Category: Australian Literature

Sacred Silence in Literature and the Arts

ACU students are welcome to attend this event for free on presentation of their student ID on the day. Come and be enlightened as never before and enjoy the company and the good food.  You can find the full program details right here: Sacred Literature Conference Program Final

Patrick White 2019

Patrick White- Australia’s only Literature Nobel Laureate. “In all directions stretched the Great Australia Emptiness, in which the mind is the least of possessions, in which the rich man is the important man… in which beautiful youths and girls stare at life through blind blue eyes… the buttocks of cars grow hourly glassier, food means cake…

Later Colonial Australian Literature – around the 1890s!

Tom Roberts Bailed Up: https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/833/ Hi All, Building on last week’s excursion into the literature of the first half of the 19th Century in Australia, here is a quick survey of some of the material I will be exploring with you this week: Colonial Literature 1890s 2019 This is the period when the Australian idiom in both…

Early Colonial Australian Literature (2019)

Hi All, this week we begin our exploration of Nineteenth Century Literature in Colonial Australia. It begins with the voices of convicts, aboriginals, the first “native” born colonial poets (such as Charles Harpur and Henry Kendall) and some of the first women writers in the colony: Louisa Anne Meredith and Catherine Helen Spence. Browse through…

Australian Literature Mid-Winter Spring 2019- Week 1: The Mountain has its own Meaning.

In Australian Literature today we explored the themes that arise from the line from Judith Wright’s poem “Rockface” in which she declares “the remnant of a mountain has its own meaning”. This image from Russel Drysdale’s Desert Landscape captures similar resonances to Judith Wright’s poem: https://m.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/OA15.1959/ Drysdale, like Judith Wright seems to honour the dignity of…

A Pome- from a recently discovered Manuscript of a play by W. Shakespeare

Spring is come The grass is riz Oi wonder where the flowers iz But Shakespeare was wrong this time: the flowers are blooming, exploding around Sydney now in the dead of winter!!. This is the amazing aspect of living on the 33rd parallel: the seasons cannot make up their minds: is it winter? is it…

Australian Literature Blogs 2018

There have been some wonderful blogs by students studying Australian Literature at ACU this semester. We began the unit with Kim Scott’s That Deadman Dance and then travelled through a number of Indigenous authors before beginning the “White” literary staircase from early colonial times right up to contemporary times with Francis Webb, Lisa Bellear and then…

Francis Webb’s Eyre All Alone & David Malouf’s Fly Away Peter

Today’s lecture began with some further comments on the poetry of Francis Webb. In particular I looked at “End of the Picnic”, “Black Cockatoos”, “Banksia” (from the Eyre All Alone sequence and “Harry” (from the Ward Two sequence.  The first part of today’s audio lecture covers these poems.  Enjoy listening! We then moved on to David Malouf’s…

Patrick White- Australia’s only Literature Nobel Laureate.

Please see the end of this Blog for audios “In all directions stretched the Great Australia Emptiness, in which the mind is the least of possessions, in which the rich man is the important man… in which beautiful youths and girls stare at life through blind blue eyes… the buttocks of cars grow hourly glassier,…

Australian Literature in the Early 20th Century!

We began today with a glance at Henry Lawson’s “Drifted Back”, a short story which encapsulated aspects of his own life story, but which also reflected back on Lawson’s impressions of what was being lost as Australia moved into the new century: Community, Mateship, The Old Bush School, the destruction of the environment with the…

Australian Colonialism from 1880 on: Republicanism, Feminism, Federation, and beyond…

Firstly let me share some more Outstanding Blogs. These are all inspirational! Thank you for your creative work on these. And thank you all for such a great Blog Crop! If these are anything to go by I am really  looking forward to seeing your final ePortfolios! Nicola on Copacabana Beach Angelina on Letter to…

Bobby Wabalanginy’s challenge to Xenophobic Australia

From Lin Onus’s “Hills Hoist” – NSW Art Gallery. Kim Scott’s Bobby Wabalanginy is a character who dares to confront the hardened utilitarianism of the European invaders with dance, humour and song. The closing scenes of the novel in which Bobby does a hambone (striptease) -bar his bright red underpants- in front of a kangaroo…

Peer Review No 1

Alexandra’s Blog is at https://s00240376.wordpress.com/2018/07/24/the-journey-begins/ You have set this up very well Alexandra. The blog looks good and is correctly categorised as Australian Literature. The writing is also imaginative and draws the reader into the experience. However you could simplify your language and speak more directly from experience. At times you seem to be pushing for…

Week 1: The Mountain Has Its Own Meaning

Today we explored the meaning of this wonderfully suggestive line from Judith Wright’s poem “Rockface”. Judith Wright’s line picks up a core theme in Australian Literature from the earliest days of colonization through to our own times: what is our attitude to the Australian landscape? Is it utilitarian and appropriative? Or is it open to…

Literature in Spring 2018

Hi All, this semester I am teaching Australian Literature to first years (with long-time colleague Elaine Lindsay): You can listen to Elaine in an interview she had on ABC radio recently with novelist Tom Keneally: http://www.abc.net.au/sundaynights/stories/s4432426.htm I am also teaching Twentieth Century Literature to second years and The Visionary Imagination (William Blake, Patrick White and Brett…

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.…

Australian Colonialism Part 2: Republicanism, Feminism, Federation and beyond…

Today we looked at Ada Cambridge, Barbara Baynton, Dame Mary Gilmore, Henry Lawson, Banjo Paterson and on and on…. what an extraordinary cast of voices from this period that celebrated Australian independence from England both thematically and linguistically… the opening sentences of “The Drover’s Wife” show beautifully how Lawson has transitioned the language and themes…

That Dead Man Dance

Hi All, I trust you are making good headway with That Dead Man Dance! This is a wonderfully relevant novel to Australia today with its still unresolved relationship to its indigenous inhabitants.  I was struck especially by an article that was written yesterday about the statue of Captain Cook by Stan Grant: I passed by Hyde…

Awakening the Sacred in Australian Literature and Art- Keynote Address 8th July 2017

Please find in this blog the audio recording of the keynote address given by Michael Griffith at the Awakening the Sacred conference held at ACU on July 7/8 2017. You can find details about the conference here: http://www.acu.edu.au/staff/our_university/newsroom/staff_news_item/awakening_the_sacred_in_literature_and_the_arts Here is the audio of the keynote: And here are the images that accompanied the talk: Awakening the…