Three Day International Conference on “Who Started the Bushfires?: Australian Culture, Economy and Polity in the Post-truth Era”

Organizer: Postgraduate and Research Department of English, University College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India in collaboration with Centre for Australian Studies, University of Kerala, Littcrit: A Literary Biannual Journal, IASA: Indian Association for the Study of Australia, IQAC: Internal Quality Assurance Cell

About the Conference

  • When: September 15 – 17, 2021
  • Virtual Platform- FB and YouTube
  • Free Registration

The primary objective of the conference is to provide opportunity for academicians,
professionals, researchers, students and policy makers from different fields to engage in discussion based on issues related to ecological disaster in Australia and the role of narratives in this regard, and to deeply engage with the reality of climate catastrophe in the apocalyptic times we live in. It is also expected that the conference will facilitate interaction among members inside and outside their own respective disciplines to enjoy the fellowship of other professionals and scholars in the field.


Bushfires are part of widespread, uncontrolled forest fire phenomena that have been crucial in shaping the nature and life in Australia.In 2019-2020 alone, more than 12 million hectares of land have been cleared by the raging fires, affecting the lives and livelihoods of millions. Research shows that logging and mining increases the chances of bushfires by sevenfold. The governments reject the causal links between the bushfires and emissions, the
claims that are often refuted by the scientists.

In the post-truth era, where truth remains
no longer a static, absolute entity, but a
fluid concept created, manipulated and
put-to-use to formulate public opinion, the
question “Who started the Bushfires?” leads us to examine the significant role bushfires have played in telling stories about culture, economy and polity of Australia. Home to vibrant and diverse cultures, Australia is also the world’s 13th largest economy rich in natural resources and biodiversity, striving hard to protect its ecology. In relation to this, there has also been a paradigm shift in story telling—from the stereotypical narratives of a nation’s bushfire prone past depicting a callous, outlandish, Australian wilderness, to the narratives of climate apocalypse, where the catastrophic bushfires remain no longer “natural” or “normal.”

In this era, where many of the root causes of climate change increase the risk of pandemics, it is high time the processes and reasons that lead to ecological disaster in Australia and the role of narratives surrounding the same should
be “debated, sensed and communicated” to
understand the connections between natural processes, human and the non – human world and to deeply engage with the realities of climate emergency in a country like Australia and what it means to the rest of the globe.The Three-Day international Conference would perhaps enable us to find suggestions and alternatives as well as help us identify signs to look out for in this regard.


  • The role of culture and tradition in shaping environmental narratives
  • Indigenous populations and environmentalism
  • Globalisation and developmental narratives in Australia
  • The impact of political economy and policy making on Australian ecology
  • Impact of Capitalism, its moral turpitude on indigenous populations
  • Tourism and geographical politics
  • Australian literature as a politico-environmental discourse
  • The Australian Model of development, its counterparts and alternatives

Register Here

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