Monash University’s Dr Tony Moore is helming two major events at the Melbourne Writers Festival in August.
Dr Moore, a lecturer in Communication and Media Studies, is delivering a key note public lecture ‘Death or Liberty’, at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka, Ballarat, at 11am on Saturday, August 23.
The talk will examine the impact on Australian political culture and the Eureka Stockade rebellion specifically, of political prisoners transported as convicts to Australia in the nineteenth century.
The talk draws on Death or Liberty, Dr Moore’s 2010 history, that is being adapted as an ABC documentary to broadcast in 2015.
For the third year running Dr Moore leads a walking tour of ‘Bohemian Melbourne’ on 24th, 29th and 30th August.
Together with Monash Adjunct John Arnold, Tony takes MWF patrons in the footsteps of Marcus Clarke to tour the haunts of Melbourne’s bohemian writers, artists and performers, from the Heidelberg painters to the more recent avant-garde and counter-cultures.
The popular walking tour is an output from Tony’s 2012 history of Australian bohemia, Dancing with Empty Pockets, about which he was interviewed for the MWF’s Youtube channel.
Dancing With Empty Pockets: Australia’s Bohemians Since 1860, a who’s who of painters, writers, larrikin journalists, actors, filmmakers, comedians and hackers who have become as famous for their controversial, eccentric lifestyles as for the subversive work they produced.
Dr Moore said the word ‘bohemian’ came from nineteenth-century Europe where it was used to describe the primitive, exotic and mysterious power of gypsies and was soon adopted by renegade writers and artists.
“I’ve always been attracted to free spirits; subversives who buck against conformity and servility and especially champions of the carnivalesque in life, which in Australia is often characterised as larrikinism,” Dr Moore said.
“As an historian I also like to map cultural and political traditions, so we can make sense of what is going on in the present.”
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