My focus for the project is building a comparative writing unit based around the idea of intertextuality and intersectionality.
This focus came about as a result of seeing a tendency amongst my students to firstly think of texts as existing in a bit of a bubble, and secondly to rely on a rigid structure in exploring their ideas. While they can capably analyse broader themes and how they interlink with an author’s motivations and context, what I would like to see is their pushing further into recognising how and where a text sits in the landscape of literature.
Specifically, the unit would aim towards broadening their view of what Western literature looks like beyond the canon that so readily comes to mind, while simultaneously encouraging student autonomy in the direction of their writing. To this end, my research will be based upon Maxine Beneba Clarke’s The Hate Raceand Foreign Soil, Emily Bitto’s The Strays, and Alice Pung’s Laurinda. Suggested supplementary texts currently include Looking for Alibrandi, Marlena Marchetta; Growing Up Asian in Australia, ed. Alice Pung; The Colour Purple, Alice Walker; Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson; and the Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Sisters Publishing, Meanjin, and Helen Garner archives at the University of Melbourne.