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Hope and the Poetics of Hospitality

News story

A Humanities Inaugural Professorial Lecture presented by Professor Suvendri Perera.

Date: Tuesday 21 August 2012
5:30-6:30pm. Refreshments from 5pm
Tim Winton Lecture Theatre, Building 213, Bentley campus. Enter via Kent st.
By Friday 17 August 2012 to or 08 9266 2593. If you have any special requirements to enable you to attend this event please advise when you RSVP and we will contact you to provide assistance.

The debate over boat arrivals currently consuming Australia has been presented largely as a contest of opposing numbers and definitions; of providing more accurate information or better evidence. Yet, public policy is as much a matter of the emotional, affective and imaginative, and of unspoken or obscure cultural processes. In this lecture I turn to the narratives and images that underlie contemporary policy debates over asylum seekers, and ask where we might seek the sources for an ethics of hospitality.

About the speaker

Suvendrini Perera is a Professor in Cultural Studies in the School of Media Culture & Creative Arts. She completed her PhD at Columbia University, New York, and her BA at the University of Sri Lanka, Kelaniya. She has published widely on topics relating to race, ethnicity, multiculturalism and refugees and has been a keynote speaker at a number of international and national conferences. She is an active contributor to public debates, with national media appearances including on the ABC influential television program, Q&A.

Her books include Reaches of Empire (New York: Columbia University Press) and Australia and the Insular Imagination: Beaches, Borders, Boats and Bodies (New York: Palgrave-Macmillan) and Living Through Terror (coedited with Antonio Traverso, Routledge). With Sherene Razack, she is currently compiling an anthology, At the Limits of Justice: Women of Colour Theorize Terror.  She is Deputy Director of the Australia-Asia-Pacific Institute at Curtin. Her current research interests include visuality, terror and digital culture; histories of coexistence in multiethnic societies and diaspora cultural studies.

About the Inaugural Professorial Lecture Series

The inaugural professorial lecture is a British academic tradition extending back several centuries whereby professors would deliver a public lecture on their research shortly after taking up their professorial appointments. A growing number of faculties and universities in Australia and elsewhere are now renewing this tradition as a means of introducing new professors and their research to a wider audience within and beyond the university. The Faculty of Humanities takes pleasure in becoming a part of this trend by establishing its inaugural professorial lecture series as a public forum for the dissemination of its research activities.

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