The name Christos Tsiolkas may as well be a synonym for “controversial.” The term peppers most critical and popular articles about the writer’s work, such that what Zuckerman terms Tsiolkas’s “provocations” almost no longer bear comment. Yet for first-year students of Australian literature, such content may not be as commonplace as this discourse suggests. Indeed, the provocations of the Tsiolkas oeuvre, despite their affiliation with key genres and concerns of contemporary Australian literature, may prove too confronting or too overwhelming for the novice literary critic. This article maps a range of issues arising from the study of Tsiolkas’s work in a first-year Australian literature course at a regional university in Australia. With a particular focus on what is perhaps the author’s most controversial work, Dead Europe (2005), we consider why Tsiolkas’s narratives can be so difficult for literary studies students and outline how the use of reflective practice offers a safe space for engaging with such “triggering” work.
Gildersleeve, Jessica; Cantrell, Kate; Prowse, Nycole; Bickle, Sharon; and Bryce, India
"Tsiolkas in the Classroom: Confronting our Discomfort,"
Antipodes: Vol. 35:
1, Article 10.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/antipodes/vol35/iss1/10