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Wednesday, 30th 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

Australia: A Philippine Gaze

  • Raul Pertierra
    A bourgeois mode of being-in-the-world is a concern with the gaze. In a public world of strangers, one is how one appears. Moreover, the mark of a true bourgeois is to conform one’s private behaviour according to public norms. The gaze penetrates and moulds the self. While the self is always oriented to an other, it is the other-as-stranger, which distinguishes bourgeois socialisation from the familiarities encountered in locally-based communities. Weber argued that the origins of a bourgeois sensibility lay in an intense religiosity oriented towards an all-seeing God.1 The conditions of ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

Jews and Australian Politics (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Marion Spies in the October 2005 issue.
    This book contains 13 new pieces about the prominence of Jewish individuals and groups in Australian politics. Additionally, there is an introduction by the editors, a commentary on Jewish politics serving as a conclusion (by Peter Y Medding), and an appendix, listing Jewish parlamentarians (by Hilary L Rubinstein). The book is divided into three parts, 'identifying the Jewish community', 'partisanship and ideologies', and 'issues and controversies'. Most of the essays are written by well-known Jewish-Australian academics, as one would usually say. But for this collection, there is a better ... read more.

Inside Out: An Autobiography (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Debra Zott in the April 2004 issue.
    Reading an autobiography never fails to raise questions in my mind: is the author telling the truth? How much of what s/he writes is the truth? Is this a confession? A catharsis? An attempt to set the record straight? To reveal oneself? Or to reconstruct one's life story? What, I wonder, is left out; and why? How reliable is the author's memory? Will the author, looking back through decades, succumb to the nostalgic practice of sentimentalising, of romanticising the ordinary and not so ordinary details of his or her life? Who, in fact, is the (real) 'I' of autobiography? Is there a real 'I'? ... read more.

The Body: An Anthology (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Dean Durber in the July 2005 issue.
    For many, the body continues to be an object of interest, study, contestation, and often control. Many desire to 'know' it. And yet, in our attempts to decipher its complexities, to deconstruct the essentialist notions that surround and produce it, to undermine the discourses of science, biology, and psychodynamics that dominate it, we might be guilty of forgetting that the body can also be a wayward and wobbly fictional form. Many of us have already become too accustomed to considering the body as an important and very serious object of scrutiny. In contrast, The Body: An Anthology begins by ... read more.

Disability in Australia: Exposing a Social Apartheid (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Charlie Fox in the issue.
    This is an angry book! The authors argue that despite thirty years of apparent improvement to their lives, people with disability in Australia suffer a form of social apartheid: excluded, marginalised, ignored, pitied and discriminated against. Submitting several fields to acute analysis, they explore health and welfare, sport, biotechnology, de-instititutionalisation, migration and orthodox politics. For general readers, policy makers and planners, students and scholars interested in each of these fields, this book should be required reading. So should it be for students of Australian ... read more.

The Films of Peter Weir (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Andrew Mason in the September 2005 issue.
    Those readers who are expecting a film history or handy taxonomy of Australian director Peter Weir's work will not find it in Jonathan Rayner's The Films of Peter Weir (Second Edition). Rayner teaches Media Studies within the School of English at the University of Sheffield and released the first edition of this book in 1998. Rayner is also the author of Contemporary Australian Cinema. (2000) Whilst overall Rayner's The Films of Peter Weir breaks Weir's body of work into groupings of years, within each discussion of a particular film Rayner is not restricted to a sequential or ... read more.

Nudity: A Cultural Anatomy (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Caroline Daley in the April 2005 issue.
    On a recent sabbatical I visited the American Nudist Library. Located in a Florida nudist camp, the library's resources were invaluable in my research into the reshaping and revealing of the modern New Zealand body. When I wrote my leave report and noted the trip to Florida I reassured my colleagues that the nudist library was clothing optional and that I opted to remain clothed: I made the academic equivalent of a 'tits and bums' joke in my leave report. Those who read the report were suitably amused. I was later told that my report was voted best leave report in the Vice-Chancellor's office. ... read more.

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