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Thursday, 21st 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

Aboriginal House Names and Settler Australian Identity

  • Sam Furphy
    During his time as a federal politician and prime minister, Alfred Deakin divided his time between his city residence in Toorak and his holiday retreat at Point Lonsdale. His family had acquired several acres of land on the Bellarine peninsula in 1904 where they had built a federation bungalow called ‘Ballara’. The word is probably derived from the Wathawurung word balla for ‘elbow’, thus ‘reclining on elbow’ or ‘resting place’.1 The name has further significance as another form of ‘Ballarat,’ which was the electorate Deakin ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

From Australia with Love: A History of Modern Australian Popular Romance Novels (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Anne Weale in the October 2004 issue.
    According to the blurb 'The purpose of this book is not to examine the literary qualities of the Australian romance novel but to show that the blanket condemnation of Australia's most far-reaching literary product stigmatises and simplifies, sight unseen, a complex and varied phenomenon'. It continues: 'It should not surprise us that the one hundred or so Australian women who have published 'Mills & Boons' over the last half-century write differently from each other and differently over time. What should surprise us is that anyone should ever have thought they did not'. However, as ... read more.

What's Wrong with Contemporary Art? (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Lynne Barwick in the August 2004 issue.
    It is the 'packing, promotion and reception' of contemporary art that troubles Peter Timms (p 10). Market demands dominate and art has been corrupted and trivialised. The problem, he argues, extends to the way art is taught in art schools, the art that artists make, the collecting and curatorial methodologies of galleries and museums, funding criteria, the way that art is written about and the media's depiction of art. It is a hefty diagnosis and Timms advocates a response of biblical zeal and totality:... we need to shut down the so-called arts industry, drive off the money-changers, ... read more.

The Prickly Pair: Making Nationalism in Australia and New Zealand (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Graham Willett in the April 2005 issue.
    Those of us alert to the emergence of new fashions in our disciplines will be -- almost regardless of what our discipline is -- aware of the recent rise of transnationalism. In Australian history, in particular, it is starting to make a name for itself, being taken up by several prominent scholars. This is a welcome development. It has always been clear that Australia cannot be understood without reference to the rest of the world, and there has been a long history of our understanding ourselves and our development as a nation and a society in relation to others -- Britain, of course, the ... read more.

In Your Face: Contemporary Chinese poetry in English translation (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Rhian Healy in the April 2005 issue.
    China: the force of the twenty-first century? More and more China is playing a significant role in the global economy, global institutions and globalisation. It is the awakening giant in the international media's imagination. Although it is maligned for its human rights, its annexation of Tibet, its threats to reincorporate Taiwan, and its autocratic political system, it will become a global power capable of challenging US economic and military hegemony. Although China makes up one sixth of the world's population (one billion people), Australians know very little of its culture or ... read more.

This Country: A Reconciled Republic? (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Tony Smith in the August 2004 issue.
    Many Australians approached the 1990s optimistically. There was potential for the advancement of the rights of Australia's Indigenous peoples, and interested parties anticipated the Centenary of Federation in 2001 as an opportunity to make the necessary Constitutional reforms to bring the Australian nation-state to full maturity. By 2000 however, these hopes had dissipated. According to some observers, the election of a conservative Coalition Government in 1996 ended the reform agenda. Perhaps the electorate wanted to evict the Labor Government that had ruled since 1983, specifically to change ... read more.

Hans Heysen: Into the light (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Tony Smith in the October 2005 issue.
    The work of artist Hans Heysen encourages exploration of the difficult question of what it is to be Australian. This is important given the recent unfortunate tendency for opinion leaders to decry opponents as 'unAustralian', implying that there is an orthodox notion about what is quintessentially Australian. The cultural warriors who use this approach foster intolerance and promote a shallow, jingoistic view of nationalism. Hans Heysen: Into the Light reminds the reader that a mature view of Australian nationalism is a work in progress and one that requires sensitivity rather than the blunt ... read more.

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