AS Online Features

Australian Studies In Conversation
Indigenous Voices
UNESCO Year of Indigenous Languages

Network ‘Australian Studies Online’

In 2015 Prof. Dany Adone and Prof. Beate Neumeier of the English Department at the University of Cologne launched a Germany-wide network initiative to formalise a collaboration between German universities for the promotion and implementation of an Australian Studies online programme. They organised two preparatory meetings at the University of Cologne in 2015 and 2016 with participants from neighbour universities in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, namely Bonn, Düsseldorf and Duisburg-Essen, as well as the universities of Mainz, Potsdam, Stuttgart, Trier and Heidelberg.

We have now launched the first joint online course, an “Introduction to Australian Studies” from the perspective of a variety of different disciplines including literary and cultural studies, linguistics, history, geography, anthropology, biology, economics and law, which is being run for the third time in the summer of 2019. This online-lecture is based on the currently ongoing lecture-series at the University of Cologne. Also, a first online-seminar with a linguistic focus on Australia was held in the summer semester of 2018.

Summer Semester 2020: eLearning Seminar, “Introduction to Australian Cinema”, by Dr. Victoria Herche (Cologne)

The concept of a ‘national cinema’ is a way of framing and classifying an industry, its personnel, and its products. Australia’s film industry is known as a medium-sized English-language cinema, for it is a comparatively small one and primarily import-oriented. However, due to its dependency on state funding, there are nevertheless attempts to define some form of homogeneous cinematic form and practice that gives predictability and coherence to the cinematic representation of ‘Australianness’.

By referring to various cinematic examples from the 1910s to 2010s, this course will provide an overview of the history of Australian cinema. Typical tropes and fictions defining ‘Australianness’ will be introduced and challenged. In particular, by referring to Indigenous Australian and Migrant Australian cinema, the diversity and richness of contemporary Australian cinema will be highlighted, since filmmakers increasingly challenge and redefine a homogenous image of what it means to ‘be Australian’. By applying diverse eLearning tools and assignments, students will practice their skills in film analysis and the application of postcolonial theories.

For all information or requests pertaining to this course, please contact

Winter Semester 2017/2018: eLearning Lecture, “Introduction to Australian Studies: Transdisciplinary Perspectives”

This lecture course provides an Introduction to Australian Studies, encouraging a dialogue between different disciplinary perspectives ranging from Linguistics and Literary/Media Studies, to History, Geography, Anthropology, and Biology.
Participating contributors include Prof. Dany Adone, Dr. Katrin Althans, Prof. Heinz Antor, Dr. Amelie Bernzen, Dr. Eva Bischoff, Prof. Boris Braun, Dr. Melanie Brück, Prof. Norbert Finzsch, Dr. Anke Frank, Victoria Herche, Christina Ringel, Geoff Rodoreda, Prof. Barbara Schmidt-Haberkamp, Dr. Carsten Wergin.
The course is designed as an asynchronous teaching format to provide flexibility regarding location and hours for students. A variety of e-learning formats, including streamed lectures, discussion forums, and quizzes will be used.

This course will work with ILIAS, the University of Cologne’s e-learning platform. Please register for the seminar’s ILIAS course as soon as possible. All assigned readings and information will be accessible via ILIAS.

For all information or requests pertaining to this course, please contact

Click here to download the course schedule

Summer Semester 2018: eLearning Seminar, “An Introduction to the Languages of Australia”, by Dr. Melanie Brück (Cologne)

This online seminar offers students a broad introduction to Australia from the perspective of Linguistics. It introduces students to the linguistic situation in Australia and covers further fields such as Traditional Languages, Contact Languages, Varieties of English in Australia, as well as Language Endangerment. Beyond linguistic analysis, this seminar also intends to introduce students to the cultural significance of language for Indigenous people as well as to the importance of high ethical standards in linguistic research.

For all information or requests pertaining to this course, please contact