Unacknowledged Legislators!

Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the World. Shelley was clearly moved to declare that poets had a fundamentally important role in the world, reminding humans about things that really mattered, beyond the entrapments of material possessions. So what was it that Shelley was so deeply drawn towards? If we look at the opening sentences…

Shakespeare 2018 Week 3: Becoming Antony, Cleopatra and their host of followers!

Wow, what a gas! Today we plunged right in to the world of Antony and Cleopatra, workshopping some of the key scenes from the early part of the play and identified some of the complex emotional interactions that this play embodies in “living lines”! (as Ben Jonson so rightly observed.) This was a wonderful opportunity…

Romanticism Week 3

So how have I been responding to all these radical ideas developed during the Romantic period? What has caught my attention as being especially relevant to my own experience and my own period of history? Now is my chance to express something of my reaction to all I have been reading, either in the form…

Shakespeare Plus 2018!!!

This semester’s Shakespeare unit has at its focus the wonderful Antony and Cleopatra which is being presented by Bell Shakespeare later this month.And we are all off to see their production on Friday March 23rd- Yoo Hoo! Accompanying us will also be a group of around 15 students from the Clemente Program(for those experiencing multiple disadvantage)…

Proud Grandad!

It was wonderful today to be able to “shout” my granddaughter Leeara to lunch in our sunny quadrangle. Leeara has enrolled in a Bachelor of Science Psychology at ACU Strathfield, one of the very few universities in Australia who have made this particular degree available. It was great to be able to introduce Leeara to…

Best New York Blogs 2018!!

Here is our fabulous group of 2018 in the heart of Harlem, New York, indeed at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. This was one of our most exciting and informative days in which the beating heart of American culture was opened to us through the oratorical powers of Cedric our African American…

The MOMA: Contemporary American Art as a context for Contemporary American Literature.

Wiliam Carlos Williams, Charles Demuth, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Frank O’Hara, Jackson Pollock…. these are some of the interlocking names that bring literature and the visual arts together. Today we had a wonderfully rich tour, conducted by MOMA lecturer Sylvia into some of these interconnections. Here is the full audio lecture/ floor talk and attached…

Day 5: Brooklyn with Walt Whitman and Hart Crane and The Book of Mormon

Today was a momentous day for honouring Walt Whitman’s wonderfully Quaker imagination and Hart Crane’s spiritualisation of one of the icons that preceded modernism. Whitman was of course passionate about the Brooklyn Ferry which he travelled on regularly from his home in Brooklyn to Manhatten.  But it was not just the ferry, but it was…

New York Literature and Drama Day 3: Washington Square, Greenwich Village:

Washington Square was the start of our literary tours around New York. This brought Henry James into focus and his wonderful early novel Washington Square which powerfully challenged the ethos of his day and found ways of celebrating those who don’t necessarily shine in the public arena. Catherine Sloper, who lived out her life in…

New York- Wednesday 17th January 2018

  Today provided an amazing introduction to the life, culture and history of New York. Our students had 2 guest speakers for their early morning tutorial: Eric Chase (from New York Literary Pub Crawls) (CLICK) and Nick Birns from New York University (CLICK). Eric gave a wonderful thumbnail sketch of what literary tours he is going to…

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…

Rilke The Duino Elegies Part 3

Our third Rilke seminar at the Aquinas academy began by looking at the following proposition and then at the same time pondering the relationship between this and Shakespeare’s Sonnet 146.  (click to view). Both Rilke and Shakespeare indicate that living in the face of death can indeed be a sober annihilation of all that is false…

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 Merchant of Venice for Clemente Students (and Blog Topics)

Hello All, this week we begin our “serious” professional rehearsals with the Bell Shakespeare Company who are going to help us prepare our scenes for performance on November 1st. Here is the PROMO for our performance- please distribute this to your friends! THE BLOG TOPIC FOR THIS WEEK IS SIMPLY A REVIEW OF YOUR ATTENDANCE…

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:…

David Malouf on Campus at Strathfield and at Mission Australia Surry Hills

ACU students both on and off campus had the real privilege today of interacting with David Malouf about The Conversations at Curlow Creek (Strathfield) and Remembering Babylon (Surry Hills). David was wonderfully generous both with his time and his responses and students in both locations were equally wonderful in their thoughtful preparation and deep questioning. Here are…

The Merchant of Venice with Bell Shakespeare and Clemente Students

Please find here the beginning of some useful resources for our study: Bell Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice (this is what we are going to see in a few weeks): https://www.bellshakespeare.com.au/whats-on/the-merchant-of-venice/ Review of Bell Shakepeare’s production (by the Australian Book Review): https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/abr-arts/4166-the-merchant-of-venice-bell-shakespeare Wikipedia’s overview: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Merchant_of_Venice Here also is the PDF of the Introduction and Act 1 of The Merchant…

Art Gallery Visit with Clemente Students: How Can Art Inform My Understanding of Literature?

Clemente Visit to the NSW Art Gallery 2017 ENGL104 Core Question: How Can Art Deepen Our Understanding Of Literature? BLOG TOPIC FOR THIS WEEK: Chose any ONE of the paintings (or art works) studied today. Describe the painting (or art work)  of your choice and say how this painting (or art work) has expanded your…

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…

David Malouf – Remembering Babylon- again!

Hello All, please find in this blog ALL the recordings from the last two weeks. Here also is the white board image from yesterday’s class: Here are your instructions for getting to the NSW Art Gallery for 2.30pm NEXT WEDNESDAY: https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/visit-us/plan-your-visit/getting-here/ See you there next week! Enjoy!

Clemente Blog Addresses Spring 2017

Neil Campbell https://nineteenyearsinsideout.wordpress.com Josh Heilpern https://beinginthecreativezone.wordpress.com Ray Morgan https://raymorganblog.wordpress.com Ronan Parnell https://parnellpoetryoriginals.wordpress.com Adelaide Pascoe https://portamoreweb.wordpress.com Rima Pritchard https://rima309.wordpress.com Kyungshin Song https://kaysongblog.wordpress.com Yvette Whitty https://gingercat310.wordpress.com Patricia https://ninablog548.wordpress.com/ Colin Leong https://colin10100010.wordpress.com  

Francis Webb- the most unjustly neglected poet of the 20th Century (Herbert Read)

We have just spent 2 weeks exploring a huge range of Francis Webb’s poetry, from his earliest “Images in Winter” through to his last, magnificent “Nessun Dorma”. In between we have looked at his fascination with Australian exploration in Eyre All Alone and have studied his response to inmates in the hospital in which he was…

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…