Professor Jeffrey Weingarten has spent most of his academic life in the study of Canada’s literature, and the history that informs it. Like all our guests, he is an enthusiastic searcher for meaning and an honest broker of his country’s past.
Many years ago, while teaching at a school in the Middle East, I found myself teaching Canadian history. This was a challenge on two fronts, firstly I am not a history teacher, and secondly, I am not Canadian. However, Australia and Canada do share a colonial past and both are still members of the Commonwealth of Nations for whom the Queen, in England is our Head of State.
The biggest difference in our histories rested on the fact that Canada had not been a penal colony. From what I could understand, the major manifestation of this difference was seen in the way we have managed conflict. Australians have taken pride in being fairly laid back and friendly, however, we are not amenable. The short history of European settlement in Australia is filled with people speaking up, rebelling and generally ensuring our displeasure is obvious. Many of our heroes are bushrangers. While it seemed to me that Canadians were more restrained, more likely to hide their annoyances and not speak up.
Sadly, the one thing we do have in common is the horrible way we treated the indigenous people of the land we colonised.
Jeffrey Aaron Weingarten
On the transcript page you will find a list of texts and people with links to more information.
Season 1, Episode 1 | 38 min
We Teach Well co-founders Carolyn and Judy introduce the World Lit podcast and their reasons for creating it.
Season 1, Episode 2 Gwee Sui Li - Singapore 45 mins
Gwee Sui Li, a poet and educator from Singapore joins us to talk about Singapore literature.
Season 1, Episode 3 Angela Tutty - New Zealand Part 1 | 43 mins
Angela Tutty, a New Zealand teacher joins us to talk about New Zealand literature.
Season 1, Episode 3 Angela Tutty - New Zealand Part 2 | 41 mins
We are with Angela Tutty again, learning more about New Zealand literature.
Season 1, Episode 4 John Ryan - Ireland | 42 mins
Irish teacher, John Ryan joins us to explore the history that has informed Irish culture, while introducing some new names to add to our lists.
Season 1, Episode 5 Milton Villarroel - Bolivia | 47 mins
A fascinating look at Latin American and Bolivian culture and history with Bolivian Educator Milton Villarroel. This one has given me a few more books to read and a couple of people to chase down. Milton has already done work on cultural signifiers, what Edward T Hall calls The Secret Language.
Season 1, Episode 6 Jeffrey Weingarten - Canada | 49 mins
We are joined by Professor Jeffrey Weingarten from Canada who takes us for an entertaining walk through Canada's literary history. We also hear about Canada's colonial past. And their is an interesting side discussion about how we manage 'difficult' in the 21st C