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Altitude BirdIssue 44
Features reviews by Kathleen Broderick, Linn Miller, Christine Choo, Bill Thorpe, David Ritter, Eve Vincent, Stephanie Bishop, Alison Miles, Richard Kay, Amanda Day, Bernard Whimpress, Mads Clausen, Marion May Campbell, Sylvia Alston, Catie Gilchrist, Eva Chapman, Lucy Dougan, Stephen Lawrence and Nathanael O'Reilly. Click here for more details.


Altitude

Altitude BirdPopular Music: Practices, Formations and Change - Australian Perspectives
The papers collected here in this special edition of Altitude offer a brief snapshot of popular music research broadly connected with Australia. The essays demonstrate the variety of theoretical and methodological approaches used by researchers in the fields of popular music studies and cultural studies to explore themes of popular music practice, formation and change in an Australian context. Click here for more details.



 
 
 
 
Network Scholars

In the Vernacular: On the Architecture of the National Museum of Australia

  • Naomi Stead
    imageThe recently completed National Museum of Australia (NMA) in Canberra, designed by architects Ashton Raggatt McDougall, has polarised the architectural community in Australia. While much of the critical comment centres on its apparent contravention of standards of propriety in civic architecture, this article examines the building’s playful and obtuse character in light of its supposed ‘populism’. The NMA’s avowedly ‘anti-monumental’ building has been widely read as being ‘populist’. In examining the veracity of such claims, this article finds ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

Preoccupations in Australian Poetry (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Andrew Johnson in the November 2005 issue.
    These days, the printing, let alone the reprinting of a work of scholarship is an occasion for celebration, and even surprise. The reprinting of these two books also offers an opportunity to revisit a perennial question of Judith Wright studies: namely, the relationship between Wright's activism and her art. Which of these has priority? Which should? One argument would have it that the two are indivisible; that Wright's poetry was informed from the beginning by a social conscience, and that her aesthetic project gave shape to her public and political life. Certainly, Wright's success as a ... read more.
     

The Cry for the Dead (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Andrew Johnson in the November 2005 issue.
    These days, the printing, let alone the reprinting of a work of scholarship is an occasion for celebration, and even surprise. The reprinting of these two books also offers an opportunity to revisit a perennial question of Judith Wright studies: namely, the relationship between Wright's activism and her art. Which of these has priority? Which should? One argument would have it that the two are indivisible; that Wright's poetry was informed from the beginning by a social conscience, and that her aesthetic project gave shape to her public and political life. Certainly, Wright's success as a ... read more.

Levin's God (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Tony Smith in the April 2004 issue.
    Phra Konrad, a German monk in a Thai monastery where Levin Hoffman has fled to escape his demons, grows impatient with the young man's inability to empty his mind. 'Enough,' he says. 'If you cannot let this rubbish go, you should leave. Take your musical god back to Australia and be happy. Maybe you can write a book about it one day and be famous.' Roger Wells has apparently done just that, and the quality of the writing in Levin's God, a novel inspired by personal experience, serves notice that the author deserves some attention. Levin, a young man drifting around Melbourne in the 1970s, ... read more.

Border Crossings: words and images (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Lisette Kaleveld in the March 2005 issue.
    A story, poetry, an art exhibition, a journal, a photographic diary: Border Crossings is a multidimensional work and a narrative with soul. It's a book for a rainy afternoon. The author presents his life in fragments and flows, mini-essays, poems and photographs. He lives as a Canadian Australian French English speaker who lacks a permanent soul and is forever at home, and always traveling through both countries and languages. I was especially attracted to the themes. It's about mixing it up -- blood, family history, heartland, tongue -- who doesn't have a patchy tale to tell? It is at best a ... read more.

Reports from a Wild Country: Ethics for Decolonisation (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Ravi De Costa in the April 2005 issue.
    Deborah Bird Rose's latest work is the product of extended reflections on the ways by which Australians have hitherto understood and engaged with Indigenous cultures, those cultures themselves and what they might tell all Australians about the impending ecological crises the country is facing. In particular, she urges us to work on a new ethics that centres a concern about Indigenous suffering and colonial violence. Rose develops her 'ethics of decolonisation' as a critique of European philosophical commitments. She sees these embedded in such language as 'wildlife' or 'emancipation' and on ... read more.

Humanities Research Centre: A history of the first 30 years of the HRC at the Australian National University (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Adam Atkinson in the September 2005 issue.
    Glen Barclay and Caroline Turner regard their history of the Humanities Research Centre (HRC) as 'certainly a story worth telling'. (p xiii) And it is certainly worth reading, unfolding a larger story not only of the Centre's struggles and challenges, but also of the plight of the humanities as a whole within Australia. In this sense, the book has the strange effect of being both reassuring and discomforting: the humanities are still holding on, but 'holding on' implies that the 'siege' has by no means lifted. The HRC, though, seems to have thrived on the struggle and Barclay and Turner, ... read more.



 
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