Part of a podcast series

The Wheeler Centre

View all episodes in this series

The Longform Society: Meeting #2: The Argonauts

Listen to The Longform Society: Meeting #2: The Argonauts

For our second meeting of the Longform Society, we look at Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts, an exhilarating, genre-defying work of feminism, queer theory and memoir. Strikingly original and immediately beloved, Nelson’s unique writing effortlessly moves between compelling literary criticism and memoir. Using selected extracts, Quinn Eades, Hannah McCann, Onyx Carmine (S.J. Norman) and Sophie Cunningham discuss Nelson's philosophical questions of queer family-making, art, literary history, sexual politics and more.

Sophie Cunningham, Onyx Carmine, Hannah McCann and Quinn Eades

Sophie Cunningham, Onyx Carmine, Hannah McCann and Quinn Eades

Watch the video below.

To receive links to the next reading list, and live stream reminders, subscribe to the Longform Society's emails below. (If you want to come along, you'll also need to book a ticket.)


Portrait of Sophie Cunningham

Sophie Cunningham

Sophie Cunningham is the author of five books, the most recent of which is City of Trees: Essays on Life, Death & the Need for a Forest. She is a former publisher, former editor of Meanjin, former Chair of the Literature Board of the Australia Council and was a co-founder of The Stella Prize. She is an Adjunct Professor with RMIT's Non/fiction lab.

Portrait of Onyx Carmine, Sarah-Jane Norman

Onyx Carmine, Sarah-Jane Norman

Working under their legal name of Sarah-Jane Norman, Onyx Carmine has been hailed as one of the most challenging and rigorous Australian experimental artists of their generation. Over the course of their 13 year solo career, Onyx has created a diverse body of interdisciplinary work spanning durational, intimate and body-based performance, dance, installation, sculpture, text, sound and moving image.

Also an accomplished writer and editor, Onyx’s poetry, prose and ficto-critical work has seen publication in Meanjin, Overland, The Cultural Studies Review of Australia, Stylus and Realtime to name a few. They have placed in numerous awards including the Overland/Judith Wright Prize for Poetry and the The DJ (Dinny) O’Hearn Award. Their forthcoming short story collection is currently shortlisted for the inaugural Kill Your Darlings Unfinished Manuscript Award. They have also co-edited publications on Indigenous film are the co-editor and lead writer on a forthcoming publication on Indigenous Australian experimental art practice.

Born on Gadigal land of Wiradjuri, Wonnarua and Anglo-Celtic ancestry, Onyx has been based in Berlin since 2009. They currently divide their time between Berlin and un-ceded Wurundjeri land.

Portrait of Hannah McCann

Hannah McCann

Dr Hannah McCann is a Lecturer in Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne. Her research is located within critical femininity studies and she writes on queer identity, beauty salons, queer fangirls, and more.

You can find her work in the Conversation, Feminartsy, and Overland, as well as journals including European Journal of Women’s Studies, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and Australian Feminist Studies

Portrait of Quinn Eades

Quinn Eades

Quinn Eades is a researcher, writer, and poet whose work lies at the nexus of feminist and queer theories of the body, autobiography, and philosophy. Eades is published nationally and internationally, and is the author of all the beginnings: a queer autobiography of the body, and Rallying.

Eades is a Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Studies at La Trobe University, as well as the founding editor of Australia's only interdisciplinary, peer reviewed, gender, sexuality and diversity studies journal, Writing from Below. He is currently working on a collection of fragments written from the transitioning body, titled Transpositions.

In 2015 Quinn Eades changed his name and gender. Prior to 2015, he was writing and speaking as Karina Quinn.


All messages as part of this discussion and any opinions, advice, statements, or other information contained in any messages or transmitted by any third party are the responsibility of the author of that message and not the Wheeler Centre.

The Wheeler Centre

Subscribe to the Wheeler Centre's podcast to hear full recordings of our talks – featuring the best in books, writing and ideas.