Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Sharyn Anderson

Proposed title

Colour, Light and the Complexity of Modernity: The Life and Work of Dorothea Mackellar.

Summary

Dorothea Mackellar was an early 20th Century Australian poet who wrote the poem "My Country". First published in 1908, the second verse contains words and phrases that are still repeated today.   Words such as "sunburnt country"; "land of sweeping plains"; "droughts and flooding rains" and “wide brown land” are often heard or read in everyday speech and writing. Yet little is known of her life and literary output and the wider corpus of her poetry and fiction has passed into obscurity.  My thesis aims to redress this neglect: to describe and analyse her poetry thematically and to show it was far from being just the work of an old-fashioned nationalist. Dorothea Mackellar’s lyrics were vibrant, lively and showed a burgeoning appreciation of global contemporary literary trends — including modernism.  An accurate and holistic account of Mackellar’s life is also absent from the limited record : this thesis will examine key aspects of the poet’s life too, through the prism of her verse.

Why I chose CSU?

I successfully completed my M.Ed. (Teacher-Librarianship) at CSU in 2005. This was my first foray into  online learning and I have to say it was every bit as engaging as studying on-campus elsewhere for my B.A./Dip.Ed. and Honours in Australian Literature.  For my Honours I compared the careers of four prominent women in the arts: two painters and two poets – one of whom was Dorothea Mackellar. I chose C.S.U. to complete my Doctorate to focus solely on this important literary contributor to Australian culture.  My earlier experience at CSU ensured I felt confident studying off-campus, even though I live in country Victoria!

Engagement and memberships

Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA); Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT); Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL); Writers Victoria.

Publications

Australian Poetry Journal Vol.5, Issue 1, 2015  ‘About Town’

Professional Journal Articles

Anderson, S. (2009)Library trainees are a great asset’, Connections,

Curriculum Corporation, Carlton South, Issue No.70, Term 3 2009.

Anderson, S. (2009) ‘Traineeships at Brauer’, For Your Information Journal of School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV), Carlton, Vol.13, No1.

Anderson, S. (2008) ‘Brauer College new resource centre’, For Your Information Journal of School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV), Carlton, Vol.12, Number 2 Available DRO

Anderson, S. (2008) ‘The Living Library comes to Brauer’ For Your Information Journal of School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV), Carlton, Vol.12, Number 3.  Available DRO, http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30046300

Booklet: Anderson, S, Black, J 1996, Alan Marshall his life and work, Corangamite Arts Council, Terang, Vic.