This scholarly symposium that explored the works of one of the most acclaimed writers living today. The symposium was a joint undertaking of the Institute for German Studies and Comparative Studies at the University of Bonn in Germany and the School of Languages and Cultures at The University of Queensland. 

World leading researchers inquired into the nature and function of the "intellectual landscape" that can be found everywhere in Coetzee's novels and essays. Apart from elucidating the key features of the landscape of ideas that informs his works, these experts  engages with the conundrums the works frequently throw up for readers. More generally, the symposium aimed to shed light on the relationship between philosophy and literature, ideas and poetry (in the broadest sense of that term).

View photos

Photos from the event are available via the school facebook page

Listen to Podcasts

Please note, podcasts for Day 1 only are available to listen to by from the links below. 

Day 1 Speakers:

Professor David Attwell, University of York: “J.M. Coetzee’s South African Intellectual Landscapes”

Professor Derek Attridge, University of York: “Coetzee’s Kafkan modernism? Character and Counterfocalization”

Associate Professor Patrick Hayes, St John’s College, Oxford University: “Autobiography and Romantic Irony: Coetzee and Barthes”

Professor Alexander Honold, University of Basel: “Coetzee’s The Childhood of Jesus: Migrations into the Realm of Fiction”

Professor Markus Winkler, University of Geneva: “The Semantics of Barbarism in ‘Waiting for the Barbarians’”

Dr Maria Boletsi, Leiden University: “In Praise of Contiguity: Faith, irony, salt, and possible impossibilities in J. M. Coetzee’s The Childhood of Jesus”

Day 2 Speakers:

Professor Robert Pippin, University of Chicago: “Philosophical Fiction? The Case of Elizabeth Costello”

Professor Robert Stockhammer, University of Munich: “Coetzee’s Ethics of Languages”

Professor Tim Mehigan, The University of Queensland: “Coetzee and Scepticism”

Professor Carrol Clarkson, University of Amsterdam: “Force Fields”

Professor Christian Moser, University of Bonn: “J.M. Coetzee and the Poetics of Play”

Associate Professor Martin Woessner, The City College of New York: “In the Heart of the Empire: Coetzee and America”

Professor Simon During, The University of Queensland: “Coetzee as Academic Novelist”

Professor Anton Leist, University of Zurich: “Cosmopolitanism, the Range of Sympathy and Coetzee”

Program and Registration

View a copy of the program from the symposium here

Symposium Organisers

Professor Tim Mehigan, University of Queensland
Professor Christian Moser, University of Bonn


A Symposium on the works of J.M. Coetzee

Wed 1 Apr 2015 8:30amThu 2 Apr 2015 5:30pm


Customs House, The University of Queensland