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Sunday, 20th 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

Just like a 'nun's picnic'?

  • Mark Finnane
    In a memorable phrase comparing Australia with other places settled by the European empires, Claudio Veliz has described British colonisation of this country as 'like a nun's picnic'. The occasion was his launching of Keith Windschuttle's new book, The Fabrication of Aboriginal History, Volume One: Van Diemen's Land, 1803-1847. What kind of a nun's picnic was this? Unpredictably, Windshcuttle's book confirms that, at least in this part of Australia, the experience of colonisation was devastating for the Aboriginal inhabitants. For even on the most demanding of historical standards as applied ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

Protest and Globalisation: Prospects for Transnational Solidarity (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Melissa Gregg in the November 2002 issue.
    Hefty terms abound in the title of this informative new collection. Contributor Ronaldo Munck sums it up nicely when he writes that globalisation is 'a contested discursive terrain par excellence' (p 143). How right he is. The problem of how to approach the complex, protracted process of cultural upheaval distinguishing the current historical juncture remains an unresolved dimension of this text. In terms of its 'prospects for transnational solidarity', globalisation is shown to be at once invigorating and perplexing for our established modes of thinking and acting. Addressing the issues for ... read more.

Pila Nguru: The Spinifex People (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Greg Cowan in the October 2002 issue.
    Many Australians remain in denial about the nation's cultural inheritance from Aboriginal forbears, and the recent Miriuwung-Gajerrong native title decision suggests that land rights are to be regarded in terms of risk to business ahead of their benefit for Australia's cultural progress.A debate still revolves around nomadic and settled peoples in pre-colonial Australia and the anthropologically based claims that 'civilisation' requires sedentary or settled culture. It seems that many Australians still think of this issue as crucial to the recognition of pre-colonial land ownership (see, for ... read more.

Angels of Death: Exploring the Euthanasia Underground (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Helga Kuhse in the January 2003 issue.
    If I am convinced of one thing, it is this: that those who come after us will marvel at how it could have been that not so long ago, societies such as Australia were denying hopelessly ill and dying patients the legal right to end their lives, with the help of a doctor, when their suffering had become unbearable. Roger Magnusson's monograph, Angels of Death, has deepened this conviction. The book reports and reflects on the author's empirical study of euthanasia practices within HIV/AIDS communities in Melbourne, Sydney and San Francisco. Based on extensive face-to-face interviews and ... read more.

So You Want Media Coverage... A Simple Guide On How To Get It And How To Handle It (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Nigel Starck in the April 2003 issue.
    The writers can't make up their minds, in chapter after chapter, if the media -- as a collective noun -- should be accompanied by verbs in the singular or plural. On the broader canvas, their book demonstrates a similar uncertainty. Its prime audience remains ill-defined. The tenor of its advice is too commonplace for the public relations practitioner, too esoteric for the community publicity officer, and too circumscribed for the academic in search of a fresh text with a home-grown flavour. The foreword, by Noel Whittaker (whose own expertise in the area is not defined either), describes ... read more.

The Suicidal Church: Can the Anglican Church be Saved? (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Marion Spies in the May 2003 issue.
    This is a book for non-theologians; it is a layperson's social analysis of church life today. What one has to know about Caroline Miley in order to understand the thrust of her book is that she has recently converted to Anglicanism and is currently undertaking a degree in theology. So far, however, she has apparently not found what she has been looking for when she joined the fellowship of believers, since her book is permeated by a deep sense of sadness, disappointment and a longing for spiritual healing. Put in a nutshell, her main argument is that on the one hand today's Anglican Church of ... read more.

Johnny, Come Home (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Geoff Parkes in the May 2003 issue.
    The fictional literature of the exchange student experience does not posses an extensive canon. Though many are the travelogues belonging to beery-eyed just-out-of-school backpackers searching out yet another exotic location with an Australian pub, very few have really chronicled the pleasures and perils of plunging into another society and another family without knowing a word of the language or even discussing beforehand how the toothpaste is squeezed at the end of the day. For many, student exchange is the culmination of several years of interviews, extracurricular activities, selection, ... read more.

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