The Asian-Australian Children’s Literature and Publishing (AACLAP) project investigates and records details of Australian children’s literature either set in Asia, works that contain Asian-Australian content or characters, works that represent Asian-Australian cultures and experiences, as well as hundreds of Australian works that have been translated into at least one Asian language.
AACLAP is a rich, comprehensive bibliographic dataset of literature published during a 43-year period from 1970 to 2013. It comprises agent (authors or organisations) and work records related to ’Asia’, specifically ‘South and East Asia’, including East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Bay of Bengal. The collection includes autobiographical works, fiction, criticism, poetry, drama, short stories, film/tv, manga, graphic novels and picture books.
Led by Professor Kerry Mallan, Martin Borchert and Associate Professor Deborah Henderson, the project provides valuable primary and secondary sources important for developing literature-focused educational programs in line with the Australian government’s push for Asia literacy. The dataset extends beyond school level teaching to tertiary courses and research in children’s literature.
The importance of access to a comprehensive dataset of Asian-Australian children’s texts is underscored by the Australian Curriculum, especially in English and History. The Australian Curriculum: English states that the cross-curriculum priority of Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia will ‘enable students to explore and appreciate the diverse range of traditional and contemporary texts from and about the peoples and countries of Asia, including texts written by Australians of Asian heritage’.