Storifying Science: Translating Environment through Ecobiography​

Presented by Dr Jessica White

Date: Friday 29 March, 2019
Time: 3:00pm-4:00pm
Location: Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2), Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37) 


What can the writing of a 19th century English lady of leisure transplanted to a European colony in south-west Western Australia say about our environment? More than one might initially think. This paper examines how the mode of ecobiography, a form of life writing which represents the imbrication of a self with their environment, can represent the critical importance of the lives upon which we depend. Using the story of Georgiana Molloy, who through her botanical endeavours became Western Australia’s first female scientist, it illuminates how European classification systems and land management methods were applied to an environment to which they were grossly unsuited, and how the ramifications of this are resounding today. In doing so, it demonstrates how stories can be used to convey scientific information which is critical to our survival in the Anthropocene. It argues that creative writing is useful to the translation and communication of environmental concerns to new audiences, both within and beyond the academy.



Dr Jessica White is an ARC DECRA Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Her first novel, A Curious Intimacy (2007), won a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelist award, was shortlisted for Dobbie and Western Australia Premier's awards, and longlisted for the international IMPAC award. Her second novel, Entitlement, was published in 2012. Jessica is the recipient of funding from Arts Queensland and the Australia Council for the Arts, as well as residences in Tasmania and the Australia Council's BR Whiting Studio in Rome. Her short fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in Australian and international literary journals including Review of Australian FictionOverland, Island, Griffith Review and Southerly. Her hybrid memoir, Hearing Maud, will be released in July 2019.



About Research Seminar and Workshop Series


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.

Friday, 24 March

Hybrid: Online via Zoom and in person at the
SCA Writer's Studio
(Level 6, Michie)

Fire Futures: codesigning for resilience

Dr Skye Doherty

Friday, 31 March

Hybrid: Online via Zoom and in person at the
SCA Writer's Studio
(Level 6, Michie)

From Fatigue Studies to Burnout: A Brief History of Work Exhaustion

A/Prof Elizabeth Stephens



Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2), Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)