Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Details

Sharrad, P. (2013). ''Which World, and Why do We Worry About It?''. In R. J. Dixon & B. Rooney (Eds.), Scenes of Reading: Is Australian Literature a World Literature? (pp. 16-33). North Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing.


Reviews the institutional history of World Literature, suggesting differences between motivations and applications in the US and in Australia. Applies a postcolonial reading to the debate and challenges the effects of implementing a world literature curriculum from the point of view of Australian literary studies and Indigenous writing.The question of whether or not Australianliterature is a world literature seems atfirst glance an odd one. By one definition,Australian literature is that produced byAustralians, mostly consumed by Australians,and critically evaluated predominantly (thoughnot exclusively) in relation to its nationalcontext. If the obvious answer is a clear 'no'' then why is it being asked? What else mightit mean? To find answers, we can look at three'scenes of reading': first, the public arena ofthe literary industry; second, the scenes ofour own academic reading; third, the scenesthat may result if we do move towards a worldliterature framework for reading Australianliterature.