Review of Imagining Australia: Literature and Culture in the New New World, edited by Judith Ryan and Chris Wallace-Crabbe
What is the value in a collection of conference papers like Imagining Australia that canvasses such a diverse array of scholarly topics? The book is the result of a colloquium sponsored by the Harvard Committee on Australian Studies held in 2002 that aimed to 'showcase the exciting work that is being done in Australian literature and culture by bringing together a widely ranging group of scholars in the field' (xiii). The collection clearly succeeds in this regard with contributions from some of the most respected domestic and international scholars in contemporary Australian literary and cultural studies. Of course, one might take issue with the choice of contributors and provide an alternative list of equally high profile names and valuable work, but that would be beside the point. For this reviewer a more banal concern preoccupied my reading: despite the excellent quality of many of the pieces, what does this collection actually 'do' beyond 'showcasing'?
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Cite as: Clarke, Robert. ‘Review of Imagining Australia: Literature and Culture in the New New World, edited by Judith Ryan and Chris Wallace-Crabbe.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 22, no. 3, 2006, doi: 10.20314/als.5ac4db0d46.