Online Courses

At the Centre for Australian Studies, we are committed to innovative digital teaching and online learning. It is our goal to develop and offer our students a wide range of online learning opportunities in Australian Studies. This section lists a selection of courses developed by CAS members and partners.

"Introduction to Australian Studies: Transdisciplinary Perspectives." Collaborative Lecture Course by CAS and Partners

This online lecture course (offered every semester) 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.  This course works 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.

Online Seminar: "Charting the Australian Fantastic" Launched Winter Semester 2020-21 - by Bettina Burger (HHU Düsseldorf), Lucas Mattila (HHU Düsseldorf) and David Kern (Cologne)

This collaborative online course explores the field of Australian speculative fiction. It introduces students to a diverse range of texts and genres including Australian fantasy, science fiction, gothic- and horror fiction. Also, this course explores how contemporary Australian speculative fiction engages with highly acute political issues: ongoing colonialism, racism, environmental destruction and climate change, migration and human rights. This course also functions as an introduction to the wider field of post-colonial studies and aims at offering an overview of key concepts and ideas in the field. The course is a collaborative joint venture between the University of Cologne and HHU Düsseldorf.

Online Seminar: "Introduction to Australian Cinema". Launched Summer Semester 2020 - 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

Online Seminar: "Introduction to the Languages of Australia." Launched Summer Semester 2018 - 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