Westerly Centre

The wheatbelt: a literary history

Further Information



Australian Research Council

$131 000


2012 - 2014


Wheat field This project is the first book length literary history of an Australian region. Through the writing of Dorothy Hewett, Peter Cowan, Jack Davis and John Kinsella, this study of the Western Australian wheatbelt tells the story of twentieth-century Australia in microcosm.


The aim of this project is to trace the formation of the Western Australian wheatbelt through the creative writing of those who have lived in this region, concentrating on stories, plays, poems and novels. It aims to use literary works to comprehend the dramatic transformation of the south-west of Australia during the course of the twentieth century in which an area of land the size of Scotland was cleared of native flora for the production of grain. The outcomes are the isolation and analysis of a significant new data-set. It also represents the first detailed evaluation of Western Australian writing since the state’s sesquicentenary.

Type of grant

The project is funded by an ARC Discovery Grant from the Australian Research Council (ARC).


For a more extensive overview of the project please download a copy of this document.

Wheatbelt overview [RTF, 97.2 KB]
Updated 13 Apr 2012

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