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Martedì ore 11-13

For LAURIE HERGENHAN

Dear all,

It is with deep sorrow and sadness that I inform you that Emeritus Professor Laurie (Laurence) Hergenhan, Member of the Order of Australia, awarded to him in 1994 for his high contribution toAustralian studies, and Fellow of the Australian Academy for the Humanities, passed away on 21st July 2019, aged 88 years.

Born on 15 March 1931, Laurie was a beacon for all Australinists worldwide. In 1963 he founded and until 2002 was editor of Australian Literary Studies, one of the most prestigious journals on Australian literature worldwide. Laurie began teaching at the University of Queensland in 1971. In 1979 he founded and directed the Australian Studies Centre; he was appointed Chair of the English
Department in 1992 and became an Emeritus Professor in 1995. He was awarded a Carnegie travel grant and Fulbright grant for study in the United States. He published many articles and reviews on Australian literature and several books, including a collection of Marcus Clarke’s journalism, A Colonial City: High and Low Life (1972), a collection of essays on convict novels, Unnatural Lives:
Studies in Australian Fiction about the Convicts, from James Tucker to Patrick White (1983) and No Casual Traveller: Hartley Grattan and Australia-US Connections (1995), a biography of the American visitor and promoter of Australian literature, C. Hartley Grattan. He was general editor of the Penguin New Literary History of Australia (1988), first published as a special issue of Australian Literary Studies. From 1975 to 2000 he was general editor of the Australian Author series of the University of Queensland Press. Laurie was a member of the Australian Society of Authors and the Queensland Writers Centre. In 1992 he received the A.A. Phillips Award from the Association for the Study of Australian Literature for his outstanding contribution to Australian studies.

It was in 1985, when I arrived at University of Queensland with an Australia-Europe scholarship, that I met him, together with other renowned Australian scholars such as Cecil Hadgraft, Stanton Mellick, Helen and Chris Tiffin, Alan Lawson, and many others. I remember with fondness his warm welcome, in the office of Peter Edwards, who was Chair of Department then, when they were talking about what would be the best subjects for me to follow during for my Master of Literary Studies. It was a wonderful year of hard study and passionate literary discussions, which created a longstanding friendship that in its turn gave birth to many other friendships, like a beautiful loving necklace of iridescent relationships, lasting throughout the years, across texts suggested, written and read, and many visits and conferences in Italy, Europe and Australia. Laurie was an inspiring and enthusiastic professor and mentor, a compassionate and ironic man, who loved human relationships and enjoyed life to the full. We miss him greatly and he will continue to be with us in our hearts and memories.

Much more can be said of his accomplishments, and thus, as soon as we learnt about his passing, agroup of friends (Susan Ballyn, Maria Renata Dolce, Martin Leer), have decided to honour his memory and the bountiful generosity of his life and work with a volume of studies, pieces, memoirs and stories.

More information will follow. For now, please, simply let me know if you would like to participate in this volume and kindly circulate this letter to anyone you think may be interested. Thank you.
I look forward to hearing from you,

Warmest regards,
Antonella Riem