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Date 2024-04-03

Dear EARN friends,


We are pleased to announce that Leanne Dunic, PhD candidate at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, will deliver the 52nd EARN public lecture, titled “Navigating Liminal Spaces with Amphibious Poetics” on Monday, 15 April 2024. All are welcome. 


Speaker: Leanne Dunic (PhD candidate at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and leader of the band The Deep Cove)


Title: “Navigating Liminal Spaces with Amphibious Poetics"


Chair: Dr Min-hua Wu (Department of English, NCCU)


Time: 1- 4 pm Monday 15 April 2024    


Venue: Ji-Tao Building, Rm 107 (季陶340107


Abstract: Showcasing multidisciplinary artist Leanne Dunic’s transmedia works, such as her 2024 lyric novel with photographs Wet, this artist talk explores the idea of “amphibious poetics.” Amphibious poetics is a term Dunic uses to illustrate elements of her artistic practice, which, like amphibians, moves fluidly between environments and is plural in genre, form, content, aesthetic, and ecology. This talk reviews the artist’s body of work through a practice-as-research lens.


Bio: Leanne Dunic is a multidisciplinary artist and the author of transmedia books such as To Love the Coming End and One and Half of You. She holds an MFA in Lyric from the University of British Columbia and is currently a Ph.D candidate at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Leanne teaches fiction and hybrid forms at The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University. Her work can be found in places such as OrionThe MarginsGrainGeist, and Los Angeles Review. A Whiteley Scholar, Leanne is the recipient of fellowships and residencies from Vermont College of Fine Arts, Banff Centre, Jack Straw, Hedgebrook, Akiyoshidai International Artist Village, and Colby Institute for Environmental Humanities. Leanne lives and relies on the unceded and occupied Traditional Territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), and səl̓il̓wətaʔł (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples


Extended Abstract: Works highlighted in this talk include Dunic’s recent photographic feature in Orion Magazine on the theme of “love and climate change.” This work uses reflections as an aesthetic and methodology that demonstrates the multiplicity of perspective and the idea of getting at different viewpoints on the same phenomena and involves collaboration with others as a method for critical-creative noticing and articulation. In these photographs, a reflection merges views from behind the artist with other perspective layers, creating awareness of undetectable surface(s) and acting as a metaphor for critical-creative noticing––seeing herself from an outside perspective––pointing to the verb definition of reflection in addition to the noun. Reflection becomes a framework within amphibious poetics that offers multiple perspectives, and extends the gaze of what she wants to look at. 


Also featured is Dunic’s most recent work, Wet. In the book, a transient Chinese-American model working in Singapore thirsts for the unattainable: fair labor rights, the extinguishing of nearby forest fires, breathable air, healthy habitats for animals, human connection. She navigates place and placelessness while observing other migrant workers toiling outdoors despite the hazardous conditions. Through photographs and language shot through with empathy and desire, Wet unravels complexities of social stratification, sexual privation, and environmental catastrophe. This work will be used to discuss ways of translating the nonhuman world in the time of environmental crisis, as well as detail the role of amphibious poetics in the work’s creation. 


Author and scholar Joy Castro describes literary artists as being “in multiple, shifting, fluid conversations with a shifting and fluid world.” Amphibious poetics expands on those conversations.


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