Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



39 EDUCATION| 45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES| 470299 Cultural studies not elsewhere classified| 470305 Early English languages| 470306 English as a second language| 470307 English language

Avondale Research Centre

Centre for Advancement of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning


When Mark Salber Phillip’s suggested that history could be written as a type of combinational genre, with traditional empirical elements and fictional, literary elements working together to create temporal distance between the reader and the events, he saw this as a way of forcing us to look more broadly at the meanings of history, rather than focusing on a singular event. Using his claim that history cannot be understood as a singular form, but rather as "a cluster of overlapping and competing genres" that press the reader to a new degree of involvement in a story, it can be argued that an understanding of Australian history and its people, is enhanced by the experience of reading Australian speculative histories (Phillips 2003 218). Two valuable examples of these speculative histories are Clare G. Coleman’s Terra Nullius (2017) and Terry Pratchett’s The Last Continent (1998). Both are atypical engagements with Australian history that examine influences on Australian cultural behaviour and evolution through re-imagined interactions with the nation’s history, environment and mythologies.

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