New Directions: Introduction
The publication of two essays on 'the state of the discipline' (to borrow a title from the ADE Bulletin) is not a response to or an expression of millenial anxiety—but may be a marker of a kind of disciplinary anxiety. These essays, by David Carter, and Gillian Whitlock, act as markers in a wider sense of the field of Australian literary studies, in suggesting that it may be time for some 'paradigm shifts' in thinking about Australian literary culture, and particularly, Australian literary criticism. It may be that the first sign of this shift was Susan Sheridan's book Along the Faultlines (1995), one of the most important publications of the decade in Australian literary criticism, and one which serves as a starting point for Gillian Whitlock's argument regarding the usefulness, and even necessity, of making cultural connections and using paradigms other than that of 'nation'.
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