Autumn Semester 2015
Hi All, I am looking forward very much to working with you in all of the following units: Nineteenth Century Literature (ENGL200); Shakespeare & The Renaissance (ENGL210); Introduction to Literature (Clemente- Mission Australia Students, ENGL104); Learning in the Community (HUMA247)and (ARTS232). This is the space where I will be posting my weekly reflections on our collaborative teaching and learning and where I will also be posting questions for you (if you are in one of my Literature Units). So please make this site one of your favourites and log in frequently to read, see and hear the delights I can dig up to accompany your learning experience.
Till next week….
Meanwhile enjoy a few snaps if have made on my Autumn Bush Walking adventures (the image I have used at the top of my blog is looking over Galston Gorge at dawn- this is one of my very special favourite places).
Coming down Shaw’s Ridge takes you to a Blue Gum forest with amazingly tall blue gums. I thought I would try out the panoramic function on my new iPhone 6 plus: pretty cool.
Finally arriving at our destination (The Gross Valley Lookout) we could hear the river loudly from below in the valley (probably around 1000 metres below!), but much of the other side and the valley itself was obscured by morning mist.
But we were greeted by a very impertinent Currawong who spent a good 5 minutes trying to work out how to get grapes from the bottom of our morning tea jar… needless to say he finally succeeded:
Australian Lit: Francis Webb: How does Webb manage to champion the life of the outcast in the last stanza of "Harry" in his Ward Two sequence? What strengths does Harry have that we in the world of so called "common-sense" seem to lack?
*Try to write a few stanzas in the style of Judith Beveridge. Chose a simple focus subject (like "Yachts" and see how your imagination sets to work on this idea).
Twentieth Century Literature:
* Write a paragraph describing our own modern world (in the style of Huxley) that shows how far we have gone down the road to this "Brave New World".
*What one idea in Pinter's Nobel Prize Speech struck you as most relevant for our own times. Use this as starting point for a short review of Pinter's speech.
*Do you think there really are ordinary/extraordinary people like White's Riders in the world around us. Create one in your own mind and write a brief description of their characteristics.
***Remember for your final ePortfolio entries you are going to have a number of peer reviews to include to demonstrate the quality of your interaction with your peers this semester.
Enjoy your weekend..... get your toboggans out!
1/ Write a short review of Fly Away Peter. Say what you found most appealing in the novel and why you think the novel is relevant to our society today.
2/ Write a letter to David Malouf thanking him for his visits. Say what struck you particularly about the way he answered people's questions.
3/ If you came to the Conference Writing the Sacred say what were for you the most important ideas and experiences to come from the conference as a whole. Could you say, simply, what you understand the title of the conference: what does "Writing the Sacred" mean?
Twentieth Century Literature.
1/The last question above would be a good one for you to answer as well. In particular could you say what Prof Barry Spurr added to your understanding of the role and place of T.S. Eliot in 20th Century Literature?
2/We have also been exploring Huxley and Orwell. From your understanding of either or both of these authors could you say briefly why these authors still might be worth reading in today's society? Do any of the themes that you have come into contact with so far, ring a chord with the concerns of our own times (particularly your own times).For example did you take it on the chin when, with reference to Lenina, Huxley says that people can’t survive without having a constant din of noise going on between their two ears! Is that your life?
3/Does Twentieth Century drama (the play you are working on in your group) still have “bite” for a 21st Century audience? That is to say, is their relevance in its themes and ideas to your own experience?
4/Write a letter to either Huxley, Orwell OR your playwright and discuss with them an aspect of today’s experience that shows they have been wrong in their assessment of what would happen in the future.
The Visionary Imagination.
1/Could you say how your special seminar with David Malouf amplified your understanding of both the meaning of Ransom and of the function of imagination in a broader sense?
2/If you came to the Conference Writing the Sacred could you say what you learnt about the creative imagination and its relationship to the Sacred?
What questions, did the conference leave you with?
3/Has your understanding of the nature and purpose of David Malouf's writing changed since you heard him speak (either at the Conference or at the special seminar, or both).
4/Write a letter to David Malouf continuing the conversation that we started with him. Maybe you would like to deepen the questions that were asked about his religion?
5/What is your sense of the central message that comes through Ransom? What is David Malouf trying to tell his contemporary audience about what really matters in life?
Questions for this week: Can you remember any moment in your life where you have been deeply challenged to change the way you go about your normal affairs? Does this help you to understand what takes place in Priam as he confronts the need to reclaim his son's body?
What is it about David Malouf's style that enables him to bring so vividly to life the inner feelings and experiences of his characters? Select one short passage where you think he achieves this and see if you can talk about the creative strategies he uses to make his language so alive.
Hopefully I will see many many of you at the conference on Sunday. Please register at this address so that you guarantee yourself lunch: http://www.acu.edu.au/about_acu/news_events/acu_events/strathfield/writing_the_sacred/
Also- if you have not yet heard- my ebook on Francis Webb is being sold for a short time (before the conference) for $2.99. The ebook can be read on any mac, pc or ipad (even iphone) with the free downloadable kindle app.