Abstract

Are our increasingly urban, highly mediatised lives less real or authentic than other ways of being in the world? Is the ‘mediapolis’ optional or are our identities and everyday lives so immersed in the ubiquitous and alluring logics of the media city that genuine escape is no longer possible? These questions intersect with enduring myths and metaphors about urban space. The modern city, for instance, has long been associated with alienation and an unnatural, inauthentic existence. This notion is exemplified by the dehumanising waste land of T.S. Eliot’s ‘unreal city’. And yet, urban environments and lifestyles now represent the dominant form of reality for most of the world’s population, providing the lens through which we imagine and experience ourselves, along with a variety of the city's others: the rural, the remote, and nature itself. This paper explores the relationship between urban life, mediatisation, and questions of the real, the natural, and authentic; it does so with the help of works of speculative fiction that extrapolate on a particular premise: the unreal city.

Bio

Natalie teaches into the writing and communication programs in the School of Communication and Arts and has a background in the study of literature, writing, and media & culture. Her research is focused on questions of urban space, identity, and narrative. She regularly invokes the capacity of speculative fiction to explore these questions.

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Following the lecture, please join us for drinks at St Lucy's.

About Research Seminar and Workshop Series

 


Writing and communicating about pandemics: 2020 School of Communication and Arts Research Seminar Series

The research seminar and workshop series occur each semester, each with a different topic and guest speaker from UQ or otherwise.

Semester 1, 2020 Seminars & Workshops

 

Friday, 13 March
12-1pm

Literature as Media: Chinese Online Literature—Storytellers, platforms and transmedia literary world

(Part of the Platform Media: Algorithms, Accountability and Media Design EVENTS)

Dr Tony Xiang Ren, Western Sydney University, with A/Prof Kim Wilkins, Dr Helen Marshall & Emily Baulch

Friday, 27 March
12-1pm

(Cancelled)

TBC

Dr Cedric Courtois

Friday, 10 April
12-1pm

(Cancelled)

TBC Dr Beck Wise

Friday, 24 April
12-1pm

(Cancelled)

TBC

Dr Skye Doherty

Friday, 8 May
12-1pm

(Cancelled)

TBC Dr Andrea Bubenik

Friday, 22 May
12-1pm

(Cancelled)

TBC Dr Chris Hay

Friday, 5 June
12-1pm

Online via Zoom

Research Seminar - Imagining the End of the World: Writing the Apocalypse before Covid-19 Dr Helen Marshall

Friday, 3 July
12-1pm

Online via Zoom:

Research Seminar - Developing Disciplinary Literacies in Hybrid Classes

Dr Beck Wise

 

Venue

Level 6, Michie Building (#9)
Room: 
601