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Monday, 21st April 2014

API Review of Books

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 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

Not Nothing: Shades of Public Space

  • Fiona Harrisson
    imageNot nothing: n, not anything, is untrue or unimportant; negative adverb In English, two negatives equal a positive: 'not nothing', therefore, means something. Nothing is a word commonly used to describe places considered ugly or not of value. This perception often occurs when something is not understood or threatens our understanding — the reaction to which is either to overlook it completely or view it in a negative light. The double negative of 'not nothing' reflects the position of this article: that something can be found in 'nothing' by re-examining those things that seem ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

The Pursuit of Wonder: How Australia's landscape was explored, nature discovered and tourism unleashed (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Paul Genoni in the January 2006 issue.
    Recent years have witnessed a growing academic interest in the history of Australian tourism and leisure travel. Significant studies have included Jim Davidson and Peter Spearitt's Holiday Business: Tourism in Australia since 1870 (2000) and Richard White's On Holidays: A History of Getting Away in Australia (2005); while other contributions such as Leone Huntsman's Sand in our Souls: The Beach in Australian History (2001) have examined particular sites of Australian recreation and leisure. The same period has also seen the emergence in Australian universities of departments dedicated to ... read more.

Liverpool of the South Seas: Perth and its Popular Music (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Daniel Herborn in the April 2005 issue.
    Initially, it seems the timing of Liverpool of the South Seas could not be better: Perth bands are riding high at present, with the likes of The Sleepy Jackson, The Hampdens, End of Fashion, Downsyde, Little Birdy, The Panics and The Fergusons all enjoying success. So the time would seem right for the release of Liverpool..., a collection of essays from students from the Popular Culture Collective, to appear and to examine the scene, to provide some insight and some context. Well, that was the plan. What transpires is rather different and causes one to wonder whether the book was rushed into ... read more.

The Singing (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Zora Simic in the September 2005 issue.
    Broken hearts and illness are universal experiences, but like dreams, they can sometimes grate in the telling. Luckily Australian writer Stephanie Bishop manages to pack these themes with proper resonance, in spite of -- or possibly because of -- her small canvas. Her debut novel The Singing has at its quiet yet turbulent centre an un-named woman with an unidentified illness. She is in love with an un-named man, possibly a few years older, with a family he's left behind and a determination to see their love endure past the frustration of her sickness. They live in the bush outside a city ... read more.

In the Time of Madness (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Des Wagner in the May 2006 issue.
    Madness is an effective label by which to separate out troublesome individuals from a sane society. Since the advent of mental asylums those individuals have been shipped away, preferably over water where they cannot easily escape in transit. With Richard Parry we step into events in which social norms have been abandoned and 'madness' -- cannibalism, pogroms, and intimidation -- reigns. His tales take us through tribal violence, the political ousting of Suharto, and the secession of East Timor. A photograph of a severed head and rumours of tribal conflict lure Parry to Borneo in search of ... read more.

The Child is Wise: Stories of Childhood (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Sylvia Alston in the July 2005 issue.
    In the foreword Veronica Brady says that the writers share with us the 'pleasures of memory', adding that their stories are mostly 'memories of struggle, of failures and disappointments overcome'. The 'pleasures of memory' is a delightful phrase and it is a delight to share this selection of childhood memories. I think Dorothy Hewett sums up the theme of the book nicely when she writes: 'The first house sits in the hollow of the heart, it will never go away. It is the house of childhood become myth, inhabited by characters larger than life whose murmured conversations whisper and tug at the ... read more.

Civil Rights: How Indigenous Australians won formal equality (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Ravi De Costa in the October 2005 issue.
    A number of Australian historians working on indigenous topics have recently re-examined the 1950s and early 1960s in an effort to consider the consequences of this gilded age specifically for indigenous Australians. Sue Taffe's excellent Black and white together examined the cooperative politics of FCAATSI's heyday. Marilyn Lake's biography of Faith Bandler emphasised the importance of the era and another central figure in the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, Jack Horner, has recently provided a pithy memoir of the period called Seeking racial ... read more.

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