Dr Jennifer Mae Hamilton, Arts, UNE, will present in the 2018 Arts Research Seminar series on Thursday, 15 March 2018, between 12.00 pm  and 1.00 pm in Oorala Lecture Theatre, Building (E22).

Title: Weathering the City: The Town

Sydenham Stormwater Pit and Drainage Pumping Station in August 2016 – Photo by Jennifer Mae Hamilton

This presentation has two parts. First I give an overview of my ‘weathering the city’ research. Then I offer a short analysis of Shaun Prescott’s novel The Town within the terms of the project.

  1. My current research is a critical and speculative interrogation of climate change adaptation planning in wealthy western cities. It is an interdisciplinary Feminist Environmental Humanities project. My analysis is structured around the concept of ‘weathering’, or ‘a particular way of understanding how bodies, places and weather are all inter-implicated in our climate-changing world’. This project engages in close readings of poetry and literature of place and site specific live art, but critically reads adaptation policy and planning documents that are currently guiding the construction of future cities. I also outline how I developed, designed and funded this research.
  2. Shaun Prescott’s novel The Town is ostensibly about ‘the disappearing towns of central New South Wales’ and draws heavily on familiar tropes of regional Australian fiction narrating decline. In this paper I argue that, in contrast to narrating the shrinking of regions, the novel can be understood as an elegy to technocapitalist urbanism and its specific manifestation in Sydney. I highlight the ecocritical implications of Prescott’s novelistic deconstruction of the city as we know it and link it to the other themes I explore in my research.

To see upcoming seminars in 2018, please visit the Seminars & Public Lectures page.