Issue Details: First known date: 2011 2011
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'...Magwitch madness...has been inspired by Derrida's notion of 'archive fever' - the 'compulsive, repetitive and nostalgic desire for the archive, an irrepressible desire to return to the origin' (Derrida, 1998, p. 9). Like the convict Magwitch in Charles Dickens's novel, who is relocated to Australia, but remains imaginatively and materially linked to the centre of the Empire through his patronage of the boy Philip Pirrip (Pip), contemporary manifestations of Magwitch madness, whether they be in curriculum documents, media debates, text selection or pedagogical practices, are distinguished by a nostalgia for classic texts...and metaphorical and virtual proximity to the cultural capital that these classic works represent. ...

In this chapter, I will examine some contemporary manifestation of Magwitch madness in Some Australasian texts set for study in senior English. Thorough this analysis, I will pursue the connection between these texts and a more systemic manifestation of this condition in the recent debate around the teaching of Australian literature and in the Australian Curriculum: English. In the final section of this chapter, I will explore the implications of Magwitch madness for classroom practice, by drawing on data collected in four diverse Victorian secondary schools in 2010 as part of the project National Stories: Teaching Australian Literature in Secondary English. Through the examination of these various and inter-connected expressions of antipodean archive fever in text, curriculum and practice, this chapter will map some of the complexities and challenges of teaching Australian literature in twenty-first century classrooms.' (From author's introduction, 130, 131-132)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y Teaching Australian Literature : From Classroom Conversations to National Imaginings Brenton Doecke (editor), Larissa McLean-Davies (editor), Philip Mead (editor), Kent Town : Wakefield Press Australian Association for the Teaching of English , 2011 Z1851330 2011 anthology criticism 'What role should Australian literature play in the school curriculum? What principles should guide our selection of Australian texts? To what extent should concepts of the nation and a national identity frame the study of Australian writing? What do we imagine Australian literature to be? How do English teachers go about engaging their students in reading Australian texts?

    This volume brings together teachers, teacher educators, creative writers and literary scholars in a joint inquiry that takes a fresh look at what it means to teach Australian literature. The immediate occasion for the publication of these essays is the implementation of The Australian Curriculum: English, which several contributors subject to critical scrutiny. In doing so, they question the way that literature teaching is currently being constructed by standards-based reforms, not only in Australia but elsewhere.

    The essays assembled in this volume transcend the divisions that have sometimes marred debates about the place of Australian literature in the school curriculum. They all recognise the complexity of what secondary English teachers do in their efforts to engage young people in a rich and meaningful curriculum. They also highlight the need for both secondary and tertiary educators to cultivate an awareness of the cultural and intellectual traditions that mediate their professional practice and to encourage a critically responsive pedagogy.' (Publisher's blurb)
    Kent Town : Wakefield Press Australian Association for the Teaching of English , 2011
    pg. 129-152
Last amended 30 Mar 2012