Australia – Reality, Stereotype, Vision

12th Biennial Conference of the Association for Australian Studies

30.09.-02.10.2010, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt
Convener: Prof. Dr. Adi Wimmer

Conference Poster 

The 12th Biennial GAST Conference focuses on aspects of Australian culture in relation to imagery. What images of the fifth continent circulate in Europe? Is it limited to kangaroos and koalas or are there more substantial images? How do such images differ from those of our nineteenth and twentieth century forebears? What notions and images have Australians developed of themselves? Can we trace their origins, perhaps through the media? In what ways have ecological, political and cultural developments of the last three decades (the “Stolen Generations” to name but one) changed autostereotypes as well as heterostereotypes? Have the numerous Discovery programs on European TV channels, demonstrating the unique nature of the Australian outback, raised our ecological awareness? What about the economy? The world financial crisis has prompted German Reality-TV to rediscover emigration to overseas destinations. Does this imply a renewed interest in ‘Godsown’ Australia? Certain social indicators would tend to justify an increasing interest in Australia. For instance, Australia’s ranking in the PISA survey (5th as opposed to Germany’s 16th) or a UN survey of 2004 that saw Australia ranked number one in the world in relation to gender equality. (Sweden and Finland came 2nd and 3rd respectively.) Has our increased knowledge of the Antipodes resulted in a shift of collective visions or stereotypes?


Mitchell Rolls
(Keynote Speaker)
"The 'Great Australian Silence', the 'Cult of Forgetfulness' and the Hegemony of Memory"
  Michael Ackland "Politics, Clichés and the 'Lurky Country': Murray Bail’s Critique of National Mythologies in his Novel Holden’s Performance (1987)"
Elisabeth Bähr "Der Einfluss des Christentums auf die australische indigene Kunst / The Impact of Christianity on Australian Indigenous Art"
Renate Brosch "Adaptation for the Postcolonial Community: Jindabyne’s Contested Spaces"
  Danica Cerce "Strategies of Forgetting and Global Concerns in the Poetry of Romaine Moreton and Alf Taylor"
Reinhold Grotz "Populate and perish? – Folgen eines hohen Bevölkerungswachstums in Australien"
Oliver Haag "Reflections on Australia – a Study of the Marketing of Translated Australian Literature"
  Christian Johannsmann "Darstellung von Australien? Aboriginal Australia im interkulturellen Lernen"
Tihana Klepač "Description of Nature as an Act of Anticipation: Australia in Rosa Campbell Praed’s My Australian Girlhood"
  Anne Koch "Alex Miller's Utopian Vision of a Bi-Cultural Australian Identity in his Novel Journey to the Stone Country"
  Jaroslav Kusnir "Border Crossing: Reality-Vision and Revision of Australian (Cultural) Identity in John Kinsella’s Post-colonial: a Récit (2009)"
  Annegret Maack "Durch Revolution zum idealen Staat? Utopische Entwürfe aus den 'Nervous Nineties'"
  Iva Polak  "Samson and Delilah: a Close-up of Aboriginality in the Contemporary Moment"
  Horst Prießnitz "'We're gonna need a bigger boat': (Australian) Literary Studies in the Anthropocene"
  Kathrin Rentel "Visions of a Colony – Ellen Clacy’s Travel Account of her Journey to the Gold Diggings of Australia in 1852/53"
Geoff Rodoreda "Post-Mabo Literature: New Discourses in Australian Fiction"
  Evan Williams "The Image of Multiculturalism in Australian Politics"
  Katarzyna Williams "Visions and Reality: Images of Australia in European Writings"
Judith Wilson "Topologies of Australia: Two German Perspectives"