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Writing the future: Curtin begins a new story with China

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Western Australia’s strong relationship with China will benefit from the establishment of the China-Australia Writing Centre, a collaborative international program led jointly by Curtin University and Fudan University in Shanghai.

The Centre will bring together cross-disciplinary expertise from both institutions, including expertise in creative writing, literature studies, historical writing, and journalism.

Curtin Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor International, Associate Professor Simon Leunig signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Fudan in Shanghai alongside Professor LIN Shangli, Vice President of Fudan University.

Associate Professor Leunig said Curtin was delighted to be collaborating with one of China’s top universities.

“Curtin is WA’s largest and most culturally diverse university and has a strong commitment to international engagement. This collaboration will not only benefit Curtin’s staff and students immensely, but also the wider community,” Associate Professor Leunig said.

Head of the School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts, Associate Professor Steve Mickler, said the partnership will have implications across many industries as the Centre will study and develop all types of writing, including new forms and multiple formats in the digital revolution.

“The Centre will contribute to the enhancement of research and creative production in the broadly-defined creative, professional, and scholarly writing disciplines and practices,” Associate Professor Mickler said.

“This agreement is international recognition of the strength of Curtin’s writing program which has produced high calibre writers such as Tim Winton and, more recently, bestselling author Brooke Davis and award winning novelists Yvette Walker and Natasha Lester.”

The Centre will focus on enabling, promoting, and studying new writing in China and Australia, with the specific aim of using cultural exchange and translation (in its broadest sense) to advance the production of creative, historical, and expository writing, and the development of innovative writing practices.

Providing scholarly leadership of the initiative are Professor Tim Dolin from Curtin’s School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts and Professor Tan Zheng from Fudan University.

Professor Qu Weiguo, Dean of Fudan’s College of Foreign Languages and Literatures, who led the initiative at Fudan, attended the signing ceremony along with colleagues from both universities.

The China-Australia Writing Centre is expected to officially open in August, however activities between the two universities have already begun, including the exchange of visiting writing fellows and the development of a two-day writing symposium to be held in Margaret River later this year.

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