Strong UNSW Showing at Sydney Writers’ Festival

30 Mar 2015

A record number of UNSW staff, students and alumni are appearing in this year’s Sydney Writers' Festival (SWF), tackling the theme “How to Live?”

The festival, which runs from 18-24 May, is Australia’s largest annual celebration of literature and ideas, showcasing the world’s best authors and thinkers.

UNSW Arts & Social Sciences has been a major partner of the Festival for the past four years and was the first university to partner with the event in 2010.

The theme of this year’s festival, “How to Live?”, will be addressed by 473 writers, including 9 who are based at, or graduates of UNSW.

The festival title comes from philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre's challenge: "Everything has been figured out, except how to live."

Dean of Arts & Social Sciences, James Donald will speak about Josephine Baker and Jazz in Paris, exploring some unexpected currents in the making of modernism. His most recent book, Some of These Days: Black Stars, Jazz Aesthetics and Modernist Culture, was published in March by Oxford University Press.

UNSW music students will perform as a jazz trio at the event.

“Our partnership with SWF goes from strength to strength, and 2015 promises to be the most exciting year yet,” says Professor Donald.

The University is sponsoring 11 events, including one with renowned author and Shakespeare scholar from Britain Sir Jonathan Bate, who shares the stage with actor and director John Bell, founder of Australia’s Bell Shakespeare.

Sir Jonathan will also speak at the University as part of the So, What? Lecture Series. The talk is in memory of UNSW colleague, Richard Madelaine, who was also an internationally recognised Shakespeare scholar.

UNSW is also sponsoring event “Evie Wyld: All the Birds, Singing” at Walsh Bay. The author won the 2014 Miles Franklin award for her work All the Birds, Singing. She will also be hosted on the UNSW campus on 19 May.

“Although the emphasis is on literary writing, the Festival will also showcase the qualities of our writing scholars across the disciplines of history, economics and drama as well as literature,” says Professor Donald.

For all the events sponsored by UNSW Arts & Social Sciences, please visit our website. The full festival program is available on the SWF website.

*Image shown above is from the cover of James Donald's new book 'Some of These Days: Black Stars, Jazz Aesthetics and Modernist Culture'.