Selecting and teaching Indigenous literature in the English classroom
NB: This event is BOOKED OUT.
In her Overland essay, ‘Other Peoples’ Stories’, Jeanine Leane recalls her reading experiences from the late 1960s:
“…when I was about eight, I announced to my aunt that I wanted to be white. If I were white, I explained, I would see myself everywhere – on television, on posters, in magazines, in books. Even at that young age, I knew I was unlikely to recognise myself in a book. If I did, it would be as a primitive, half-naked, thieving, violent savage, or the tragic drunken relic of a civilisation on the brink of extinction…”
As Leane later reminds her audience, literary representations are never just benign descriptions.
This pre-conference symposium addresses the challenges associated with selecting and teaching Indigenous literature. Leading authors, academics and educators will support attendees to understand the importance of selecting texts created by First Nations Peoples. Important questions which will be addressed across this event will include:
- Why should we teach texts created by Indigenous authors?
- How do we engage with the multiple perspectives associated with these texts?
- What knowledge about the history of Australia do we need to engage in this work?
- How can we include Indigenous people in the work we do with these texts?
The day will combine keynote presentations with workshop-style sessions. You will leave with an appreciation for the importance of selecting diverse texts, knowledge about possibilities that you might consider for your classrooms, and ideas about how you can use English teaching to respond to what the Uluru Statement from the Heart aspires to: a fair and truthful relationship with the people of Australia.
Confirmed speakers include: Tony Birch; Ali Cobby Eckermann; Marcia Langton; and Cara Shipp
Convener: Alex Bacalja