Roxane Gay Will Get Chatting at Sydney's Festival of Dangerous Ideas and Melbourne's Now or Never

On the tenth anniversary of 'Bad Feminist', the writer and social commentator's 2024 trip to Australia will span two cities.
Sarah Ward
Published on June 20, 2024

When Roxane Gay released Opinions: A Decade of Arguments, Criticism, and Minding Other People's Business in 2023, the American author and academic gave readers a tome that stepped through ten years of her non-fiction efforts. With that milestone in mind, it feels apt that Gay's 2024 trip to Australia will also mark a decade since 2014's Bad Feminist first had everyone reading the commentator's books. Expect both texts to earn more than a small mention in Sydney and Melbourne come August.

Gay will make just two stops Down Under this winter, both at festivals: at Sydney's Festival of Dangerous Ideas and Melbourne's Now or Never. The Harbour City will welcome Gay first — she's the first speaker announced for FODI 2024, in fact, ahead of the event's full program being released on Tuesday, June 25 — before the Victorian capital beckons.

"Roxane Gay is one of the world's most-brilliant social commentators. Ten years on since her book Bad Feminist caught the world's attention, she is still unafraid to call out privilege, hypocrisy, and entrenched social injustice. But today, speaking up can come at a huge cost. I can't think of anyone else more credentialed than Roxane to talk to FODI audiences about the importance of rocking the boat and facing criticism head on," said FODI Director Danielle Harvey, announcing the news.

Gay will appear as a keynote speaker, discussing the topic of being a dissenter in the age of tribal warfare, at the 12th Festival of Dangerous Ideas. The event was established in 2009 to discuss difficult issues, push boundaries and inspire debate, putting both its initial guest and her topic right in its usual remit.

2024's FODI runs from Saturday, August 24–Sunday, August 25 at Carriageworks, focusing on the theme 'sanctuary'. As well as getting Gay chatting about her work live and in person, the fest will enlist the New York Times-bestselling author on panels, too.

In Melbourne, the writer that's also behind Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body and Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture — and also Ayiti, An Untamed State, Difficult Women and The Banks in fiction — will get talking about having complicated views in complicated times with Jan Fran at Melbourne Town Hall on Tuesday, August 27, in a session also presented by The Wheeler Centre.

"The Wheeler Centre is thrilled to present Roxane Gay in Melbourne and celebrate this incredible compilation of her work. Roxane communicates complex ideas with honesty and power, and this is a rare opportunity to hear her in conversation," said The Wheeler Centre CEO Erin Vincent.

Roxane Gay will appear at Carriageworks in Sydney as part of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas from Saturday, August 24–Sunday, August 25 — and at Melbourne Town Hall on Tuesday, August 27 presented by The Wheeler Centre and Now or Never. Presale tickets for the Festival of Dangerous Ideas go on sale on Tuesday, June 25, with general sales from Wednesday, June 26. Tickets for The Wheeler Centre are on sale now.

Top image: Reginald Cunningham.

Published on June 20, 2024 by Sarah Ward
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