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Issue Details: First known date: 2017... vol. 32 no. 2 September 2017 of Australian Literary Studies est. 1963 Australian Literary Studies
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* Contents derived from the 2017 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Toward Worlding Settler Texts : Tracking the Uses of Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career through the Curriculum, Larissa McLean-Davies , Susan K. Martin , single work criticism

'Using Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career as its focus, this paper explores the institutional possibilities and constraints of ‘worlding’ settler texts in secondary school and university environments. We argue that the teaching of texts, and those who teach texts in schools and universities, play a key role in negotiating national and international textual boundaries. This paper expands on the practices of reading, to incorporate an analysis of documents that frame the intended, espoused, and enacted curriculum. Examining the publication and teaching history of My Brilliant Career in Australia and overseas and the use of literature as a tool of nationalism and globalisation, this paper argues that the teaching of literature in institutions acts as material evidence of our efforts to negotiate the demands of the national and the global. Literature teaching thus powerfully contributes to the ways in which we understand the work that is undertaken, the boundaries crossed and compromises brokered when we study settler texts in globalised contexts.' (Publication abstract)

Constructing Cosmopolitanism, Promoting Humanitarianism : The Marvellous Melbourne of E.W. Cole in Lisa Lang’s Utopian Man (2010), Kate Mitchell , single work criticism

'Lisa Lang’s award-winning Australian novel Utopian Man (2010) reimagines E.W. Cole and his famous Book Arcade in Melbourne in the last decades of the nineteenth century. Running in its central Melbourne location from 1883-1929, in popular discourses Cole’s Book Arcade was, and is, synonymous with nineteenth-century Melbourne itself; its vibrant, eclectic atmosphere seemed to capture the essence of the booming nineteenth-century metropolis. In Lang’s biofiction, the Arcade becomes a lens through which to view Melbourne itself. Cole is sympathetically drawn and his characteristics – his eccentricities, entrepreneurism, philanthropy and idealism – provide a critical contrast with a city increasingly suspicious toward immigrants, as Australia moves toward federation, and toward establishing the White Australia policy. While it is set entirely in the past, the novel’s structural nostalgia – the Arcade and its values are always already lost in this narrative – speaks to a present in which Australia is once again closing its borders. The novel positions itself as witness to Australia’s lost alternative of a tolerant society, one that embraced other views and welcomed a range of immigrants, and which exists today only as memory.'  (Publication abstract)

Review of Christos Tsiolkas : The Utopian Vision, by Jessica Gildersleeve, Andrew McCann , single work essay

'I still come across people who find Christos Tsiolkas’s work creepy or off-putting. Usually these people have had a brush with Dead Europe and decided that it is too bleak, too violent, too sexually explicit, or perhaps too explicitly political. They haven’t read on. It strikes me as an odd reaction, or at least one that is trapped in a particular moment, and hence overlooks the trajectory Tsiolkas’s career has taken since the publication of The Slap in 2008. As Jessica Gildersleeve tells us in the acknowledgements to Christos Tsiolkas: The Utopian Vision, she in fact first read The Slap with her mother’s book club. I’m sure the experience isn’t unusual. I’m sometimes in a similar situation: my parents and their reading group friends are very eager to talk to me about Tsiolkas, the television adaptations of his work and the sense of controversy that lingers over him. They might find aspects of the writing creepy or off-putting as well, but they’ve embraced these responses and are eager to understand them. These contexts – domestic, familial, intergenerational – tell us a great deal about the sort of writer Tsiolkas has become, and about his centrality to public discussion. And yet there is still the shadow of the other Tsiolkas: the Tsiolkas whose work haunts and unsettles in ways that don’t quite lend themselves to the reading group format, the family dinner table or chats with Mum.' (Introduction)

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Last amended 13 Oct 2017 06:46:04
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