‘Man Alone’ has been a foundational metaphor for living in New Zealand, but does it deserve its reputation? Many have argued that John Mulgan’s novel, published in 1939, tapped into a national self-image, crystallising concepts of settler nationalism and the culture of good keen men which are still visible in sport, politics and advertising. But ‘man alone’ has also been highly contested. Has ‘man alone’ ever been more than a white intellectual’s imagined self? How has it influenced politics, landscape, sport, visual arts, film, architecture, literature, history, theatre, social theory and science? Do we still need it?
2011 is the 100th anniversary of John Mulgan’s birth and provides an appropriate moment to re-assess this pervasive myth.
Papers are invited from a range of disciplinary perspectives to explore and contest these questions.
Possible topics include:
-Men without women
-Growth of the city
-Woman alone, women together
-Mâori and ‘man alone’
-The construction of ‘wilderness’
-The culture and history of war
-Heroics of authorship
-The politics of individualism
-‘Distance looks our way’
-The Oxford connection and late imperialism
-John Mulgan and his work
Abstracts (up to 200 words) for 20 minute papers are invited by 30 April. Please send to email@example.com
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