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Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 Teaching Kate Grenville’s The Secret River in the United States : A Study
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'Kate Grenville's The Secret River (2005) has been the subject of considerable controversy. Although the novel was awarded numerous prizes and was well received in the press, it was overwhelmingly criticized by historians and literary critics.' The historians are concerned that readers will confuse history and fiction; the critics are concerned that readers will empathize with the central character, thus ameliorating white guilt. Yet The Secret River has become a popular teaching text in universities, both in Australia and the United States. Given that the controversy has been largely confined to Australia, we are interested in considering why the novel is such a popular choice in literature courses in the United States and what this popularity tells us about the novel, the transnational dimension of literary studies of Australia, and pedagogical practices more generally. To that end, this essay draws on interviews with four United States academics who have taught The Secret River to consider the different issues it raises as a teaching text and what purposes it might serve as an Australian novel in a literature course in the United States. One of our most interesting findings is that it is precisely the qualities of the novel that trouble historical and literary scholars that make it such a compelling teaching text, enabling teachers to launch their students into the midst of ongoing unresolved debates.' (Introduction)

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    y separately published work icon Teaching Australian and New Zealand Literature Nicholas Birns (editor), Nicole Moore (editor), Sarah Shieff (editor), New York (City) : Modern Language Association of America , 2016 9421541 2016 anthology criticism essay

    'Australia and New Zealand, united geographically by their location in the South Pacific and linguistically by their English-speaking inhabitants, share the strong bond of hope for cultural diversity and social equality—one often challenged by history, starting with the appropriation of land from their indigenous peoples. This volume explores significant themes and topics in Australian and New Zealand literature. In their introduction, the editors address both the commonalities and differences between the two nations’ literatures by considering literary and historical contexts and by making nuanced connections between the global and the local. Contributors share their experiences teaching literature on the iconic landscape and ecological fragility; stories and perspectives of convicts, migrants, and refugees; and Maori and Aboriginal texts, which add much to the transnational turn.' (Publication summary)

    New York (City) : Modern Language Association of America , 2016
    pg. 199-209
Last amended 18 Aug 2017 07:43:01
199-209 Teaching Kate Grenville’s The Secret River in the United States : A Studysmall AustLit logo