Off Campus

Moderator: Aarti Betigeri • Zeynab Gamieldien and Vidya Madabushi

10.30 AM – 11.30 AM
Kambri Cultural Centre (ANU)

Professorial egos. Departmental turf wars. Youthful idealism. Student politics. Sex, love and disillusionment. Universities are rich settings for novels – from political dramas to high farce. Come and meet the dazzling young novelists who are stretching the possibilities and remit of the Australian campus novel.


ZEYNAB GAMIELDIEN is the inaugural winner of the 2022 Westwords/Ultimo Prize. Her work has been shortlisted for the Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction and featured in publications such as the Sydney Morning Herald’s Daily Life section and the Australian Muslim Times. The Scope of Permissibility is her first novel.


VIDYA MADABUSHI is an Indian writer living in Sydney. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Sydney, and her first novel, Bystanders, was published in India in 2015. Bystanders was shortlisted for the Tibor Jones South Asia Prize, and a previous version was longlisted for the Australian Vogel Award. In 2018, Vidya received the Writing NSW Grant for Fiction for the creation of this novel. The Days Toppled Over is her Australian debut.


AARTI BETIGERI is a Canberra-based writer and former former foreign correspondent, who spent almost a decade based in South Asia. She is a correspondent for Monocle, a columnist with the Lowy Institute’s The Interpreter, and editor of the forthcoming ‘Growing Up Indian In Australia’ anthology, part of the Growing Up series published by Black Inc (out in July 2024). Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, the Christian Science Monitor, Public Radio International and others. She has interviewed three world leaders and worked on major investigative journalism initiatives. She has also worked as a television news journalist and presenter with ABC and SBS.