A Companion to Australian Aboriginal Literature



Australian Aboriginal literature, once relegated to the margins of Australian literary studies, now receives both national and international attention. Not only has the number of published texts by contemporary Australian Aboriginals risen sharply, but scholars and publishers have also recently begun recovering earlier published and unpublished Indigenous works.

Writing by Australian Aboriginals is making a decisive impression in fiction, autobiography, biography, poetry, film, drama, and music, and has recently been anthologized in Oceania and North America.

Until now, however, there has been no comprehensive critical companion that contextualizes the Aboriginal canon for scholars, researchers, students, and general readers.

This international collection of 11 original essays fills this gap by discussing crucial aspects of Australian Aboriginal literature and tracing the development of Aboriginal literacy from the oral tradition up until today, contextualizing the work of Aboriginal artists and writers and exploring aspects of Aboriginal life writing such as obstacles toward publishing, questions of editorial control (or the lack thereof), intergenerational and interracial collaborations combining oral history and life writing, and the pros and cons of translation into European languages.

Contributors: Katrin Althans, Maryrose Casey, Danica Cerce, Stuart Cooke, Paula Anca Farca, Michael R. Griffiths, Oliver Haag, Martina Horakova, Jennifer Jones, Nicholas Jose, Andrew King, Jeanine Leane, Theodore F. Sheckels, Belinda Wheeler.

Belinda Wheeler is Assistant Professor of English at Claflin University, Orangeburg, SC.


1 Foreword 2 Acknowledgments 3 Introduction: The Emerging Canon 4 Chronology 5 Indigenous Life Writing: Rethinking Poetics and Practice 6 Australian Aboriginal Life Writers and Their Editors: Cross-Cultural Collaboration, Authorial Intention, and the Impact of Editorial Choices 7 Contemporary Life Writing: Inscribing Double Voice in Intergenerational Collaborative Life-Writing Projects 8 European Translations of Australian Aboriginal Texts 9 Tracing a Trajectory from Songpoetry to Contemporary Aboriginal Poetry 10 Rites/Rights/Writes of Passage: Identity Construction in Australian Aboriginal Young Adult Fiction 11 Humor in Contemporary Aboriginal Adult Fiction 12 White Shadows: The Gothic Tradition in Australian Aboriginal Literature 13 Bold, Black, and Brilliant: Aboriginal Australian Drama 14 The "Stolen Generations" in Feature Film: The Approach of Aboriginal Director Rachel Perkins and Others 15 A History of Popular Indigenous Music 16 Notes on the Contributors 17 Note on the Cover Artist 18 Index

Get a copy now from your favourite trusted store

Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through the below links.

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2018, A Companion to Australian Aboriginal Literature, <>, retrieved 3 July 2020

Knowledge is better when your friends know too.
Whom can you help today?

"All knowledge is connected to all other knowledge. The fun is in making the connections." — Arthur C. Aufderheide

Join more than 3,669 Smart Owls who know more!