Category: Literature: An Introduction

This category is for posts especially for Clemente Students starting their study of Literature for the Certificate in Liberal Arts.

Love & Intellect: Recipe for Peace

Come and be stimulated by presentations and discussions on the mysticism of Rumi, St John of the Cross, Meister Eckhart, Hadewijch of Antwerp and others in this exciting interfaith presentation by the Al Ghazzali Centre, ACU and ACU’s SLA (The Sacred in Literature and the Arts Group).  These mystical writers have a vitally important message for…

Best WordPress ePortfolios for Autumn 2015: Shakespeare and the Nineteenth Century

These students have been blogging as they have been studying Nineteenth Century Literature and The Age of Shakespeare. Some of these students have been doing both courses. They each had to showcase their best blogs and also write a Summative Comment explaining what they have learned from the course and how the content still has…

Budjwa Bay: Muoagamarra Nature Reserve Near Cowan, NSW- Early Sunday Morning Walk

The image at the top of this site is Budjwa Bay as it manifested itself on this cold, wet winter morning. But the stillness, the freshness was deafening, except for the multi-coloured calls of the Lyre Birds from across the water. Here is a place to sit and absorb the quiet round about and hear the quiet inside. What…

Winter is upon us! But the Bush is still a fabulous place to enter…

Made it to the top of the ridge above Galston, early on Saturday morning. The air was fresh and there were beautifully icy mists swirling up from the Gorge to the valley tops (click on all images to get stunning resolutions):  On the ridge tops there was an amazing array of winter flowering plant life:…

Final Night Clemente/ Catalyst Students at Mission Australia Surry Hills: Shakespeare

Arthur Enfield (Stained Glass) The Seven Ages of Man (Shakespeare As You Like It), State Library of NSW. What a fabulous outcome! All our doubts, uncertainties, wrestling with difficult words, produced an amazing and satisfying presentation of sections of As You Like It. This was the culmination of our course Introduction to Literature which ran for 12 weeks: 4…

An Event Not to be Missed: Grounding the Sacred in Literature and the Arts at ACU July 23-26th

In July this year (23-26) we are co-ordinating an international conference on the links between Literature, the Arts and the Sacred. We have an amazing line-up of participants including David Malouf, Genevieve Lacey, Kevin Hart, Vivien Johnson, Kathleen Deignan, David Jasper, Imam Afroz Ali, Maeve Heaney, Carmel Bird, Michael McGirr, Joelene Griffith and many more.…

Shakespeare the Magician, Transforming A World of Enmity into a Holy Place- The Tempest

In The Tempest Shakespeare takes on all the hostility in the world and uses the extraordinary magic of his art to transform hostility into love- then and now! This is in fact the signature of all his comedies and romances and maybe even the implied cathartic outcome of that series of desperate tragedies (Othello, King Lear,…

All the World’s a Stage – and are we really nothing but players?? Rehearsals! Clemente/Catalyst students

In 3 weeks time the Clemente/ Catalyst students have to present extracts from As You Like It to a public audience at the MAC (Mission Australia Centre) Surry Hills. We are going to begin with a dramatised reading of Jacques’s speech (perhaps the most famous speech in all of Shakespeare): “All the world’s a stage, And all…

Clemente/Catalyst Students Go the NSW Art Gallery: The Links between Literature and Art!

One of the most exciting things I do several times each year is conduct literature students to the NSW Art Gallery to explore the ways in which paintings and sculptures can hugely expand our understanding of the way literature communicates meaning. One of my students (thank you Joey!) right at the start of our tour…

Clemente/ Catalyst students visit NSW State Library and Shakespeare Room

What a great introduction to our imminent study of/ participation in a production of scenes from Shakespeare’s As You Like It! Thank you Julie for your wonderful tour of the resources in the Mitchell Library, the Dixon Library and the Shakespeare Room itself! We were taken through the Mitchell (fabulous space for letting the creative spirit soar!)…

Shakespeare’s Falstaff and Henry IV

Today we had some fabulous tutorials exploring the kind of language Shakespeare uses in the opening scenes of Henry IV. Here is the king trying to bind together his empire with a proposal that all the civil warmongering British unite in one force and go on a crusade to rescue Jerusalem from the “infidels”. This is such…

What Happens When Prose Turns to Drama: Clemente/ Catalyst Week 7

We had an intensive afternoon exploring the characteristics of Henry Lawson’s Prose (both journalism and short story). He was such an innovator in the way he managed with so few words to evoke so much, especially in the area of people’s feelings. He was also the writer who brought the life of Australian everyday usage…

Top Blogs- First Cull Autumn 2015

My students are performing miracles with their blogs. They are grasping and extending the content of the literature they are studying in the most creative ways. Poems and prose creations -giving expression to their own experience- are being grounded on traditional models from Shakespeare through to Charles Dickens & Matthew Arnold. Along with this they are…

Thomas Carlyle’s Wonderful Words Celebrating the Continuing Importance of the Printed Word

At the State Library Today, we also genuflected in front of these amazing words from that extraordinary 19th Century wordsmith, the historian Charles (to whom Dickens dedicated his Hard Times). To anyone who still reads and benefits from the written word, these words carved in Sydney sandstone inside the vestibule to the Mitchell Library will have a…

Art in the Age of Shakespeare: A Distant Mirror over 450 Years Ago!

Thank you all for your keen participation in today’s visit to the Renaissance section of the NSW Art Gallery. We all got a very good taste of the range of  art work from the period and the connections of all this work to Shakespeare’s imagination. Most powerfully this painting by Jacques Blanchard Mars and the Vestal…

The Shakespeare Room: State Library of NSW- into the bosom of Shakespeareana.

We visited the Shakespeare Room in the State Library today. This room is a wonderful expression of how much Shakespeare has meant to the Australian colony since the time of Captain Cook. One of the first plays ever to be produced in Sydney was in fact Henry IV with a complete convict cast! When you get to…

As You Like It: Will Shakespeare…. what is it that we (are) like?

What a fantastic performance by the Bell Shakespeare Company at the Opera House Drama Theatre. Around 60 students from ACU and another 20 or so from the Clemente program witnessed this great event. Thank you all for attending. Shakespeare’s As You Like It is a play that appeals above all to our sense of order, our…

Shakespeare and the Quest for a Golden Age

Shakespeare’s contemporary Pietro da Cortona The Golden Age Arthur Golding’s translation of Ovid’sMetamorphosis (1565) has this wonderful description of the four ages of man on earth: the golden age, the silver age, the brazen age and the iron age. The golden age – as here described- is a wonderful period in which humans lived in harmony with…

Literature and Life at Mission Australia Surry Hills- Week 3

Dawn over Kuring-gai Chase- North of Sydney 5 new students last night! That was fabulous and we had some really great discussions on what poetic language can do through its use of sound patterning, its use of connotations (rather than denotations) and its use of imagery (visual, tactile, kinetic etc)… And we had a wonderful…

Clemente Mission Australia Week 2 Continued

The Clemente Program being run from Australian Catholic University in close partnership with range of Welfare Organizations such as Mission Australia, was started some years ago by an American, Earl Shorris. Shorris had a vision that poverty stricken Americans needed a way in which they could reclaim their dignity, their creative spirit, their intelligence. He wrote a…

Introduction to Literature (Poetry, Prose and Drama), Clemente Mission Australia Week 1

Thank you all for your keen participation at our first literature seminar (lecture/ tutorial) on Wednesday last (4th March). It was really good to feel that there was such interest in the subject and such a willingness to engage in questions and answers. A short summary of what we did (and you can listen to…

Autumn Semester 2015

Hi All, I am looking forward very much to working with you in all of the following units: Nineteenth Century Literature (ENGL200); Shakespeare & The Renaissance (ENGL210); Introduction to Literature (Clemente- Mission Australia Students, ENGL104); Learning in the Community (HUMA247)and (ARTS232). This is the space where I will be posting my weekly reflections on our…