Worldmaking: 37th Congress of AULLA

10-12 July 2013

hosted by:
The University of Queensland
St Lucia, Brisbane, Australia

More information can be found here.

Keynote Speakers: 

Professor Elizabeth Schafer (Royal Holloway University of London)

“Why should such privilege to man be given?”: Worldmaking in Elizabeth Cary’s The Tragedy of Mariam, Fair Queen of Jewry

In The Tragedy of Mariam, Fair Queen of Jewry, Elizabeth Cary creates a vivid theatrical world where women repeatedly contest, struggle with and scheme against the rule of Herod the Great. In the last fifty years Cary’s astonishing achievements – in writing Mariam as well as writing history, polemics and translations – have begun to be appreciated but the dramaturgy of Cary’s world making in Mariam is undervalued when the play is, on dubious grounds, categorised as one not written to be performed. To counterbalance this, I will explore the world making of Mariam by reference to the play’s maverick performance history.

Elizabeth Schafer is Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London. Previously she taught Drama at La Trobe University 1987-1991 and at Wollongong University 1996-7. Her publications include MsDirecting Shakespeare: Women Direct Shakespeare; the Shakespeare in Production volumes on The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night; and Lilian Baylis: A Biography. She is co-author of Ben Jonson and Theatre and edited The City Wit for the pioneering online edition of the plays of Richard Brome. She has co-edited Playing Australia, a collection of essays on Australian drama and theatre; two issues of Contemporary Theatre Review that focus on Australian theatre; and the anthology Australian Women’s Drama. She is currently editor of Australian Studies and is writing a performance history of Merry Wives. During 2013 she is curating a Mariam Fest to mark the 400th anniversary of the publication of The Tragedy of Mariam, Fair Queen of Jewry.

Professor Simon During (The University of Queensland)

Katherine Mansfield and World Literature

Katherine Mansfield is one of those relatively rare writers who is read quite widely outside of European contexts: in East and South Asia in particular. Why do her works fit so smoothly into world literature? Because, at their best and under the influence of philosophical idealism, they aim to produce experiences of autonomous "worlds" that are minimally marked by cultural difference.

Simon During was educated in Wellington, Auckland and Cambridge UK. He has taught in English Departments at Melbourne and Johns Hopkins, as well as holding visiting positions at Auckland, the Freie Universität of Berlin and the Rhetoric department at UC Berkeley. He currently holds an Australian Professorial Fellowship at the University of Queensland. He has investigated topics in a number of fields including Australian and New Zealand literature, the 18th and 19th british novel, post colonialism, secularity, literary theory and cultural studies. Currently he is examining the relationship between Anglicanism and British literature between 1688 and 1945. His most recent book is Against Democracy: literary experience in the era of emancipations (Fordham 2012).

Professor Anthony J. Cascardi (University of California, Berkeley)

Painting Thinking

In the one of the most influential essays on the foundations of the modern age, Heidegger wrote that modernity is the era in which the world becomes “picture,” a world framed and set before the subject as a collection of objects to be seen. In Heidegger’s view, this is the pervasive consequence of a way of thinking epitomized in the philosophy of Descartes. Descartes himself drew a sharp line between corporeal things, which are extended in space, and thoughts, which are wholly immaterial. For Descartes, thoughts include “all the operations of the will, intellect, imagination, and senses.” Thinking is not a kind of sensing (a touching of the world by the mind, as one ancient tradition believed); rather, sensing is subsumed under thinking.

This paper proposes a reconsideration of the Cartesian cogito by asking what the alternatives to Heidegger’s (and by imputation Descartes’) views of modernity might be. Was modern “picture”-thinking as pervasive as Heidegger claims it was? My objective it to explore an aesthetic critique of their version of modernity that roots in the visual arts. I propose that the enterprise of painting was not fully subsumed under the “picturing” paradigm, and in certain instances sought to resist it. My examples illustrate some of the pressures exerted by the picturing of thought on the modern, Cartesian conception of the dispassionate, disembodied activity of the mind. Beyond this, I propose that the representation of thinking in painting thought is a prelude to what T.J. Clark writing on Picasso has recently called “painterly thought.” This is a kind of “sensate thought”; it involves a kind of painting that is not “about” thinking, but that is itself an enlarged and embodied material alternative to the Cartesian framing of the world.

Anthony J. Cascardi is Dean of Arts and Humanities at UC, Berkeley, where he is also Ancker Professor of Comparative Literature, Rhetoric, and Spanish. His work engages the relations between literature, philosophy, and aesthetic theory from the early modern period in Europe to the present. Among his books are The Subject of Modernity, Consequences of Enlightenment, and most recently Cervantes, Literature, and the Discourse of Politics. Most recently Director of the Townsend Center for the Humanities, he was also the founder and served for 20 years as the general editor of the Penn State Press series in literature and philosophy. Among his current projects is the Cambridge Introduction to Literature and Philosophy.

Professor Cascardi's book, Cervantes, Literature, and the Discourse of Politics, has been awarded the Renaissance Society of America's Phyllis Goodhart Gordan Prize for the year's best book in Renaissance Literature (

The Japan Foundation Keynote

Roger Pulvers

How Japan Can Save the World: You Too Can Be Strong in the Rain

The paper will argue that Japan has become “the indispensable nation”. The values that Japanese people have nurtured over the centuries can give direction to other countries in their search for a truly human-centered development. The speech will refer to the life and work of a number of Japanese authors and artists, including Miyazawa Kenji and Inoue Hisashi.

American-born Australian author, playwright, theatre director and translator Roger Pulvers is the Japan Foundation Keynote Speaker. Roger has lived and worked in Japan for the better part of 45 years. He has published more than 40 books in Japanese and English, including novels such as The Death of Urashima Taro, General Yamashita's Treasure and The Dream of Lafcadio Hearn. Among his most recent publications are Hoshizuna Monogatari (Starsand), a novel that he wrote in Japanese, and his autobiography, Moshi Nihon to iu Kuni ga Nakattara (If There Were No Such Country as Japan).

In 2008 Roger was the recipient of the prestigious Miyazawa Kenji Prize; in 2009 he was awarded Best Script Prize at the Teheran International Film Festival for Ashita e no Yuigon ("Best Wishes for Tomorrow"); and in 2013 he received the Noma Award for the Translation of Japanese Literature for Strong in the Rain: Selected Poems, a collection of the poems of Miyazawa Kenji.

Roger has directed major productions of plays in Japan and Australia -- twice directing at the Adelaide Festival -- working with actors such as Kishida Kyoko, Emoto Akira and John Bell. He was assistant director on Oshima Nagisa's film "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence," and recently scripted "Do You Know What My Name Is?" a documentary that won the Audience Favorite Award at the 2013 American Documentary Film Festival. He has appeared often on Japanese television, most recently as the writer and host of the weekly NHK television show, Gift: E-Meigen no Sekai.

Roger, who received an M.A. in Russian Area Studies from Harvard, has translated many works from Japanese, including novels and plays by Inoue Hisashi and the works of Miyazawa Kenji, among others; and from Russian and Polish, works by authors such as Nikolai Gogol, Osip Mandelstam and Stanislaw Witkiewicz.

AULLA Conference 2013