100 episodes

Australia's largest celebration of literature, stories and ideas. Bringing together the world's best authors, leading public intellectuals, scientists, journalists and more.

Sydney Writers' Festival Sydney Writers' Festival

    • Society & Culture

Australia's largest celebration of literature, stories and ideas. Bringing together the world's best authors, leading public intellectuals, scientists, journalists and more.

    Jeff Sparrow: On Why Free Speech is an Industrial Issue – Curiosity Lecture Series

    Jeff Sparrow: On Why Free Speech is an Industrial Issue – Curiosity Lecture Series

    In an age when you can be sacked for an inflammatory Twitter post, people are asked to sign ‘morality clauses’, and media ownership remains in the hands of a select few, it seems that the powerful are increasingly able to redraw the boundaries of free speech. Guardian Australia columnist and Trigger Warnings author Jeff Sparrow argues that in an economy in which our labour is the prime commodity, employers and the powers that be are more able than ever to monitor individual expression, making free speech a crucial industrial issue.

    • 36 min
    Adélaïde Bon: A Witch in Time – Curiosity Lecture Series

    Adélaïde Bon: A Witch in Time – Curiosity Lecture Series

    The Little Girl on the Ice Floe author Adélaïde Bon explores a topic that has long fascinated her: the history of witches. Beginning with the witch-hunts of the Renaissance, she considers how depictions of witches have evolved, examining nasty archetypes portrayed by writers like Roald Dahl, and their counterparts as imagined by the likes of Babette Cole. Adélaïde explains how witches have empowered her, and how writing itself is like brewing potions with words.

    • 35 min
    Tony Wheeler: On Travelling Everywhere – Curiosity Lecture Series

    Tony Wheeler: On Travelling Everywhere – Curiosity Lecture Series

    As the co-founder of Lonely Planet, Tony Wheeler has inspired generations of intrepid travellers to explore the four corners of the planet. But in an age where travel is more accessible than ever, what does it really mean to have been ‘everywhere’? Join Tony as he reflects on the most accomplished adventurers he knows, the unticked destinations on his wish list, and the challenges and rewards of visiting some of the world’s more remote and difficult destinations.

    • 41 min
    Lisa Lucas: On Why Literary Awards Do (And Sometimes Don’t) Matter – Curiosity Lecture Series

    Lisa Lucas: On Why Literary Awards Do (And Sometimes Don’t) Matter – Curiosity Lecture Series

    From the Oscars and the Grammys to international book awards, the decisions – and ethics – behind accolades are a constant topic of debate. As Executive Director of the organisation behind America’s prestigious National Book Awards, Lisa Lucas has thought about these issues more than most. Join her for a compelling talk on the challenges of measuring success, committing to real cultural change when it comes to diversity and inclusion, and the relationship between literary excellence and literary popularity.

    • 46 min
    Zoya Patel: On Token Ethnic Friends in Pop Culture – Curiosity Lecture Series

    Zoya Patel: On Token Ethnic Friends in Pop Culture – Curiosity Lecture Series

    Acclaimed No Country Woman author Zoya Patel takes a dive into the enduring cultural phenomenon of the ‘token ethnic friend’. She examines how the entertainment industry continues to pay lip-service to diversity, looking through the lens of characters of colour including Lane Kim from Gilmore Girls and Dionne from Clueless. She also looks at how, when the tables are flipped in movies like Bend it Like Beckham, a white cast member can be afforded more screen time and agency.

    • 31 min
    Bryan Washington: On Murakami – Curiosity Lecture Series

    Bryan Washington: On Murakami – Curiosity Lecture Series

    One of America’s newest literary stars, Bryan Washington (Lot) looks to Haruki Murakami and other modern storytellers to explore how surreal elements enrich the narratives of everyday life and magnify its strangeness. He connects Murakami’s structurally loose novels (Kafka on the Shore) and those where he keeps a steady hand (Norwegian Wood) with contemporary stories on page and screen. He particularly focuses on those stories with minority protagonists – including Atlanta and Coco – where fantastical elements add feeling and weight.

    • 34 min

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