Friday, 16 November 2012

John Coffin Memorial Lecture: "The Queen in Australia": rebranding the British Commonwealth in the Pacific

John Coffin Memorial Lecture

Friday 23 November 2012

Jane Landman (Victoria University): '"The Queen in Australia": rebranding the British Commonwealth in the Pacific'

6.00pm: The Beveridge Hall, Senate House, University of London

Introduced by Brian Winston (University of Lincoln)

Moving images of British monarchs traverse the history of film and television, from documentary footage of Queen Victoria dating from 1897, to the Commonwealth Film Unit’s extensive archive of royal visits to far flung colonies, to Madonna’s recently released W.E. on the Wallis Simpson-Edward VIII romance. This Jubilee year seems the appropriate time to consider the historic past and current effusion of film and television representations of the British monarchy.

To mark this occasion, Jane Landman will consider a classic of colonial cinema, the Commonwealth Film Unit’s documentary of the Royal Tour of 1953-4, "The Queen in Australia". Extravagantly praised at the time for its contribution to ‘world affairs’, this tribute to the Crown stages each floral genuflection as the act of a unified free world, marshalling Fijians, Tongans and New Zealanders as well as Australians into a Cold War homage to both Elizabeth II and the king of the British Documentary Movement, John Grierson. Dr Landman will bring to this presentation her acuity and expertise in the iconic repertoire of national narrative in postwar Australian film and television.

This lecture will be hosted by the Institute of English Studies in collaboration with the University of London Screen Studies Group, and in association with the IES conference "The British Monarchy on Screen" (23-24 November 2012), which will further debate the starring role of royalty in our viewing lives, with presentations from international film and television experts on topics ranging from the broadcasting of royal weddings to the cinematic casting of the sovereign.

Jane Landman is Senior Lecturer at the School of Communication and the Arts, Victoria University. She is the author of The Tread of a White Man’s Foot: Australian Pacific Colonialism and the Cinema (Pandanus Books, Canberra, 2006), and (with Chris Ballard) ‘New Guinea Patrol’: Documenting Australian Colonialism, forthcoming in 2013. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the monograph series on Australian film, Moving Image, and guest editor of the Journal of Australasian Studies. Dr Landman's current research concerns the role of the cinema in the process and cultures of colonialism and decolonization, with current focus on the series of government documentary films made in the Territories of Papua New Guinea in the 1950s and 1960s. These are films that visually report on those policies and practices of development that were part of Australia’s trust responsibilities, and Dr Landman’s research traces the political, institutional and administrative negotiations that determined the semantics and rhetoric of the visual and aural modes deployed to represent the Australian work of development of the Territories and its peoples. Broader research addresses a comparative understanding of imperial mass communications in the colonised - then decolonising - western Pacific, with specific focus on Australia and various British-derived colonial administrations.

Free and open to all, and followed by a wine reception. If you would like to attend please notify

Enquiries: Jon Millington, Events Officer, Institute of English Studies, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU; tel +44 (0) 207 664 4859; Email:

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