Australia’s relationship with Asia has always been a focal point for heated discussion and, frequently, misunderstanding.
A research project underway in the Queensland University of Technology attempts to answer that question by exploring the function of children’s literature in forming young readers’ attitudes to Australia’s past, present and future connections with Asia.
The Asian-Australian Children’s Literature and Publishing project attempts to record different ways that Australian children’s literature has dealt with Asia because multiculturalism became national government coverage in 1972.
It features a vast selection of functions that include Asian-Australian articles, characters, setting, cultures and experiences as well as countless functions of Australian children’s literature which were translated into Asian languages.
Children’s Literature And Intercultural Understanding
With the arrival of multiculturalism under Gough Whitlam in Australia from the 1970s, the conservative perspectives towards ethnic gap that dominated ancient publishing started to give way to a positive vision of cultural exchange and party.
Since the mid 1990s further changes from the literature have represented Australia’s shifting and sometimes contentious policies concerning immigration, asylum seekers and refugees.
Children’s literature has the capacity to deepen intercultural perception by providing young readers an empathetic perspective to human suffering, and by introducing different storytellers who represent a diversity of cultural history and experience.
Through global scholarly organisations like the Australasian Children’s Literature Association for Research and the International Research Society at Children’s Literature, Australian children’s literature has been discussed alongside other worldwide literatures. These cultural exchanges notify the study and instruction of children’s literature in schools and universities.
An additional way for distributing information about Australian literature is via AustLit. Directed by the University of Queensland, AustLit is a nonprofit, research-driven cooperation between a community of investigators in Australian universities and the National Library of Australia.
Attitudes Into Asia
The AACLAP job is a tactical response to increasing interest in Asian-Australian relations along with the drive for Asia literacy in Australian universities.
Among those 3 cross-curriculum priorities of the Australian national program would be to integrate “Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia” in teaching young Australians about the area, its own languages, languages, and literature.
The significance of accessibility to a detailed dataset of all Asian-Australian children’s texts is underscored from the requirements of the federal program.
This is particularly so in both English and History by which pupils are expected to see modern world literature, including texts from around Asia, and produce an improved intercultural comprehension.
AACLAP tries to catch the diversity of intercultural connections via a thorough bibliographic dataset of children’s literature published through a 43-year interval from the start of official multiculturalism in Australia in 1970 up to the current time (2013).
The dataset now comprises 1,400 records which have autobiographical works, fiction, criticism, poetry, drama, short stories, movie, manga, and film books.
Since Asia is an area of fantastic diversity across histories, languages, and cultural groups, AACLAP concentrates on texts mostly about South and East Asia (such as a choice concerning the Middle East) which were printed in Australia, or even composed or exemplified by Australians, such as authors of Asian tradition (for instance, Gabrielle Wang, Shaun Tan, Alice Pung and Chris Cheng).
It also has Australian functions which were translated into a minumum of one Asian language, with focus on Chinese, Japanese, Malay, Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, Indonesian and Hindi.
The Near Future Of Asian-Australian Children’s Literature
There are just a few of Asian-Australian writers writing about Asia in children’s/young adult fiction and there are not many books in which the first-person narrator or primary character is Asian or Asian-Australian.
Additionally surprisingly, there are not many Australian functions with Asian material which were interpreted in an Asian language translations are mostly composed of award-winning or famous Australian writers (like Pamela Allen and Mem Fox) and functions that populate iconic vision of Australia like the bush and the Anzac legend.
Whilst anime and manga are increasing in popularity worldwide, there are not many such functions printed in Australia or by Australian authors for kids or young adults.
Queenie Chan and Madeleine Rosca have composed original English language manga, and Emily Rodda’s Deltora Quest has been accommodated into both the anime and manga, so it’ll be interesting to find out exactly what the future holds with regard to such difficulties.