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y separately published work icon JASAL periodical issue   peer reviewed assertion
Alternative title: Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature; Australian Literature in a Global World
Note: Guest editors for special issue.
Issue Details: First known date: 2009... Special Issue 2009 of JASAL est. 2002 JASAL
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

This Special Issue of JASAL is based on the 2008 ASAL conference 'Australian Literature in a Global World' held at the University of Wollongong. The conference aimed to 'explore the effects, on the national literature, of different aspects of globalisation: transnational flows of people, ideas and cultural forms; globalisation in the publishing and education industries; the global marketplace for cultural production'. (Editor's introduction.)


* Contents derived from the 2009 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
The View From Here : Readers and Australian Literature, Lydia Wevers , single work criticism
Australian Literature Inside and Out, Nicholas Jose , single work criticism
Bony at Home and Abroad : The Arthur Upfield Phenomenon, Carol Hetherington , single work criticism
Upfield published thirty-four novels, twenty-nine of them in a crime fiction series featuring the part-Aboriginal detective Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte. His books were widely read in Australia but his financial success came principally through the publication of his work in the United States and Europe, establishing a world-wide reputation through translations into at least fifteen languages. Upfield's following overseas, particularly in America, continued to grow after his death, reaching almost cult proportions and spawning websites, newsletters and new publications as recently as this year (2008). Upfield's mysteries have commonly been categorised as 'cultural tourism', depending for their appeal on an exotic setting and sensational events. This paper contests such a view and examines Upfield's publication, reception and reputation overseas - compared to his comparative neglect in Australia - including issues of cultural translation, the nature of his readership, his relationship with his American editor and publisher, his German translator and the legacy preserved by his fans.
Christopher Koch : Drawn to Comics, Elaine Minor , single work criticism
In debates about appreciation and interpretation of Literature, Christopher Koch is an outspoken, and often controversial, figure. He deplores what he terms the postmodern approach to critical analysis, questioning why children are 'studying films, comic strips and hopelessly bad contemporary novels with social messages, rather than major works that have stood the test of time'. It is somewhat surprising then, to study Koch's novels and uncover how frequently his work is informed by childhood influences and his love of comic books. This essay considers whether unwittingly Koch, as an author, is an instrument of social forces.
Synthetics Surveillance and Sarsaparilla : Patrick White and the New Gossip Economy, Lorraine Burdett , single work criticism
This essay proposes a new model for reading Patrick White's novels of the 1960s in their treatment of the tensions between the rights of individuals and their relation to 'the group', charting the circulations of exclusion inherent within this dynamic. I argue these novels are connected with a preoccupation of postwar American literary fiction that rehearses the experience of the individual whose identity lies in peril at the hands of a collective regulatory consciousness.

In this essay I contend that White deploys the synthetic matter of his time as a means for exploring the synthesis of human connections formed through social organization. I argue that White's treatment of the anti-suburban American tradition is distinct for its exploration of the threat suburbia poses in its outward spread towards the edges of civilization, as it destroys the organic unpredictability and artistry of nature, and eradicates human agency.
Dreaming Phantoms and Golems : Elements of The Place Beyond Nation in Carpentaria and Dreamhunter, Laura Joseph , single work criticism

'I argue in this essay that Australian writer Alexis Wright's 2006 novel Carpentaria and New Zealand writer Elizabeth Knox's Dreamhunter series (comprising of the novels Dreamhunter (2005) and Dreamquake (2007)) call up the matter of region and the waste of modernity to secede the form of nation. As fictional spaces overlaying real places, doubling with a world of dreams and an underworld of nightmares of colonial violence, these novels also move beyond the form of realism. This essay contends that in dispersing the forms of nation and genre though the matter of particular places, these contemporary antipodean novels deploy a politics of fantasy to reimagine the futures of nation. In this move away from nation towards the material specificities of region, these contemporary antipodean novels enable a transnational reading from the vantage point of region to region.' (Source: essay).

The Transnational Turn in Australian Literary Studies, Michael Jacklin , single work criticism
A significant number of critical and analytical articles by leading scholars in Australian literary studies have recently drawn attention to the transnational dimensions of the discipline. Amongst these calls for the internationalising of Australian literary studies, however, multicultural literature appears to have been given short shrift. This article traces the mainstream enthusiasm for transnational research, notes the work of critics who have identified aspects of multicultural literature that have been overlooked in Australia, and then provides examples of two further areas of transnational literary production that have been critically neglected. The journal Kalimat which published in Arabic and English and the online Spanish-language newsletter Hontanar are discussed as illustrative of this transnational literature, as are works by Yahia al-Samawi, Juan Garrido-Salgado and Mario Licón Cabrera, overseas-born poets now residing in and writing from Australia.
The Global Reception of Post-National Literary Fiction: the Case of Gerald Murnane, Paul Genoni , single work criticism
This paper considers the situation of the changing global market for Australian literary fiction. In particular it uses the case of Gerald Murnane to examine ways in which these changes might be beneficial to at least some authors as we enter an era of 'post-national' literary fiction.

The paper traces the international reception of Murnane's fiction and the subsequently the development of his global reputation. It incorporates Murnane's own observations (drawn from personal correspondence with the author) and suggests that although it has been argued that the impacts of globalisation will be detrimental for Australian literary fiction, there may also be some reasons for optimism.
'The Poetry of the Earth is Never Dead' : Australia's Road Writing, Delia Falconer , single work criticism
This article discusses the process of editing The Australian Book of the Road. It uses William Hay's 'An Australian Rip Van Winkle' as an exemplary Australian road text. With its diffuse sense of hauntedness, multiple time-warps, and eerie appropriation of northern hemisphere literary texts, Hay's story offers a suggestive frame for reflecting on our relationship with the road in Australia and the way it is figured in our writing; to consider the road not only as a material artefact represented by our road texts but a set of cultural traditions and tropes. Its layered hauntings offer paths to unpacking of the odd sense of unease that permeates so many of these road stories. Using 'road writing' (my own term) as a strategic generic category through which disparate works can be interpreted, this paper will consider them as instances of 'spatial history', following Paul Carter, opposed to more triumphalist literary traditions. It will also, finally, consider the Australian road within a global context; in particular, the strategic ways in which these stories play with strategies of adaptation.
'A Peculiar Aesthetic' : Julia Leigh's The Hunter and Sublime Loss, Scott Robert Brewer , single work criticism
Julia Leigh's re-animation and pursuit of the extinct thylacine in her novel The Hunter was for some reviewers an inappropriate appropriation of a Tasmanian icon. Martin Flanagan, while acknowledging the necessity of global engagement in issues such as extinction, criticised the cost of this engagement for local Tasmanian culture, writing in The Age 'I'm all for global awareness. What I'm against is clear-felling local cultures. We all know where that leads.' However, Flanagan's alignment of environmental disaster and the neglect of local identity is not as transparent as he suggests, given that, in this case, the vessel for that local identity is the no longer local thylacine. This essay argues that The Hunter examines the intersection of global ecological imaginging and local identity around the concept of place. Employing a sublime aesthetic, the novel unearths the radical loss that underpins the construction of place, forming a representation of extinction that speaks for what is lost to the landscape.
Indigenous Australian Literature in German. Some Considerations on Reception, Publication and Translation, Oliver Haag , single work criticism
This article retraces the publication and dissemination of Indigenous Australian literature in European languages other than English. It presents a statistical survey based on an extended bibliography. Furthermore, it identifies some of the major difficulties in the translation processes and the marketing of Indigenous stories. While statistics and the bibliography take all non-English European languages into account, this essay focuses on German-speaking countries.
'From Shanty to Shanti - Teaching Australian Literature in India', C A Cranston , single work criticism
Earlier this year I undertook an Australian Studies Fellowship from the Australia-India Council to teach at the University of Madras, in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. As a consequence, this paper aims to address areas suggested for discussion at the ASAL conference. The first part comments on ASAL topics such as the 'selling of Australian literature to the world'; the topic raises concerns for developing nations regarding the 'privileging of consumers' as text affordability and availability impacts on the OzLit research scope available to the local, Tamil Nadu, students. The paper then discusses the experiences encountered when Australian Literature is 'sold' and taught at an overseas institution. This second part will give examples of (an attempt to) 'Translate the local to the world', along with subsequent re-readings of canonical 19th c texts by Tamil students which challenge Anglo-centric assumptions. The paper will also discuss some reasons (why I think) indigenous writing is popular with Tamil students. All together, the paper is comprised of observations made during the application of pedagogical practices; but it concludes with a cautionary note concerning the academic value of selling Australian texts to 'the world'. Part of that caution is directed at institutional gatekeepers who will need to go beyond simply theorising about post-colonial interpretations of the text and instead be accepting of its praxis, where Australian texts will be transformed by unfamiliar cultural capital, and will seldom be controlled by its authors' historical or geographical frameworks.
The Locatedness of Poetry, Lyn McCredden , single work criticism
This essay argues that understanding the locatedness of poetry is crucial as a measure by which to sift the high rhetorics of national, cosmopolitan, globalising discourses. In an analysis of the poetry of Indigenous writers Tony Birch, Sam Wagan Watson and Lionel Fogarty, and of the Federal Government's Apology to the Stolen Generations, we can see more clearly the role of literature, and particularly poetry, in debates between the local and the global.
Globaloney, Graham Huggan , single work criticism

'In an essay now just over twenty years old, Peter Pierce laments what he calls the 'dichotomising habit' of Australian literary historians. Pierce testily suggests that '[t]he literary histories of Australia that invent different issues of debate, that abandon residual insecurities concerning the value of local materials remain to be written' - a challenge since energetically met by a number of histories and companions that seem to me at least to be neither melodramatic nor dichotomous, and that bring academic discussions surrounding the national literature more or less fully up to date. However, Pierce's observation still arguably holds for public discussions, many of them involving academics, and in which the present and future of Australian literature are confidently presented from a series of often directly opposing points of view. One view, the industry equivalent to the 'gloom thesis', proposes that Australian literature is dying, and cites evidence in dwindling recruitment and enrolment numbers at Australian universities, and in the depressing number of Australian literary classics that are currently out of print. The other view, equally forthright, is that Australian literature is booming, not least because of structural changes brought about to the publishing industry by globalisation, and as evidenced in the flourishing of Australian literature in international markets, in the expansion of writers' prizes and festivals, and in the active contribution of Australian writers, both 'high-art' and popular, to ongoing discussions of Australian national culture in an increasingly mediatised public sphere.'

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Last amended 9 Aug 2010 13:46:41