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assignment Level : Introductory
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timer 12 hours in total

About the content

This course is a short introduction to the rich and distinctive world of Australian literature, a world of ancient and modern forms of writing about a vast and varied continent. Explore the work of writers who have responded imaginatively to the unique landscapes of Australia and to its remarkable human history.

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Week 1            literature & country

Lesson 1

Lecture 1.1 intro: literature & country (course details)

Lecture 1.2 literature & country (Tim Winton and different coasts)

Lecture 1.3 literature & country (D. H. Lawrence, Kangaroo)

Lesson 2

Lecture 1.4 Central Australia (intro to Hermannsburg & T. G. H. Strehlow)

Lecture 1.5 Central Australia (Songs of Central Australia)

Lecture 1.6 Northern Australia (‘Little Eva at Moonlight Creek’ song cycle)

Lesson 3

Lecture 1.7 Sydney (Farm Cove, Watkin Tench)

Lecture 1.8 Sydney (Barron Field)

Lecture 1.9 Sydney (Charles Harpur)


Week 2           crime & punishment

Lesson 1

Lecture 2.1 intro: crime & punishment (Australia as Hell)

Lecture 2.2 crime & punishment (‘Moreton Bay’)

Lecture 2.3 crime & punishment ('A Convict's Tour to Hell')

Lesson 2

Lecture 2.4 intro: crime & punishment (Port Arthur, Tasmania)

Lecture 2.5 crime & punishment (Marcus Clarke, For the Term of His Natural Life)

Lecture 2.6 crime & punishment (Richard Flanagan, Gould's Book of Fish)

Lesson 3

Lecture 2.7 crime & punishment (Ned Kelly, 'Jerilderie Letter')

Lecture 2.8 crime & punishment (Peter Carey, True History of the Kelly Gang)

Lecture 2.9 crime & punishment (Peter Temple, The Broken Shore)


Week 3           explorers, frontier & settlement

Lesson 1

Lecture 3.1 intro: explorers, legends, frontier

Lecture 3.2 explorers (Ludwig Leichhardt in literature)

Lecture 3.3  explorers (interlude, discussion)

Lesson 2

Lecture 3.4 explorers (Patrick White, Voss and the literary classic)

Lecture 3.5 explorers (Patrick White, Voss)

Lecture 3.6 explorers (Patrick White, Voss)

Lesson 3

Lecture 3.7 frontier & settlement

Lecture 3.8 frontier & settlement (David Malouf, Remembering Babylon)

Lecture 3.9 frontier & settlement (Kim Scott, That Deadman Dance)

Week 4           home & away

Lesson 1

Lecture 4.1 intro: home & away (A. D. Hope, ‘Australia’)

Lecture 4.2 home & away (Richardson, The Fortunes of Richard Mahony, colonial times)

Lecture 4.3 home & away (Martin Boyd, The Cardboard Crown, Anglo-Australian families)

Lesson 2

Lecture 4.4 home & away (Judith Wright, the Moonbi Range)

Lecture 4.5 home & away (Judith Wright’s New England)

Lecture 4.6 home & away (Judith Wright, pastoralism and ecology)

Lesson 3

Lecture 4.7 home & away (Christina Stead and expatriate life)

Lecture 4.8 home & away (Christina Stead, ‘Sea People,' For Love Alone)

Lecture 4.9 home & away (Christina Stead, ‘Sea People,' For Love Alone)


Week 5

Lesson 1

Lecture 5.1 summary, assignments etc.

Lecture/discussion 5.2 summary-discussion Philip Mead and Claire Jones                             


Week 6

Assignments due & peer assessed




  • Claire Jones - English and Cultural Studies
  • Philip Mead - English and Cultural Studies

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University of Western Australia
The University of Western Australia (UWA) was established in 1911 and continues to set the standard for other West Australian universities. Staff, students and graduates from the University have been recognised at state, national and international levels, and UWA continues to confirm its standing as one of Australia’s leading research-intensive universities. UWA's leaders and researchers work in partnership with three domestic and international networks, the Group of Eight, Matariki and the Worldwide Universities Network.



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