2009 Melbourne Writers Festival

booksThe Melbourne Writers Festival (21 – 30 August 2009) is almost upon us, and is an event in which some of the greatest literary thinkers descend on Melbourne for a week of discussion, talks, and readings. La Trobe University is proud to not only be a sponsor of this event, but some of our most knowledgeable academics contribute to its line-up this year.

The  University is the major sponsor of the Festival’s Keynote speeches at the Melbourne Town Hall on Friday 21 August. This features German author Bernhard Schlink (chaired by Professor Penny Andrews, La Trobe University) and political and cultural writer Ian Buruma (chaired by Professor Dennis Altman, La Trobe University).

The Quarterly Essay Lecture: Is Neo-Liberalism Finished?
with Professor Robert Manne
29 August, 2009. 6-7pm, RMIT Capitol Theatre

Do ideas matter? Robert Manne thinks so. For the past thirty years faith in the free market has dominated most Western societies. After September 2008, with the collapse of the unregulated global free market in financial products, the faith has been shaken. In this lecture Robert Manne, one of Australian foremost public intellectuals, will try to find an answer to a genuinely complicated question. Can neo-liberalism - the free market faith - be held responsible for our present discontents?

Spotlight on Teresa Solana
with Dr Lilit Thwaites
28 August, 2009. 7-8pm, ACMI Studio 1

Catalan crime writer Teresa Solana discusses her work, with her translator and husband Peter Bush and Spanish literary expert Dr Lilit Thwaites. Teresa and Peter will both be guests of La Trobe University in early September to give a public lecture and workshop class. Peter's workshop ("Translating Cuba") will be at 11:30 on 2 September, while Teresa will be giving her lecture ("Crime Fiction in Barcelona: A Not So Perfect Crime") on 3 September. Copies of their books will be available for purchase at the Co-op Bookshop.

Our Restless Life
with Professor John Carroll
22 August, 2009. 4-5pm, BMW Edge, Federation Square

Is it possible to have too much choice? Do we have a glut of information but never go into a library? Do we travel the world but never learn another language? Do we chop and change faiths depending on what our current needs are? John Carroll and Brigid Delaney discuss if we sacrifice depth for breadth.

Does Democracy Have a Future?
with Dr Stefan Auer and Professor John Carroll (chaired by Dr Adrian Jones)
29 August, 2009. 10-11am BMW Edge, Federation Square

A debate between Dr Auer and Professor Carroll against one of Britain's leading political authors John Keane, on the state of democracy and whether it is alive and well. This event is sponsored by the Innovative Universities European Union (IUEU) Centre.