International conference: Carpentaria by Alexis Wright, a self-governing literature that belongs to place
19-20 October 2021 at the Université de Bretagne Occidentale, Brest, France
The novel Carpentaria by Indigenous writer Alexis Wright has been chosen as one of the core texts for the Agrégation of English language. This is a historic choice for the Agrégation examination, as English-language literature outside the British, Irish and American cultures typically only features in the optional tests. The international conference on Carpentaria organized by the Université de Bretagne Occidentale on 19-20 October 2021, will serve as a day-long event for Agrégation preparators. Through this hybrid event, many international speakers will be able to discuss Carpentaria with French Agrégation preparators, with candidates to the Agrégation and with academic researchers and lecturers.
Alexis Wright is a leading voice in both Australian and Anglophone literature. For many years, she has been advocating in favour of Indigenous people’s sovereignty and for the recognition of environmental rights. In the media, her statements on global warming and the depletion of natural resources, as well as her calls to abandon the colonial approach to the environmental issue that characterizes industrial civilization, have received considerable attention. Her works have been published in French by Actes Sud, including two of her unique books published in English.
The inclusion of this novel as a core work in the English Aggregation program is significant for its original and innovative aesthetic, its decolonial aspect, and its resistance to Western tools of literary analysis. Through this novel, several hundred students will learn about the issues of colonialism, Aboriginal epistemologies, decolonization and current forms of control and resistance in Australia (and elsewhere).
In addition to the various contributions, the conference program will feature an online conversation with Alexis Wright, two keynote lectures by leading Indigenous scholars and writers Jeanine Leane and Sandra Phillips, with a third keynote lecture by Temiti Lehartel, an Indigenous teacher from French Polynesia. It will also include poetry readings and performances by Aboriginal female poets Ali Cobby Eckermann, Jeanine Leane, Romaine Moreton and Ellen van Neerven, and readings in English and French by writers Anita Heiss, Philip McLaren and Kim Scott.
This international conference on Carpentaria is organized jointly with a conference on Indigenous Environmental Art Practices as Responses to Pollution, which will also take place in Brest on 21 and 22 October 2021.
The program also includes a conversion with Alexis Wright on her novel The Swan Book and a conversation with Tara June Winch on her novel The Yield.
To register for the conference, please fill in: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc18DoG8FM675W_axXuHHC-FbAO9OiOE_mgSD9A6aR39tD3Vg/viewform