Bushfires in Australian Literature: Public Lecture by Dr Grace Moore

Published 24 September 2013

Grace MooreOn Friday 27 September, renowned literary scholar Dr Grace Moore will be presenting a special lecture at UNE entitled “The Heavens Were on Fire”: Incendiarism and the Defence of the Home.

In what is certain to be a fascinating exploration of settler times, Dr Moore will discuss one of the most deadly and perennial realities of Australian life: bushfire. Dr Moore will contemplate the vulnerability of Australian settler homes in the face of summer bushfires through an examination of literary sources from the period. The discussion will also consider how certain elements of settler life were represented in fiction and in fact and the ways in which literature anticipates disaster and rehearses responses to it.

Dr Moore holds a PhD from the University of Exeter, and has taught in the UK and the United States as well as in Australia. Dr Moore is primarily a Dickens scholar with additional research interests in crime fiction and neo-Victorianism. She has been shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Award for literary scholarship and is currently working on a study of nineteenth-century Australian literature representing bushfires. She is currently Senior Research Fellow at the Melbourne node of the Centre for the History of Emotions.

Dr Moore describes this new project as a deeply emotional one. “As a British migrant myself, I feel an extraordinary connection to those nineteenth-century colonists who were drawn to Australia by promises of verdant splendour, but who found themselves battling to defend their new homes on a semi-annual basis,” she said.

This public lecture, presented by the School of Arts, the School of Humanities and the Nineteenth Century Studies Group at UNE, will be held on Friday 27 September at 9:30am-10:30am at UNE’s Arts Lecture Theatre A3, with a morning tea to follow.