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City of Sydney & University of Sydney

Changing reality with stories


Tuesday 9 April from 6pm to 7pm

This event is now sold out.

Find out how fiction can shape our attitudes to rights, freedom and responsibility.

Stories are never innocent. They are also ever-present: we consume countless narratives every day. We see stories in movies and TV shows, but also on our social media, as well as in news coverage of sport and political events. These accounts have the power to change our behaviour.

Did you know that novels can be connected to recent real-world events? Tom reveals how our lives are shaped by stories and how the lines of contemporary fiction can explain resistance to climate action and social conflict.


Tom van Laer is an Associate Professor of Narratology at the University of Sydney and an expert on how stories build reality. His papers are published in leading academic journals and major news outlets in Australia and Europe. Though he has won awards for his academic work, Tom counts winning his high school's story recital competition in 1995 as his most impressive achievement.

Also at the Abercrombie at 8:00PM: Can your health be programmed like an app?

About the venue - The Abercrombie

The Abercrombie has undergone an incredible transformation with three venues now under the one roof.

On ground floor is the Abercrombie’s incredible club space with a state of the art sound system, public bar, and beer garden with a full pub menu and pizza by the slice.

For a more relaxed atmosphere, venture upstairs to Casa Rosa, a playful, late-night Italo-disco cocktail lounge and rooftop terrace with an eclectic mix of DJs on high rotation throughout the week.

Head into the adjoining terraces, for Chippendale's (very) late-night wine bar and shop, Lil Sis. Inspired by the charming ‘cave à vins’ found in the neighbourhoods of Paris.

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City of Sydney & University of Sydney


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