On Thursday 6 December I’ll be giving a presentation on my nearly-completed PhD thesis, entitled ‘Bonfire of the Vanity Presses: Self-Publishing in the Field of Australian Literature’. The seminar will be held at Swinburne University of Technology (Hawthorn campus), where I am studying at the Institute for Social Research. It’ll be held from 12.30-2 pm, in SPW 226. I’m not going to elaborate on that address, as then people might actually come along. Here’s the summary of my paper, which is pretty much the same as my thesis abstract:
This paper investigates the creation, distribution and evaluation of self-published book-objects, with a special emphasis on self-publishing in Australian poetry. It aims to mobilise several theoretical approaches, including an historical approach to the narrative of book making, a sociological approach to authorship and the literary field, and a biographical examination of self-publishing authors. It seeks in general to marry a literary analysis of the personal contexts of self-published books with a cultural analysis of self-publishing within the field of Australian literary production as a whole. Rather than offering a basic defence of self-publishing or a textual analysis of self-published works, it seeks to reinsert self-publishing into a robust description of what Bourdieu might term the “field” of Australian poetry.