2018 Sri Lanka ASAL Tour

2018 Sri Lanka ASAL Tour

2018 Sri Lanka ASAL Tour: 12 November – 2 December 2018

Australia has had a close relationship with Sri Lanka since both were established as British colonies at the end of the eighteenth century.  Ceylon was the nearest British colony to the Australian colonies, a source of supplies and a port of call for travellers from Europe to Australia. Many of the ruling military class of the early Australian colonies exchanged positions with those in Ceylon, and the country appears in travellers’ accounts and sometimes in stories written by Australians—in Martin Boyd’s Lucinda Brayford, for example, Lucinda’s mother takes a holiday trip there.

After the Second World War many Ceylonese came to Australia, some initially on Colombo Plan exchanges, others during the political upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s when Ceylon became the independent nation of Sri Lanka. Yasmin Gooneratne and Michelle de Kretser may be the best-known of the Australian-Sri Lankan writers, but others include the novelist, Chandani Lokuge, the playwright Ernest McIntyre and poets such as Dipti Saravanamuttu and Sunil Govinnage. As well, many Australian writers have visited Sri Lanka, writing about their experiences of it.

During our trip to Sri Lanka in November 2018, we will hold a conference at Viharagala Estate, once owned by Yasmin Gooneratne and her husband and operated as a writers’ retreat, Pemberley.  Papers on any aspect of Australian-Sri Lankan culture, or the wider literary connections between Australia and South Asia, will be welcomed.

Please send proposals and enquiries about the tour to:
Susan Lever ([email protected]).