Towards a Multilingual National Literature: The Tung Wah Times and the origins of Chinese Australian Writing


  • Zhong Huang Wuhan University
  • Wenche Ommundsen University of Wollongong


Early Chinese Australian literature


A large and important body of Australian writing has until now remained excluded from histories and anthologies: literature in languages other than English. A new research project entitled 'New transnationalisms: Australia's multilingual literary heritage' traces the history of Australian writing in Chinese Vietnamese, Arabic and Spanish. The case study in this article presents a survey of the earliest Chinese language literary publications in the Sydney newspaper the Tung Wah Times (1898-1936): historical contexts, themes and genres, cultural function within the Chinese Australian community.

Author Biographies

Zhong Huang, Wuhan University

Director, Centre for Australian Studies

Wenche Ommundsen, University of Wollongong

Professor of English Literatures, Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts