Swagmen and Songlines

Ref: C3744298

Australian literature is marked by competing histories and oppositional values - on one hand Aboriginal songs of the creation of the land and the secrets of its past, on the other settler narratives of working and taming the bush. The course will explore these stories through the fiction of Thomas Keneally's "The Playmaker" set in the 1789 penal colony and Peter Carey's "A Long Way Home", concerned with racial identity in post-war Australia. Poetry will include the bush poets and the work of Judith Wright whose poems centre on the relations of settler and indigenous Australians with each other and with the land.

Course aim

The course will explore Australian literature's strong focus on love for, and ownership of, land, examining the oppositional values of Aboriginal and settler cultures through fiction and poetry

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • Th course is suitable for all those with an interest in literature

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify themes which can be said to characterise Australian literature
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the cultural context in which the texts have been produced
  • Identify, through close reading, the literary techniques (structural, syntactical, imagery) used by the writers.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You will need to read the set texts in your own time.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • You may find it useful to begin your reading of the two novels before the class starts

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • You may find it useful to begin your reading of the Carey and Keneally novels before the class starts.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Many students decide to continue with their literary studies through other WEA courses.

Download full course information sheet

Swagmen and Songlines

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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