Conference season, part 2: ANU Humanities Centre and Historical Materialism Melbourne

This week continues a busy conference season, as I’ll be presenting at two conferences (in two states!)

With the support of the School of Culture and Communication Sessional Researcher Support Grant, I will be back in Canberra on 5 December to present at the ANU Humanities Research Centre conference titled “What We Talk About When We Talk About Crisis”. My paper is entitled “Finitude and containment: migration and decentralisation in Australian politics” and aims to locate political rhetoric of urban capacity and finitude within the context of settler-cultural urges towards decentralisation in Australian history.

My paper for Historical Materialism Melbourne, which will be held at Trades Hall, builds on these themes as part of the same wider project, with reference to the specific context of Melbourne. This paper is entitled “Hydraulics and flood: rhetorics and realities of fluidity in Australian cities”, and considers the relationship between material crises of fluidity and flood caused by climate change, and the rhetorical deflections of crisis onto “floods” of human movement. These papers draw on my background of working with metaphors of capacity in relation to material politics, and broaden that focus beyond Britain to look at these issues as circulating within the settler cultures of the British world. It will be an interesting experience to present two papers from the same project to very different audiences within a short space of time and I look forward to what will be a very busy but very intellectually exciting few weeks of discussions.

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