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New and unconventional approaches to literature

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18 September 2012

Dissensus: A Festival of New and Oppositional Writing. Image ©Louis Armand

Is literature an elitist cultural activity or can it be an exciting space in which new voices emerge and contest dominant values?

This topic and more will be discussed at Dissensus: A Festival of New and Oppositional Writing, a one-day literary festival being hosted by Monash University’s Centre for Postcolonial Writing.

Dissensus will bring together some of Australia’s most exciting new writers, poets, publishers and literary activists to discuss how today’s writers relate to and oppose the mainstream. It will include everything from dystopian fiction to radical experimental poetry, from political spoken word to zine-making, street press to new literary journalism.

Among these are Jeff Sparrow, the editor of the radical cultural journalOverland, slam poet and community activist Tariro Mavondo, zine-maker Luke You, avant-garde poet Jessica Wilkinson whose work fuses biography with experimental poetry, and the novelist, Meg Mundell, whose first award-winning book, Black Glass, offers a new way of bringing together the genres of Sci-Fi, realism, thriller and political satire.

Aspiring creative writers will also have the opportunity to speak to published writers, as well as approach and network with publishers and editors of literary publications present.

Monash University’s Dr Ali Alizadeh from the School of English, Communications and Performance Studies said festival is a great opportunity for readers and students of contemporary writing as well as would-be writers to get a firsthand perspective on how a new literary culture is being forged in Australia.

“So much of today’s mainstream literary landscape is dominated by conventional approaches to genre, literary aesthetics and subject matter. The speakers at ‘Dissensus’, however, are all engaged in new and unconventional approaches and themes,” Dr Alizadeh said.

Dissensus: A Festival of New and Oppositional Writing will take place on Friday 21 September at the Monash University Museum of Art, Building F, Monash University Caulfield campus.