Environment in Australian Literature

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


While the relationship between humans and environment in Australia stretches back some 50,000 years, the colonization of the continent by Europeans in the late 18th century dramatically altered Australia’s ecology. Creative literature has responded variously to the encounter that colonization precipitated. In particular, modulations appear through successive epistemological and ideological paradigms: Enlightenment rationality, romantic sensibility, nationalist celebration, and ecological alarm. While early conservationist impulses are visible in the colonial period, in the middle of the 20th century, the birth of the modern ecological consciousness understands that not only particular species or habitats are at risk, but the entirety of nature seems to suddenly face a historically unprecedented vulnerability. In this sense, it is methodologically useful to separate Australian environmental texts between those that are “pre-ecological” and those that are “post-ecological.”
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature
Subtitle of host publicationOceanic Literatures, 20th and 21st Century (1900-present)
Place of PublicationUK
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


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