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Wednesday, 23rd 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

Literacy and Gender

  • Christine Nicholls
    In this paper I will argue that the conduct of the Hindmarsh Island Bridge Royal Commission has been fundamentally flawed by its failure to come to terms with the significant issues which surround the case. This has come about as a direct result of an ethnocentric bias of the dominant culture, including the Australian legal system, which has meant a consistent privileging of literate modes of social, cultural and religious thinking and knowledge transmission. That this has been at the expense of oral modes of thinking and cultural transmission has been demonstrated throughout the royal ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

The Brotherhoods: Inside the Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Lauren Barrow in the January 2003 issue.
    The title of this book immediately brought to my mind Hunter S Thompson's Hell's Angels, so I expected another meandering account of the unruly aspects of bikie gang life. I couldn't have been more wrong. The Brotherhoods reads more like an anthropological text, providing an introductory glimpse at the bikie world for those unfamiliar with this counterculture. Written from a professor's point of view, The Brotherhoods dispels numerous myths that cloud the image of outlaw motorcycle clubs, with a strong emphasis on police and media misrepresentation of club members. Veno's strong focus on ... read more.

A Little Bird Told Me: A Memoir (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Deborah Gare in the October 2003 issue.
    This is a story about secrets, about more than the average skeleton in the family closet. It is a poignant memoir penned by Lynette Russell as she recovered the past that her family had tried to forget and to conceal. Russell's grandmother was born to an Aboriginal woman of western Victoria. But, for most of her life, Gladys, or Nanna, tried to conceal the truth of her genealogy. 'Look at my mother', she said on at least one occasion, pointing to an old photograph, 'she was a beautiful Polynesian princess'. Sometimes the story changed and instead of being Polynesian, Nanna's mother was a ... read more.

Departures (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Christine Choo in the June 2004 issue.
    An Irish Catholic family living in Bathurst gives up one of its sons to the Junior Noviciate of the Order of Saint Francis of Assisi, where he will begin his journey to Holy Orders. It is a proud moment for the family and a proud yet devastating one for young Barry Hayes who has chosen that path at the end of his primary school years. Departures is the memoir of Barry Hayes in which he chronicles his childhood before and his life after that fateful day when he entered the Franciscan Junior Noviciate at Robertson in New South Wales -- a place shrouded in mist and mystery. To readers raised in ... read more.

Work the Sex (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Dean Durber in the January 2003 issue.
    Coral Hull writes an unusual and alluring narrative of use, abuse, misuse, and manipulation of the female body. Located within the subculture of the hooker's world, her deconstruction (which often verges on the destruction) of the corporeal form is erotically confusing and critically arousing. Is the reader expected to discover/enjoy the whimpering pleasures that these tales of hookers and their sexual encounters might invoke? Or should he be utterly ashamed by the revelations of his sexual and emotional inadequacies; perhaps angered by the blatant dismissal of his masculinised species as ... read more.

The Quick and the Dead: Stawell and its Race through Time (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Grace Johansen in the June 2003 issue.
    Sporting history contributes much to social history and the study of national identity. By providing a comprehensive overview of pedestrianism, and in particular the Stawell Gift, John Perry makes a significant contribution to the sporting history of Victoria. It not only points to the role of the organisations which account for the formation of the sporting event known as the Stawell Gift, and the importance of the heroes who emerged as outstanding competitors, it also emphasises the effect on the town's economy and social life. Additionally it looks at the anomaly of holding what was ... read more.

Skins (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Marion May Campbell in the March 2003 issue.
    It takes some courage to choose as material for a first work of extended fiction the survival narrative of a handful of marooned characters and their captive women, who, except for one delicate Englishman, are brutalised, brutal, illiterate, or all three. Sarah Hay gives this situation austere and potent handling in her Vogel Prize-winning novel, Skins. The title evokes more than sealing or skin colour, although both senses are foregrounded in the book; it is fundamentally concerned with the behaviour of humans in naked need, whose circumstances are so circumscribed that only crude choices ... read more.

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