The Wheeler Centre
Shelf Life: Paul Holdengräber and Susan Orlean on Libraries
Kate Torney, Susan Orlean and Paul Holdengräber at the Athenaeum Theatre
'The boundary between society and the library is porous,' Susan Orlean has written. 'Nothing good is kept out of the library, and nothing bad.'
What do libraries mean to us – as public places and civic institutions? Why do attacks on libraries evoke a special kind of horror? And what do libraries represent in the collective imagination and in literary history?
In partnership with State Library Victoria, we brought together two great American thinkers who have spent years of their lives immersed in the world of libraries. Paul Holdengräber was the former curator of conversations at the New York Public Library, and is the founding executive director of the Onassis Foundation LA, a centre for dialogue in Los Angeles which is an outpost of the Onassis headquarters in Athens. Susan Orlean is a bestselling author and New Yorker staff writer whose latest work, The Library Book, combines memoir with an investigation of the unsolved 1986 Los Angeles Public Library fire.
In an extravagantly nerdy conversation, they discuss the past, present and future of public libraries; why we love them, and why we can’t do without them. Hosted by Kate Torney.
Greener Pastures: Finding meaning in the great outdoors
From the Yellow Sea to Yucatán to Country – this selection from the archives is a journey through the outdoors. These pieces view nature through a lens of technology, art, design and communication – or consider landscape as character, antagonist and deity.
Double Booked Club: Liam Pieper and Josephine Rowe
Two prolific Australian writers have recently published new works of fiction. Here Until August is Josephine Rowe’s collection of short stories; Liam Pieper’s latest novel is Sweetness and Light.
Rowe and Pieper have shared roots – in Melbourne’s writing community, and as Voiceworks editorial committee alumni. In recent years, both have enjoyed successful, critically-celebrated careers as authors. Rowe’s work has…
‘Memory is a Creative Act’: A gallery of Broadside 2019 graphic recordings
This past weekend, the Wheeler Centre presented the inaugural Broadside festival of feminist ideas – with a blockbuster line-up of speakers and discussions. Complicated questions were posed. Difficult issues were surfaced. Creativity was celebrated. Graphic recorder Sarah Firth captured the discussion in real-time.
Taking Up Space: Building the City That We Deserve
A woman’s place in the world and right to move through it freely has always been controlled. Workplaces, our city streets, pubs and parks are not just traditionally unwelcoming, but can be dangerous and destructive. Patriarchy has, until now, dominated our public spaces, and the way that different bodies and identities are policed within them.
So how can public space…
The Wheeler Centre
So What If … Melbourne Was Underwater?
From left: Andi Horvath, Erin O'Donnell, Karen White and David Sornig — Photo: Scott Limbrick
The experts have spoken – there’s no doubt the water is rising. But what will it mean for Melburnians?
Your suburban backyard might not be growing seaweed, but the effects will be felt across our city as we adapt to new ways of being. What might rising water levels mean for our ports and for waste management? How will our roads and sewage systems be affected? Will we see a new wave of migration from other Australian cities that have been hit even harder? The reality of our future is upon us – how will we stay afloat?
Presented in partnership with Melbourne Knowledge Week, and featuring Erin O'Donnell, Karen White, David Sornig and host Andi Horvath.
Anything and everything in Cities from across our archives.
This Isn’t a Movement, It’s a Moment: When Public Space, Politics and Art Collide
Explore these other subjects, across our site.