Performing Literature: Festival Culture, National Culture

Prof. Michael Meehan
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What constitutes the 'literature' of any country develops through sets of cultural technologies, of which in recent years the festival has been one of the fastest growing and most influential. This paper, drawing on the presenter's 12 years experience in organising the Adelaide Festival Writers Week, one of the largest literary festivals in the world, traces through anecdotal experience, through interviews with writers, agents and publishers, and through empirically based research surveys, the ways in which 'cultural choice' and national publication lists are increasingly determined by performative capability and the cult of celebrity, and how far 'fleshly presence' figures in literary evaluations, and as a key determinant in editors' and publishers' selections.

Keywords: Literary Festival, Performance, Naiotnal Culture, Literary Culture
Stream: Arts Agendas, Audiences, Festivals
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Prof. Michael Meehan

Head of School of Communication and Creative Arts, Faculty of Arts, Dekain Univeristy
VIC, Australia

Graduate in law (Adelaide) and literature (Cambridge), winner of the NSW Premiers Award 2000 for fiction (The Salt of Broken Tears), publication in fiction in Australia, the US and the UK, in the area of literature and law, and on eighteenth-century literature.

Ref: A06P0193