Wild Writing: The Australian Imaginary

Subject ENGL20009 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

On Campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2.5 A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment: 102
Prerequisites: Completion of at least 12.5 points of English or one of the Facultyof Arts' Interdisciplinary Foundation (IDF) subjects.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects:

106-046 Australia and the Colonial Imaginary; 670-326 Wild Writing: The Australian Imaginary

Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the 3Disability Liaison Unit website: 4http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Dr Jennifer Rutherford


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.


Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • be familiar with key Australian literary texts and with central issues in current debates about Australian colonial and post-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:

A subject reader will be available.

  • Eucalyptus (Murray Bird)
  • The Boat (Nam Lee)
  • Bush Studies (B Baynton)
  • Seven Poor Men of Sydney (C Stead)
  • Remembering Babylon (D Malouf)
  • A Fringe of Leaves (P White)
  • The House of Breathings (Gail Jones)
  • Plains of Promise (Alexis Wright)
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: Students who successfully complete this subject will:
  • be able to apply new research skills and critical methods to a field of inquiry;

  • develop critical self-awareness and the capacity to 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 or 670-326 Wild Writing: The Australian Imginary 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
Australian Studies
Australian Studies Major
English Literary Studies Major

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