Presented by the Sydney Review of Books.This is practical workshop for working critics on the ethics of cultural criticism, with a particular focus on...

I Blurbed My Best Friend's Novel: a practical workshop on ethical criticism


Level 6 Terrace Entrance
2000 NSW

Vivid Ideas Exchange, Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia
An epically brilliant work

Event Details

Presented by the Sydney Review of Books.

This is practical workshop for working critics on the ethics of cultural criticism, with a particular focus on literary criticism. On the agenda: revenge reviews, hatchet jobs, cliques, insults, over-the-top praise, backscratching, disclosure, insider trading.

What conflicts of interest arise when everyone knows everyone else (or so it seems)? And if cultural circles are understood as scenes, who misses out on critical attention? How can critics enrich their practice by paying more than lip-service to diversity – or should cultural commentators, like life writers, stick to what they know? What are the arguments in favour of offering critical support to writers from certain communities? In this workshop we’ll seek to move beyond describing and bemoaning the problems, and discuss practical approaches to ethical criticism.

How will it work? Each panellist will write a short essay about critical practice that will appear on the SRB website before the workshop. These essays will set the agenda for discussion in the workshops. Participants will be encouraged to read these essays and to contribute to the workshop discussion. This is a workshop for critics and for people who are interested in critical culture. The Sydney Review of Books is a literary journal, and the cosy relationships between novelists, poets, and critics will be our primary focus – but this workshop will be useful for critics working in other fields.

Featuring: Ben Etherington, Michelle Cahill, Emmett Stinson and SRB editor Catriona Menzies-Pike. 

Free entry for SRB contributors.
$10/$5 concession

Access and Inclusion

  • Wheelchair accessible - Access to the venue is suitable for wheelchairs (toilets, ramps/lifts etc.) and designated wheelchair spaces are available.
  • Hearing loop - A hearing loop (sometimes called an audio induction loop) is a special type of sound system for use by people with hearing aids. The hearing loop provides a magnetic, wireless signal that is picked up by the hearing aid when it is set to 'T' (Telecoil) setting. Many venues have an induction hearing loop system. Check if your venue has this system.
  • Companion card - The Companion Card is for people with a significant permanent disability, who always need a companion to provide attendant care type support in order to participate at most available community venues and activities.