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The 20th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association of Writing Programs

While this conference looks back to twenty years of work carried out in the field of creative writing studies by the Australasian Association of Writing Programs, it also looks forward to that which is ‘in the making’. With the title of this conference, ‘Writing the ghost train,’ we pay homage to Martin Edmond’s keynote address of 2014, ‘riding the ghost train,’ an insightful exploration of the creative drive of one singular writer. We also acknowledge that for the original inhabitants of this land, the white man was once—and perhaps still is—a ghost. As the planet moves, with a grim relentless urgency toward destruction brought on by our own spectral dreams, we also note both history and nature’s examples: destruction makes room for creation. Working by association, linking the real with the imagined, the memory with the artefact, the archive with the avatar, this conference is an invitation to explore what such scholars as Todorov, Genette, Hutcheon, Eco and Kristeva have called hypotext, hypertext, genotext, phenotext, and, more generally, the recontextualisation of narrative and aesthetic motifs in our practice as writers and teachers.

The focus of the conference will be the question of rewriting, interpreting and adapting texts. It will be a site for rediscovering. It will showcase artistic works and highlight creative modes of research; it will enable understandings of how we make and remake and to what ends; it will provide opportunities to explore how creative artists engage with theory.