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Writing Down Under

ENGL 293.401
instructor(s):
TR 12-1:30

"Writing Down Under" Colonized by the British in the late eighteenth century, Australia--the smallest continent but one of the largest countries on Earth--officially became a commonwealth on the first day of the twentieth century (1 January 1901). One of the original goals of the commonwealth was to restrict immigration in general, non-European (i.e., non-white) immigration in particular. These restrictive policies were gradually abandoned in the 1960s and 70s, although the largest non-white minority remains the Aborigines. Twentieth-century Australian literature not only reflects the culture of the Empire but also the struggles and resistance of the Second World--a settler culture which exists in dynamic relation between what Alan Lawson describes as those "apparently antagonistic, static, aggressive, [and] disjunctive" binaries which colonialism "settles" upon a landscape: binaries such as colonizer and colonized, foreign and native, settler and indigene, home and away. In this course we will read a selection of post-World War II novels by Australian writers, including Patrick White (1912-1990) (winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1973); Nene Gard (born 1919); Thea Astley (born 1925); Mudrooroo Narogin (a.k.a Colin Johnson, born 1938); Joan Lindsay (1896-1984); Thomas Keneally ( born 1935); Helen Garner (born 1942); C. J. Koch (born 1932); Jessica Anderson; David Foster (born 1944); and Janette Turner Hospital (born 1942).