Feminist writer leads UNSW-affiliated events at 2019 Sydney Writers' Festival

American journalist Rebecca Traister joins UNSW Senior Lecturer Dr Fiona Morrison to reflect on the ways the anger of women has changed the course of history. 

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'Rebecca Traister: Good and Mad' takes place on May 1 at UNSW as part of the 2019 Sydney Writers’ Festival.

When American journalist Rebecca Traister first decided to write her latest book, 'Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger', it was as a means to channel and make sense of her own rage: how she had suppressed it or disguised it beneath more acceptable expressions.

That daily dilemma of choosing to tamp down their rage for fear of how it would hurt them, resonated with women the world over; women who were fed up with being dismissed as hormonal, hysterical, irrational or crazy.

Ms Traister, a National Magazine Award winner and writer at large for New York Magazine, joins UNSW Senior Lecturer Fiona Morrison to reflect on the ways the anger of women – from the suffragettes to Pantsuit Nation – has changed the course of history.

The event at UNSW on 1 May, Rebecca Traister: Good and Mad, is part of the 2019 Sydney Writers’ Festival. The event is free, although registration is required via the Sydney Writers’ Festival event page.

For the 10th year, UNSW Arts & Social Sciences is a Major Partner of the Festival, which runs from 29 April – 5 May. UNSW academics are involved with sessions ranging from right-wing politics in Australia to the importance of small publishers in Australia.

Dynamic

The Faculty’s Interim Dean, Associate Professor David Blaazer said the partnership with the Sydney Writers’ Festival reflects UNSW Arts & Social Sciences’ commitment to creativity, critical thinking, and addressing today’s social issues.

“We are very pleased to continue our involvement with one of Sydney’s most vibrant and dynamic events again in 2019,” said Associate Professor Blaazer.

“Many of our academics, alumni and industry partners will play a role in the Festival this year, participating in lively exchanges of knowledge and ideas across a range of disciplines, including women’s and gender studies, politics, media and communications, creative writing, and, of course, literature.”

Director of UNSWriting and award-winning author, Stephanie Bishop, will discuss her new novel 'Man out of Time', and how our memories – and our blood – colour our view of the world and ourselves. Ms Bishop will also appear on the panel Behind Closed Doors, where acclaimed novelists will discuss how they have written compelling and complex stories of families in crisis.

Ms Bishop, who teaches in the creative writing program at UNSW, is the author of 'The Other Side of the World' and 'The Singing'. Her work has been published in publications such as the London Review of Books, The Monthly, the Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian and Meanjin.

Isolationism

In Dead Europe? senior lecturer in international relations William Clapton will lead a panel of the Festival’s most astute political thinkers on a discussion about the future of Europe in the face of an ascendant far-right, growing isolationism, discontent over austerity and deep-rooted economic challenges. The panel will feature Israeli journalist Anshel Pfeffer, Turkish writer Ece Temelkuran and editor of Australian Foreign Affairs Jonathan Pearlman.

Associate Professor Elizabeth McMahon, in her capacity as editor of Australia’s oldest literary journal Southerly, will moderate From Little Things Big Things Grow, a panel of writers, publishers and industry representatives exploring how some small Australian journals have successfully moved into book publishing and the significance that transition has for identifying and supporting Australian writers.

UNSW Arts & Social Sciences is again supporting the Thinking Globally series that examines some of the most pressing issues facing the world today. One of the highlights of the series is The Right Way Up: Populism in Australia panel, featuring Associate Professor Blaazer who will moderate a discussion on right-wing politics in Australia. 

The Thinking Globally series also features panels examining topics such as the global threat to journalists with the rise of authoritarianism and internet censorship, to discussions on women’s and queer rights in Saudi Arabia, experiences in the country, self-exile and hopes for the future.