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Monday, 28th 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

Picnicking, Surf-Bathing and Middle-Class Morality on the Beach in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, 1811–1912

  • Cameron White
    imageThroughout the nineteenth century the dominant users of Sydney beaches were picnickers. These picnickers were the primary source of complaints about the ‘immoral’ and ‘indecent’ way that surf-bathers exposed their bodies. In numerous letters to the daily papers and in complaints to both local and state governments, picnickers described surf-bathers as ‘indecent larrikins’. These views were supported in government debates about regulating surf-bathing and laws that prohibited bathing in the ‘public view’ during daylight hours. From around 1905, ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

Joyflight (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Helen Hagemann in the June 2005 issue.
    Joyflight is Cate Kennedy's second collection following on from Signs of Other Fires published by Five Islands Press, 2001. This lyrical work touches on the personal, family biography, and Irish history. Kennedy's poems all share a concern for lived experience, and convey the social mores and fabric of rural life, whether at home or abroad, stylized or imagined. Her poems have a unique metaphysical quality, where landscapes offer different perspectives. Many poems convey the motif of flight, allowing the reader to go beyond rooms, the flat landscape, 'beyond gravity', to more interesting and ... read more.

Identity and Justice: Conflicts, Contradictions and Contingencies (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Barbara Baird in the August 2005 issue.
    Debbie Rodan's book sets out to weave a path through theoretical approaches that assume sameness among people, and those that assume difference, in order to think about justice in a contemporary liberal society like Australia. (The book uses 'liberal' broadly and does not, for example, engage in arguments about neoliberalism). Rodan neither fully embraces nor discards modernist or postmodern conceptions of identity and sets out to propose models that do not fall into binary oppositions of sameness and difference. The book is oriented to the goal of achieving social change in the political ... read more.

Crunch Time: How to live a more ethical and meaningful life without giving up all your worldly goods, joining a commune or losing your sense of humour (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Susan Currie in the May 2005 issue.
    Mike Hanley and Adrian Monck are both journalists, the former based in Sydney, the latter in London, who met while studying at the London Business School. They share a common interest in, but not necessarily similar views on the 'big picture' issues confronting our twenty-first century society. This book is an invitation to the general public to engage with those issues in the same way they both have. 'We are curious about how to live a half-decent life in a world gone mad, both for our own sakes and for our kids who arrived on the scene and snapped us out of our youthful self-obsession'. ... read more.

Cross-Hatched (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Denise O'Dea in the September 2005 issue.
    This volume, the first from Sydney poet Penelope Evans, provides an experience somewhat akin to a stroll down Darlinghurst Road. There are moments of joy, excitement, wit and astonishment. There is a touch of pathos and a hint of grime. In between, there is the dreary white light of a thousand convenience stores: glaring, prosaic and disappointingly familiar. It hurts to be so harsh, but Crosshatched demonstrates one of the perils of publishing verse. In theory, we all want to applaud any new volume of poetry that fights its way into bookshops. In practice, the temptation to rush into ... read more.

Ivory Basement Leadership: Power and Invisibility in the Changing University (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Jasmina Brankovich in the March 2005 issue.
    This important book arrives at a critical moment. The Australian higher education sector is experiencing profound shifts unseen since the so-called 'Dawkins reforms' of almost two decades ago. The ever-accentuating move towards a student-pays system of funding higher education, and the flagged changes to universities' research profiles, are bound to produce a different kind of university sector in the not-so-distant future. This is the context in which much of Joan Eveline's Ivory Basement Leadership was researched and written. The University of Western Australia (UWA) provides a prism through ... read more.

Virtual Nation: The Internet in Australia (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Julianne Stewart in the April 2005 issue.
    Virtual Nation covers a wide range of issues and themes on the topic of the Internet in contemporary Australia. It includes sections on the history of the Internet in Australia, aspects of usage such as the context of the family home, electronic commerce and pornography, cultures of use and Internet policy. As Goggin states in his brief introduction, the work is intended to be a text book or recommended course book aimed at a number of academic disciplines in this country, as a contribution to the growing field of 'critical Internet studies', as well as providing data forming the basis of a ... read more.

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