Memory: The Theatre of the Past


  • John Ryan



Memory, Australian literature, teaching curriculum, Gail Jones


This paper explores curricula where a cultural study of texts offers opportunities for New South Wales high school students to consider the discourses and stories that have continued to preoccupy and shape their own society and lives these last hundred and fifty years. Walter Benjamin’s astute observation that Memory is not an instrument for exploring the past but its theatre provides the starting point for the discussion. In particular, the paper will explore the praxis of cultural studies scholar and novelist Gail Jones whose interests in modernity, memory and image currently engage high school students in their final year of study.