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Australian Popular Culture (ENGL1040)
Semester 2 / 2012


y separately published work icon Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho , Artarmon : Giramondo Publishing , 2009 Z1580990 2009 selected work short story (taught in 6 units)

Look Who's Morphing is a collection of bizarre, funny, often menacing stories in which, along with his extended family, the central character undergoes a series of transformations, shape-shifting through figures drawn from film and television, music clips and video games, porn flicks and comics. He is Godzilla, a Muppet, and Whitney Houston's bodyguard; the Fonz, a robot, a Ford Bronco 4x4 - and, as a climax, a Gulliver-sized cock rock singer, played upon by an adoring troupe of sexy Lilliputians in short skirts and sailor suits and cheerleader outfits. Within these fantasies there is a deep intellectual and emotional engagement, a fundamental questioning of the nature of identity, and the way it constructs itself in a world dominated by the images of popular culture. – From the publisher's website.

y separately published work icon Avoiding Mr Right Anita Heiss , North Sydney : Random House Australia , 2008 Z1517953 2008 single work novel (taught in 2 units)

'Peta Tully has found her Mr Right. The only trouble is, she's not sure she's ready to settle down. Not just yet, anyway - so when she's offered a twelve-month contract interstate which just might win her the job of her dreams, she puts her Sydney life on hold, packs her bags and jumps on a plane, leaving her doting boyfriend behind.

'Peta takes a voluntary vow of celibacy, but sticking to it proves harder than she imagines.' (Publisher's blurb)

y separately published work icon Little White Slips Karen Hitchcock , Sydney : Picador , 2009 Z1619397 2009 selected work short story (taught in 3 units)
y separately published work icon Breath Tim Winton , Camberwell : Hamish Hamilton , 2008 Z1457075 2008 single work novel (taught in 21 units) 'Breath is a story about the wildness of youth - the lust for excitement and terror, the determination to be extraordinary, the wounds that heal and those that don't - and about learning to live with its passing.'
Source: Publisher's website
y separately published work icon Landscape of Farewell Alex Miller , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2007 Z1434892 2007 single work novel (taught in 2 units)

'Landscape of Farewell ... is the story of Max Otto, an elderly German academic. After the death of his much-loved wife and his recognition that he will never write the great study of history that was to be his life's crowning work, Max believes his life is all but over. Everything changes, though, when his valedictory lecture is challenged by Professor Vita McLelland, a feisty young Australian Aboriginal academic visiting Germany. Their meeting and growing friendship sets Max on a journey that would have seemed unthinkable just a few short weeks earlier.

'When, at Vita's invitation, Max travels to Australia, he forms a deep friendship with her uncle, Aboriginal elder Dougald Gnapun. It is a friendship that not only gives new meaning and purpose to Max, but which teaches him the profound importance of truth-telling in reconciliation with his own and his country's past.' (Publisher's blurb)

form y separately published work icon Angry Boys Chris Lilley , Princess Pictures (publisher), ( dir. Chris Lilley ) Australia : Princess Pictures Australian Broadcasting Corporation , 2011 Z1777938 2011 series - publisher film/TV humour (taught in 1 units) 'The chameleon of character invention, writer/performer Chris Lilley brings to life six vastly different characters, but they all have one thing in common - they will entertain and intrigue, as their private worlds are revealed.

'Still living on the family farm in Dunt, identical twins Daniel and Nathan Sims, who appeared in We Can Be Heroes, are back. Joining the boys in the series are four new characters; former surfing world champion Blake Oakfield, a family man and founding member of a surfie gang - the Mucca Mad Boys; S.mouse a U.S. rapper famous for having produced the biggest selling hip-hop single of all time; Japanese mother Jen Okazaki, a shrewd businesswoman, she also manages her son's skateboarding career; and Juvenile Justice Centre for Boys officer Ruth Sims, aka Gran. Gran takes pride in looking after the 'worst boys in the state' and can be as tough on the boys as she is kind to them.'

Source: ABC1 website,
Sighted: 09/05/2011


The course introduces students to Australian cultural studies through consideration of constructions of Australian national identity in a broad range of popular cultural forms such as popular literature, film and television.

Course Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate:

1) a critical understanding of the dynamic relationship between popular culture and ideologies of Australian national identity;

2) an in-depth knowledge of selected texts and case studies;

3) the ability to review and critique these texts and case studies; and

4) core skills in written and oral communication in textual and audio-visual media.

Course Content:

Topics include:

* Key concepts and methods in Cultural Studies

* The myth of the bush

* Constructing the national type

* Diggers and heroes: the ANZAC legend on film

* Sex, romance and marriage in post-war women's magazines

* The Crocodile Dundee phenomenon:

* Women, Suburbia and Comedy:

* Multiculturalism and Teen Culture

* Popular Culture and the History Wars

* Popular representations of Aboriginality


Written Assignment, 1,000 words (25%)

Written Assignment, 2,000 words (50%)

Presentation: small group, 1,000 words (25%)

Other Details

Offered in: 2010
Current Campus: Callaghan
Levels: Undergraduate