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Necessary Conversations
Important Works for Social Learning
(Status : Public)
Coordinated by AustLit Team
  • Bushfires (Natural Disasters Series)

    In an overview of bushfires in Australian literature (The Conversation, 11 February 2015), Grace Moore noted:

    Traditionally, fires played a dramatic role in writing intended for children, for example in works like Mary Grant Bruce’s Norah of Billabong (1913), but today fictional bushfires are much more directed towards education and therapy. (Source.)

    In our project on Black Summer and other bushfires, we have offered a pathway into the breadth of Australian writing on bushfires, as well as targeted approaches to Black Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Black Saturday, and Black Summer. This includes the historical settler-colonial works and the adventurous children's fiction.

    Given the role of the Necessary Conversations, however, we wish to focus here on works with a drive towards, In Moore's words, education and therapy. We have selected these works partly based on their recent publication dates and partly on the availability of teaching resources. We hope that this Necessary Conversation will enable conversations that are only going to become more urgent in the future.

  • Floods and Storms (Natural Disasters Series)

    Although AustLit is a digital database with roots in many cities, our physical location is on The University of Queensland's beautiful St Lucia campus, on the banks of Maiwar / the Brisbane River. So we are intimately affected by the recent flooding, as well as by our memories of the 2011 floods—as inhabitants of Brisbane as well as researchers of stories.

    This Necessary Conversation is a little different from its predecessors, in that it is the first in a planned series of conversations around changing climates and their consequences.

    These books on floods and storms range from gentle picture books to historical fiction, from climate-change fiction and fantasy to more adventurous tales, to explorations of grief and loss. We wished to begin to show the many ways in which stories can begin conversations about floods, storms, and catastrophic climate change.

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      Picture Books

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      Children's Books

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      Young Adult

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