Speaking from the South

Speaking from the South

An inspirational collection of writers and thinkers focused on the South

What does it mean to speak from the South? What unique perspectives does this vantage point offer on the pressing issues currently facing the world? These are questions which have driven a recent interest in ‘Southern Theory’ – an approach which critiques the dominance of Western models that centre on European and North American experiences and perspectives. It shows how Northern-produced theories, concepts and models are often unable to describe and respond appropriately to the Southern situations into which they have been introduced. Southern Theory seeks to empower thinkers beyond the traditional centres and focus on issues which affect them.

In recent years, Adelaide’s own Nobel Laureate John M. Coetzee has affected a radical realignment, shifting the centre of world literature, political philosophy, and the creative arts toward the South. Featured as part of the University of Adelaide’s 150th Year Celebrations in 2024, the University will be bringing together Coetzee alongside some of the most profound and exciting thinkers for Speaking from the South - a first of its kind, multi-day public event which will both celebrate and build upon Coetzee’s legacy as it generates conversations grounded in the unique environments of the South that have global importance and impact.

Speaking from the South will host writers and thinkers from across the Global South and the Southern Hemisphere to reflect on and propose pathways out of the difficult problems that confront the world today, such as inequality, the growing use technology in everyday life, climate change, and the mass displacement of people. While grappling with the ongoing impact of colonialism in shaping our current world, the speakers will draw on local knowledges and experiences to inform future visions and practices for sustaining life on earth.

Joining Coetzee for public readings will be Abdulrazak Gurnah – both of whom are part of a collection of only 15 writers from the South to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in its 120-year history. Speaking from the South will also feature an impressive rollcall of international and Australian writers, thinkers, and poets participating in a series of high-profile public panel discussions, talks,readings, and masterclasses, with a strong focus on featuring Indigenous voices from the South.

Full program on sale now!

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