Writing the Australian Beach Symposium, 2017.

Update: Please find the conference booklet here: print quality PDF | web quality PDF. This includes abstracts, bios, and the schedule for the day. Attendees will be invited to submit their work for an edited book collection shortly. You can find a blog post detailing the day here.


I am excited to announce I am hosting a small symposium at CQUniversity, Noosa campus on August 18, 2017.

The Call for Papers (available as PDF download here) has now closed. 

The Australian beach is an iconic and recognisable image of our continent. Considering the majority of the country’s population tends to hug the coastlines, it is no surprise the beach feels familiar for many of us. And yet, in the wake of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, some academics suggested the beach was dying in terms of its cultural relevance (Huntsman 2001; Booth 2001). This one-day symposium intends to challenge this assumption by welcoming discussion of writing on and about the Australian beach. Many writers – including screenwriters, theatre writers, journalists and non-fiction authors – are inspired by or specifically influenced by the beach. As such, we intend to renew interest in the Australian beach by holding a symposium at the Noosa campus of CQUniversity, located only a short drive from one of Australia’s most beautiful beaches. We invite scholarly or creative presentations on creative practice approaches, cultural and literary analyses, and creative representations of the beach; as well as the beach’s influence on creative and cultural life.

Possible topics for papers include (but are not limited to):

  • Australian writers and the beach
  • Beaches in creative writing, journalism and other writing
  • Landscape and creative practice
  • The beach in cinema, TV, music and the visual arts
  • Australian identity and the beach
  • Beaches as borders or liminal spaces
  • International perspectives on the beach
  • Media representations of the beach
  • Tropical beach narratives
  • Islands and beaches
  • Lifesavers and lifeguards
  • Swimming, surfing, and beach sports
  • Sharks, drownings, and fear
  • Coastal identities
  • Local and regional beach writings
  • Eating, food and the beach
  • Death, dying, and the Gothic beach
  • The dark side of the beach
  • The beach as muse or distraction

We are pleased to announce Associate Professor Susan Carson as the keynote speaker. Dr Sue Carson is an Associate Professor in the Creative Industries Faculty at QUT, and is the Director of Academic Programs in the School of Communication. Her current research focus is in cultural tourism with a specific interest in digital and community engagement with the practices of cultural tourism. Sue leads the Creative Industries Cultural Tourism research group and publishes internationally in the field of cultural tourism studies. This research combines Sue’s prior work experience in information technology with her recent research in Australian culture and writing.  She is a specialist in women’s writing namely the work of Charmian Clift, Christina Stead and Eleanor Dark and continues to publish on Australian literature.

The conference schedule can be found here as a PDF. For any queries or to register your attendance, please contact the conference organiser, Dr Elizabeth Ellison: l.ellison[@]