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'"Australia has a fascinating yet contradictory nuclear history," writes Jeffrey Lantis, and this ambiguity can be seen in the post-nuclear young adult fiction produced in that country. British, American and German speculative fiction for young readers set after nuclear disaster tends to suggest reasons for the disaster, and by implication, to position readers towards acting to stop the disaster happening in the real world. By contrast, Australian writers of both fantasy and speculative fiction tend to be less concerned with the cause of the disaster than with how the nuclear apocalypse can be used to explore a range of cultural issues which may appear to have little or nothing to do with nuclear disaster. Working with the notion of apocalypse as both revelation and, more popularly, as a violent "end event" (Curtis), this paper explores why young adult post-nuclear fiction produced in Australia tends to be different from that produced in Britain, the USA and Germany, and demonstrates how the nuclear disaster is used in a selection of Australian young adult post-disaster fiction to address cultural issues, particularly those dealing with Australia's Indigenous population, and with the contemporary treatment of refugees.' (Publication summary)
'This article explores anti-Muslim stereotypes and strategies for combating them as presented in Randa Abdel-Fattah's first novel for young readers, Does My Head Look Big in This? First published in 2005, in the wake of terrorist attacks in the United States and Bali, the novel focuses on the everyday life of a second-generation Palestinian teenager who decides, as she puts it, to wear the hijab "full time" in a predominantly non-Muslim school in Australia. As will be argued here, stereotypes of Muslims and, in particular, Muslim women present not only challenges for the novel's central protagonist but also sites for her intervention. Central to this discussion is theoretical work by Judith Butler, whose notion of parody emphasizes the destabilizing effect that parody has for otherwise oppressive images and stereotypes. Rather than engage in a patient, rational, and didactic discussion with what are essentially impatient and irrational representations, Does My Head Look Big in This? adopts a strategy of parody-an exaggerated, often funny, redeployment of anti-Muslim stereotypes-in order to expose the ignorance wherein they originate. In this way, it will be argued, the protagonist of Abdel-Fattah's novel is not only "challenged" by anti-Muslim stereotypes, she "challenges back."' (Publication abstract)
'After service in World War II, he trained as a teacher and continued studying literature throughout his long life; helped found the Children's Book Council of Australia; and passionately supported the development of school libraries. Wherever he went, former students would greet him with 'Maurie, you taught me to know and love books!' When Ena Noël founded IBBY Australia in the 1960s, Maurice immediately gave support; over the following decades, he provided continuity for succeeding IBBY Australia presidents, and in recent years he gave wise advice and encouragement to Jenni Woodroffe and me and our colleagues.' (Publication abstract)