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Claflin University Associate Professor of English Dr. Belinda Wheeler will moderate a panel on Indigenous Australian literature at the 2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

The free, one-day event regularly hosts over 200,000 visitors and will bring together people like Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; authors David McCullough, Barbara Kingsolver and Joyce Carol Oates; and academic Henry Louis Gates Jr.

The festival is being held on Saturday, Aug. 31.

The Indigenous Australian literature panel, which Wheeler organized with the support of the Australian Embassy, will include Kim Scott, an award-winning novelist and subject of Wheeler’s second book; Brenton McKenna, Australia’s first Indigenous graphic novelist, and Jeanine Leane, an award-winning poet and novelist who visited Claflin University in 2017 and 2016.

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“It is very exciting to be a part of this year’s National Book Festival,” Wheeler said. “To be representing my country and Claflin University, as well as sharing my passion for Indigenous Australian literature, is an incredible honor.”

Thousands of authors from the U.S. and abroad hope to share their work with audience members at the National Book Festival, but usually just over 100 are selected by the festival committee.

“The selection process is rigorous,” Wheeler said. “You really have to make a strong case that your panel/authors will be of interest to a very diverse audience.”

“I am grateful that the committee saw value in our upcoming panel ‘The View from Country—Australia’s Aboriginal Writers.’”

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