The enchantment of English: professing English literatures in Australian universities
Sydney University Press
The enchantment of English is a study of the teaching of English in Australian universities, from its beginnings in the second half of the nineteenth century through to the 1960s and 1970s, a period in which universities proliferated and diversified. Written from the belief that every discipline is enhanced by understanding the arguments made for its existence and the conditions in which it was established, the author aims to help students and colleagues to think critically about the impact of institutional location in forming our habits of mind.
Amidst these stories of politics, critical debates, scrambling for appointments in specific areas and disputes about the need to satisfy the demands of students and the public for 'usefulness', this history reveals something intangible but durable: the power of the literary text over the imagination, and the power of the idea of England and its writers as a basis and motive for reading and study - hence, The enchantment of English.
About the Author
Leigh Dale is Head of the School of English Literatures and Philosophy at the University of Wollongong, where she also teaches in the English program. She is editor of the journal Australian Literary Studies, founded in 1963 and now a quarterly journal of criticism. In addition to the history of the discipline, her research interests are in Australian literature and in the representation of self-harm in literary, scholarly and popular texts.