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Saturday, 2nd August 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

Fred Paterson — The People's Champion

  • Ross Fitzgerald
    By now, most students of Australian history know that the ex-divinity student, Rhodes Scholar and radical barrister, Frederick Woolnough Paterson, the MLA for Bowen from 1944-1950, was Australia’s first and only communist member of parliament. They may also know that in Brisbane, on St Patrick’s Day 1948, while observing a march of striking unionists, Paterson was savagely bashed from behind by a plain-clothes policeman and sustained serious head injuries. Few realise, however, that in 1930 there was a two-pronged attempt by governmental and other authorities in Queensland to stop ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

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.

Through Artists' Eyes: Australian Suburbs and their Cities, 1919-1945 (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Joanna Mendelssohn in the February 2005 issue.
    In the opening paragraphs of Through Artists' Eyes, John Slater declares his methodology to be hard line empiricism. 'The words in this book are driven by its pictures', he writes. There is a sense of relief about an art historian using art as a primary research tool, and I can understand why Bernard Smith felt moved to write a preface in support of this commendable idea. Of course hard-line empiricism has its problems, unless Slater was inclined to do a Joan Kerr and Hoover up all the visual culture for the period. To make sense of the past the writer must apply filters based on his own ... read more.

Bloodletting: A Memoir of Secrets, Self-Harm and Survival (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Geoff Parkes in the June 2004 issue.
    It's strange to think that Elizabeth Wurtzel's Prozac Nation is now almost a decade old, its blistering yet somehow hopeful prose so fresh and familiar to my lithium and efexor-abled mind. Wurtzel's incantations of pain, drawing from the wells of Patti Smith and Anne Sexton, chronicled her frenzied battle with depression, from the age of eleven through her teens and into her crazed early twenties from hospital bed to one night stand bed to the endless days suffocating in her own bed, pushed down by the weight of numbness and nothing, literally no thing. It became the tome of a serotonin ... read more.

Pioneering Irrigation in Australia to 1920 (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Melissa Bellanta in the May 2005 issue.
    Pioneering Irrigation is a nuts-and-bolts history of Australian irrigation to 1920. Its author, Gerard Blackburn, was a long-time soil expert for the CSIRO who spent twenty years researching his material. Beginning when irrigation first appeared in Tasmania during the 1820s, Pioneering Irrigation covers developments in all the colonies/states over the following century. As an historian interested in irrigation in this country, an overview of this kind was exactly what I was looking for some years ago. There were certainly many regional studies of irrigation: among them, JM Powell's Watering ... read more.

Relearning to E-Learn (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Margaret O'Connell in the August 2004 issue.
    'The current debate on e-learning reflects both hope and doubts about the role that learning can play in economies and societies around the globe... At present, the level of doubt is such that the future of corporate e-learning seems poised on a knife-edge' (p 1). It is uplifting to read such a challenging statement regarding the potential of e-learning, given all the hype that surrounds technology and 'how tos' to 'make things work faster' or 'fast-track your business -- trivial learning, 101'. What is refreshing about Bowles' book is that he has sought to focus on the learning rather than ... read more.

Enough (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Kathryn Hegarty in the October 2004 issue.
    In June 2004, a leading Australian jockey was charged with assault on his partner, whom he married ten days earlier. The offence shocked the tabloid media; after all, the couple is devoted and the man in question is described as 'besotted' with his wife. As I write, the 'murder-suicide of a family of four is reported in The Age. This term is shorthand for the murder of a woman and two infant children by a man who then killed himself. While the media continues to report horrific statistics of male violence against women, the nature of so-called domestic violence is continually understated, and ... read more.

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