Forthcoming seminar: “The stories we are not telling: Why Australian literature can’t gain traction in schools (and what needs to be done about it)

The stories we are not telling: Why Australian literature can’t gain traction in schools (and what needs to be done about it)

Australian Centre seminar presented by Larissa McLean Davies

Wednesday 28 October 1.00-2.00pm. Please register online to join the seminar. All welcome.

Stories and literature play an important and necessary role in understanding the past and in creating the future. Yet, Australian literature, particularly texts reflecting the diverse voices of Indigenous writers, women, and other marginalised groups, continue to be underrepresented in schools. In this talk, Larissa will explore the reasons why Australian texts continue to be marginalised in education, when there is a clear desire for diverse Australian voices amongst the reading public.

In order to develop these ideas, she will draw on data collected via surveys of secondary English teachers for a pilot research project called Teaching Australia, and for the ARC project Investigating literary Knowledge in the Making of English Teachers. Arguing that research needs to do more than acknowledge and analyse the continued disenfranchisement of Australian literature in schools, Larissa will also share current research initiatives, being undertaken by the Literary Education Lab,  that are designed to support teachers to become researchers of Australian literature, and introduce diverse contemporary texts into their classrooms. 

Larissa McLean Davies’ research spans the fields of literary studies and English education. Larissa is currently Associate Professor, Language and Literacy Education at the Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne. Larissa is the lead Chief Investigator of the ARC Discovery Project Investigating Literary Knowledge in the Making of English Teachers and leads research into the teaching of Australian literature for the Literary Education Lab. 


The Australian Centre hosts interdisciplinary discussions on research important to contemporary Australia, and Australia’s relations to the region and the world.