Mapping Australian literary commemoration in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra: problems and prospects

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In 2015 http://wordsinplace.net was launched by literature, geography, media and culture researchers Toby Davidson, Donna Houston, John Potts, Ian Collinson, Steve Collins. It combines field research with Google Maps technology to reveal, for the first time, the spread of old and new commemorative sites of Australian literature in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. Previous maps, such as Monument Australia and the Cultural Atlas of Australia, have not included sites of literary commemoration. The present essays by Toby Davidson, Donna Houston contribute to an emergent field of international scholarship within the humanities interested space, place and the geo and digital humanities. The project provides a fresh basis for comparative scholarship with international literary maps and placemaking – including, for example, Franco Moretti’s Atlas of the European Novel 1800-1900 (1998) to David Cooper et al’s Literary Mapping in the Digital Age (2016).

Drawing on the findings of the 'Words in Place' project, this paper argues that while forms of literary commemoration in Australia have diversified and have been incorporated into creative place-making strategies, the representation of authors represents the ongoing enactment of white settler colonialism in public spaces. Where non-Anglo and Indigenous authors are represented in place, they tend to be in mediated spaces such as writers’ walks rather than in dedicated, stand-alone sites. More recent material representations of Australian writers in creative place-making has seen a shift away from a focus on the writer to a focus on writing – where textual inscriptions become forms of public art. We argue that this has created opportunities for more living writers to be publically commemorated than ever before, enabling literary representation in creative place-making to more accurately reflect Australia’s multicultural pasts and present.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature
Volume18
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Fingerprint

writer
colonial age
public space
field research
monument
search engine
art
geography
present
literature

Cite this

@article{3e8b8035004445818bb7160e1099796d,
title = "Mapping Australian literary commemoration in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra: problems and prospects",
abstract = "In 2015 http://wordsinplace.net was launched by literature, geography, media and culture researchers Toby Davidson, Donna Houston, John Potts, Ian Collinson, Steve Collins. It combines field research with Google Maps technology to reveal, for the first time, the spread of old and new commemorative sites of Australian literature in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. Previous maps, such as Monument Australia and the Cultural Atlas of Australia, have not included sites of literary commemoration. The present essays by Toby Davidson, Donna Houston contribute to an emergent field of international scholarship within the humanities interested space, place and the geo and digital humanities. The project provides a fresh basis for comparative scholarship with international literary maps and placemaking – including, for example, Franco Moretti’s Atlas of the European Novel 1800-1900 (1998) to David Cooper et al’s Literary Mapping in the Digital Age (2016).Drawing on the findings of the 'Words in Place' project, this paper argues that while forms of literary commemoration in Australia have diversified and have been incorporated into creative place-making strategies, the representation of authors represents the ongoing enactment of white settler colonialism in public spaces. Where non-Anglo and Indigenous authors are represented in place, they tend to be in mediated spaces such as writers’ walks rather than in dedicated, stand-alone sites. More recent material representations of Australian writers in creative place-making has seen a shift away from a focus on the writer to a focus on writing – where textual inscriptions become forms of public art. We argue that this has created opportunities for more living writers to be publically commemorated than ever before, enabling literary representation in creative place-making to more accurately reflect Australia’s multicultural pasts and present.",
keywords = "map, gap, commemoration, memory, statue, Cook, Indigenous, Said, postcolonialism",
author = "Toby Davidson and Donna Houston",
year = "2018",
language = "English",
volume = "18",
pages = "1--13",
journal = "Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature",
issn = "1833-6027",
publisher = "Association for the Study of Australian",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mapping Australian literary commemoration in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra

T2 - Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature

AU - Davidson,Toby

AU - Houston,Donna

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - In 2015 http://wordsinplace.net was launched by literature, geography, media and culture researchers Toby Davidson, Donna Houston, John Potts, Ian Collinson, Steve Collins. It combines field research with Google Maps technology to reveal, for the first time, the spread of old and new commemorative sites of Australian literature in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. Previous maps, such as Monument Australia and the Cultural Atlas of Australia, have not included sites of literary commemoration. The present essays by Toby Davidson, Donna Houston contribute to an emergent field of international scholarship within the humanities interested space, place and the geo and digital humanities. The project provides a fresh basis for comparative scholarship with international literary maps and placemaking – including, for example, Franco Moretti’s Atlas of the European Novel 1800-1900 (1998) to David Cooper et al’s Literary Mapping in the Digital Age (2016).Drawing on the findings of the 'Words in Place' project, this paper argues that while forms of literary commemoration in Australia have diversified and have been incorporated into creative place-making strategies, the representation of authors represents the ongoing enactment of white settler colonialism in public spaces. Where non-Anglo and Indigenous authors are represented in place, they tend to be in mediated spaces such as writers’ walks rather than in dedicated, stand-alone sites. More recent material representations of Australian writers in creative place-making has seen a shift away from a focus on the writer to a focus on writing – where textual inscriptions become forms of public art. We argue that this has created opportunities for more living writers to be publically commemorated than ever before, enabling literary representation in creative place-making to more accurately reflect Australia’s multicultural pasts and present.

AB - In 2015 http://wordsinplace.net was launched by literature, geography, media and culture researchers Toby Davidson, Donna Houston, John Potts, Ian Collinson, Steve Collins. It combines field research with Google Maps technology to reveal, for the first time, the spread of old and new commemorative sites of Australian literature in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. Previous maps, such as Monument Australia and the Cultural Atlas of Australia, have not included sites of literary commemoration. The present essays by Toby Davidson, Donna Houston contribute to an emergent field of international scholarship within the humanities interested space, place and the geo and digital humanities. The project provides a fresh basis for comparative scholarship with international literary maps and placemaking – including, for example, Franco Moretti’s Atlas of the European Novel 1800-1900 (1998) to David Cooper et al’s Literary Mapping in the Digital Age (2016).Drawing on the findings of the 'Words in Place' project, this paper argues that while forms of literary commemoration in Australia have diversified and have been incorporated into creative place-making strategies, the representation of authors represents the ongoing enactment of white settler colonialism in public spaces. Where non-Anglo and Indigenous authors are represented in place, they tend to be in mediated spaces such as writers’ walks rather than in dedicated, stand-alone sites. More recent material representations of Australian writers in creative place-making has seen a shift away from a focus on the writer to a focus on writing – where textual inscriptions become forms of public art. We argue that this has created opportunities for more living writers to be publically commemorated than ever before, enabling literary representation in creative place-making to more accurately reflect Australia’s multicultural pasts and present.

KW - map

KW - gap

KW - commemoration

KW - memory

KW - statue

KW - Cook

KW - Indigenous

KW - Said

KW - postcolonialism

M3 - Article

VL - 18

SP - 1

EP - 13

JO - Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature

JF - Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature

SN - 1833-6027

IS - 1

ER -