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Writers as Activists - Geoff Davis

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Flinders University Victoria Square

182 Victoria Square

Level 1, Room 2

Adelaide, SA 5000

Australia

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In their seminal study Postcolonial Ecocriticism, Helen Tiffin and Graham Huggan argue that imaginative literature can act as ‘a catalyst for social action’. Professor Davis will discuss fictional and non-fictional texts that illustrate some of the ways writers have chosen to intervene and exemplify the kind of contribution literature can make to urgent social debates. They include Ganesh Devy’s reflections on his work in A Nomad called Thief, Ken Saro-Wiwa’s account of the pollution of the Niger Delta region in Genocide in Nigeria and Arundhati Roy’s political essays in The Algebra of Infinite Justice; the Nigerian Helon Habila’s Oil on Water and the South African Deon Meyer’s Blood Safari, which both, perhaps unexpectedly, use the genre of the thriller to articulate a critique of environmental exploitation; and finally Amitav Ghosh’s harrowing and powerfully convincing, non-fictional work The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable, in which he deplores the lack of awareness of the seriousness of climate change on the part of writers (including himself) hitherto and calls for urgent action before it is too late.

Geoff Davis is past-president of the Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (ACLALS) and of its European chapter (EACLALS). During his Australian visit he is also presenting a keynote lecture at the conference of the South Pacific chapter (SPACLALS) in Parramatta in February. Professor Davis has taught at several European universities. He has authored and edited approximately 40 books relating to his research interests in Colonial and Postcolonial Writing, Drama and Film, with a particular emphasis on Southern Africa, Canada, and Australia.

Flinders Institute for Research in the Humanities (FIRtH) is pleased to host this free public lecture. For more information about FIRtH please visit us at http://www.flinders.edu.au/ehl/firth/

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Flinders University Victoria Square

182 Victoria Square

Level 1, Room 2

Adelaide, SA 5000

Australia

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