Border-Crossing Australian and Japanese Literature Symposium

Literary Exchange as Cultural Diplomacy

29 - 30 June | Forgan Smith Building, Room E216 & Online via Zoom

Registrations have closed

Header image: "Cherry blossom #1" by Blarvar

About the Symposium

Literary exchange enables readers to immerse themselves in unfamiliar worlds, providing an opportunity to engage with thematic dialogues across different cultures and the translation of literary works. Translation, as highlighted by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (2000), is both necessary and challenging, yet it plays a pivotal role in facilitating literary exchange. Through translation, readers gain access to ideas and traditions from cultures beyond their own. This project underscores the significance of literary exchange, including the translation process, in fostering cultural diplomacy and forging connections between specific locations.

To explore the bonds formed through literary exchange and the underlying mechanisms, this project focuses on the growing interest in contemporary Australia-Japan literary exchange as a form of literary border crossing. Specifically, we examine three forms of border-crossing: Japanese literary works with Australia-related themes, Australian literary works with Japan-related themes, and Australian literary works translated into Japanese. Notable examples include Iwaki Kei's Sayōnara, orenji (Farewell, My Orange, 2013), written by a resident Australia-Japanese author, Cory Taylor's My Beautiful Enemy (2013), and the Masterpieces of Australian Contemporary Literature Series. Launched in 2012 with support from the AJF, this series aims to translate Australian literature into Japanese.

Sayōnara, orenji (Farewell, My Orange, 2013) by Iwaki Kei

The project will bring together general readers, translation industry professionals and literary academics/students from various countries, with an emphasis on Australia and Japan, in a hybrid (face-to-face and online) two-day symposium hosted by the University of Queensland. A small exhibition will accompany the symposium. Presenters and attendees will be invited from across Australia and Japan, with three keynote speakers featured. These are the award-winning author Iwaki Kei; Japanese literary scholar and translator Meredith McKinney, who translated Iwaki’s Sayōnara, orenji as Farewell, My Orange (2018); and Australian studies scholar Yasue Arimitsu, who is the driving force behind the Masterpieces of Australian Contemporary Literature Series. The symposium aims to facilitate dialogue between participants and develop a deeper understanding of the cultural relationships between Australia and Japan.



シンポジウム 越境する文学





こうした越境文学を考えるにあたり、三名の基調講演者をお招きしています。デビュー作『さようなら、オレンジ』(2013) で太宰治賞ならびに大江健三郎賞を受賞した作家の岩城けい氏、日本文学研究者で翻訳家でもあるメレディス・マッキニー氏、日本におけるオーストラリア研究の第一人者である有満保江氏にご講演いただきます。『さようなら、オレンジ』の英語訳 Farewell, My Orange (2018) を手がけたのはマッキニー氏です。有満氏は、「オーストラリア現代文学傑作選」プロジェクトに深く関わりました。




Contact the symposium organiser, Dr Akiko Uchiyama, with any enquiries at


This symposium is supported by the Australian-Japan Foundation.