Arts & culture

News about visual, literary and performing arts, languages and other aspects of culture

Latest news

11 June 2024

Is age verification for pornography access reliable? Research suggests no

A new study by Professor Alan McKee and Dr Zahra Stardust (QUT) suggests that age assurance technologies restricting access to pornography are unreliable and ineffective, and that there are better, evidence-based alternatives to facilitate access to diverse and healthy representations of sexuality online.
07 June 2024

The Dispossessed at 50: Ursula K. Le Guin's anarchist utopia endures

Dr Alexander Howard, Senior Lecturer in English, discusses the enduring political power of Ursula K. Le Guin's groundbreaking science-fiction novel, The Dispossessed.
07 June 2024

How the Blade Runner soundtrack uses electronic music to explore humanity

Dr Alison Cole, a leading expert on film scores and lecturer in Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, analyses Vangelis' innovative use of electronic music to capture emotion and translate the complexities of the human condition, 30 years on from the release of the 1982 Blade Runner soundtrack.
06 June 2024

Sydney Con composer Paul Mac creates a magical musical ride on Sydney trains

In an Australian first, composer-producer Paul Mac is paying tribute to Sydney's suburban railway system in a project that sees two Sydney train routes turned into a mobile electronic music and light experience: Tekno Train.
05 June 2024

Australian photographer Rosemary Laing remembered for her sensuous yet unsettling images

Associate Professor Donna Brett, Chair of Art History, pays tribute to Australian photographer Rosemary Laing, remembering her ground-breaking work in the art form, and her unique ability to "make us look".
03 June 2024

The joke's on us - how AI is replicating our laughter online

In an era in which we are increasingly reliant on digital devices and services, laughter can be a potent form of stress and frustration relief, and the tech industry knows it. But can AI genuinely emote a sense of humour, asks Dr Benjamin Nickl from the School of Languages and Cultures.
03 June 2024

New Disney documentary, The Beach Boys, tells the band's story - but not the whole story

Dr Jadey O'Regan, lecturer in Contemporary Music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, closely examines the new Disney documentary, The Beach Boys, and finds it moving but ultimately lacking in its coverage of the more complex and difficult parts of the band's journey.
31 May 2024

Vivid Sydney's future seems bright, but challenges abound

Vivid Sydney is a globally recognised celebration of light, music and ideas, with each annual program delivering a bigger and brighter range of diverse content that continues to delight audiences. Yet the success of such a massive festival comes with challenges, writes Associate Professor Emrah Baki Ulas from the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning.
30 May 2024

How Furiosa's silence in the new Mad Max speaks volumes about women's agency

Furiosa deploys strategic silence to cement her status as prize warrior rather than prize breeder in the latest Mad Max saga, a shift that progresses the film's portrayal of women's stories, says Associate Professor in English Rebecca Johinke.
24 May 2024

Professor Tom Calma awarded honorary Doctor of Letters

The renowned advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples has been recognised for his work to shape a better and fairer Australia.
23 May 2024

Age verification for social media: Do kids and parents even want it?

Age verification for social media would impact all of us. Dr Justine Humphry, Dr Catherine Page Jeffery, Dr Jonathon Hutchinson and Dr Olga Boichak from Media and Communications investigate the efficacy and risks of age-checking technologies and whether there are better approaches to mitigating online harms affecting young people.
21 May 2024

Can you control your image? Gina Rinehart, King Charles and 'moral portraits'

From heroic Roman emperors to caricature and King Charles III, Professor Roger Benjamin from Art History discusses Vincent Namatjira's painting of Gina Rinehart and when or if a portrait's subject should have control over the artist's depiction.
20 May 2024

The tentacles of retracted science reach deep into social media. A simple button could change that.

On social media, health myths based on debunked science abound. A new tool could be social media's best defence against misinformation.
17 May 2024

Associate Professor Sophie Gee appointed inaugural Vice-Chancellor Fellow

The University of Sydney has appointed Associate Professor Sophie Gee as inaugural Vice-Chancellor Fellow with a focus on public intellectual discourse and collaboration.
13 May 2024

How travel 'bucket lists' help cancer patients handle life and death

Dr Leah Williams Veazey, Dr Katherine Kenny and Professor Alex Broom from the Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies explore the significance and potential downfalls of bucket lists for cancer patients, and how dreams of adventure change in the face of illness.
08 May 2024

Australia's Eurovision entry is the first to sing in First Nations language: meet Electric Fields

Musicologists and linguists at Sydney Conservatorium of Music share their knowledge on Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara, one of the most widely spoken Australian First Nations languages used in Electric Fields' song "One Milkali (One Blood)" performed at Eurovision 2024.
01 May 2024

The President is a brilliant revival of a play of decay, terror and revulsion

Dr Alexander Howard, senior lecturer in English, reviews The President by Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard, at the Sydney Theatre Company, a co-production with Dublin's Gate Theatre.
01 May 2024

Where to next in Australia's battle with Elon Musk and X?

Professor Terry Flew, in Digital Communications and Culture, says the Australian government's battle with Elon Musk and X over violent content appears admirable, but will it change anything for those vulnerable to its harm?
30 April 2024

Sydney Con Jazz Festival 2024 hosts the best of Australian jazz

Sydney Conservatorium of Music has announced the lineup for its one-day jazz festival on Sunday 2 June, 2024. Music lovers can enjoy jazz performances by Australia's best artists in six concert locations around the Con.
24 April 2024

A WW2 Spitfire was lost in the Norwegian wilderness for 76 years. Now a Sydney team is helping to rebuild it.

The University of Sydney is part of an international project that is "reverse-engineering" engine parts for a rare Spitfire that was last flown by a Great Escape pilot and recovered from a peat bog in 2018.