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Huts in the wilderness: pioneering in school readers
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-17, 06:28 authored by McGennisken, J
The propagation of a national imaginary is a central concern of early twentieth-century School Readers. Produced by various state education departments from around Australia, these reading books draw on the literary and visual effects of a maturing Australian imagination, instituting a particular narrative of the nation's history and development. This story, what I am calling a metanarrative of national growth, encompasses heroic portraits and finely drawn landscapes. In the telling, it reiterates that which, for the colonial or settler subject, is a profoundly reassuring and powerful quest narrative. This article examines significant textual and visual instances of how portrayals of an Australian pioneering spirit play out as part of School Reader fantasies of national growth.
Publication titleJournal of Australian Studies
Department/SchoolSchool of Humanities
Place of publicationAustralia
Socio-economic ObjectivesUnderstanding Australia’s past