Parallel to ‘crises’ are narratives of change and renewal steeped in the ephemeral concept of hope. Hope is an unsettling of the present; it is temporal and always deeply social, political and cultural. It is felt in the body as anticipation. In an instant, it can be diminished or extinguished. I am interested in how hope as a set of practices, affect, and sensation comes into being for Australian rural and farming women whose lives are embedded in a flux of challenging economic, climatic, social and political contexts. Drawing on biographical methods using interviews and memory work, I examine how hope emerges and unfolds in specific moments in relation to distress, grief through the suicides of male farmers, and devastation of land and animals through drought. Through women’s narratives hope becomes apparent as gendered and relational, connected to acts of giving and receiving care.

Speaker: Professor Lia Bryant

Director of The National Enterprise for Rural Community Wellbeing, Justice and Society, The University of South Australia

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