Welcome to Literature and Life Spring 2011

First hint of spring in the bush around Berowra: Native Fuchsia (Epacris Longiflora) in the early morning mist

Welcome to my literature blog “Literature and Life” Spring 2011.  I will be using it to reflect on why literature matters in the world today. I will also be using this space chiefly to extend my class/lecture-room space in the units I am teaching this semester.

They are for first years, Australian Literature, for second years, Twentieth Century Literature (on-campus) and Twentieth Century (mixed-mode: residential/on line) for Indigenous students, for third years The Visionary Imagination (William Blake & David Malouf) and finally Introduction to Literature for Mission Australia (Clemente) students in Surry Hills. As you can see I have created direct links to the pages for each of these units both at the top of the screen and in the sidebar on the right. I will be using these separate pages to post up your weekly blog topics and also putting in there anything that is specifically relevant to just your unit. But the main Home Page is where I will be sharing thoughts relevant to all literature students: so start there first.

This site will be a place where I share my thoughts on all these subjects and you are welcome to add your thoughts- by way of comments- to anything I say.

I am hoping that this site will become a meeting place for all my students studying literature, a place where we can share ideas and resources.

Some of my current students will be creating their literature blogs and ePortfolios using WordPress. However their version of WordPress (called studentblogs htpp://studentblogs.acu.edu.au) is managed behind the fire-wall of the ACU web site. There are advantages and disadvantages to this set up. It allows students in a particular unit to join a unit group (eg Twentieth Century Literature) through “Buddy Press” which has been attached to “WordPress”. Working in studentblogs also gives students the complete security that their work will not be seen by anyone other than their student peers and the staff teaching their unit. The main disadvantage of this is that your blogs are invisible to the outside world and blogging is something that was created to be visible. I find that being visible leads to contacts with students and colleagues, even family and friends who enjoy seeing what is going on in your creative life.

Many of my past students who are now working in the teaching and other fields have kept contact with me through “Literature and Life”. Initially this literature blog ran exclusively through the blogging tool “LiveJournal”; recently I have migrated across to “WordPress”, but still keep my “LiveJournal” open (http://michaelgriffith.livejournal.com), mirroring “WordPress” to keep contact with past students who still work mainly in “LiveJournal”.

While some of you will be required to work in studentblogs for your literature journal and your ePortfolio, it is very easy to export your studentblogs to WordPress.com (and LiveJournal) and become visible to the outside world while at the same time maintaining your studentblog. In fact at the end of the semester you will be advised to do this exporting, because otherwise your work may be lost and no one in the outside world will be able to see your ePortfolio. An ePortfolio and a well kept blog are valuable items in anyone’s student profile when it comes to finding a job at the end of your university training.

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