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Saturday, 26th July 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

Your Worst Nightmare: Hybridised Demonology in Asian-Australian Women's Writing

  • Shirley Tucker
    The figure of the Asian woman functions in the Australian imaginary as a signifier of the erotic and the exotic. This essay examines historical and contemporary fictional representations of Asian women and locates their ‘unheimlich’ counterparts in alternative portraits of, and by, Asian-Australian women writers. In their depictions of Asian women as vampires, mermaids, and pontianaks,1 these writers have transformed the contradictory images of the sinful and morally corrupt Asian femme fatale, and the passive and childlike oriental flower. I argue that the writers’ ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

One Bright Spot (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Melissa Bellanta in the April 2006 issue.
    Victoria Haskins's One Bright Spot is a culturally significant, moving, and sometimes exhausting work. It begins with the sort of golden moment all historians long for: Haskins's discovery, in the mid-1990s, of a trove of papers belonging to her great-grandmother, Joan Kingsley-Strack, known to her family as 'Ming'. As these papers revealed, Ming had been involved with the Aboriginal citizenship movement in Sydney during the 1930s. She had also been an outspoken opponent of the removal of Aboriginal children from their families. Neither of these were things that Haskins had heard about before. ... read more.

Richard Spencer: Napoleonic War Naval Hero and Australian Pioneer (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Jamie Agland in the November 2005 issue.
    If Richard Spencer (1779-1839) and his family had not emigrated from England to Western Australia in 1833, Gwen Chessell suggests, his 'name would hardly be known and his story would remain hidden among Admiralty documents and long-forgotten accounts of naval actions written during the first half of the nineteenth century'. (p 1) Spencer and his family are conspicuous figures in the history of colonial Western Australia, but little is known of his career in the Royal Navy during the wars against Revolutionary and Napoleonic France. In Richard Spencer: Napoleonic War Naval Hero and Australian ... read more.

New Zealand and the Vietnam War: Politics and Diplomacy (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Richard Kay in the February 2006 issue.
    It has been argued by some social historians that New Zealand has two great pastimes -- rugby and war. For most of the twentieth century it seemed that New Zealand was forever sending military forces to different parts of the world including Gallipoli, France, Palestine, Greece, Italy and Korea. Yet of all these major conflicts, the consequences of the Vietnam war, as Dr Roberto Rabel ably demonstrates in his excellent study, New Zealand and the Vietnam War, continue to reverberate today. Rabel's study is the first comprehensive history of New Zealand and the Vietnam war and is a welcome ... read more.

Picturesque Pursuits: Colonial women artists and the amateur tradition (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Jane Simon in the July 2005 issue.
    Caroline Jordan's Picturesque Pursuits is an elegant piece of cultural history. It offers up a field of art practice that lies beyond the easels and canvases of the professional artist, in the albums, sketchbooks and miniatures of the female amateur colonial artist in Australia. Like the artists she discusses, Jordan's approach to her subjects is detailed and tinted with the pleasure of her discoveries. Picturesque Pursuits is not a celebration of colonial women artists but it is imbued with a sense of why these amateur artists matter. The reader is provided with this sense though Jordan's ... read more.

Postcode: The splintering of a nation (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Ann Jensen in the September 2005 issue.
    Wayne Swan has written a page-turner, which is no small achievement when the topic is social inequities and the content is grounded in statistics. Postcode is a clever title and concept. It describes how geography and economy conspire to isolate some communities from both the real and the iconic prosperity of Australia. This book takes a sobering stare down the prospects for vulnerable groups in an age of rationalised economies and diminishing welfare. In a climate of apparent affluence and increasing apathy over the economic destiny of people who are unable to play the money-making game, ... read more.

The Literary Larrikin: A Critical Biography of TAG Hungerford (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Meredith Whitford in the September 2005 issue.
    Perhaps I should start by declaring an interest. I was editor and production manager of TAG Hungerford's latest book, What happened to Joseph?. (Jacobyte Books, Adelaide, 2005) I don't know him well, except through his writing: we've met only once, and our relationship, although cordial, is professional rather than personal. However, I do know that he did not want this biography written, and he withdrew cooperation and access to sources. As the Foreword says, he does not feel able to endorse the book. (And that's putting it mildly) This is not to say that Crouch is ever unfair to his subject. ... read more.

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