Lit Down Under: Australia Study Abroad

City skyline
 Australian beach
Australian animals
 Australian outback scene with a kangaroo sign

Lit Down Under is a new study abroad program led by Department of English professors Anita Mannur and Jason Palmeri, launching May-June 2019.

Lit Down Under students will take classes in both literature and professional writing that reflect on the diverse ways that literature and new media operate in one of the most beautiful places in the English-speaking world.

The program is based in the harbor city of Sydney for four weeks. All of this will be linked through two courses, ENG 269: Indigenous and Migrant Writing in Australia and ENG 310: Travel Writing and New Media in Sydney.

Rolling Admission – Apply Today!


ENG 310: Travel Writing and New Media in Sydney | Dr. Jason Palmeri

In this course, we will analyze and compose diverse forms of travel writing and new media documentary about Australia (e.g. creative nonfiction essays, documentary videos, new media art installations, and digital activist campaigns). In addition to reading and writing analyses of print and digital texts about Australia, we will also compose our own works of travel writing--including travel blogs, brief documentary videos, and a longer nonfiction essay. In addition to writing reflectively about the field trips we take as part of the program, each student will also choose one aspect of life in Sydney to research and write about in depth throughout the term--having the opportunity to pursue a personal passion as both a writer and a traveler. As we analyze and compose diverse new media forms of travel writing, we will derive inspiration from the lively art scene in both Sydney (by visiting contemporary art museums, attending a new media festival, and visiting ever-changing street art spaces). We also will consider how engaging with aboriginal traditions of art-making (both in Sydney and in Alice Springs) can help us think more critically and ethically about digital composing. As we work to consider how new media can be employed for persuasive ends, we will also closely analyze numerous digital campaigns about anti-racism, immigration, and refugee rights in Australia. 

Eng 269: Postcolonial Literature – Indigenous and Multicultural Australia | Dr. Anita Mannur

This course provides an overview to multicultural and indigenous Australian literature. In reading texts from a range of periods and genres, students will be introduced to critical reading skills and to significant themes and issues in Australian literary studies. Australian literature begins with the first writings from the colony--the beginnings of "settler colonial literature,” as well as the Indigenous literature of Australia. The course will begin with examples of Australian writing from the colony, and consider how literary texts participated in the emergence of ideas of nation and identity prior to Federation in 1901 The course will then turn to more recent writing and debates about Australian literature in the last half-century including the move for indigenous rights, the growing impact of multiculturalism and crises around racism and asylum in the late 21st century. In all, we will explore how contemporary Australian literature participates in contemporary thinking about race, belonging and nation as it pertains to Australia in a global context. Reading across a variety of genres - poetry, non-fiction prose, life writing, fiction, and film - the course will introduce ways of thinking about the politics and aesthetics of Australian literature in the early twenty-first century.

Sample Texts:

A Country Too Far: Writings on Asylum Seekers. Ed. Rosie Scott and Tom Keneally
Behind the Moon: Hsu-Ming Teo
A Long Way Home Saroo Brierley
Laurinda Alice Pung
Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence Doris Pilkington Garimara
Carpentaria Alexis Wright
Articles or excerpts from books by Graham Huggan, Tseen Khoo, Patrick Wolfe, Sneja Gunew