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Wednesday Research Seminar Series - The Native Companion: E. J Brady’s ‘home-grown’ literature and modernist aesthetics

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START DATE 18 November 2020


END DATE 18 November 2020

This week, we are delighted to have Dr. Louise Edensor for our Wednesday research seminar. She will present her research on “The Native Companion: E. J Brady’s ‘home-grown’ literature and modernist aesthetics”. 

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Wednesday Research Seminar Series       

We are pleased to invite you to our Wednesday Research Seminar. It will be held online on 18 November from 4pm via Microsoft team platform.         

Wednesday Research Seminar Series was launched in 2008 and has featured more than 280 presentations to date. The seminars provide a forum for researchers to share their work. Presenters include faculty from Middlesex University Dubai and other universities in the United Arab Emirates, as well as researchers from other global institutions.  Louise will deliver seminar on:     

“The Native Companion: E. J Brady’s ‘home-grown’ literature and modernist aesthetics”   

Louise Edensor    


The Native Companion was an early twentieth century little magazine of ‘Australian Life, Literature and Art’ that would ‘give a voice to Australian genius’. It ran for only two volumes, featuring 12 issues from January to December 1907, and is largely remembered as the magazine in which Katherine Mansfield published her first short stories. Carol Mills (1999) remarks that: ‘Volume one of the Native Companion looked like a late nineteenth century literary periodical. Volume two, from August 1907, was a child of the twentieth’. This significant transformation (Gelder and Weaver, 2014) had much to do with the new editor, E. J. Brady’s nationalist politics and his fervent devotion to a definitive Australian literature that was, nevertheless, in dialogue with the modernist aesthetics of Europe. By including stories from writers like Mansfield, Brady opened up ‘connections between colonial identity and literary modernism’ helping to create a ‘local modernist aesthetic’ in the magazine (Gelder and Weaver, 2014).

Eric White (2013) has argued that one of the most noticeable characteristics of the little magazines was their ability to ‘catalyse and sustain the production of avant-garde artworks and specialised discourse networks’. This places them in a unique position, enabling them to expose the dialogical relationship between transnational modernisms and national identities. As White highlights, the little magazines ‘complicate the boundaries that have traditionally divided modernist literature into canonical categories of ‘homemade’ and ‘cosmopolitan’ writing. This paper/presentation examines the short stories published in the Native Companion under Brady’s editorship to explore the interplay between his promotion of a home-grown Australian literature and that of transnational nascent modernist aesthetics.


Louise Jane Edensor is senior lecturer in Media and Education, and Programme Leader in Dubai for the International Foundation Programme, at Middlesex University, Dubai. She has a PhD from Northampton University, UK and her thesis was entitled ‘Katherine Mansfield and Conceptualisations of the Self’. Louise has published articles and book chapters on Katherine Mansfield and her contemporaries and her current interest is in little magazines of the early twentieth century.

Looking forward to seeing you at the seminar!   

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