Ann Vickery is Senior Lecturer in Writing and Literature at Deakin University. She is the author of Leaving Lines of Gender: A Feminist genealogy of language writing (Wesleyan 2000), Stressing the Modern: Cultural politics in Australian women’s poetry (Salt 2007), The Complete Pocketbook of Swoon (Vagabond 2014), and Devious Intimacy (Hunter 2015). With Maryanne Dever and Sally Newman, she co-authored The Intimate Archive: Journeys through private papers (National Library of Australia 2009). She has also co-edited Manifesting Australian Literary Feminisms: Nexus and faultlines (Australian Literary Studies 2009) with Margaret Henderson, and Poetry and the Trace (Puncher and Wattmann 2013) with John Hawke.


Ghostly Sisters

Feminist Collaborative Performance in Australia


This article examines how feminist performance has been, and continues to be, a key vehicle for the collaborative exploration of sexual difference and female subjectivity in Australia. It focuses specifically on the Lean Sisters and Generic Ghosts, whose collaborative performances occurred during the seventies and eighties, and their impact on subsequent feminist collaborative performance groups. As the article demonstrates, this counter-cultural tradition of performance typically deploys tactics of intertextuality, cross-media experimentation, humour, and détournement to critique gender oppression and its recurrence, while staging new possibilities of an embodied feminist politics.


Kind of, in Kind

The Politics of Circulating Feelings in the Writing of Juliana Spahr

Through the life-writing of American poet Juliana Spahr, this essay investigates not only how the lyric is being used by contemporary poets to represent compound feelings but also what relationship affect might have to the political. It considers how Spahr constructs a porous subjectivity that circulates through a system that is simultaneously social, biological, and textual in its environment. Spahr demonstrates how the continually changing relation of self to place and other may lead to a confusion and complexity of feeling. In particular, it focuses on the nested or interrelated nature of what Sianne Ngai has termed ‘ugly feelings’, particularly in terms of sexuality, colonialism, and globalisation.  It is argued that Spahr’s poetic navigation of such feeling seeks to locate possibilities for cultural adaptation and transformation.