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Violence and the Imagination

Wednesday 15 June 2011
Monash University, Caulfield Campus

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Keynote speaker

Associate Professor Anders Michelsen (University of Copenhagen)

Atrocious Imagination: the paradox of affect – the imagination of violence

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Anders Michelsen is Associate Professor and Director of Studies at Department of Arts and Cutural Studies, University of Copenhagen. In the 1990s Michelsen worked as an art critic and curator of art and design exhibitions, including the art exhibitions Welfare. 5 Pieces (with Morten Salling) Paris 1995 and Interzones (with Octavio Zaya), Copenhagen and Uppsala 1996, and Inspiration or Plagiary? on creativity in design (with Martin Christiansen) Copenhagen, 2001-2002. Michelsen coordinated the first Master’s program in Visual Culture Studies in Denmark. He is co-director of the platform PeaceWare which focuses on new creative innovation formats for ITC (information and communication technology) for development, in particular forms of social software related to post-conflict development in areas like Somalia (Republic of Somaliland), Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan. Michelsen is the author of many catalogue texts, newspaper articles, contribution to surveys and reports, reviews etc., co-author of two books, Art in the Age of Media and The Design Machine: Design of the Modern World, and co-editor of the collections Art Theory: Positions in Contemporary Art Discourse, Images From Afar: Scientific Visualization, and Space and Phenomenology: philosophy, aesthetics, architecture, history as well as the forthcoming three volume collection on the notion of visuality, Trans-visuality: Dimensioning the visual in a visual culture, and a volume on design thought, Designfilosofi. Forskning og kreativitet. He has lectured widely in Europe, Brazil, the USA, and Sri Lanka. Michelsen is visiting Australia at the invitation of the La Trobe University Thesis Eleven Centre Festival of Ideas on Popular Print and Visual Cultures.


Associate Professor John Rundell (University of Melbourne)

Imaginaries of Violence, Cruelty and Power

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John Rundell is Associate Professor and Reader in Social Theory and Director of The Ashworth Program in Social Theory at the University of Melbourne. He is author of Origins of Modernity, the co-editor of Between Totalitarianism and Postmodernity, Culture and Civilization, Blurred Boundaries, Critical Theory After Habermas, Contemporary Perspectives in Social and Critical Philosophy, and Recognition, Work, Politics: New Directions in French Critical Theory, and the editor of Aesthetics and Modernity: Agnes Heller.

Professor Andrew Benjamin (Monash University)

Imagining Violence

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Andrew Benjamin is Professor of Critical Theory and Philosophical Aesthetics at Monash University and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. His books include Architectural Projections, Writing Art and Architecture, Of Jews and Animals, Place, Commonality and Judgment: Continental Philosophy and the Ancient Greeks, Style and Time: Essays on the Politics of Appearance, Disclosing Spaces: On Painting, Philosophy’s Literature, Architectural Philosophy, Present Hope: Philosophy, Architecture, Judaism, and The Plural Event.

Professor Sue Kossew (Monash University)

Trauma, Memory and History in Marlene van Niekerk’s The Way of the Women

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Sue Kossew is Professor of English at Monash University. She is author of Writing Woman, Writing Place: Contemporary Australian and South African Fiction and Pen and Power: A Post-colonial Reading of J. M. Coetzee and André Brink. Collections edited by her include Lighting Dark Places: Essays on Kate Grenville, Critical Essays in World Literature: J. M. Coetzee, and Re-Imagining Africa: New Critical Perspectives. She is currently exploring the representation of violence in literature particularly in the work of women writers, and was a participant in the Ireland/Australia research project on Uses of the Past.

Associate Professor Peter Murphy (Monash University)

The Wars of Metaphors

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Peter Murphy is Associate Professor of Communications at Monash University and Professor-elect of Creative Arts and Social Aesthetics at James Cook University. His books include Imagination, Global Creation, Creativity and the Global Knowledge Economy, Dialectic of Romanticism, and Civic Justice: From Greek Antiquity to the Modern World. He has also edited a number of scholarly collections, most recently with Eduardo de la Fuente, Philosophical and Cultural Theories of Music.

Assistant Professor Ira Raja (University of Delhi)

Intimate Tyranny: The State, Individual Agency and Embodiment in Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance

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Ira Raja is Assistant Professor in the Department of English, University of Delhi. She is currently on a three-year Postdoctoral fellowship at La Trobe University, Melbourne. Ira has co-edited a number of anthologies including Grey Areas: An Anthology of Contemporary Indian Fiction on Ageing, An Endless Winter’s Night: Mother-Daughter Stories from India, and the Oxford Anthology of Contemporary Food Writing. Her work has been published in The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Literature, Narrative: A Journal of Narrative Theory, The Journal of Ageing, Humanities and the Arts, The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Commonwealth: Essays and Studies, among others. Ira’s current research interests include modernity, intimacy and consumption in Indian fiction, and with Ken Botnick, the art of hand-painted signboards in India.


Colloquium Program [264 kb]


Dr Peter Murphy (Monash University)

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