Last updated: 2015-08-25

SAM Seminar: Enhancing Chinese Understanding of Australian Culture and Society through Classic Australian Films

When:     4 Aug 2015, 5pm - 6:30pm
Venue:    Robert Webster Building, Room 327
Who:       Wendy Bowcher (Sun Yat-Sen University), Anne O’Brien (UNSW), Greg Dolgopolov (UNSW), Jake Wilson
                 (The Age, SMH), chaired by Jane Mills (UNSW)


Sun Yat-sen University (China) is introducing an undergraduate unit of work on classic Australian cinema, as part of their Australian Society and Culture Liberal Education Course. Funded by the Australia-China Cultural Council, Prof Wendy Bowcher, Deputy Director of the Australian Studies Centre (Sun Yat-sen University), is visiting UNSW for a research project with A/Prof Jane Mills.

This project aims to discover which Australian films are considered ‘classic’ - and why. At this seminar, these and other questions relating to the value of studying Australian cinema in order to study Australian culture and society will be explored by leading academics and Fairfax film critic Jake Wilson.

The panel will be chaired by A/Prof Jane Mills.

In association with this panel, the Sydney Screen Studies Network will host a screening of Mad Dog Morgan (Philippe Mora, 1976) on Wed 5 August, at Room 327, Robert Webster Building, UNSW. All are welcome.

Mad Dog Morgan is the subject of the recent monograph by Jake Wilson for the Australian Screen Classics series (co-published by Currency Press/NFSA), of which Jane Mills is the Series Editor. Other titles and authors in the series include: Rabbit Proof Fence (Larissa Behrendt); Walkabout (Louis Nowra); Wolf Creek (Sonya Hartnett); The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (Henry Reynolds); The Devil’s Playground (Christos Tsiolkas).

A/Prof Jane Mills (UNSW) teaches Australian National Cinema and is the Series Editor of Australian Screen Classics (Currency Press/National Film & Sound Archive). Her most recent book is on the classic Australian film Jedda.

Professor Wendy Bowcher is Deputy Director of the Australian Studies Centre (Sun Yat-sen University, China). Her research interests include multimodal discourse analysis and systemic functional linguistic theory. Her next book, co-edited with J.Y. Liang, is Society in Language, Language in Society: Essays in Honour of Ruqaiya Hasan.

Jake Wilson is a weekly film reviewer for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. His monograph, Mad Dog Morgan, for the Currency Press/NFSA Australian Screen Classics series, will be launched shortly.

A/Prof Anne O’Brien teaches in the School of Humanities and Languages (UNSW). Her interests in social and cultural history focus on Australia in its transnational context. Her books are: Poverty’s Prison: The Poor in NSW, 1880-1918; God’s Willing Workers: Women and Religion in Australia; Philanthropy and Settler Colonialism.

Dr Greg Dolgopolov teaches film at the School of the Arts & Media (UNSW). His research interests include Multicultural, Intercultural and Cross-cultural Studies, Cinema Studies, Australian and New Zealand, Russian, Film, Television and Digital Media.