but few nationalist drums were heard.

Political leaders who were either ‘dictators’ for encouraging a lockdown or social isolation and social distancing or had saved the state and the nation Labour-hire companies whose workers spread the disease (Burnie Tasmania one worker at two hospitals and three

aged care homes, Victoria, a meat works spread)

Travellers, returnees  and others, did they bring the virus?

International students, who have been deprived of their part-time work and did not receive the government’s support packages

…along with many casual workers, temporary workers from overseas, arts workers; or the universities (on which the government practised vengeance) Early, in some areas, people of Chinese origin, who a few racists wrongly assumed were carriers of the virus Incompetent security companies, who failed              (or    did    government    health department’s fail) to train their staff working in quarantine hotels in safe practices.

Toilet paper hoarders who felt that they needed to control what they could control (do they think they are sports coaches?)

And in the vernacular, there are those ubiquitous ‘wankers’ – middle class WASPs, tradies and orange top workers, keyboard warriors on social media, all sorts of people who don’t think it matters. I suggested that they hold a telepathic Zoom conversation with the half a million dead just to confirm their views.

The Prize

And who gets the Donald Trump/ Jair Bolsonaro (‘it’s a little flu…some people will die, that’s life’ said the Brazilian, who then became infected) prize for making mistakes?

I would give it to the herd mentality among several official epidemiologists who did not recognise the evidence that to a degree, as with all medical and safety interventions, masks help reduce the spread of infections.

Masks plus Social Distancing plus Hand washing work in many countries.

Nicholas Hasluck

 

 

‘I see traces in my past that point to what the world has now become.’

Like  many  young  Australians  in  the 1960s    Nick    Hasluck    set    sail    for London, in his case for a post-graduate law  degree,  but  looking  also  for  new horizons and ways to be a writer. From a   seedy   room   at   the   International Language     Club     he     explored     the ‘Kangaroo  Valley’  party  scene  around Earl’s Court – until he met a girl from the  Cotswolds  who  was  to  change  his life,       a       romance       leading       to misadventures       in       Europe       and eventually to a job in Fleet Street.

Britain was opening up to him in unexpected ways. He recalls combative speakers at the Oxford Union – Malcolm X, James Baldwin, Tariq Ali – and luminaries in other places such as Menzies, Profumo, Field Marshal Slim and the controversial jurists, Hailsham and Denning.

Along the way, Hasluck writes skilfully of becoming a lawyer, then a Judge, and also a well-known novelist. In this eloquent memoir the mind of the lawyer is constantly enriched by the style of the writer. To a lively storyteller the world beyond the equator is still the miracle it always was.

Publisher: Arcadia Australian

Scholarly Publishing

Black November: Writings on the 1984 Sikh Massacres and the Aftermath

Ed. Ishmeet Kaur Chaudhry

 

Marking  the  35th   anniversary  of  1984 massacres  of  the  Sikhs,  an  anthology on    the    subject    has    been    recently published      in      Oct,      2019.      This unprecedented        collection        brings together  interviews   of   the  survivors, selected    affidavits    filed    before    the Nanavati  commission  in  2000,  short stories, plays and poems.[…]

The psychological trauma and the distressful conditions have led some of their children into drug addiction and petty crimes; many of the widows of the colony continue fighting in the wait of justice, leaving behind their stories of strength and survival. This volume provides a voice for these women and[…]compels us to seek justice and healing for the survivors.

 Publisher: Speaking Tiger, Oct. 2019    

By

Anjali Gera Roy

Publisher: Routledge, August  2019

A New Achievement -Chapter from  Glen Phillips  War Novel

 

 

VIEW ARTICLE

http://voyagesjournal.org/rescue- mission/

 

JEAN ARASANAYAGAM (1931-2019)

A Tribute

Jean Arasanayagam

 

My first memories of Jean Aunty are from the suburb of Watapuluwa in Kandy where the Arasanayagam’s were our immediate neighbours. Our house was on a small hillock and they lived immediately below us. Food, neighbourly affection, dogs and cats and many other things including books flowed freely between these porous borders. It is within this small domestic economy that my first substantive encounters with literature in English began to form. Food flowed from our house and literature  flowed in return from the Arasanayagam’s.[…] the Arasanayagam’s house literally overflowed with literature. Books occupied and spilled out of every conceivable surface and the house itself was in perpetual disarray. It is in this strangely magical space that I began to form a love for literature and reading. Jean gave her time and knowledge generously[…]

Perhaps the most enduring memory of Jean was one darkened by the tragic ethno-nationalist history of Sri Lanka. But one, which in many ways captures how the personal and

the political mingle in our lives – both hers  and  mine. When  Black  July  1983 happened I was a 9 year- old boy with little  or  no  understanding  of  the  dark political  undercurrents  of  postcolonial Sri   Lanka.   But   they   came   home   to Watapuluwa in the form of a mob that set  fire  to  the  Arasanayagam’s  Tamil neighbours’  house  and  threatened  to attack  the  Arasanayagam’s  themselves

– on account of Arasa Uncle’s Tamil identity. Jean and the two daughters sought refuge in our house and uncle at a neighbours’ until the army arrived and took them to a refugee camp.

1983  of course marks  a  turning point  in  Jean’s  career  as  a  writer  and poet. By this time, she was already well known  and  critically   acclaimed   as   a writer.  But  the  tragic  events  of  Black July   and   her   complex   identity   as   a Burgher   woman   married   to   a   man from    a    high    caste    Tamil    Hindu background and how this in turn made her   a   victim   of   chauvinist   Sinhala nationalist      forces,      propelled      her writing  to  national  and  international recognition.      Her      narrative      voice became  one  intimately  identified  with the  violence  of  the  Sri  Lankan  post- independence   nation   state   and   the multiple   ways   in   which   it   excluded people.   Speaking   from   a   doubly   or triply     marginalized     space,     Jean’s poetry  became  iconic  signifiers  of  the cultural   politics   of   nationalism.   The poem  I  quote  at  the  beginning  of  this tribute       captures       the       multiple contradictions   and   potentials   of   her identity.  In  the  restless  energy  of  the Kindura   –   half   bird,   half   human   – Jean  sees  herself  –  constrained  and inhibited  by  the  cultural  and  political forces of mainstream society but full of the  promise  and  potential  of  a  hybrid being.    Post-1983    this    becomes    an abiding and dominant theme in Jean’s poetry and prose. In a richly suggestive and   lyrical   language   she   begins   an intense  and  passionate  exploration  of her   divided   identity   which   in   turn

produced a rich, varied and challenging body of literature that constantly reminds us that Sri Lanka is a place of many peoples, many cultures and many belongings.[ …]

Jean’s  demise  leaves  a  vacuum in  Sri  Lankan  writing  in  English.  She was  one of the pioneers  of Sri  Lankan writing    in    English    who    took    our writing  to  the  world  and  helped  place Sri  Lankan  writing  in  English  on  the global  literary  map.  The  singularity  of her  personality  and  poetic  vision  will remain  unmatched.  Her  passing  also marks the passing of a generation that experienced     1983     as     a     defining moment  in  the  postcolonial  history  of this country and a generation that was mature  enough  to  craft  an  enduring literary-cultural    legacy    out    of    this trauma. But knowing Jean Aunty, it is not     with     solemnity     and     somber reflection    she    would    want    to    be remembered – rather it would be with the   exuberance   of   her   Kindura-like hybrid life.

Author -Prof. Harshana Rambukwella

Open University of Sri Lanka ( Re-print from The Colombo Telegraph)

 

Note: This eloquent tribute to a unique woman, novelist and poet is best read in its entirety at the following link: https://www.colombotelegraph.com/ind ex.php/jean-arasanayagam-a-life-lived- in-exuberance-a-personal-professional-

 tribute/                                                                       

 

International Conference by Katherine Mansfield Society

 

“Katherine Mansfield: Germany and Beyond” Bad Wörishofen, Germany 15–16 April 2021

Abstracts  of  200  words,  together  with a  50-word  bio-sketch,  should  be  sent tothe conference organisers:

Dr   Delia   da   Sousa    Correa   (Open University,                UK),                Dr        Gerri   Kimber (University   of                    Northampton,                       UK), Monika Sobotta (Open University, UK) and                Professor                           Janet     Wilson (University of Northampton, UK) at kms@katherinemansfieldsociety.org Submission deadline:

28 February 2021

 

Update: CISLE Conferences

The biennial CISLE   Conference which had been scheduled  for July 2020 had to     be     transferred     twice.     Several members    of    ASAA         are    regular attendees  at  this     extremely  popular biennial conference; it has been   much missed   this   year.   See   plans   for   the future below.

From Prof. Wolfgang Zach ( University of Innsbruck, Austria) and Prof. Lily Tope                   (University          of          the Philippines)wolfgang.zach@uibk.ac.a t; lrtope@yahoo.com.

  • Re 2020          Cancellations, Transferences etc:

It is deeply ironic that we tried to save our biennial conference from a catastrophic volcanic eruption

threatening    our    venue    Manila    by transferring it to Innsbruck, the hub of CISLE, in February, shortly before the outbreak    of    the    corona    virus    in China.[…]Lily   Rose   Tope   and   I   as convenors   are   [were]   in   favour   of postponing       our       conference       to Innsbruck   in   July   2021   rather   than cancelling      it      altogether      as      we have[had]  received  so  many  excellent abstracts of most interesting papers[…]

  • CISLE Conferences Galway 2022 and Rome 2024

Our       Executive       Committee       and Advisory   Board   have   agreed   to   the proposal  by  the  Director  of  CISLE  to accept    offers    of    holding    our    next biennial conferences at Galway in July 2022 and in Rome in July 2024.

  • Publication of   CISLE Ljubljana Conference Volume

Good news : Our Ljubljana Conference Volume on “Transcending Boundaries: Migrations,  Dislocations,  and  Literary Transformations”  with  thirty-four  fine papers  by  scholars  and  writers  from around the world has just gone to print and  will  be  out very  soon  in  our  book series      SECL      26      published      by Stauffenburg        Publ.:        Tuebingen, Germany.

ASAA TEAM

 

 

Meira Chand—Patron

 

Stephen Alomes—President, ASAA (Australia) Adjunct Professor at RMIT University, Melbourne. He is possibly one of the longest-standing members of the Association and has made a distinctive contribution to all our conferences and publications over many years, with a particular interest in the national and the colonial in a globalising world.

(See several annotations regarding Stephen Alomes in this Newsletter) Email: stephen.alomes@rmit.edu.au

Kieran  Dolin—Vice-President,  ASAA  (Australia)  is  Associate  Professor  of English  at   the  University  of  Western  Australia  and  Head  of  Postgraduate  Studies. He was   a representative for    WA   with ASAA and has visited Hyderabad before for an  ASAA  Conference.  His  work  to  assist  the    ASAA  group  attend  the  Hyderabad Literary Festival  2020 was phenomenal. Besides presentations at the Festival he also met  with  officials  of  Osmania  University    to  initiate  official    discussions  on  the possibility  of  establishing  a  formal  Link  with  the  University  of  Western  Australia. (See the numerous annotations in this Newsletter) Email: kieran.dolin@uwa.edu.au

Kavita  Ivy Nandan—Secretary, ASAA  (Australia)  is   editor  co-editor  several work from 1998- 2007.Her  first novel Home after Dark was published in 2015.. She completed  her  PhD  in  Literature  at  the  Australian  National  University  and  has lectured  in  Creative  Writing  and  Literature  at  the  University  of  Canberra,  the University   of  the  South  Pacific,  Charles   Darwin   University   and   the  Australian National University. Kavita was born  in  New Delhi, grew up  in  Suva and moved  to Canberra in 1987. While still a postgraduate Kavita  attended the historic first ASAA conference in Kerala in 1997. Email: nandan.kavita@gmail.com

Parimala  Kulkarni—President,  ASAA  (Asia)  teaches  in  the  Department  of English,  Osmania  University,  Hyderabad.  Her  area  of  specialization  is  Women’s Writing.  Her  research  interests  include  Indian  Literature,  Gender  Studies,  and English   Language   Pedagogy.   She   has   co-edited   a   book,   Contemporary   British Literature – Post 1990s: A Critical Study. She is a recipient of a UGC Research Award 2014-2016. She was previously Secretary (Asia) and has had crucial responsibilities for the production of the ASAA Newsletter. Email: paripavan@gmail.com

[Sincere thanks to Dr. Vijay Kumar Tadakamalla who served in this position with distinction despite his manifold duties as Professor of English at Osmania University and many responsibilities serving the larger Hyderabad community in the field of literature, media and the arts.]

K.T. Sunitha—Vice-President, ASAA (Asia) was formerly  Professor of English at the University of Mysore. She organised the ASAA Conference in Mysore in July 2010,   bringing   together   several   institutions,   besides   the  University   of   Mysore: Professor  C.D.  Narasimhaiah’s  Dhvanyaloka  as  well  as  Professor  Anniah  Gowda’s International  Centre  for  Commonwealth  and  American  Literature  and  Language Studies. She has presented research papers on Indian writers at Australian university conferences  and  taught  Australian  literature  and  presented  research  papers  in  the field at Indian and other international conferences. Email: kt_sunitha@yahoo.co.in

Secretary, ASAA (Asia)- TBA

 

Ishmeet Kaur—Editor, ASAA Website is an Assistant Professor in the School of Language,  Literature  and  Culture  Studies  at  the  Central  University  of  Gujarat, Gandhinagar.     She     teaches     courses     in     English     literature,     language     and communication  studies  and  has  worked  on  translations  of  texts  from  Punjabi  into English   and   vice   versa.   Her   specialist   interests   in   research   lie   in   Australian Literature,  Post-colonial  Studies  and  Sikh  Studies.  She  has  worked   on  Indigenous writing  from  Australia  and  India.  Her  doctoral  thesis  was  a  comparative  study  of Patrick White’s novels and Guru Granth Sahib. She has recently published (2014) a

work entitled, Patrick White: Critical Issues. She was selected as an “Inspired Teacher” for the President of India’s In-Residence Programme at Rashtrapati

 Bhavan, New Delhi. Email: ishmeetsaini@gmail.com                                                    

ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Greg Battye is Adjunct Professor in Design and Creative Practice at the University of  Canberra.  His  research  includes  photography,  narrative  theory  and  new  writing technologies and new media forms. Greg’s works are held by the National Gallery of Australia, the National Library of Australia and other national institutions. Greg was vice-president       of       ASAA       for       several       years       from       2007.       Email: Greg.Battye@canberra.edu.au

Tony Simoes da Silva was Professor and Associate Dean of International Programmes with responsibility for South Asia till he recently took up the position of Head of the School of Humanities at the University of Tasmania. Tony co-edits the Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (JASAL) and La Questioners Meridionale/The Southern Question. He attended the ASAA conference at Osmania University and is well-known to many of our Asian colleagues. Email: Tony.SimoesdaSilva@utas.edu.au (Note: TBC).

Glen Phillips is a well-known poet and is Director of the Landscape and Language Centre  at  Edith  Cowan  University  adjunct  ECU  professor.  He  serves  on  several literary boards and Foundations and is represented in more than 20 anthologies and is  author  or  editor  of  20  books.  Glen  has  been  a  long-time  supporter  of  ASAA initiatives, since its inception in 1995. Email: glenlyp@bigpond.com

Anjali Gera Roy is Professor in the Department of Humanities of Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. She has published essays in  literature, film and cultural studies on India as well as on African culture. She is now researching the transnational flows of Bollywood cinema and has recently co-edited several volumes in this field. She was President of ASAA (Asia) for several years and has remained an active member of ASAA for many years. Email: agera_99@yahoo.com

Satendra Nandan is Emeritus Professor at the University of Canberra. He is also widely known for his creative work as and as a poet. In March 2012 he was awarded the   prestigious   Harold   White   Fellowship   at   the   National   Library   to   write   his autobiography.  He  has  lately  been  appointed  a  member  of  the  Fiji  Constitutional Commission  (July  2,  2012).  He  helped  found  ASAA  at  the  historic  meeting  at  the ACLALS conference in Colombo in 1995 and has served as vice–president for many years. E-mail: satendra.nandan@gmail.com

Cynthia vanden Driesen is a Research Fellow with the School of Humanities, University of Western Australia. Her research and publications are mainly in the area of Australian writing and other New Literatures in English. With help from Satendra Nandan she set up ASAA at an international meeting of Asian and Australian academics in Colombo (noted above). She has served continuously as President since the inception of the Association and is currently the Chair of the Advisory Council. E- mail: cynthia.v@westnet.com.au

Additional Committee Members in the Region

India

 

Dr. N. Bindu (Madras) Dr.Suneetha Rani (Hyderabad), Dr.Keya Majumdar (Jamshedpur); Prof. Indibar Mukherjee (Patna); Prof. Mani Meitel (Manipur); Dr. Jagdish Batra (MDU); Dr. V. Sangeetha (Tamil Nadu), Arindam Das (Kolkata); Dr. Julie Mehta (Kolkata); Dr Suman Bala (Delhi); Prof. R.K. Dhawan (Delhi); A/Prof. Pavan B P (Mysore); Dr. Neeta Sashidharan (Kerala); Prof. Ravishankar Rao (Mangalore)

Australia

 

Dr. Lynnette Lounsbury, Avondale College; Prof. Bill Ashcroft, UNSW; Ms. Julia Gross, ECU; Dr. Abu Siddique, UWA; Dr. Keith Truscott, Curtin University ; Prof. Glen Phillips, ECU; Dr. Ameer Ali, Murdoch University; A/Prof. Abu Siddique, Dr. Michael Gillan, A/Prof. Kieran Dolin, University of Western Australia; Prof. Stephen Alomes, RMIT; Prof. Satendra Nandan, University of Canberra.

New Zealand Professor Mark Williams, Victoria University of Canterbury.

Singapore               Professor Kirpal Singh, Singapore Management University.

Sri Lanka                Professor Frances Bulathsinghala, Open University of Sri Lanka. Writer, Journalist, Academic. Jean Arasanayagam’s successor tba.

Malaysia                  A/Professor Carol Leon, University of Malaysia.

  1. Korea Professor Kim Hyung Shik, Chung-Ang University.

China                        Professor Lu Le, Australian Studies Center, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology.

Professor Liang Zhong, Mudangiang, Australian Studies Center

Japan                       Professor Yasue Amritsu, Doshisa University, Kyoto. Philippines             Professor Marjorie Evanesco-Pernia, De La Salle University. Bangladesh Dr.MashrurHosain, Jhanaginagar University

West Africa            Professor Karen King-Aribisala, University of Lagos

Associate Committee Members (Europe)

 

Spain                        Dr. Susan Ballyn, Dr. Isabel Alonso, University of Barcelona

Czech Republic    Dr. Jitka Vlkova, University of Brno

Italy                           Dr. Stefano Mercanti, University of Udine Professor Antonella Riem, University of Udine

Austria                     Dr. Eleonore Wildburger, Univ. of Klagenfurt

Germany                 Dr. Sissy Helff, Universitat Darmstadt;

Prof. Dr. Brigitte Johanna Glaser, University of Goettingen.

U.S.A                        Dr. Nathanael O’Reilly, Texas Christian University

Assoc.    Professor    Pavithra    Narayanan,    Washington               State University, Vancouver

U.K.                           Professor Janet Wilson, University of Northampton,

Canada                     Dr. Aparna Halpe, University of Toronto

South Africa          Dr. Bridget Grogan, University of Johannesburg

Application for Membership of ASAA

 

Name (in capital letters) Prof./Dr./Mr./Ms.                                                          

 

Institutional Affiliation                                                                              _ Mailing Address                                                                                                       _ Telephone No                                                                _                                                                                                                                         _

E-mail Address                                                                                                                                                 _

 

Special interest in Australian/NZ Studies Publications/Research/Teaching

 

 

 

 

 

Signature

Date:

(Please address applications to the presidents or committee members of either the Asian or Australasian branches of the association, depending on where you are located. Email addresses provided above)

July/Aug 2020

ASAA NEWSLETTER

Association for the Study of Australasia in Asia

Website: www.asaa.net.au

 

 

Australia: Guest Nation Hyderabad Literary Festival  2020

 

ASAA members at literary sessions at HLF 2020

Kieran Dolin & Alf Taylor   Centre: Lynette Lounsbury         Left: Kieran Dolin

Right: Rashida Murphy                 Centre: Stephen Alomes

 

HLF Report  21-24 January 2020

 

The guest nation at this year’s Hyderabad Literature Festival was Australia, and two groups of Australian writers, one organised by ASAA, and the other by the Australian Consul- General were in attendance. The ASAA

contingent, consisting of Alf Taylor, Rashida Murphy, Lynnette Lounsbury, Stephen Alomes and Kieran Dolin, all stayed in the same hotel, along with other guest writers, from both India and overseas, so we got to know quite a

few others in a convivial way. It was also good to meet the other Australian writers, including Anita Heiss, Bronwyn Fredericks, Caroline Overington, Gideon Haigh, John Zubrzycki, Kim Wilkins and Lisa Heidke, and to be on panels with them, along with many distinguished writers, artists and scholars from India and elsewhere.

The venue for the festival was the picturesque Vidyaranya High School in the city, rather an oasis in the midst of the bustle. The festival sessions are free and open to the general public, and the event was abuzz with activities, stalls, and many sessions and workshops. There was a wonderful spirit throughout, and student helpers made it easy for us to find our sessions, and kindly assisted in many other ways.

The festival was inaugurated with a moving opening ceremony, which included official representatives from India, the Australian Consul- General in Chennai, Susan Grace, and the renowned Mayalalam film-maker Adoor Gopalakrishnan, who delivered an inspiring keynote address on Cinema, Literature and Society.

This was followed by a packed session on Aboriginal writing, entitled Indigenous Australian perspectives, in which Anita Heiss and Bronwyn Fredericks, Indigenous writers based at the University of Queensland, were the main speakers. It was a very engaging session, that drew numerous questions from the audience.

A session on Australian poetry with senior Noongar writer Alf Taylor and Kieran Dolin was very well received. Kieran Dolin gave a brief overview on publishing and participation, recurrent preoccupations, and key themes. Alf Taylor read a selection of his work and spoke about the events and observations that inspired them. The panel ended with a reading of two

poems by Glen Phillips, who was originally scheduled to read but withdrew due to ill-health.

A highlight of the Australian programme on the second day was an absorbing panel on Immigrant Voices involving Rashida Murphy and Roanna Gonsalves, two Indo-Australian writers, who responded to a range of questions on some of the challenging aspects of Indian diasporic life in Australia. Roanna read an extract from her work, Sunita da Silva Goes to Sydney (Australian title, The Permanent Resident), and Rashida from her novel, The Historian’s Daughter.

The  third  day,  January  26,  is Republic    Day    in    India    and    also Australia   Day,   and   the   former   was movingly acknowledged with a reading of     the     preamble     to     the     Indian Constitution,        and        the        latter acknowledged     ‘in     solidarity     with Aboriginal   people.’   At   the   following panel,  on  New  Age  Fiction,  Lynnette Lounsbury spoke about and read from her reworking of Jack Kerouac, We Ate the    Road    like    Vultures,    and    the Portuguese    writer    Filippa    Martins presented  a  defence  of  literature  for postmodern times.

Later that day, the national theme was front and centre in a panel on ‘Games Nations Play,’ at which Stephen Alomes (RMIT) was joined by the Australian newspaper’s cricket writer, Gideon Haigh. Sport and social values, cricket, the games of politics, and the politics of games were among the topic discussed with an enthusiastic audience.

ASAA members at the Selfie Point HLF

This is a very selective summary of what was a richly varied and highly enjoyable event. On behalf of the ASAA guests I would like to express my appreciation to the organisers, especially Professor Vijay Kumar, for their hospitality and for the inclusive vision that animates the HLF.

Kieran Dolin

University of Western Australia

Stephen Alomes Author, painter and poet

 

Growing     up     in Tasmania, Stephen              Alomes has           written    the stories            of        the varieties                                  of Australian nationalism                (A

Nation  at  Last?,  1988),  war  memory, popular  culture  and  sport  (Australian Football   The   People’s   Game   1958- 2058, 2012, 2017).

Faces of the Donald Following          studies           of                     the       colonial cultural  cringe  to  Britain,  he  explored the  call  of  London  to  Australians  in writing  and  the  creative  arts  (When London  Calls,  1999).  His  forthcoming prose poetry                collection                   is                     entitled Selective   Ironies   Ginninderra   Press, 2020).                                His             expressionist portraits explore  the  faces  of  populist  leaders across several continents, from Donald Trump  and  Pauline  Hanson  to  Silvio Berlusconi   and   Vladimir  Putin;   they follow                       contemporary             populism,       the subject   of   his   academic   research   in

global   studies   at   RMIT   University Melbourne.

Alf Taylor – Author/Poet

Alf  Taylor  is  a  Western  Australian Nyoongah  writer.  Born  in  the  late 1940s,  Taylor  and  his  brother  while children   were  removed   from   their family and placed in the New Norcia Mission,  making  them  members  of the      Stolen      Generation.      Taylor discovered his heritage only when he left  the  Mission  as  a  teenager  and searched    for    his    family.    Taylor worked  in  the  Perth  and  Geraldton areas   as   a   seasonal   farm   worker, before  joining  the  armed  forces  and living   in   several   locations   around Australia.  Taylor  and  his  wife  had seven  children,  of  whom  only  two survived.

Although  Taylor  had  enjoyed writing  from  an  early  age,  he  only published  his  first  book  of  poetry, Singer   Songwriter   in   1992.   Later Taylor published an acclaimed short story  collection,  Long  Time  Now  in 2001, and an excerpt of his memoirs God, the Devil and Me, about his life in   New   Norcia,   in   2003   in   the literary journal, Westerly.

His      publications      include Long   Time   Now:   Stories   of   the Dreamtime,        the        Here        and Now(20010):  Rimfire:  Poetry  from Aboriginal Australia (2000); Singer Songwriter    (1992);Winds    (1994); People  of  the  Park  (1994).  Awards 2004   and   2006   Literature   Board Grants  for Established Writers.

Rashida Murphy

Writer, poet

Rashida   Murphy   is   a   writer,   poet, reviewer     and     blogger.     She     has published her short fiction  and  poetry in      various      international      literary journals   and   anthologies      such   as Westerly, Open          Road          Review and Veils   Halos   and   Shackles.   Her debut            novel, The      Historian’s Daughter was      shortlisted      in      the Scottish Dundee    International    Book Prize in   2015   (UWA   Publishing). In 2016    she    was    a    guest    editor    at Westerly and   was   on   the   editorial board   at Cafe   Dissensus  from  2014– 2018.Rashida has a Masters degree   in English    Literature    and    a    PhD    in Writing  from  Edith  Cowan  University

.She   has      worked   as   an   Education lecturer   for   several   years   in   Perth before  undertaking  her  PhD.  In  2016 she    was    the    joint    winner    of    the Magdalena  Prize  for  feminist  research for    her    thesis    which    includes    the novel The Historian’s Daughter.

She       has       judged       literary competitions       such       as the       Spilt Ink competition, the                       Talus Prize, the Ellen   Kemp Memorial   Prize and the  KSP short  story   competition. She    won    a    writing    residency    at the Katherine      Susannah      Pritchard Writers centre in 2017 and has been an invited     guest     and     facilitator     at the Perth  Writers  Festival  from  2017- 2019.  She  was  a mentor  in  the  Indian Ocean   Writing   project   in   2018   and 2019.   She   has   recently   completed   a

writing residency in NSW. She lives in Perth and is currently working on a new novel and a collection of short stories.

Lynette Lounsbury

Novelist

Lynette Lounsbury writes            particularly for an audience of youth       amongst which                     she                                has established                                                    a distinguished reputation.                         Her novels                                  include Afterworld                   (Allen and                                  Unwin,

Melbourne  2014)  ;We   ate   the   Road Like  Vultures  (     Inkerman  &  Blunt, Melbourne 2016”, Haunted: Claws and Teeth”,    in     Rossignol,    Rachel    ed, “Hauntings    Special    Issue”,    Bukker Tillibul: The Online Journal of Writing and   Practice-led   Research,   Vol   10, 2016”;  A  Girl  and  the  Beats”,  Nieuwe Vide    Journal    of    the    Humanities,

 Amsterdam, January, 2017.                    

UWA-OU Discussions

L-R: Y L Srinivas, Kieran Dolin,

  1. Murali Krishna, Parimala Kulkarni at Osmania University, Hyderabad

 

Formal    discussions    were    held    in January 2020, between  the officials of Osmania        University        and        the University  of  Western  Australia  with the     aim     of         promoting     further

negotiations for signing an MoU between the two institutions. Prof. C. Murali Krishna, Head, Dept. of English, Prof. Y L Srinivas, Chair, Board of Studies, Dept. of English, Dr. Parimala Kulkarni, faculty member from Osmania University participated. Dr. Kieran Dolin Associate Professor, English and Cultural Studies, represented the University of Western Australia.

Bridge differences instead of vilifying the unfamiliar

Meira Chand

Meira Chand

In     Singapore,     we     are     struggling nationally    with    the   huge   spike   in Covid-19      cases      among      migrant workers, just when we thought we had the   virus   under   control.   From   the status   of   being   an   almost   invisible community,  this  huge  workforce  has now taken centre stage.

We    all    know    that    without migrant  workers,  the  glitzy  miracle  of modern Singapore could not have been built with such ease. Yet now, because Covid-19   has   ravaged   this   transient community,  these  men  have  become visible in a new way.[…]

The successful control of Covid- 19 cases earned Singapore the accolade of    setting    the    gold    standard    in stemming  the  virus.  Now  that  status appears  to  have  been  tarnished.  In  a recent        article,        The        Guardian

newspaper in Britain reported that to some Singaporeans, this international demotion in status is upsetting.[…]

Our  rightful  national  pride  in Singapore’s        achievements        make derogatory     international     reportage, such     as     that     in     The     Guardian, uncomfortable  reading.  Yet,  we  must ask     why     the     rights     and     living conditions  of  these  men,  now  thrown into the spotlight by Covid-19, have not generally      been      issues      of      more importance.    Perhaps    the    simplistic answer is that they are “Other”[…]

Othering is a collective failure to recognise the darker side of human nature and out of this failure comes the mechanism of scapegoating. Black or white, physically handicapped, refugee or immigrant, whatever the differences we find to categorise people – ultimately, we are all one.[…]

Beyond the impressive skyline of modern Singapore, a visit to the humble premises of the Chinese Heritage Centre in Pagoda Street is a deeply moving experience. Here, in touching detail, is documented the beginnings of modern Singapore. The coolies and amahs, the rickshaw men and house boys whose lives are documented here, came to a city whose streets were supposedly paved with gold.[…]

In British colonial Singapore, early Chinese immigrants were Other and remained so in the British colonial psyche until our relatively recent independence and the end of British rule.

The narrative that emerges from that early pre-independent Singapore of Chinese immigrants is a narrative of courage and hope, of hard work and reinvention. It is a narrative to be proud of and one that has produced all we take so easily for granted in today’s Singapore. Our narratives reflect not only our histories, hopes and fears, but also the values we live by.[…]

In creating bridges, we celebrate diversity, deepen our sense of ourselves and create a society where all can belong, contribute and grow.

(A  version  of  this  article  appeared  in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 31, 2020)

Born and educated in London, Dr Meira Chand is regarded as Singapore’s premier novelist. She is the author of nine novels, whose themes examine the conflict of cultures and the search for identity.

Meira Chand has graciously accepted the position of Patron of ASAA. She is a long time member of ASAA and is well-known to an international readership..Her career has spanned both East and West: UK., India, Japan and Singapore. We like to think she has a bond with Australia having completed her doctoral studies at the University of Western Australia.

See her website:

https://www.meirachand.com

The Economy: Gota’s Enemy Number One Sri Lanka

Dr. Ameer Ali

 

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s   victory over LTTE and limited           victory over Covid-19 are fast        turning           into just    sweet                                but distant memories. A

new enemy […]the economic virus is hitting every one[…] By the second quarter of this year, almost 300  million jobs [would] have been wiped out. In short, the world is experiencing the worst economic recession ever. Given this gloomy scenario what chance does tiny Sri Lanka have to swim against the tide?

[…]. As consumer spending falls, businesses will suffer,

unemployment          will          increase, household                                        income                   will    fall,    and government                        revenue                                     collection    will fall. It is going to be a vicious circle[…] In  several  of  my  earlier  pieces  I  have emphasised  the  point  that  economic recovery  should  be  a  collective  effort involving                       every              community                      in  the country.  Any  policy  or  measure  that keeps     communities                     divided       and disunited  is  a criminal offence against the  economy  and  the  country.  This  is lesson   number   one   that   should   be learnt from                  the        experience     of 1970s.[ …]The  crying  need  of  the  time therefore is economic survival, and any impediment   that   disrupts   economic output  in  any  part  of  the  country  by any  section  of  the population  must  be removed       forthwith.           This        is                                               a fundamental   truth   that   the   regime must  understand.  Unfortunately,  the heat   of   an   election   is   accentuating disunity                   and     obstructing                       recovery efforts. The  Economy  is  Gota’s  enemy no.1.  If  he  fails  to  defeat  it,  he  would become peoples’ enemy no.1.

The Colombo Telegraph 26 July 2020

https://www.colombotelegraph.com/ind ex.php/the-economy-gotas-enemy- number-one/

 

Statues…When They Fall

 

Satendra Nandan University of Canberra

 

Sceptre and Crown

Must tumble down,

And in the dust be equal made With poor

crooked scythe and spade.

Only the actions of the just Smell sweet and blossom in the dust.

[James Shirley 1596 -1666]

Years ago I wrote an essay on why the bust will survive the city. Today, even as archaeologists are digging up ancient ruins to find the human route to civilization, the statues which adorned many a city and cobbled streets are being toppled.

Many are under serious public scrutiny as people dig out the dirty linen of history by some of our revered ‘heroes’ whose lives chime with those cruel times.

Many were despots, slave owners, tyrants, dictators and those who abused and suppressed some part of our humanity with most brutal means.

Black Lives Matter, BLM, marches have brought all this to a crescendo and the sight of statues being so unceremoniously rolled down the streets like rubbish bins is not an uplifting sight.

Push these into the rubbish bin of history, where they belong, seems the catch-cry of the many.

No  time  is  better  than  this  contagion: COVID-19.It’s   this   virus   that   is   not only  affecting  our  daily  reality  but  is turning  the  pages  of  history  to  be  re- read  as  a  man’s  memory  rejuvenates just before he faces death.

The  mental  anguish  of  COVID- 19  will  take  us  a  generation  or  two  to understand:  it  will  make  us  dig  our own lives as Death makes us read and re-read texts that the living created for us to face this one fatal reality.

This, I hope, is not seen as a pessimistic view: it is what great upheavals in human affairs do. The world, though, is born anew with a new light and message.

The Crucifixion and Resurrection seem part of that metaphor. The Mahabharata is the most apocalyptic endgame of our existential fate: the Bhagavadgita is its preamble.

*

The current tragedy enveloping the whole            world  is         a          time                 for

contemplation and critical evaluation of our modern civilization.

These thoughts come to my mind as I’m writing a rather long essay for a book on Mahatma Gandhi to be published from Washington: I mention Washington advisedly. My editor- friend, who teaches there, has written only today: ‘the work of ours will be weighty and relevant–so crucial in India and for the world’.

Gandhi is not an easy subject: he questions   all   your   assumptions   and fixed  ideas.  His  book,  Hind  Swaraj, written   in   10   days   on   a   ship,   SS Kildonan   Castle,   is   a   classic   of   its genre:   it   is   a   severe   indictment   of European civilization at its peak.

The   volume   was   published   in 1909   and   promptly   banned   by   the British   Raj.   It   was   composed   when Gandhi was returning from London to Durban  where  he  spent  twenty  years fighting   against  racial   prejudice   and significantly  changed  the  world  in  its relentless  pursuit  of  life  and  liberty, greed and aggrandizement.

He considered western civilization self-destructive with its brute colonization but not beyond redemption by its Christian ethics, although he knew that Christianity, like all religions, was complicit in exploitation.

He believed that there’s a possibility of a better world even as Europe was marching towards a chasm on the road of immorality after immorality.

Within five years of the publication of the volume, Europe was plunged in that devastatingly destructive war from which it has never recovered.

Brexit is simply a footnote to that historical suicide of a mighty civilization and the world’s greatest but very brief Empire. Joseph Conrad’s great short novel Heart Of Darkness was not about Africa: it was more about Europe.

When Gandhi’s book was published one professor was writing: Britain controls today the destinies of some 350,000,000 alien people, unable yet to govern themselves.

Within forty years the empire that governed roughly ‘a quarter of the world’s population, covered about the same proportions of the land’s surface and dominated nearly all ocean’, unraveled.

Today many monuments of kings and queens lie upon one another in obscure museums, gathering dust and eaten by rust and rats.

How the mighty have fallen is best shown in sharp steel images in the demolition of some of the statues in the current crisis.

As if people are asking for a new evaluation of our historical past in the context of new knowledge and perspectives on history itself.

Dig but how deep do you want to dig? And   it’s   not   only  history’s   distorted truth  that is  being questioned: it’s  our democracies, our economic structures, our   financial   arrangements   ,     our glorification              of        globalization,                     our treatment                of               asylum           seekers           and refugees  :  the  100  million  displaced roaming  the  seas  and  land  to  find  a place in the lands of the conquered and more significantly the conquerors.

Mr Donald Trump promised to build several walls: today the White House itself has a steel fence.

Nothing will stop now the peoples’ migration: just as empires were built with guns and genocide on all the continents and so many islands: often with divine sanction in the name of civilizing missions.

The modern world is created by migration: the new migration has disturbed the status  quo. And COVID-

19   has   reshaped   the   world   by   its invisible   presence   and   made   us   all deeply   vulnerable:   wave   after   wave, until  it  becomes  a  tsunami,  unless  we combine    the    world’s    resources    to

combat this with hope, innovation and collective determination.

No-one is safe until all are safe.

So far the signs are not promising: from Washington to New Delhi, London to Sao Paulo. Beijing and Moscow seem to be on another planet altogether.

The future is no longer like the pandemic of the past: our priorities and pride, our perceptions and prejudices, must undergo a sea-change even as the world’s climate is changing catastrophically, invisibly very moment.

The Earth is not wearing any mask: look around from your backyard, across your street and see the setting sun or the rising moon and say if you’ve cared for the largest life- giving force: our one and only Mother Earth.

*

I’m not much for statues. Ultimately they are good for pigeons, or perhaps a few monkeys, only.

But I’ve been involved in the erection of one statue: that of Mahatma Gandhi installed in Glebe Park in Canberra in the heart of the city. It was an initiative of a friend of mine–a devotee of the Mahatma: the statues are his gift to several cities.

He’s planning to send one to Fiji also: luckily he’s a rich accountant with more than an accountant’s accountability to a society that has given him a home and security.

So today, among several statues, we’ve two in Canberra that I’ve some interest in: Gandhi of course. But there’s another one: I’d not noticed it on the ANU campus where I had a cottage for three years.

Across the road from where we lived, shrouded in the ghostly gum tress, is another statue : that of Winston Churchill. It stands there covered in leaves unlike the one in London protected by a steel fence.

Because it was camouflaged, I hadn’t noticed it.

It was only when we were thinking of installing a Gandhi statue that someone pointed it out to me that there’s one of Winston Churchill.

Gandhi and Churchill, were inveterate adversaries; Churchill saw that if Gandhi wins, the Empire will be dismantled. Hitler for him was an easier enemy; violence can be defeated with violence.

How do you fight someone who doesn’t see you as an enemy but a friend.

My bet is with the half-naked fakir; rather than the man with a big cigar– all cigars, after all, end in ashes. The half-naked understood the true meaning of nakedness in a world where we, the other half, overload ourselves in the Emperor’s new clothes, presumably ‘Made in China’.

—————————27 June, 2020.

Note

Satendra Nandan’s two books, GIRMIT: Epic lives in Small Lines ; Twin Journeys: Love and Grief, will be published later this

 year.                                                                             

Few national leaders were as friendly as Gandhi to the British Empire, trained as a lawyer in London, and where he discovered many treasures of his Indian heritage and cultivated enduring friendships in exile.

Isabel Alonso-Breto

Churchill, of course, was the British hero who won the war, helped by Russian, American and Empire’s soldiers, more than a million from India alone.

Today Sir Winston Churchill’s statues are under threat in England and elsewhere; Gandhi’s have been defaced by some rebels in the Eastern India and in some African campuses; and the Indian Parliament now has installed a portrait of the man who conspired to assassinate the Mahatma . The ironies of history are manifold.

I remember being briefly a Fellow in Churchill College in Cambridge some years ago: as you approach the Dining Hall there’s a statue of Churchill right in the front: what strikes you is the shining feet where people must have touched them as they entered the hall for a meal.

Today I think that the man who never fasted, and the one who fasted to save others, are two different qualities of   heroes.   Whose   bust   will   survive COVID-19?

Remember

 

In the memory of the COVID 19 victims

I shall be in a daisy I shall be in a finch

I shall be in every chime of the bell in its tower

I shall be in every laugh

I shall be in the crack of the snow when you walk

in sharp winter

I shall be in the sea and the meadows Find me too in the sigh

of an elderly person

I shall be in the angle chosen by the camerawoman

in the stroke aflamencado wept out by the guitar

in the white sky, in the hunger in the failure not to dream

I shall be in Teruel’s mighty holm oaks and Australian eucalypti

in the cheerful rhythms of summers of old

and in every one of the books we accepted

as life presents including Geometry and Byung Chul Han’s

I shall be in Bruno’s yawning and stretching

its swift catty laziness

and in the silence of those who do not have

I shall be in your eyes and in your hands

and in the fresh light of every early morning

I shall be

in all the poems

Springtime that year

Written on 21 March 2020

Every sign cried out to heaven The plastic, the sea, the rush

The orange leader’s gold faucets

apartment

Nasdaq composite index, private burials

Children soldiers, children wives Monsanto

Howls in the world democracy tribunes

The over-famous fifteen minutes of fame

Our oblivion of being

The plastic, the sea, virtual kissing Flags as garment, guns

Skint lunch family gatherings at home on the sidewalk

Walls sealing in affluence and sealing off need

Animal, human abuse Putting an end to one life And killing thousands

Tanks, refugee camps Walls sealing in affluence The plastic

The sea

The oblivion The urgency

Every palpable sign cried out to heaven that spring

Isabel Alonso-Breto Centre for Australian and Transnational Studies University of Barcelona, Spain

 

Australia Unmasked – We’re all in this together but not quite…*

-Stephen Alomes           12 July 2020

* An Australian view written in June – when the gravity of the pandemic was not fully apparent.

Scenes from the Pandemic war zone

…a light on a society’s complexities Australia  has  done  well  with  just  over 100 deaths and around 8,000 cases. ‘We have a moat and  we’ll use it’ said the  Tasmanian  Premier.  Restricted  or no  entry  was  implemented  by  several states and by the federal government.

Coffee Tribalism, Flat White Wars – suggesting the Victorian view of the quality of coffee in New South Wales.

Except there are complexities involving every social category.

The rich – skiers who came  back from Colorado brought the virus from the US (luckily slightly less affluent skiers went to Japan)

Women   …who   lost    more   jobs    in service, hospitality, retail than men Men           …who   die   more   easily   from Covid-19

Boomers …older people who die more   easily   from   Covid-19   …in   an amusing black joke on social media the virus   was   described   as   a   ‘Boomer Remover’

Millennials and after …who spread the virus by failing to social distance Grandparents and those in aged care …often unable to see or to hug their younger relatives

Workers …who have jobs which can’t be done at home … and economically need to go to work …and sometimes, like Singapore building workers, live in more crowded or smaller spaces

Different ethnicities …some of whom have larger families in houses, may not have received all the information in their languages, and have cultural traditions of large gatherings and embracing plus…

Victorians           …to           some Queenslanders the ‘Mexicans’ who remained banned from that northern border in early July …in a state with a June outbreak, following those other Mexicans from New South Wales who had the biggest outbreaks from a  cruise ship and in aged care homes

…interestingly ‘state patriotism’ had strong moments, but few nationalist drums were heard.

Political leaders who were either ‘dictators’ for encouraging a lockdown or social isolation and social distancing or had saved the state and the nation Labour-hire companies whose workers spread the disease (Burnie Tasmania one worker at two hospitals and three

aged care homes, Victoria, a meat works spread)

Travellers, returnees  and others, did they bring the virus?

International students, who have been deprived of their part-time work and did not receive the government’s support packages

…along with many casual workers, temporary workers from overseas, arts workers; or the universities (on which the government practised vengeance) Early, in some areas, people of Chinese origin, who a few racists wrongly assumed were carriers of the virus Incompetent security companies, who failed              (or    did    government    health department’s fail) to train their staff working in quarantine hotels in safe practices.

Toilet paper hoarders who felt that they needed to control what they could control (do they think they are sports coaches?)

And in the vernacular, there are those ubiquitous ‘wankers’ – middle class WASPs, tradies and orange top workers, keyboard warriors on social media, all sorts of people who don’t think it matters. I suggested that they hold a telepathic Zoom conversation with the half a million dead just to confirm their views.

The Prize

And who gets the Donald Trump/ Jair Bolsonaro (‘it’s a little flu…some people will die, that’s life’ said the Brazilian, who then became infected) prize for making mistakes?

I would give it to the herd mentality among several official epidemiologists who did not recognise the evidence that to a degree, as with all medical and safety interventions, masks help reduce the spread of infections.

Masks plus Social Distancing plus Hand washing work in many countries.

Nicholas Hasluck

 

 

‘I see traces in my past that point to what the world has now become.’

Like  many  young  Australians  in  the 1960s    Nick    Hasluck    set    sail    for London, in his case for a post-graduate law  degree,  but  looking  also  for  new horizons and ways to be a writer. From a   seedy   room   at   the   International Language     Club     he     explored     the ‘Kangaroo  Valley’  party  scene  around Earl’s Court – until he met a girl from the  Cotswolds  who  was  to  change  his life,       a       romance       leading       to misadventures       in       Europe       and eventually to a job in Fleet Street.

Britain was opening up to him in unexpected ways. He recalls combative speakers at the Oxford Union – Malcolm X, James Baldwin, Tariq Ali – and luminaries in other places such as Menzies, Profumo, Field Marshal Slim and the controversial jurists, Hailsham and Denning.

Along the way, Hasluck writes skilfully of becoming a lawyer, then a Judge, and also a well-known novelist. In this eloquent memoir the mind of the lawyer is constantly enriched by the style of the writer. To a lively storyteller the world beyond the equator is still the miracle it always was.

Publisher: Arcadia Australian

Scholarly Publishing

Black November: Writings on the 1984 Sikh Massacres and the Aftermath

Ed. Ishmeet Kaur Chaudhry

 

Marking  the  35th   anniversary  of  1984 massacres  of  the  Sikhs,  an  anthology on    the    subject    has    been    recently published      in      Oct,      2019.      This unprecedented        collection        brings together  interviews   of   the  survivors, selected    affidavits    filed    before    the Nanavati  commission  in  2000,  short stories, plays and poems.[…]

The psychological trauma and the distressful conditions have led some of their children into drug addiction and petty crimes; many of the widows of the colony continue fighting in the wait of justice, leaving behind their stories of strength and survival. This volume provides a voice for these women and[…]compels us to seek justice and healing for the survivors.

 Publisher: Speaking Tiger, Oct. 2019    

By

Anjali Gera Roy

Publisher: Routledge, August  2019

A New Achievement -Chapter from  Glen Phillips  War Novel

 

 

VIEW ARTICLE

http://voyagesjournal.org/rescue- mission/

 

JEAN ARASANAYAGAM (1931-2019)

A Tribute

Jean Arasanayagam

 

My first memories of Jean Aunty are from the suburb of Watapuluwa in Kandy where the Arasanayagam’s were our immediate neighbours. Our house was on a small hillock and they lived immediately below us. Food, neighbourly affection, dogs and cats and many other things including books flowed freely between these porous borders. It is within this small domestic economy that my first substantive encounters with literature in English began to form. Food flowed from our house and literature  flowed in return from the Arasanayagam’s.[…] the Arasanayagam’s house literally overflowed with literature. Books occupied and spilled out of every conceivable surface and the house itself was in perpetual disarray. It is in this strangely magical space that I began to form a love for literature and reading. Jean gave her time and knowledge generously[…]

Perhaps the most enduring memory of Jean was one darkened by the tragic ethno-nationalist history of Sri Lanka. But one, which in many ways captures how the personal and

the political mingle in our lives – both hers  and  mine. When  Black  July  1983 happened I was a 9 year- old boy with little  or  no  understanding  of  the  dark political  undercurrents  of  postcolonial Sri   Lanka.   But   they   came   home   to Watapuluwa in the form of a mob that set  fire  to  the  Arasanayagam’s  Tamil neighbours’  house  and  threatened  to attack  the  Arasanayagam’s  themselves

– on account of Arasa Uncle’s Tamil identity. Jean and the two daughters sought refuge in our house and uncle at a neighbours’ until the army arrived and took them to a refugee camp.

1983  of course marks  a  turning point  in  Jean’s  career  as  a  writer  and poet. By this time, she was already well known  and  critically   acclaimed   as   a writer.  But  the  tragic  events  of  Black July   and   her   complex   identity   as   a Burgher   woman   married   to   a   man from    a    high    caste    Tamil    Hindu background and how this in turn made her   a   victim   of   chauvinist   Sinhala nationalist      forces,      propelled      her writing  to  national  and  international recognition.      Her      narrative      voice became  one  intimately  identified  with the  violence  of  the  Sri  Lankan  post- independence   nation   state   and   the multiple   ways   in   which   it   excluded people.   Speaking   from   a   doubly   or triply     marginalized     space,     Jean’s poetry  became  iconic  signifiers  of  the cultural   politics   of   nationalism.   The poem  I  quote  at  the  beginning  of  this tribute       captures       the       multiple contradictions   and   potentials   of   her identity.  In  the  restless  energy  of  the Kindura   –   half   bird,   half   human   – Jean  sees  herself  –  constrained  and inhibited  by  the  cultural  and  political forces of mainstream society but full of the  promise  and  potential  of  a  hybrid being.    Post-1983    this    becomes    an abiding and dominant theme in Jean’s poetry and prose. In a richly suggestive and   lyrical   language   she   begins   an intense  and  passionate  exploration  of her   divided   identity   which   in   turn

produced a rich, varied and challenging body of literature that constantly reminds us that Sri Lanka is a place of many peoples, many cultures and many belongings.[ …]

Jean’s  demise  leaves  a  vacuum in  Sri  Lankan  writing  in  English.  She was  one of the pioneers  of Sri  Lankan writing    in    English    who    took    our writing  to  the  world  and  helped  place Sri  Lankan  writing  in  English  on  the global  literary  map.  The  singularity  of her  personality  and  poetic  vision  will remain  unmatched.  Her  passing  also marks the passing of a generation that experienced     1983     as     a     defining moment  in  the  postcolonial  history  of this country and a generation that was mature  enough  to  craft  an  enduring literary-cultural    legacy    out    of    this trauma. But knowing Jean Aunty, it is not     with     solemnity     and     somber reflection    she    would    want    to    be remembered – rather it would be with the   exuberance   of   her   Kindura-like hybrid life.

Author -Prof. Harshana Rambukwella

Open University of Sri Lanka ( Re-print from The Colombo Telegraph)

 

Note: This eloquent tribute to a unique woman, novelist and poet is best read in its entirety at the following link: https://www.colombotelegraph.com/ind ex.php/jean-arasanayagam-a-life-lived- in-exuberance-a-personal-professional-

 tribute/                                                                       

 

International Conference by Katherine Mansfield Society

 

“Katherine Mansfield: Germany and Beyond” Bad Wörishofen, Germany 15–16 April 2021

Abstracts  of  200  words,  together  with a  50-word  bio-sketch,  should  be  sent tothe conference organisers:

Dr   Delia   da   Sousa    Correa   (Open University,                UK),                Dr        Gerri   Kimber (University   of                    Northampton,                       UK), Monika Sobotta (Open University, UK) and                Professor                           Janet     Wilson (University of Northampton, UK) at kms@katherinemansfieldsociety.org Submission deadline:

28 February 2021

 

Update: CISLE Conferences

The biennial CISLE   Conference which had been scheduled  for July 2020 had to     be     transferred     twice.     Several members    of    ASAA         are    regular attendees  at  this     extremely  popular biennial conference; it has been   much missed   this   year.   See   plans   for   the future below.

From Prof. Wolfgang Zach ( University of Innsbruck, Austria) and Prof. Lily Tope                   (University          of          the Philippines)wolfgang.zach@uibk.ac.a t; lrtope@yahoo.com.

  • Re 2020          Cancellations, Transferences etc:

It is deeply ironic that we tried to save our biennial conference from a catastrophic volcanic eruption

threatening    our    venue    Manila    by transferring it to Innsbruck, the hub of CISLE, in February, shortly before the outbreak    of    the    corona    virus    in China.[…]Lily   Rose   Tope   and   I   as convenors   are   [were]   in   favour   of postponing       our       conference       to Innsbruck   in   July   2021   rather   than cancelling      it      altogether      as      we have[had]  received  so  many  excellent abstracts of most interesting papers[…]

  • CISLE Conferences Galway 2022 and Rome 2024

Our       Executive       Committee       and Advisory   Board   have   agreed   to   the proposal  by  the  Director  of  CISLE  to accept    offers    of    holding    our    next biennial conferences at Galway in July 2022 and in Rome in July 2024.

  • Publication of   CISLE Ljubljana Conference Volume

Good news : Our Ljubljana Conference Volume on “Transcending Boundaries: Migrations,  Dislocations,  and  Literary Transformations”  with  thirty-four  fine papers  by  scholars  and  writers  from around the world has just gone to print and  will  be  out very  soon  in  our  book series      SECL      26      published      by Stauffenburg        Publ.:        Tuebingen, Germany.

ASAA TEAM

 

 

Meira Chand—Patron

 

Stephen Alomes—President, ASAA (Australia) Adjunct Professor at RMIT University, Melbourne. He is possibly one of the longest-standing members of the Association and has made a distinctive contribution to all our conferences and publications over many years, with a particular interest in the national and the colonial in a globalising world.

(See several annotations regarding Stephen Alomes in this Newsletter) Email: stephen.alomes@rmit.edu.au

Kieran  Dolin—Vice-President,  ASAA  (Australia)  is  Associate  Professor  of English  at   the  University  of  Western  Australia  and  Head  of  Postgraduate  Studies. He was   a representative for    WA   with ASAA and has visited Hyderabad before for an  ASAA  Conference.  His  work  to  assist  the    ASAA  group  attend  the  Hyderabad Literary Festival  2020 was phenomenal. Besides presentations at the Festival he also met  with  officials  of  Osmania  University    to  initiate  official    discussions  on  the possibility  of  establishing  a  formal  Link  with  the  University  of  Western  Australia. (See the numerous annotations in this Newsletter) Email: kieran.dolin@uwa.edu.au

Kavita  Ivy Nandan—Secretary, ASAA  (Australia)  is   editor  co-editor  several work from 1998- 2007.Her  first novel Home after Dark was published in 2015.. She completed  her  PhD  in  Literature  at  the  Australian  National  University  and  has lectured  in  Creative  Writing  and  Literature  at  the  University  of  Canberra,  the University   of  the  South  Pacific,  Charles   Darwin   University   and   the  Australian National University. Kavita was born  in  New Delhi, grew up  in  Suva and moved  to Canberra in 1987. While still a postgraduate Kavita  attended the historic first ASAA conference in Kerala in 1997. Email: nandan.kavita@gmail.com

Parimala  Kulkarni—President,  ASAA  (Asia)  teaches  in  the  Department  of English,  Osmania  University,  Hyderabad.  Her  area  of  specialization  is  Women’s Writing.  Her  research  interests  include  Indian  Literature,  Gender  Studies,  and English   Language   Pedagogy.   She   has   co-edited   a   book,   Contemporary   British Literature – Post 1990s: A Critical Study. She is a recipient of a UGC Research Award 2014-2016. She was previously Secretary (Asia) and has had crucial responsibilities for the production of the ASAA Newsletter. Email: paripavan@gmail.com

[Sincere thanks to Dr. Vijay Kumar Tadakamalla who served in this position with distinction despite his manifold duties as Professor of English at Osmania University and many responsibilities serving the larger Hyderabad community in the field of literature, media and the arts.]

K.T. Sunitha—Vice-President, ASAA (Asia) was formerly  Professor of English at the University of Mysore. She organised the ASAA Conference in Mysore in July 2010,   bringing   together   several   institutions,   besides   the  University   of   Mysore: Professor  C.D.  Narasimhaiah’s  Dhvanyaloka  as  well  as  Professor  Anniah  Gowda’s International  Centre  for  Commonwealth  and  American  Literature  and  Language Studies. She has presented research papers on Indian writers at Australian university conferences  and  taught  Australian  literature  and  presented  research  papers  in  the field at Indian and other international conferences. Email: kt_sunitha@yahoo.co.in

Secretary, ASAA (Asia)- TBA

 

Ishmeet Kaur—Editor, ASAA Website is an Assistant Professor in the School of Language,  Literature  and  Culture  Studies  at  the  Central  University  of  Gujarat, Gandhinagar.     She     teaches     courses     in     English     literature,     language     and communication  studies  and  has  worked  on  translations  of  texts  from  Punjabi  into English   and   vice   versa.   Her   specialist   interests   in   research   lie   in   Australian Literature,  Post-colonial  Studies  and  Sikh  Studies.  She  has  worked   on  Indigenous writing  from  Australia  and  India.  Her  doctoral  thesis  was  a  comparative  study  of Patrick White’s novels and Guru Granth Sahib. She has recently published (2014) a

work entitled, Patrick White: Critical Issues. She was selected as an “Inspired Teacher” for the President of India’s In-Residence Programme at Rashtrapati

 Bhavan, New Delhi. Email: ishmeetsaini@gmail.com                                                    

ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Greg Battye is Adjunct Professor in Design and Creative Practice at the University of  Canberra.  His  research  includes  photography,  narrative  theory  and  new  writing technologies and new media forms. Greg’s works are held by the National Gallery of Australia, the National Library of Australia and other national institutions. Greg was vice-president       of       ASAA       for       several       years       from       2007.       Email: Greg.Battye@canberra.edu.au

Tony Simoes da Silva was Professor and Associate Dean of International Programmes with responsibility for South Asia till he recently took up the position of Head of the School of Humanities at the University of Tasmania. Tony co-edits the Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (JASAL) and La Questioners Meridionale/The Southern Question. He attended the ASAA conference at Osmania University and is well-known to many of our Asian colleagues. Email: Tony.SimoesdaSilva@utas.edu.au (Note: TBC).

Glen Phillips is a well-known poet and is Director of the Landscape and Language Centre  at  Edith  Cowan  University  adjunct  ECU  professor.  He  serves  on  several literary boards and Foundations and is represented in more than 20 anthologies and is  author  or  editor  of  20  books.  Glen  has  been  a  long-time  supporter  of  ASAA initiatives, since its inception in 1995. Email: glenlyp@bigpond.com

Anjali Gera Roy is Professor in the Department of Humanities of Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. She has published essays in  literature, film and cultural studies on India as well as on African culture. She is now researching the transnational flows of Bollywood cinema and has recently co-edited several volumes in this field. She was President of ASAA (Asia) for several years and has remained an active member of ASAA for many years. Email: agera_99@yahoo.com

Satendra Nandan is Emeritus Professor at the University of Canberra. He is also widely known for his creative work as and as a poet. In March 2012 he was awarded the   prestigious   Harold   White   Fellowship   at   the   National   Library   to   write   his autobiography.  He  has  lately  been  appointed  a  member  of  the  Fiji  Constitutional Commission  (July  2,  2012).  He  helped  found  ASAA  at  the  historic  meeting  at  the ACLALS conference in Colombo in 1995 and has served as vice–president for many years. E-mail: satendra.nandan@gmail.com

Cynthia vanden Driesen is a Research Fellow with the School of Humanities, University of Western Australia. Her research and publications are mainly in the area of Australian writing and other New Literatures in English. With help from Satendra Nandan she set up ASAA at an international meeting of Asian and Australian academics in Colombo (noted above). She has served continuously as President since the inception of the Association and is currently the Chair of the Advisory Council. E- mail: cynthia.v@westnet.com.au

Additional Committee Members in the Region

India

 

Dr. N. Bindu (Madras) Dr.Suneetha Rani (Hyderabad), Dr.Keya Majumdar (Jamshedpur); Prof. Indibar Mukherjee (Patna); Prof. Mani Meitel (Manipur); Dr. Jagdish Batra (MDU); Dr. V. Sangeetha (Tamil Nadu), Arindam Das (Kolkata); Dr. Julie Mehta (Kolkata); Dr Suman Bala (Delhi); Prof. R.K. Dhawan (Delhi); A/Prof. Pavan B P (Mysore); Dr. Neeta Sashidharan (Kerala); Prof. Ravishankar Rao (Mangalore)

Australia

 

Dr. Lynnette Lounsbury, Avondale College; Prof. Bill Ashcroft, UNSW; Ms. Julia Gross, ECU; Dr. Abu Siddique, UWA; Dr. Keith Truscott, Curtin University ; Prof. Glen Phillips, ECU; Dr. Ameer Ali, Murdoch University; A/Prof. Abu Siddique, Dr. Michael Gillan, A/Prof. Kieran Dolin, University of Western Australia; Prof. Stephen Alomes, RMIT; Prof. Satendra Nandan, University of Canberra.

New Zealand Professor Mark Williams, Victoria University of Canterbury.

Singapore               Professor Kirpal Singh, Singapore Management University.

Sri Lanka                Professor Frances Bulathsinghala, Open University of Sri Lanka. Writer, Journalist, Academic. Jean Arasanayagam’s successor tba.

Malaysia                  A/Professor Carol Leon, University of Malaysia.

  1. Korea Professor Kim Hyung Shik, Chung-Ang University.

China                        Professor Lu Le, Australian Studies Center, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology.

Professor Liang Zhong, Mudangiang, Australian Studies Center

Japan                       Professor Yasue Amritsu, Doshisa University, Kyoto. Philippines             Professor Marjorie Evanesco-Pernia, De La Salle University. Bangladesh Dr.MashrurHosain, Jhanaginagar University

West Africa            Professor Karen King-Aribisala, University of Lagos

Associate Committee Members (Europe)

 

Spain                        Dr. Susan Ballyn, Dr. Isabel Alonso, University of Barcelona

Czech Republic    Dr. Jitka Vlkova, University of Brno

Italy                           Dr. Stefano Mercanti, University of Udine Professor Antonella Riem, University of Udine

Austria                     Dr. Eleonore Wildburger, Univ. of Klagenfurt

Germany                 Dr. Sissy Helff, Universitat Darmstadt;

Prof. Dr. Brigitte Johanna Glaser, University of Goettingen.

U.S.A                        Dr. Nathanael O’Reilly, Texas Christian University

Assoc.    Professor    Pavithra    Narayanan,    Washington               State University, Vancouver

U.K.                           Professor Janet Wilson, University of Northampton,

Canada                     Dr. Aparna Halpe, University of Toronto

South Africa          Dr. Bridget Grogan, University of Johannesburg

Application for Membership of ASAA

 

Name (in capital letters) Prof./Dr./Mr./Ms.                                                          

 

Institutional Affiliation                                                                              _ Mailing Address                                                                                                       _ Telephone No                                                                _                                                                                                                                         _

E-mail Address                                                                                                                                                 _

 

Special interest in Australian/NZ Studies Publications/Research/Teaching

 

 

 

 

 

Signature

Date:

(Please address applications to the presidents or committee members of either the Asian or Australasian branches of the association, depending on where you are located. Email addresses provided above)

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