The Department of English understands texts, writing and literature as being a part of a living, contemporary and crosscultural English discipline with rich routes back into the past.
The study of literature involves an understanding of developments in culture and an appreciation of the intellectual and aesthetic aspects of existence. Studying literature can help us cultivate excellent skills in reading, analysis, interpretation and communication.
The subject English Literature originated as a study of the literatures of Great Britain and Ireland, but it now also incorporates literature in English from around the world.
In the English department students can study novels, drama, creative writing, life writing, visual texts (including film), children's literature (including folk tales), and the study of non-literary texts.
Undergraduate or postgraduate studies in English will give you the opportunity to acquire skills in communication and evaluation, flexibility and independence of judgement - skills which will equip you for a broad range of careers.
Australasian Children's Literature Association for Research
The Australasian Children's Literature Association for Research (known as ACLAR) was established at the inaugural conference in 1997, in Adelaide, South Australia. Its purpose is to encourage research into children's literature and to provide a forum for sharing, discussing and disseminating this work, in the Australasian context, for those who have an academic or scholarly interest in this field of study. It provides opportunities for publication of papers and member networking through conferences, newsletters and information, and aims to promote, internationally, knowledge of Australasian writers and illustrators.
The organisation is governed by a Board consisting of a President and up to 8 Board members. The immediate past president continues as a Board member for two years after his/her term expires. Board members may serve for two consecutive terms, but that is the maximum. Separate elections are held for the Presidency and Board membership.
Although initially conferences were held each year, they are now held every two years, on the year when there is not an IRSCL conference. To this date, there have been conferences - in Adelaide, South Australia; Wagga Wagga, New South Wales; Melbourne, Victoria; Brisbane, Queensland; Christchurch, New Zealand; and most recently Sydney, New South Wales.
Macquarie PEN Anthology
The Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature, a comprehensive survey of two centuries of Australian creative writing comprising 1504 pages, was published by Allen & Unwin in August 2009. A major contribution to Australia's cultural infrastructure, an authoritative work of reference and a valuable resource for anyone interested in Australian history and culture, the project involved scholars from several universities and was coordinated by the Centre for the Macquarie Pen Anthology of Australian Literature within the Department of English at Macquarie University. One of the goals of the project was to encourage and support the teaching of Australian literature in schools and universities. The project has been supported by major grants from the Australian Research Council and the Australia Council for the Arts, and further financial support from universities and private benefactors.
The first volume in the enterprise, the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature, was published in Australia by Allen and Unwin in May 2008, and is available in North America, the UK and Europe under the title Anthology of Australian Aboriginal Literature (McGill-Queen's University Press, Canada). Most of the Aboriginal writing which appears in these volumes is also included in the main anthology. An international edition of the main anthology, published by W.W. Norton & Company, is available outside Australasia under the title The Literature of Australia. Each anthology includes introductory essays and biographies of authors.
For further information see the PEN anthology website.