Pastoral Conference

The Afterlives of Pastoral, 4-5 July 2014, University of Queensland.
Keynote speakers: Leah Marcus (Vanderbilt University), Andrew Taylor (Edith Cowan University) and Thomas Bristow (University of New England).
Convenors: Judith Seaboyer and Victoria Bladen, University of Queensland
Please submit a 250-word proposal together with a 100-word biographical note to the conference organisers at by Friday 21 March.

Over the last twenty-five years, there has been a resurgence of interest not only in the theory and criticism of pastoral but in literature that in various ways is in dialogue with the mode. It is inspired by the recent pastoral turn, by the questioning title of Paul Alpers’s book, What is Pastoral? and by Annabel Patterson’s focus on the pastoral as literature in action. As Alpers reminds us, the pleasures of nymphs and shepherds and their herds are only ever the vehicle for a quite different, darker discourse: “the very notion of pastoral . . . represents a fantasy that is dissipated by the recognition of political and social realities” (24).

In this spirit, the organisers seek participants from a wide range of fields, including literature, the performing arts, music and other forms of cultural discourse that engage with the core of this ancient tradition.

For further information and a list of possible topics/panels, see the conference website at:



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