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Postcolonial Issues in Australian Literature By Nathanael O'Reilly ...

Chapter :  Introduction: Australian Literature as Postcolonial Literature
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Postcolonial Issues in Australian Literature

mapping, naming, mimicry, the role of historical narratives, settler guilt and denial, and anxieties regarding belonging. The essays emphasize the postcolonial nature of Australian literature and utilize postcolonial theory to analyze Australian texts.

The primary objectives of this essay collection are to emphasize and examine the postcolonial nature of Australian literature. Within postcolonial studies, literature from South Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean is privileged, causing the literature of settler societies such as Australia, Canada, and New Zealand (and to a lesser extent South Africa) to be marginalized, ignored, or excluded. This collection provides ample evidence that Australian literature is indeed postcolonial literature, that it deserves more recognition as such, and that postcolonial reading strategies provide immensely productive methods for analyzing Australian texts. Moreover, the collection hopes to fill a gap in postcolonial studies. While numerous collections of essays on Australian literature have previously been published, most of them have focused either on an individual author, such as Andreas Gaile's Fabulating Beauty: Perspectives on the Fiction of Peter Carey, or on specific themes, such as David Callahan's Australia—Who Cares? Essay collections focusing on the postcolonial nature of national and regional literatures have also previously been published, such as Violeta Kelertas' Baltic Postcolonialism, Joan Aaron's Postcolonial Wales, and Laura Moss' Is Canada Postcolonial? Unsettling Canadian Literature. However, Postcolonial Issues in Australian Literature is the first collection to focus exclusively on Australian literature as postcolonial literature.

This project developed out of my experiences as an expatriate Australian pursuing graduate work in Australian and postcolonial literature in the United States. When I began to seriously investigate Australian and postcolonial literature, it quickly became clear that both fields are marginalized within the American academy and that Australian literary studies is marginalized within postcolonial studies. Many English departments in American universities do not employ a single scholar who specializes in postcolonial literature. Moreover, I do not know of any scholars who are employed by an American university for the primary purpose of