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ECU academic receives national literary recognition

Friday, 22 July 2011

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Congratulations to Senior Lecturer from the School of Communications and Arts, Dr Cynthia vanden Driesen, who was recently shortlisted for a McCrae Russell Award from the Association for the Study of Australian Literature.

The citation for her book Writing the Nation- Patrick White and the Indigene (2009) reads as follows:

While this research draws on post-colonial re-readings and Said’s well known thesis on Orientalism, the breadth, intellectual scope and understanding of political, historical and social context is not limited by the fineness of focus on only three of Patrick White’s novels. In each there is an illuminating contribution to (and enhancement of) scholarship in the field of literary studies but also the cultural analysis of race relations in Australia. There are well-illustrated prior representations of relationships between settler and Indigenous peoples and the demonstration of the pioneering ways in which Patrick White has engaged with these issues is well achieved.

The award is the only one which recognises literary critics in Australia and is awarded over a two-year period.

The award was announced at the 2011 Australian Literature Conference, held at Melbourne University earlier this month and was the opening highlight of a week-long event.

“It is a real honour to be shortlisted for this prestigious award. I was delighted to be present in Melbourne last week to hear the citations read, receive the congratulations and be informed that my book had been a serious contender for the prize,” said Dr vanden Driesen.

Dr vanden Driesen, along with two postgraduate students, Jackie Highland and Ivan Motherway, presented a panel discussion at the conference entitled Igniting Passion in the Classroom – Teaching Australian Literature.  Gemma Slater, another postgraduate was featured via a video clip.

For more information visit the Association for the Study of Australian Literature website.

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