Nicholas Birns Homepage

Contact Nicholas Birns at nicholas.birns@gmail.com

updated April 15, 2016

Nicholas Birns CV can be seen here

In April 2016, I gave a keynote talk at the Anthony Powell Society conference in York, England.

In late 2015, a new book of mine, Contemporary Australian Literature: A World Not Yet Dead , appeared from Sydney University Press. I attended the book launch in Sydney as well as the conferences on Christina Stead and Elizabeth Harrower held at the University of New South Wales. The book has been very well reviewed so far. Geordie Williamson, writing in The Australian said: How does literature resist the dominant neo-liberal ideology? Birns finds this resistance in the 'affective' responses of literature, 'feeling takes up ... the ethical burden previously borne by more direct modes of social comment'. His reading is broad and catholic, his judgments shrewd yet generous, and his ideological positions nuanced". Bonny Cassidy, writing in Cordite , notes that "Birns is interested in the overview less as a survey, and more as a way of reading onwards. Birns writes in his afterword, How does literature resist the dominant neo-liberal ideology? Birns finds this resistance in the 'affective' responses of literature, 'feeling takes up ... the ethical burden previously borne by more direct modes of social comment'. The Australia one loves is always dying, always skipping away.' It’s a profoundly moving statement, as significant to the remote critic as to the locally immersed participant; it can be taken as both a theory of identity and as a poetics."

Susan Lever, writing in the Australian Book Review , states that 'Birns finds….resistance in the 'affective' responses of literature, 'feeling takes up ... the ethical burden previously borne by more direct modes of social comment".

I was in Australia from, June-July 2014. giving a plenary address at the 100th anniversary of World War One conference, held in Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, October 14, 2014. I gave a paper on Herman Melville and Kim Scott at the MLA in Vancouver, January 2015. I was in Beijing in summer 2015 lecturing, and was also in Hohhot and Shanghai earlier in the summer, In August 2015, I was in Llangollen, Wales to speak to the annual Powys conference, and the Trollope bicentenary conference in Leuven, Belgium, September 2015.In April 2016, I will be speaking at the Anthony Powell conference in York, England