“Graffiti on Writing: How to Read the Internet’s ‘Anti-Texts’”

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Presenter:  Dr. Adelle Sefton Rowston

Date: May 10, 2017

Time: 11:30am to 12:30pm

Contact person:  LEBA Research
T: +61 8 8946 6156
E: LEBAResearch@cdu.edu.au

Location:  Blue 5.1.01 Theatre Room

When words fall short to disseminate political messages or reveal societal wrongs, digital images, videos and blogs have worked to cut deeply into the minds of people reading/viewing/interpreting ‘stories’ over the internet. Words have always ‘cut deeply’ – as Franz Kafka’s (pre-internet) story ‘In the Penal Colony’ attests. The internet however, has broadened what we see (for reading), and therefore, how we ‘read’ meaningful texts. For example, in July 2016 the ABC program Four Corners aired an exposé on the inhumane treatment of youth incarcerated in Darwin’s Don Dale Detention Centre. Viewing this story over the internet, allowed a larger audience to enter into tiny cells and read the names of inmates etched on the concrete walls. Their words a cry for help and a call to be ‘read’ as an aesthetics of injustice (much like Kafka’s earlier work as metaphor for colonial imprisonment). Without the internet, readers are limited to what can be read in various forms and colours. Brassai for instance, legitimised graffiti from the walls of Paris into interpretable Art using photography. Similarly, the internet has contributed extra ‘pages’ to how we read graffiti beyond art, and as poetry of the oppressed. Using Kafka’s short story as a theoretical framework, this paper will offer a comparative analysis of ‘graffiti’ in the writing of Australian author Tony Birch, and the work of ‘graffiti poets’ across the NT.

Biographies: Dr. Adelle Sefton Rowston
Adelle lectures in Common Units at Charles Darwin University. She completed her PhD in Literary Studies at Deakin University in 2013 and was winner of last year’s NT Literary Awards essay prize. She has published critical essays in international journals and writes poetry and short stories. She is an active member of two major literary committees and vice president of the NT Writers Centre Board.

RSVP by Monday 5pm 8th May 2017 via Outlook or email LEBAResearch@cdu.edu.au
Nibbles will be provided upon receipt of an RSVP

 **Waterfront Campus, Alice Springs, Adelaide, Melbourne & Sydney based colleagues interested in attending please request video conference in your RSVP (ITMS ask that requests are submitted at least 2 days prior)