A third-year English student at The University of Melbourne has initiated an 'unofficial' course in Australian literature because no formal classes are available. Stephanie Guest felt 'angry and disappointed' that she could not study her national literature at the university so she emailed friends and, receiving an enthusiastic response, organised a series of seminars.
Visiting writers have so far included Kevin Hart, Elizabeth Campbell, and Elliot Perlman. Perlman told the group, 'I'm so heartened that you guys are doing this that I feel like I could hug each one of you'.
Head of English and Theatre Studies at The University of Melbourne Associate Professor Denise Varney has indicated that Australian literature will be back on the curriculum in 2012. 'We consider it incredibly important that we have this iconic subject. If our English department can't run an Australian literature subject then that's a really sad state of affairs.'
(All quotes from Nicole Brady's column, 'Uni Brought to Book for Snub of Local Literature', Age, 21 August 2011.)