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Friday, 18th April 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

'Cricket, with a Plot': Nationalism, Cricket and Diasporic Identities

  • Suvendrini Perera
    The Sri Lankan-Australian dramatist Ernest MacIntyre recently outlined a new play for the Sri Lankan theatre, a national epic staged in the form of ‘cricket, with a plot’.1 His model was Brecht’s call for a new epic theatre ‘like a circus, with a plot’. In the revival of post-Independence Sinhala theatre in Sri Lanka, Brechtian models have played a germinative role, as traditional forms of verse storytelling, song and mime were combined with techniques of Brechtian anti-realism to produce a distinctive form. In the climate of chauvinist Sinhala nationalism that ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

South Australia and Federation (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Bernard Whimpress in the December 2002 issue.
    When I opened this book at a coffee lounge an acquaintance, catching the title, said 'That must be pretty boring!' I admit that despite the range of activities supported by Centenary of Federation funding, the subject of Federation probably passed most Australians by. The book might have been called something more captivating and if the casual reader reached the contents page he or she might have been dissuaded from going further. Three chapters in a book of 418 pages is an unusual structure and author, Associate Professor Peter Howell, takes us only as far as 1914. But it is anything but ... read more.

Settlers, Servants and Slaves: Aboriginal and European Children in Nineteenth-Century Western Australia (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Shirleene Robinson in the April 2003 issue.
    Settlers, Servants and Slaves is an absorbing and important book that will potentially change the way people look at Western Australian history. It is only recently that Australian historians have begun to investigate the historical experiences of children and have recognised the way that their youth impacts on these experiences. With Settlers, Servants and Slaves, Penelope Hetherington has filled in a considerable gap in Australian social history. She thoroughly examines the exploitation of both Aboriginal and European children by the settler elite in nineteenth century Western Australia. The ... read more.

Digging People up for Coal: A history of Yallourn (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Paul Genoni in the June 2002 issue.
    Australians are familiar with the concept of the 'mining town' -- a town which owes its existence to the need to house a workforce in close proximity to a working mine. Should that mine close, the town itself is often threatened with extinction. Some like Ballarat or Bendigo find new life as regional centres proud to share their mining history, while others shrivel or die as the workforce moves on in search of a living elsewhere. A number of such towns, particularly in the north-west, have been created in the full knowledge that the mine has a limited lifespan, and therefore the town too will ... read more.

Journey to the Stone Country (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Paul Genoni in the June 2003 issue.
    Winner of the 2003 Miles Franklin Award. Displaced Australians, especially women, overcoming various forms of exile have been a constant in Alex Miller's fiction. In Ancestor Games (winner of the 1993 Miles Franklin award) it was several generations of the Feng family struggling to locate their Chinese roots; and in Conditions of Faith (winner of the 2001 Christina Stead Prize) it was Emily Stanton coming to terms with her place in the world as she is exposed to her ancestral European 'home'. It seems inevitable that Miller would eventually turn his attention, and the joint search for self ... read more.

The Ice and the Inland: Mawson, Flynn and the Myth of the Frontier (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Lorenzo Veracini in the April 2003 issue.
    The Ice and the Inland The Australian Frontier Wars 1788-1838 These are very different books: a sophisticated argument concerning the shaping of an Australian consciousness, and an acutely needed military overview of the first fifty years of British presence on the continent. Both works, however, repropose forcefully the question of the defining role of the 'frontier' in Australian history, and aim to revisit in a similar direction a theme that is strategically located at the heart of Australian debates about the foundations of the national identity. Despite their very different approach ... read more.

The Hard Word (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Geoff Parkes in the Aug/Sep 2003 issue.
    Given the complexities of contemporary Australian identities, the tricks and turns and intricacies of the multitudes of cultural practices that somehow combine to constitute 'Australianess', it's a brave writer who decides to write a novel about an Australian family. Clanchy, already well established with four previous works of fiction, is not merely content to write this mythical beast, but also to craft three females as the central characters, one - Vera - who has Alzheimer's. Another - Miriam, Vera's daughter - is the Anglo ex-wife of a Greek peasant, and teaches English to students, many ... read more.

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