Welcome to the Johnson Society of Australia
Enthusiastic reception for 2007 Fleeman Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Monday, 19 January 2009 21:29

The 2007 David Fleeman Memorial Lecture was delivered to an enthusiastic audience by Dr Paul Tankard, the JSA’s Editor, and Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Otago, Dunedin. Otago is now able to boast of two Fleeman lecturers among its numbers (Professor Chris Ackerley being the 2006 lecturer). Paul’s subject, clearly a first survey of an ever-expandable work in progress, was entitled “Reference Point: Samuel Johnson and the Encyclopaedias.

Johnson, of course, was keenly interested in the business of organising knowledge involving what he called ‘that muddling work’, the tasks of searching out and of organising large fields of knowledge which supported the brilliant criticism contained in the Lives of the Poets, or the fundamental research which made possible the  astonishingly creative Dictionary-- both being outstanding examples of the encyclopaedic instincts of Johnson and also of his age (one thinks of Blair, Reynolds, Burney and others).

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The 2007 Seminar Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Monday, 27 August 2007 01:37

It was a dark and stormy night, but the lights were shining, hot drinks available, and the fires were taking the edge off a Melbourne winter evening as the JSA assembled for its 14th Annual Seminar on July 6 at the English-Speaking Union.

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14th Annual Seminar Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Monday, 26 June 2006 02:29

The 14th annual seminar of the JSA was held at the English Speaking Union in Melbourne on Saturday June 17. A feature of the program was a rehearsed reading of  Johnson’s play Irene by a cast from the Shakespeare Society, and among the papers was a stirring account of the female gladiators and boxers of 18th Century London, by Genny Gebhardt, who travelled from Seattle in the US to speak at the seminar.

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The JSA at Pembroke College Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Monday, 27 August 2007 01:40

The JSA was very well represented at the recent conference held at Pembroke College, Oxford on June 21-23 when some 50 ardent Johnsonians gathered to consider the topic of “Johnson and the Theatre”. The JSA members present were Barrie and Fay Shepherd and John Byrne.

Over the three days the participants were given a superb insight into 18th century theatre in all its aspects, from the formality of Drury Lane under Garrick to the fringe theatre of Southwark Fair, with its rowdy and riotous behaviour of the audience (who seemed to be as much a part of the spectacle as they were spectators) and the ever present prostitutes and pimps who made the theatre crowds their willing prey.

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Vale Dr Rusi Khan Print E-mail
Written by Barrie Sheppard   
Monday, 26 June 2006 02:41

Rusi Khan, one of the JSA’s founding members, died on 15 February after a short battle with cancer. Rusi, a Parsee Indian, was educated in Bombay, and then London University where he was awarded the Doctor of Philosophy for his thesis on the freedom of the will. From there he took a lectureship in Singapore, and eventually a position in the Philosophy Department at Monash in 1965. He retired from Monash in 1994.

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