Wild Writing: The Australian Imaginary

Subject 106-046 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available

Usually 12.5 points of first year English.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Jennifer Rutherford


Subject Overview:

In order to be inhabited Australia had first to be named, mapped, imagined and thereby invented. From this process of invention, a new poetics emerges enmeshed in a complex raft of inter-subjective and intercultural dialogue and conflict. Drawing on key Australian literary texts we will explore how succesive writers have engaged with the new - inter-racial, environmental, social and sexual dynamics of the emerging culture. Themes to explore include narratives of domicile and domicide, exile and incarceration, tropes of the unbound house, of a "scribbling" nature, a haunted earth, and of broken mirrors.

Objectives: Students who successfully complete this subject will be familiar with key Australian literary texts and with central issues in current debates about Australian colonial anpost-colonial history;
have been introduced to key concepts in contemporary literary and critical theory;
have developed an increased awareness of argumentative and analytical practices which can be used to develop their own writing.

One class paper of 1000 words 25% (due during the semester) and one essay of 3000 words 75% (due at the end of the semester). Students are required to attend a minimum of 9 tutorials in order to qualify to have their written work assessed.

Prescribed Texts:

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

  • For the Term of his Natural Life (M Clarke)
  • Bush Studies (B Baynton)
  • Seven Poor Men of Sydney (C Stead)
  • Remembering Babylon (D Malouf)
  • A Fringe of Leaves (P White)
  • While the Billy Boils (H Lawson)
  • Loaded (C Tsolkas)
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be able to apply new research skills and critical methods to a field of inquiry;

  • develop critical self-awareness and shape and strengthen persuasive arguments;

  • communicate arguments and ideas effectively and articulately, both in writing and to others.


Students who have completed 106-046 Australia and the Colonial Imaginary are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts(Media and Communications)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Australian Studies
Australian Studies
English Literary Studies Major

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