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Join Dr Deirdre O’Connell as she presents a lecture on her 2023 National Library Fellowship research about the extraordinary influence of Augusta 'Pakie' Macdougall who brought suffragist activism, Greenwich Village’s salon culture, and the Little Theatre movement to interwar Sydney.

Entry is free to this event but bookings are essential.

The talk will be available to view live online via the Library's Facebook and YouTube pages. You do not need to book a ticket to watch the event online.

Dr Deirdre O’Connell is a 2023 National Library of Australia Fellow, supported by the Ray Mathew and Eva Kollsman Trust for Research in Australian Literature.

About Dr Deirdre O'Connell's Fellowship research

Augusta 'Pakie' Macdougall brought suffragist activism, Greenwich Village’s salon culture, and the Little Theatre movement to interwar Sydney, a city constrained by heavy-handed censorship and a fragile art ecology. Drawing on the wealth of documents in the National Library's collections, Dr O'Connell's research will chart the two phases of Pakie's Sydney years.

Firstly, the Playbox. Between 1923 and 1929, Pakie and her husband, Duncan, ran an 'art theatre' styled on Eugene O’Neil’s Provincetown Players. They staged bold high-modern dramas, fostered local writing and hosted a social club.

Secondly, the Pakie's Club years. Between 1929 and 1945, Pakie ran a beloved late-night café. Fashioning herself on Washington Square’s salon queens, she hosted weekly lectures, debuted experimental plays and showcased the work of modernist writers and artists.

From Castlecrag’s esoteric Theosophists to the Communist Party’s Writer’s League, Pakie sat at what one admirer called the 'nucleus of a fast-flourishing and very sincere movement'.

About Dr Deirdre O'Connell

Dr Deirdre O’Connell is an early career historian and biographer who specialises in race, popular culture and modernism in Australia and the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century.

About National Library of Australia Fellowships

The National Library of Australia Fellowships program offers researchers an opportunity to undertake a 12-week residency at the Library. This program is supported by generous donors and bequests.

Image credit: Pakies Club, Pakie's Club Interior from Records, 1928-1994 MS9071,

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