Toward Worlding Settler Texts: Tracking the Uses of Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career through the Curriculum

,

Abstract

Using Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career as its focus, this paper explores the institutional possibilities and constraints of ‘worlding’ settler texts in secondary school and university environments. We argue that the teaching of texts, and those who teach texts in schools and universities, play a key role in negotiating national and international textual boundaries. This paper expands on the practices of reading, to incorporate an analysis of documents that frame the intended, espoused, and enacted curriculum. Examining the publication and teaching history of My Brilliant Career in Australia and overseas and the use of literature as a tool of nationalism and globalisation, this paper argues that the teaching of literature in institutions acts as material evidence of our efforts to negotiate the demands of the national and the global. Literature teaching thus powerfully contributes to the ways in which we understand the work that is undertaken, the boundaries crossed and compromises brokered when we study settler texts in globalised contexts.

Curriculum constructs as they exist in schools and universities are inevitably invested in responding to notions of nation and priorities regarding the ways in which citizens exist and function within and beyond geographical borders. In this context, investigations into the teaching of national literatures and the ways in which texts are selected and studied offer insights into how the often competing demands of the local and global are negotiated (Guillory). In this paper, we investigate the teaching of Australian literary texts in twenty-first century Australian secondary schools and universities. We argue that there is fruitful work to be done in exploring the ways in which Australian settler texts are taught in university and secondary school contexts. The teaching of literature in institutions acts as material evidence of efforts to negotiate the demands of the national and the global and thus powerfully contributes to the ways in which we understand the…

The full text of this essay is available to ALS subscribers

Please sign in to access this article and the rest of our archive.

Not a member? Subscribe now from only $24/year

Published 19 September 2017 in Volume 32, No. 2. Subjects: Australian literature - Study & teaching, Transnationalism, Miles Franklin.

Cite as: McLean Davies, Larissa and Susan K. Martin. ‘Toward Worlding Settler Texts: Tracking the Uses of Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career through the Curriculum.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 32, no. 2, 2017. https://doi.org/10.20314/als.8cd522979e.