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Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 Relearning Whiteness : David Malouf's Remembering Babylon
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

‘David Malouf’s novel Remembering Babylon (1993) enjoys a prominent place in the contemporary Australian literary landscape and raises a number of intriguing ideas about pedagogy and whiteness, which this essay explores. The essay does so on the premise, admittedly open to examination, that literature has a role to play in enabling connections across cultures, even cultures (or perhaps particularly cultures) that would seem to have much in common, like Australia and the United States: the English language, a history of British colonization, democratic forms of government, popular cultures promoted by global corporations. By focusing on Malouf’s novel through the calibrated lens of critical whiteness pedagogy, students are offered some distance, or difference, that will allow discussions of whiteness that can then be interrogated in the students’ own learning and social contexts, including but also extending beyond personal experience. This approach aligns with observations in pedagogical literature that an emphasis on individual circumstances alone ‘effectively limits any systematic challenge of the systemic structures’ (Solomon et al. 161). Engagement with Malouf’s novel additionally provides students with the opportunity to enter into a fictional space that invites extratextual immersion in a culture or cultures other than their own. This challenge raises the issues of power and knowledge that Malouf’s novel subtly thematizes and that can be a close reading of the text coupled with contextual material.’ (Introduction)

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  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Teaching Australian and New Zealand Literature Nicholas Birns (editor), Nicole Moore (editor), Sarah Shieff (editor), New York (City) : Modern Language Association of America , 2016 9421541 2016 anthology criticism essay

    'Australia and New Zealand, united geographically by their location in the South Pacific and linguistically by their English-speaking inhabitants, share the strong bond of hope for cultural diversity and social equality—one often challenged by history, starting with the appropriation of land from their indigenous peoples. This volume explores significant themes and topics in Australian and New Zealand literature. In their introduction, the editors address both the commonalities and differences between the two nations’ literatures by considering literary and historical contexts and by making nuanced connections between the global and the local. Contributors share their experiences teaching literature on the iconic landscape and ecological fragility; stories and perspectives of convicts, migrants, and refugees; and Maori and Aboriginal texts, which add much to the transnational turn.' (Publication summary)

    New York (City) : Modern Language Association of America , 2016
    pg. 155-164
Last amended 18 Aug 2017 06:24:19
155-164 Relearning Whiteness : David Malouf's Remembering Babylonsmall AustLit logo