Lightning Talks is Real Speak

For those of you who weren’t among the sixty plus audience members at last week’s Lightning Talks in the Nathan Campus library – have no fear, we’ve got you covered!

So what are Lightning Talks?
Lightning Talks are similar to soapbox events or Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, London, where speakers give voice to a variety of topical issues and invite discussion on current affairs.

Our academics and professional experts are invited to talk for 10 minutes to talk about their work in relation to a theme, and then the audience is invited to ask questions.

Why do we hold these talks?

We are hoping to make research and ideas more accessible, removing the stigma of ‘ivory towers’, breaking down hierarchical divisions. Lightning Talks are an extension of Griffith University’s commitment to inclusivity, and bringing disciplines together.

Our speakers for #LightningTalks3 were:

Associate Professor Georgina Murray who kicked off the talks with her discussion centring on socio-political changes occurring in the world, and the effects of neoliberal political ideology, particularly around employment. She highlighted some shocking statistics about the casualisation of the Australian labour force with some of the societal ramifications being drug addiction, financial insecurity around obtaining home loans, and a lack of sick leave. So do companies like Uber break up monopolies of power or do they further contribute to marginalisation and disenfranchisement in our turbulent times?

Dr Duncan McDonnell discussed the rise of right-wing populism internationally and compared Australia’s One Nation with the more successful right-wing populists in Western Europe. He highlighted that right-wing populism is not historically new; we just rename it to go with the current time period. And whilst Donald Trump does not conform to the populist leader ideal; it must be acknowledged how his controversial nature got him elected once, and he can be again! Across the Atlantic, populist parties in Europe do well because unlike their mainstream counterparts, they focus on grassroots community engagement.

Dr Susanna Chamberlain started with asking the question, ‘What the heck is populism?’ and then led us on a journey that linked anthropology and history to binaries around populism. Populism, it appears, is about the leader’s’ ability to identify as the ‘common person’ aka ‘we are just like you’ ideal; however, that idea is often a misnomer as one might suspect with Donald Trump’s empire building — funded by a ‘small’ loan of a million dollars from his father– that hardly mirrors the average ‘common person’s’ start in life.

Mr John Tague, Griffith Review Managing Editor, brought his experience and knowledge as an international journalist to discuss changes in journalistic reporting and political writing. Griffith Review, a compilation of long form essays, engages its audience and reinvigorates the idea that not everything can – or should – be conveyed in 140 character Tweets. Brexit, Trump and right-wing European leaders regularly take to the mediasphere, often invoking moral panic by circulating narratives about alleged racial tensions, scientific knowledges, and rise of ‘fake news’ in the post- truth politics era.

For the full story, listen here.

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Music in the Library at Nathan today

It’s time for another Music in the Library performance from the super talented students over at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (QCGU).

Today we’ve got not one, not two, not three, but five classical guitar musicians joining us at the Nathan campus library. Come along at 1pm and hear some tunes live in your library. After all, science says music helps you study!

The Music in the Library series is an exciting innovation that aims to enliven the campus library spaces and give QCGU students a chance to build valuable performance experience.

Got a lecture and can’t make it? Don’t worry we’ve got more library performances on the way.

You’ll have plenty more chances to enjoy the music across Trimester 2 as students from the Queensland Conservatorium-Griffith University (QCGU) will visit each campus to showcase their talents.


Tearing off labels and hearing stories at our Human Library

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Nathan campus library hosted our very first Human Library event on Wednesday 24 May 2017. We hoped to provide a space to enable social and cultural connection between people, while recognising our differences.

We recognise that no ‘book’ ever has a single story, and our identities are complex. We do not want to ‘interpret’ our books: we want our ‘human books’ to ‘speak for themselves’, and to tell their own stories.

Staff and students came to borrow a ‘human book’ and went away feeling empowered through conversation, with the desire to continue to challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue.

One of our books said: ‘I got to meet interesting people who also had interesting stories. I got to dispel a few myths and provide a few insights. My favourite part was interacting with my Readers – their questions were genuine, honest and engaging’.

Our Human Library event is over for this trimester, but we want you to continue to share your stories with each other: we believe that conversations can help spark social change!

Check out some of our book’s stories on Instagram


Human Library: Don’t judge a book by its cover

Don't judge a book by its cover

We are hosting a Human Library at the Nathan campus library at 12 pm on Wednesday 24 May 2017. You can take a person out on loan for a conversation on the topic/issue that they represent.

About the Human Library

Human Libraries are all around the world! They are much more than an ‘event’ – they are about providing a space to enable social and cultural connection between people while recognising our differences.

We want people to share their stories with each other: we believe that conversations can help spark social change!

The Human Books will be available in a safe conversational space in the library. Difficult questions are expected, appreciated and hopefully answered by the book on loan.

Our collection of Human Books

The Griffith University Human Library collection is quite diverse. Check out our selection of Human Books:

  •   Homeless
  •   Refugee
  •   Adopted
  •   Widow
  •   Muslim Woman
  •   Muslim Man/POW/PTSD
  •   Lesbian/Muso
  •   Gay male
  •   Maori
  •   Indigenous
  •   Women in IT (WIT)
  •   Veteran and Assistance Dog
  •   Author
  •   Tattoos
  •   Dreadlocks

Reserve a Human Book

Bookings are now open. Get in quick so you don’t miss out! Reserve your Human Books today.

Borrowing rules

You are responsible for all the Human Books you borrow. Be sure to follow the Human Library borrowing rules:

  •   All of our books are in mint condition. We expect them to be returned in the same condition.
  •   Do not tear out pages or write notes in our books.
  •   Loans are personal and may not be handed over to other readers.
  •   Your book is a reference for information on a given topic. So you need to ask about the things that you want to know.
  •   Be respectful.

Event details

Time: 12pm – 1.15pm
Date: Wednesday 24 May 2017
Location: Library (N53), Nathan Campus, Griffith University


Borrow a book from our Human Library

Don't judge a book by its cover

No doubt you know the Griffith University library has many, many books on a multitude of topics.

And our library books usually hold what you need. Between the covers, on the printed pages, is the story or information you are seeking.

But this month, we are offering you a different kind of book – a book you can hold an actual conversation with – a Human Book.

On Wednesday 24 May 2017, our Nathan campus library will become the Human Library. You can take a person out on loan for a conversation on the topic/issue, that they represent.

It is a library of human beings, individuals, that each represent a group in the community that are somehow exposed to stigma, prejudice and/or discrimination.

You’ll be able to borrow a Human Book for 15 minutes from our Human Library. There’s no index pages or tables of contents to consult. Our books are interactive – if you want to know something, you only need to ask!

Our Human Books are one-of-a-kind – you may not keep them overnight, get a loan extension, or remove them from the library. If you lose a Human Book, there will be hefty fines involved (#jokes).

The Human Library is a concept created by Danish youth organisation Stop The Violence in 2000 and it is now operational on five continents.

It aims to establish a safe conversational space, where difficult questions are expected, appreciated and hopefully answered by the Human Book on loan.

Who would you borrow from our Human Library? Here’s a selection of topics/issues:

  •   Homeless
  •   Refugee
  •   Adopted
  •   Widow
  •   Muslim Woman
  •   Muslim Man/POW/PTSD
  •   Lesbian/Muso
  •   Gay male
  •   Maori
  •   Indigenous
  •   Women in IT (WIT)
  •   Veteran and Assistance Dog
  •   Author
  •   Tattoos
  •   Dreadlocks

Event details

What: The Human Library
Where: Library (N53), Nathan Campus, Griffith University
When: 12pm-1.15pm, 24 May 2017


QHorns at Music in the Library

Music in the Library is back again. Pop into the Nathan Library at 1pm on Monday, 8 May for your special musical treat featuring a four person ensemble from QHorns.

QHorns are a group of Queensland Conservatorium horn students studying in Brisbane under the direction of Peter Luff and Ysolt Clark. Winners of the 2013 International Horn Symposium horn ensemble competition in Memphis, Tennessee, QHorns are active members of the Brisbane music scene.

This ensemble has performed extensively throughout Queensland in venues such as the Queensland Conservatorium Theatre, Queensland Symphony Orchestra Studios and in towns including Sandgate and Roma. They have been involved with many music festivals around Queensland including the Tyalgum music festival and the 42nd & 45th horn symposiums.

This year, they’re off to Brazil to take part in the International Horn Society’s 49th Horn Symposium.

The 2017 Music in the Library Series is an exciting innovation that aims to enliven the campus Library spaces and give QCGU students a chance to build valuable performance experience. If you’re keen to perform, email ins-events@griffith.edu.au

Come along and support your fellow students! See you there.


Cheers to one million visitors to Nathan library!

Photo of office people celebrating

Hip, hip, hooray! A whooping one million of you have walked through the doors of the Nathan campus library this calendar year*.

And we are pretty chuffed. That’s one million students and staff who have come to hang out in our library spaces, utilise our amazing resources and engage with our lovely library staff.

If we could have had trumpets playing, confetti-throwing and champagne-popping to celebrate the actual one millionth visitor, we would have.

But we don’t keep trumpets in the library. Confetti is notoriously difficult to clean up. And alcohol in the library would be frowned upon by the powers that be. Sorry.

Big thanks to all of you who have dropped by this year. And a massive shout-out to the Nathan campus library staff for being so helpful, friendly, supportive and all the other good stuff.

*Calendar year? What’chu talkin’ about? We are referring to the period from October 2015 – October 2016.