Academics and researchers from across Australia will present papers on a range of topics responding to the theme ‘Sites of Publishing’.

Convened by Dr Alexandra Dane and Dr Millicent Weber.

For full abstracts of the papers below, please click here.

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Tickets are available for any of the three days, all three, or a combination.

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Mary Poppins’ Publishing Compass

by Professor Claire Squires, University of Stirling

Inspired by a scene from PL Travers’ Mary Poppins (1934), in which a magical box opens up perspectives to the north, south, east and west, this keynote goes on a journey structured around four points of a ‘publishing compass’, responding to the following questions (not necessarily in this order). In so doing, it thinks through a series of pressing issues for publishing and publishing research, and interrogates how we might set our coordinates in order best to navigate through them as both researchers and practitioners of publishing:

Publishing Geographies: the spatial organisation of publishing has long been global, but determined along lines which continually reassert hierarchical structures of power, the less than equal ‘world republic of letters’ (Casanova) which privileges certain languages, countries, and metropolitan centres. How might local, regional, ‘remote’, peripheral and digital activity be disrupting, shoring up or diverging from such patternings? Is the publishing map being redrawn, and if so, in what ways?

Publishing Epistemologies: as the publishing industries face increasing disruption, challenge and opportunity in their operations, how do structures of knowledge make sense of the current state and future shape of those industries? What is the role of the academic researcher, and which creative and critical modes might be employed to understand, or intervene in publishing’s directions? And what place might the small Scottish Highlands town of Ullapool take in such concerns?

Publishing Responsibilities: independent publishers have frequently taken a role in directing publishing’s moral, cultural and political compass. In an age of ongoing inequalities, hastening climate crisis and geopolitical upheaval, how might publishers, and publishing studies academics, respond to such challenges, take action to address them, develop socially just post-growth economic structures, and plan for responsible futures?

Publishing Imaginaries: what might future ‘imagined communities’ (Anderson) generated by publishing look like, and by which dystopian and utopian visions of the future might we want to navigate in order to create them?

Industry Research Day Program

  • 8:45am

    • Performance SpaceWelcome

  • 9:00am

    • Performance SpacePublishing Places

      • ‘Western Sydney and Australian Literary Culture’ by Emmett Stinson, Deakin University
      • ‘The Coffee Table: A Site for Saving the American Wilderness’ by Christine Elliott
      • ‘Printers’ sites of need: how a lack of resources brought Australia together’ by Jocelyn Hargrave, University of Melbourne
  • 10:30am

    • Morning Tea

  • 10:45am

    • Performance SpaceBeyond the Book-as-site

      • ‘Bookishness in the Age of Alexa’ by Sybil Nolan, University of Melbourne
      • ‘Converging Margins: Publishing Books Beyond the Codex’ by Sarah Layton, University of Melbourne
      • ‘Vocal Experiences: Audience Engagement with Librivox Audiobooks’ by Millicent Weber, ANU
    • Workshop SpacePublishers and processes

      • ‘Cleaning and Repairing: Mitigating Conflict at the Site of Publishing’ by Katie Day, University of Melbourne
      • ‘The Evolution of Reversion Rights in Publishing Contracts’ by Rebecca Giblin, University of Melbourne, and Joshua Yuvaraj, Monash University
      • ‘Local window, global view: picture-book publishers in regional areas’ by Sophie Masson
  • 12:15pm

    • Lunch

  • 1:15pm

    • Performance SpaceKeynote: Mary Poppins' Publishing Compass

      by Professor Claire Squires, University of Stirling

  • 2:15pm

    • Performance SpaceDigital and Virtual Sites of Publishing

      • ‘Global self-publishing and a multitude of local laws’ by Rita Matulionyte, University of Newcastle
      • ‘Kickstarting book projects through creativity, connectivity and crowdfunding’ by Claire Parnell, University of Melbourne
      • ‘The Gram, The Grid, and Genre: #bookstagram and the Impact of Image-Based Systems of Classification in Post-Digital Book Culture’ by Kenna MacTavish, University of Melbourne
    • Workshop SpacePopular Fiction

      • ‘Heroine Chic: The Young Adult Fantasy Heroine in the Contemporary Literary Marketplace’ by Jodi McAlister, Deakin University
      • ‘Mapping the Regions of an ‘Art World’: Lynette Noni’s The Medoran Chronicles and the Place of Independent Publishing in the Art World of Popular Fiction’ by Caylee Tierney, University of Tasmania
      • ‘Australian Crime: A Twenty-First Century Publishing Story’ by Beth Driscoll, University of Melbourne
  • 3:45pm

    • Afternoon Tea

  • 4:00pm

    • Performance SpacePhysical and Material Sites of Book Culture

      • ‘Gender and race bias in the programming of three writers’ festivals in Scotland, 2017’ by Christina Neuwirth, University of Stirling
      • ‘Cultural Capital as Performance: Tote Bags and the Literary Festival Audience’ by Alexandra Dane, University of Melbourne
      • ‘Shelf-talkers and Showrooming: Locating Bestsellers in Bookstores’ by Lisa Fletcher & Elizabeth Leane, University of Tasmania
  • 5:30pm

    • Performance SpaceClosing remarks and thank you


    • Book LaunchBook Publishing in Australia: A Living Legacy

      Pop down to the Moat for some nibbles and drinks after the conference to help us launch Book Publishing in Australia: A Living Legacy (Monash University Publishing, 2019). Doors open at 5:30pm, for launch from 6pm.

      Click here for booking link (free).

    • Awards CeremonyThe Most Underrated Book Award

      Presented by The Wheeler Centre.

      For information and tickets, please see The Wheeler Centre’s website.