Staff Directory

Assoc. Prof. Michael Griffith Name: Assoc. Prof. Michael Griffith
Associate Professor (Literature & Language)
Phone
+612 9701 4192
Organisational Area
Faculty of Education and Arts
Department
School of Arts (NSW)
Location
Strathfield
Building 613 - Saint Edmund Building (25A Barker Road, Strathfield NSW 2135)-Level 2-Room 613.2.20
Biographical Information

Qualifications: B.A. (Hons), PhD, University of Sydney; Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (ACU).

Teaching and Professional Interests. 

While my PhD specialization is Australian Literature, I am especially interested in the relationship between the Sacred in Literature and the Arts. This is the focus of a number of recent conferences that I have co-curated: Writing the Sacred (2102), Addressing the Sacred (2013) and Grounding the Sacred (forthcoming 2015). I have edited several volumes of Religion, Literature and the Arts conference proceedings including a special Australian Issue of Oxford University's Literature and Thelogy  http://litthe.oxfordjournals.org/content/10/3/local/front-matter.pdf. I am now a regular reviewer for submissions to this journal and am frequently invited to assess PhD theses in this interdisciplinary field. 

I have been asked to produce (with Dr Elaine Lindsay) the 2016 Australian Issue of Literature and Theology which will be based around the 2015 Grounding the Sacred Conference. 

With Dr Elaine Lindsay I also co-curated the recent symposium in honour of David Malouf’s 80th Birthday. David Malouf, my old teacher and friend, has visited ACU students each year for the last 10 years and has shared his observations on his work and the creative process. The symposium has led to the publication of a special David Malouf issue of JASAL (the Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature). This issue has been co-edited by Elaine Lindsay and myself and is now published: http://www.nla.gov.au/openpublish/index.php/jasal/issue/view/267

For some years I have been researching the impact of William Blake on the Australian Imagination and recently gave a paper on this at the London Blake Society (2014). See Review

My major publication to date is the Harper-Collins critical biography of the Australian Catholic poet Francis Webb which has recently been released as an updated (2012) Kindle version.

Along with these academic literary interests I have, in the last few years, had a special interest in the way new technologies impact on my students learning and their critical and creative engagement with literature. To this end I have been actively researching the impact of literary blogging and the creation of “transmedia” creative output. I have applied this interest especially in my teaching the homeless and disadvantaged through the ACU-based Clemente/ Catalyst program run at Mission Australia in Sydney. Computer technology has assisted these learners to develop their literary understanding, their social networking and their creativity. The fruit of this teaching will be published in a volume of Clemente Creative Writing later this year (2014).

 

The web site that I use to engage creatively with my students is at http://michaelgriffith1.com. My full teaching portfolio can be found at: http://michaelgriffith1tp.wordpress.com/

Many of most recent publications have all been in this field of the impact of technology on the teaching of literature.  

I am happy to supervise students across any of these areas, including the impact of technology on student engagement. 

Research Interests

William Blake ; Francis Webb ; The Sacred in Literature and the Arts ; Transmedia & Blogging ; Australian Literature 

Methods Expertise

interdisciplinary, new historicism, transmedia

Research Projects

           Current Projects

•An exploration of the impact of using Transmedia Vlogs on the engagement of students in English Literature courses at ACU. (Master) (Principal Supervisor) 

•William Blake and the New Testament- focus on the image of "The Lamb" (Master) (Principal Supervisor) 

Selected Publications

2013

Transmedia in English literature classes: A literature review and project proposal, in Electric dreams: 30th ASCILITE conference 2013

Where to from here? Reflections, rethinking and reimagining higher education assessment in the New Media Age, in Electric dreams: 30th ASCILITE conference 2013

2012

The 5 C's of Literacy and Literary Skills Development: Conversations, Community, Collaboration, Creativity and Connection, in Ascilite2012 Conference Proceedings: Future Challenges/Sustainable Futures

Using Blogging as a Powerful Stimulus to Enhance Student Engagement in Higher Education, in Engaging Students: Proceedings of the 2nd Australian Catholic University Conference on Learning and Teaching

God's Fool: The Life and Poetry of Francis Webb (Kindle Updated Republication of Harper-Collins Book)

2009

Empowering Adult Learners through Blog: An Australian Case Study, in Adult Learning in the Digital Age

2005

Thomas Merton on William Blake 'To Look Through Matter to Eternity', in Merton Annual Volume 18

2002

The Female Artist as Icon of the Liberation of the Spirit, in Seeking the Centre; RLA Conference Proceedings

1996

Literature and Theology: Special Issue- Religion, Literature and the Arts in Australia, in Literature and Theology

 

Awards:

In 1991 I won a Human Rights Award for my book "God's Fool" which celebrated the life of Australia's great Catholic poet Francis Webb. This book was also short- listed for the Australian publishers "Banjo Awards" in 1992. In 2006 I was joint winner of a Carrick University Outstanding Teaching Award "For transformational teaching and learning contributions within an unique Australian community-based tertiary education program for homeless and marginalised people".

Teaching  & Professional Interests

During my time at ACU I have been lecturing in the following fields of literature: Introduction to Literary Studies, Australian Literature, Nineteenth Century Literature, Twentieth Century Literature, Shakespeare and the Renaissance, Special Author Study: William Blake. I have  also developed a special interest in the relationship between literature, spirituality/ the sacred and the arts. For 5 years (between 1994 and 1998) I was Director of  the Centre for the Studies in Religion, Literature and the Arts at ACU and was instrumental in hosting 5 international conferences in this interdisciplinary field. Since that time I have continued my teaching and research interests and was promoted to the position of Associate Professor. In the last five years I have developed a keen interest in the use of computer technology as an aid in the teaching of the humanities and have applied this especially in my teaching the homeless and disadvantaged through the ACU-based Clemente/ Catalyst program run at Mission Australia in Sydney. In 1991 I won a Human Rights Award for my book "God's Fool" which celebrated the life of Australia's great Catholic poet Francis Webb. This book was also short- listed for the Australian publishers "Banjo Awards". In 2006 I was joint winner of a Carrick University Outstanding Teaching Award "For transformational teaching and learning contributions within an unique Australian community-based tertiary education program for homeless and marginalised people". I have published widely in Australian Literature, Literature and Spirituality and, most recently, computer enhanced teaching.

Biographical

I migrated to Australia in 1964. My mother was Austrian, my father English and I grew up in a bilingual environment (German/ English). This has enabled me to keep a connection with German literature: currently (2014) I am teaching a seminar series on "The Sacred in the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke" at the Aquinas Academy in Sydney.

I am married with three children and three grandchildren and live with my wife Rose at the edge of the bush on the northern fringe of Sydney. My interests beyond academia include Australian native plants, bushwalking and music making. 

Education

In England I was educated by the Presentation Brothers at Presentation College in Reading, Berkshire. My last year of schooling was in Australia at Normanhurst Boys' High School, Sydney. After a short post-school career in rock and roll I entered Sydney University in 1968 studying part-time for a BA (English Literature, German, Indonesian and Malaysian Studies). I completed my honours year in English Literature in 1973. During my undergraduate years I also taught senior English at Marist Brothers North Shore High School and at Randwick TAFE. I joined Catholic College of Education as a lecturer in 1977 and have remained with this institution ever since during its growth into Australian Catholic University. In 1983 I completed a part-time PhD by research in Australian Literature through Sydney University. This  2 volume thesis was on Francis Webb's Poetry in the Context of Mid-Twentieth Century Australian Culture. Francis Webb is regarded by many as Australia's greatest Catholic poet.

In 2010 I completed the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education at ACU and also completed the Accreditation as Supervisor of Higher Degrees at Australian Catholic University. I am a fully accredited supervisor up to the PhD level. I am also a regular marker of PhDs from other universities.

Here is my brief summary of the experience and learning provided by the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education:

"I completed the ACU Graduate Certificate in Higher Education in 2010 finishing up with a unit entitled "Research-based Teaching and Learning". This was a very valuable exercise because not only did it force me to go through all hoops for ethical approval -which our graduate students often have to do- but it also provided an opportunity to research the value of the internet-based teaching strategies I have been exploring with literature students at ACU. The specific topic was "An exploration of student experience of the use of technology in teaching and learning literature at Australian Catholic University". I chose to do this with a third year group of students who in their formative assessment were using blogging as the platform for their weekly literature journal. As a summative assignment this work had to be converted into an ePortfolio. The results of the research were very satisfying and confirmed my sense of the extent to which student engagement with their learning is enhanced by use of the Web 2.0 technologies that are part of their daily lives. The research also confirmed that this technology facilitates a strong learning community shaped by students' interaction with, and peer review of each other's work.”

“Other units studied in the lead up to this final unit were 

Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Contexts and Issues in Tertiary Education

Curriculum Design, Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education.”

“These units helped to sharpen my understanding of the Higher Education issues that are impinging on our University (eg the Bradley Review) and how these issues are actually shaping elements of ACU policy. The hands-on critical exploration of ACU on-line documents (part of the assessment) was a valuable exercise in getting to know the underlying structure of our work-place. On the practical side, this course  gave me a much clearer understanding of what is meant by aligned teaching and assessment. I now approach with confidence the various taxonomies that help to discriminate the kind of assessment items we set at each level of our units and our courses (Bloom's, Biggs'); I  am also more aware of how teaching strategies are aligned to formative and summative assessment items- and to Graduate Attributes. Overall it has been a valuable experience and I would recommend it to anyone working at ACU who wishes to gain a deeper appreciation of all the forces that shape our academic practice.  "

 

 

Publications

Selected Publications

2013

Transmedia in English literature classes: A literature review and project proposal, in Electric dreams: 30th ASCILITE conference 2013

Where to from here? Reflections, rethinking and reimagining higher education assessment in the New Media Age, in Electric dreams: 30th ASCILITE conference 2013

2012

The 5 C's of Literacy and Literary Skills Development: Conversations, Community, Collaboration, Creativity and Connection, in Ascilite2012 Conference Proceedings: Future Challenges/Sustainable Futures

Using Blogging as a Powerful Stimulus to Enhance Student Engagement in Higher Education, in Engaging Students: Proceedings of the 2nd Australian Catholic University Conference on Learning and Teaching

Book

God's Fool: The Life and Poetry of Francis Webb (Kindle Updated Republication of Harper-Collins Book- Sydney: HarperCollins, Angus & Robertson, 1991.

2009

Book chapter in Online Education and Adult Learning: New Frontiers for Teaching Practices, ed Terry Kidd. Hershey PA: IGI Global Publishing 2010.

Empowering Adult Learners through Blog: An Australian Case Study, in Adult Learning in the Digital Age

2005

Thomas Merton on William Blake 'To Look Through Matter to Eternity', in Merton Annual Volume 18 edited by Victor A Kramer. Louisville: Fons Vitae, 2005.

2004

Book chapter

“William Blake and the Post-Colonial Imagination in Australia" (127-140), Chapter 8 in Literary Canons and Religious Identity, edited by Erik Borgman, Bart Philipsen and Lea Verstricht. Aldershot/Burlington: Ashgate, 2004.

2002

The Female Artist as Icon of the Liberation of the Spirit, in Seeking the Centre; RLA Conference Proceedings

1996

As Editor:

Religion, Literature and the Arts International Conference Proceedings. Sydney: Centre for Studies in Religion, Literature and the Arts. 1994-1998:  a special Australian Issue of Oxford University's Literature and Thelogy  http://litthe.oxfordjournals.org/content/10/3/local/front-matter.pdf

1991

Cap and Bells: The Poetry of Francis Webb. Sydney: HarperCollins Angus & Robertson, .

 

Research

Teaching and Professional Interests. 

While my PhD specialization is Australian Literature, I am especially interested in the relationship between the Sacred in Literature and the Arts. This is the focus of a number of recent conferences that I have co-curated: Writing the Sacred (2102), Addressing the Sacred (2013) and Grounding the Sacred (forthcoming 2015). I have edited several volumes of Religion, Literature and the Arts conference proceedings including  a special Australian Issue of Oxford University's Literature and Thelogy  http://litthe.oxfordjournals.org/content/10/3/local/front-matter.pdf

I have been asked to produce (with Dr Elaine Lindsay) the 2016 Australian Issue of Literature and Theology which will be based around the 2015 Grounding the Sacred Conference. 

With Dr Elaine Lindsay I also co-curated the recent symposium in honour of David Malouf’s 80th Birthday. David Malouf, my old teacher and friend, has visited ACU students each year for the last 10 years and has shared his observations on his work and the creative process. The symposium has led to the publication of a special David Malouf issue of JASAL (the Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature). This issue has been co-edited by Elaine Lindsay and myself and is due for publication late in 2014.

For some years I have been researching the impact of William Blake on the Australian Imagination and recently gave a paper on this at the London Blake Society (2014). See Review

My major publication to date is the Harper-Collins critical biography of the Australian Catholic poet Francis Webb which has recently been released as an updated (2012) Kindle version.

Along with these academic literary interests I have, in the last few years, had a special interest in the way new technologies impact on my students learning and their critical and creative engagement with literature. To this end I have been actively researching the impact of literary blogging and the creation of “transmedia” creative output. I have applied this interest especially in my teaching the homeless and disadvantaged through the ACU-based Clemente/ Catalyst program run at Mission Australia in Sydney. Computer technology has assisted these learners to develop their literary understanding, their social networking and their creativity. The fruit of this teaching will be published in a volume of Clemente Creative Writing later this year (2014).

 

The web site that I use to engage creatively with my students is at http://michaelgriffith1.com. My full teaching portfolio can be found at: http://michaelgriffith1tp.wordpress.com/

Many of most recent publications have all been in this field of the impact of technology on the teaching of literature.  

I am happy to supervise students across any of these areas, including the impact of technology on student engagement. 

Research Interests

William Blake ; Francis Webb ; The Sacred in Literature and the Arts ; Transmedia & Blogging ; Australian Literature 

Methods Expertise

interdisciplinary, new historicism, transmedia

Research Projects

           Current Projects

•An exploration of the impact of using Transmedia Vlogs on the engagement of students in English Literature courses at ACU. (Master) (Principal Supervisor) 

•William Blake and the New Testament- focus on the image of "The Lamb" (Master) (Principal Supervisor) 

Experience

Industry Experience Teaching at High School Level: Marist Brothers, North Shore (1970-1972); Randwick TAFE (1972-1973). Tutoring at University Level: Sydney University (1973-1977). Lecturing at CCES then ACU 1977 to the present. HSC marking 2006-2010.

Currently Associate Professor. 

Professional Memberships
Professional Memberships: NSW Writers Centre. Fellowship of Australian Authors. English Teachers Association, NSW. Blake Society, Australia.
 

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