Dr Jane O’Sullivan, Arts, UNE, will present in the 2018 Arts Research Seminar series on Thursday, 22 March 2018, between 12.00 pm  and 1.00 pm in Oorala Lecture Theatre, Building (E22).

Title: Dog by Dog: Telling travellers’ tales in bite-sized pieces

Photo by Jane O’Sullivan

When travelling in an unfamiliar environment, how can a narrow focus on a seemingly ordinary subject offer a way into broader cultural insights and understandings? In this presentation I describe the process by which, as a tourist, I focused on dogs that I saw in the streets, cafes and around the many monuments in Italy. I have found travelling with one or two main focus/representational projects both enjoyable and purposeful. As a tourist in Italy, a tighter focus on dogs allowed me to filter the overwhelming amount of unfamiliar visual information, and approach that environment in a more manageable way – in bite-sized pieces, so to speak. I chose dogs as my subject of close observation, having previously written about them as ‘loaded’ signifiers of aspects of Australian culture. This way of selecting, closely observing, and recording my responses to dogs in Italy produced an array of resources I was later able to craft into a small collection of poetry, Mondo Cane – Street Dogs of Italy.

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