Sydney Writers' Festival 2019

When:29 Apr 2019, 9am - 5pm
5 May 2019, 9am - 5pm
Venue:Various locations
Who:Public event

UNSW Arts & Social Sciences are a proud major partner of the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

Our partnership with the Sydney Writers’ Festival is built on our commitment to exploring big ideas, creating new knowledge, and tackling critical social issues.

In 2019, UNSW Arts & Social Sciences is proud to present an on-campus event featuring Rebecca Traister as well supporting the Thinking Globally series where we invite you to take a fresh look at some of the most pressing issues facing the world today.

Program higlights

Take a fresh look at some of today’s most pressing issues, challenge the traditional ways of thinking and be inspired to change the world! UNSW Arts & Social Sciences is proud to support the following events as part of the 2019 Sydney Writers’ Festival.

For a full of list of festival events, please visit

Rebecca Traister: Good and Mad


Wednesday 1 May 6.30pm – 7.30pm

Leighton Hall
John Niland Scientia Building
UNSW Sydney

Join us at UNSW for a conversation with New York Times best-seller, Rebecca Traister. The New York based writer will explore the transformative power of female anger and it's ability to transcend into a political movement

Thinking Globally is supported by UNSW Arts & Social Sciences.

Take a fresh look at some of the most pressing issues facing the world today with our Thinking Globally series.

The Right Way Up: Populism in Australia

May 3, 10.00am
Carriageworks Bay 22

While most think of Australia as a successful democracy underpinned by liberal values, it’s increasingly clear that we may not be immune from the global rise of xenophobic and nativist forces. Some are concerned that populism is pulling the Liberal Party and sections of our media to the right and will have implications for years to come. Associate Professor David Blaazer speaks with The Rise of the Right author and one-time Liberal Party adviser Greg Barns, former Greens senator Scott Ludlam and political writer George Megalogenis about the issue.

A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth

May 5, 10.00am
Carriageworks Bay 17

Across the world, journalists are under greater threat than at any point in the last decade, with the rise of authoritarianism and internet censorship redoubling pressures on reporters. In conversation with ABC’s Sophie McNeill, three uniquely placed foreign writers and journalists share their perspectives on the struggles and costs of reporting the truth and exposing lies under corrupt and oppressive governments. Featuring Mexican reporter and author Anabel Hernández, Iraqi-American writer Dunya Mikhail and Turkish journalist and author Ece Temelkuran.

Worried Sick: Living in the Age of Anxiety

May 4, 10.00am
Carriageworks Bay 20

Apparently, we’re in the grip of an anxiety epidemic. Pundits point to all manner of causes – inequality, social media, the gig economy, populist politics – but what are the true origins of this angst and what can be done to allay our malaise? Join three writers who have each considered the topic of anxiety through their work, as they share their experiences and insights in conversation with Sarah Krasnostein. Featuring memoirist Marina Benjamin (Insomnia), political writer William Davies (Nervous States) and author Olivia Sudjic (Exposure and Sympathy).

Ben Quilty: Home

May 3, 3.00pm
Carriageworks Bay 17

Archibald Prize–winning artist Ben Quilty has assembled a heartbreaking and awe- inspiring collection of artworks by the most vulnerable victims of a brutal civil war in Home: Drawings by Syrian Children. With a forward by Man Booker Prize winner Richard Flanagan, and proceeds going towards World Vision programs in the Middle East, it is an extraordinary testament to the resilience of a generation of survivors. Ben talks with Julian Burnside QC about the book and his experiences collating it in refugee camps across Europe.

The Kingdom and the Power: Saudi Arabi

May 4, 11.30am
Carriageworks Bay 20

Since becoming Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman has pushed a new public relations vision of a country in which women are free to drive, attend sporting matches and enjoy live music. But the arrest and torture of feminist activists, oppression of queer people, enduring male-guardianship laws and murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi reveal a darker truth. Four Corners reporter Sophie McNeill joins Australian-based Saudi Manal al-Sharif – founder of the #WomenToDrive movement – and street artist, PhD candidate and creator of #IAmMyOwnGuardian, Ms Saffaa, to discuss women’s and queer rights in Saudi Arabia, experiences in the country, self-exile and hopes for the future.