Category: American Literature

Best American Literature Blogs 2017

American Literature was a new unit for me to teach this semester at Australian Catholic University, but it dovetails beautifully into the short intensive unit I teach in January The Literature and Drama of New York which is being taught in January in the snow and ice of that amazing city. So this semester-long unit American Literature…

Best Australian Literature Blogs 2017

Russell Drysdale “The Mountain Has Its Own Meaning” Judith Wright An occasion for celebration:  Australian Literature – a first year unit at Australian Catholic University- has again produced an extraordinary group of bloggers. Their work reveals how blogging has enabled them to connect with Aust. Lit. in a way that expands beyond the rigours of…

Reading Australia: Best Summative Blog Posts for 2017

There have been some truly fabulous Summative Blog Posts from the group of students who have just finished the third year unit Reading Australia. Such wonderful reflections that bring into focus students’ ethnicity, their appreciation of what Australian culture has to offer, but also their deep sadness at the continuing injustices, especially to indigenous people.…

The Beats, New York School, Postmodernism

What an amazing day we have had exploring, interrogating this group of poets and artists. Perhaps top of the list comes Patti Smith who gigantically carries forward the subversive, passionate impulse of Ginsberg, Kerouac, O’Hara and Ashberry. Here she is singing her heart out, challenging all the heartless stereotypes that infect contemporary America: https://youtu.be/LNnC8hYOmlw Blog Topics:…

American Modernism

Hi All, today we had a saunter through the highways and byways of American Modernism, beginning with William Carlos Williams and ending with Charlie Chaplin. Chaplin’s parody of Adolf Hitler in The Great Dictator is one of the great modernist, linguistic deconstructions of political grandiosity. It is paralleled by Chaplin’s closing speech where, using an entirely different…

Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson

The father and mother of American poetry! That is what this pair have been called; see Ginsberg, along with Sharon Olds and Galway Kinnell singing their praises: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2M5O3_FYB4A This week we have explored “Song of Myself”, “The Brooklyn Ferry” and a host of poems by Emily Dickinson. The present such an astonishing difference in life-style and…

Transcendentalism Week 3

This week Jess Brooks gave a wonderful exposition of the richness of the transcendentalists in 19th Century America. These clearly are a key to understanding later developments in American Literature, especially its spirituality and its search for authenticity in human experience. Emerson and Thoreau were the central focus of her presentation; both the lecture and…