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72 - Australian Studies

    Table of contents
    1. 1. topics
      1. 1.1. remark



    Students writing their thesis in Australian Studies have to defend their thesis at the final examination, and they also have to pick a question at random from the list below. Candidates are free to choose a question from among the alternatives under each topic to talk about in detail, but must also be prepared to answer relevant minor questions concerning the alternative(s) that they have not chosen to develop.

    1. Immigration - Multiculturalism

    a. Discuss the major waves of immigrants to Australia.
    b. Describe Australia's ethnic composition and its current immigration policies.
    c. Discuss aspects of multiculturalism in Australian literature.


    2. Australia, Britain and the Pacific

    a. Historically, how have Australians reacted to their geographical position?
    b. Describe Australia's current relations with its neighbours in South East Asia and the Pacific.


    3. Australia - a republic? Nationalism and Republicanism in Australia

    a. Discuss nineteenth century nationalism with reference to the Bulletin school of  Australian writers.
    b. How has the republican debate been conducted in the past 20 years? What are the policies of the major political parties on this issue?


    4. Social Issues in Australian literature

    a. Discuss how social issues are represented in Australian literature. Use specific works to illustrate a trend or to compare several periods.

    b. Discuss the role of women writers in Australian literature. Give specific examples.


    5. Aboriginal history

    a. Describe traditional Aboriginal attitudes to the land.
    b. Discuss the current land rights issues and the situation of Aborigines today.


    6. Aborigines in literature

    a. Discuss the characteristics of Aboriginal literature. Use specific works to illustrate.
    b. How are Aborigines represented in Australian literature? Give specific examples to illustrate.


    7. Environment

    a. Discuss the effects of the Australian landscape on the country's literature and films.
    b. How did the attitudes of early European settlers change the Australian landscape?

    c. Discuss the most important environmental challenges currently facing Australia


    8.  Australia - a postcolonial society

    a. The history of Australian colonisation and the convict heritage

    b. Australia's (traditional) relationship with Britain and the shift of loyalty to America

    c. Postcolonialism in Australian literature.  Give specific examples to illustrate.


    9. Identity and self-image

    a. What facets of identity have characterized Australian history?
    b. Describe examples of different aspects of identity represented in Australian literature.
    c. Discuss the Anzac defeat at Gallipoli and its lasting effect on being Australian.


    10. The economy

    a. Name one or more of Australia's staple exports or industry and discuss its effect locally and internationally

    b. Discuss a period in the development of Australian economy. 


    11. Characteristics of Australian English

    a. Describe and explain the characteristics of the pronunciation of Australian English.
    b. Describe and explain the characteristics of Australian English vocabulary.


    12. Genres

    a. Discuss the development of a literary genre in Australia (novel, short story, drama, poetry.)
    b. Discuss a period of art (fine arts, theatre, film, music) in Australia.


    Recommended readings (all the titles below can be found in the SEAS Library)


    General & History:

    • Bullbeck, Chilla and David Carter, (eds.)  Exploring Australia.  Nathan (Australia): School of Humanities, Griffith University, 2000.
    • Clarke, F.G.  Australia: A Concise Political and Social History.  Sydney; Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992.
    • Hughes, Robert.  The Fatal Shore: A History of the Transportation of Convicts to Australia, 1787-1868.  London: Pan, 1987.
    • Kuna, Franz, and Graeme Turner, (eds.)  Studying Australian Culture: An Introductory Reader. Hamburg: Kovacs, 1994.
    • Nile, Richard, (ed.)  Australian Civilisation.  Melbourne; New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
    • Nile, Richard.  The Australian Legend and Its Discontents.  St Lucia (Qld.): University of Queensland Press in association with the API Network, 2000.
    • Rickard, John.  Australia: A Cultural History.  London; New York: Longman, 1988.
    • Turner, Graeme.  National Fictions: Literature, Film, and the Construction of the Australian Narrative.  Sydney, Boston: Allen and Unwin, 1986.
    • White, Richard.  Inventing Australia: Images and Identity 1688-1980.  Sydney; Boston: Allen and Unwin, 1981.
    • Whitlock, Gillian and David Carter.  Images of Australia: An Introductory Reader in Australian Studies.  St Lucia: Universityof QueenslandPress, 1992.
    • Whitlock, Gillian and Gail Reekie (eds.). Uncertain Beginnings. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1993.


    Aboriginal issues:

    • Broome, Richard.  Aboriginal Australians: Black Response to White Dominance: 1788-1980.  North Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1982.
    • Edwards, W.H.  An Introduction to Aboriginal Societies.  Wentworth Falls, N.S.W.: Social Science Press, 1988.
    • Haebich, Anna.  For Their Own Good: Aborigines and Government in the Southwest of Western Australia 1900- 1940.  Nedlands, WA: University of Western Australia Press, 1988.
    • Healy, J.J.  Literature and the Aborigine in Australia.  St. Lucia, Qld., Australia: University of Queensland Press, 1989. 
    • Miller, James.  Koori: A Will To Win: The Heroic Resistance, Survival and Triumph of Black Australia.  London: Angus and Robertson, 1985.
    • Reynolds, Henry.  The Other Side of the Frontier: Aboriginal Resistance to the European Invasion of Australia. Ringwood: Penguin, 1990.
    • Reynolds, Henry.  This Whispering in Our Hearts.  St. Leonards, N.S.W.: Allen and Unwin, 1998.
    • Rutherford, Anna, ed.  Aboriginal Culture Today.  Sydney: Dangaroo, 1988.
    • Shoemaker, Adam.  Black Words, White Page: Aboriginal Literature, 1929-1988. St.Lucia: Queensland University Press, 1992.
    • Shoemaker, Adam.  Swimming in the Mainstream: Australian Aboriginal and Canadian Indian Drama.  London: Sir Robert Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, Institute of Commonweath Studies, University of London, 1990.


    20th century Literature:

    • Barry, Elaine.  Fabricating the Self: The Fictions of Jessica Anderson.  St. Lucia, Qld., Australia: University of Queensland Press, 1992.
    • Bennett, Bruce.  Australian Short Fiction: A History.  St. Lucia, Qld., Australia: University of Queensland Press, 2002.
    • Carroll, Dennis.  Australian Contemporary Drama.  Sydney: Currency, 1995.
    • Ferrier, Carole, ed.  Gender, Politics and Fiction: Twentieth Century Australian Women’s Novels.  St. Lucia: Universityof QueenslandPress, 1985.
    • Gelder, Ken and Paul Salzman.  The New Diversity: Australian Fiction 1970-1988.  Melbourne: McPhee Gribble, 1989.
    • Goodwin, Ken, and Alan Lawson, eds.  Macmillan Anthology of Australian Literature.  South Melbourne: Macmillan, 1990.
    • Holloway, Peter, ed.  Contemporary Australian Drama.  Sydney: Currency, 1987.
    • Kiernan, Brian.  Patrick White.  London; Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1980.
    • Taylor, Andrew.  Reading Australian Poetry.  St. Lucia: UQP, 1987.
    • The Penguin New Literary History of Australia.  General Editor: Laurie Hergenhan.  Editors: Bruce Bennett et. al. Ringwood (Vic.): Penguin, 1988.
    • Walsh, William.  Patrick White’s Fiction.  Hornsby, N.S.W.; Boston: George Allen and Unwin Australia, 1977.


    Issues of the journal Australian Literary Studies also contain useful articles.


    Australian Film:

    • Hall, Sandra.  Critical Business: The New Australian Cinema in Review.  Adelaide; New York: Rigby, 1985.
    • McFarlane, Brian.  Novel to Film: Introduction to the Theory of Adaptation.  Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: OxfordUniversityPress, 1996.
    • O’Regan, Tom.  Australian National Cinema.  London; New York: Routledge, 1996.
    • OZ film – Australian Film in the Reading room. http://wwwmcc.murdoch.edu.au/Reading...film/post.html
    • Screen Australia's website:http://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/  especially recommended: Research and Statistics, Policy Research - and Submissions, Get the Picture


    Women Writers:

    • Bennett, Bruce.  Dorothy Hewett: Selected Critical Essays.  South Fremantle (WA): Fremantle Arts Press, 1995.
    • Bird, Delys and Brenda Walker, eds.: Elizabeth Jolley: New Critical Essays.  Moss Vale (NSW): Angus and Robertson, 1991.
    • Brooks, David and Brenda Walker.  Poetry and Gender: Statements and Essays in Australian Women’s Poetry and Poetics.  St. Lucia: UQP, 1989.
    • Daniel, Helen.  Liars: Australian New Novelists.  Ringwood: Penguin, 1988.
    • Jolley, Elizabeth.Central Mischief: Elizabeth Jolley on Writing, Her Past and Herself.  Ringwood: Penguin, 1993.
    • Salzman, Paul.  Elizabeth Jolley’s Fictions: Helplessly Tangled in Female Arms and Legs.  St. Lucia: UQP, 1993.
    • Whitlock, Gillian, (ed.)  Eight Voices of the Eighties: Stories, Journalism and Criticism by Australian Women Writers.  St. Lucia, UQP, 1989.


    Issues of the journal Hecate also contain useful articles.



    • Collins, Peter., and David Blair, (eds.)  Australian English.  St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1989.
    • The Australian National Dictionary. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1988.
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