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Sunday, 20th 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

The Home Front: Hostess, Housewife and Home in Olympic Melbourne, 1956

  • Rachel Buchanan
    My Olympics begins with the tall, dark figure of Mrs John Murphy, who is preparing her Victorian terrace in Grey Street, East Melbourne for the many informal parties she expects to host there during the 1956 Games. She wipes clean her china in the kitchen end of the grey, white and lilac living room with the maple ceiling squares and she shows off her bread crock, an artistic kitchen item that was hand-thrown by potter John Percival in the shape of a merry face.1 Phyllis Murphy, her husband John, and two other architects, Kevin Borland and Peter McIntyre, designed the famous Olympic swimming ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

Freehold: Verse Novel (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Adam Atkinson in the January 2006 issue.
    Geoff Page's Freehold: Verse Novel attempts to negotiate the different modes in which white and Aboriginal Australians connect to land and country and to counteract the forgetting of historical wrongs perpetrated against Aboriginal communities and 'justified' by white understandings of land ownership. Despite the back cover's claim that 'nothing is black and white', Page reveals that, like the Clarence river which repeatedly cuts into the novel, a sharp divide exists between black and white cultural understandings of land use. This divide in turn, serves to make Aboriginal culture transparent ... read more.

Not Wrong - Just Different: Observations on the rise of contemporary Australian theatre (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Donald Pulford in the May 2006 issue.
    If Katharine Brisbane didn't exist, it would be necessary to invent her. David Marr has called her 'the wise old woman of Australian theatre'. After twenty-one years as a critic, mostly for The Australian, she founded Currency Press in 1971 with her husband, the late Dr Philip Parsons. Currency is far and away the single most important institution disseminating Australian scripts, scholarship and theatre histories to a population that would otherwise remain largely ignorant of the field. It has made the most tremendous contribution to the study of not only Australian theatre but Australian ... read more.

Freud in the Antipodes: A Cultural History of Psychoanalysis in Australia (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Susan Currie in the November 2005 issue.
    As a legal member of Queensland's Mental Health Review Tribunal and a former academic, I had developed a long list of questions about psychoanalysis that I kept meaning to explore. Why do many psychiatrists treat it with disdain? Is Freud still credible post-feminism? Why are some feminists Lacanians? What was the feud between Anna Freud and Melanie Klein all about? I thought Damousi's book might not only give me a better understanding of some central tenets of psychoanalysis, but also explain the antipathy towards it. And I have to say that it did both of those things and more. It ... read more.

Picturesque Pursuits: Colonial women artists and the amateur tradition (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Jane Simon in the July 2005 issue.
    Caroline Jordan's Picturesque Pursuits is an elegant piece of cultural history. It offers up a field of art practice that lies beyond the easels and canvases of the professional artist, in the albums, sketchbooks and miniatures of the female amateur colonial artist in Australia. Like the artists she discusses, Jordan's approach to her subjects is detailed and tinted with the pleasure of her discoveries. Picturesque Pursuits is not a celebration of colonial women artists but it is imbued with a sense of why these amateur artists matter. The reader is provided with this sense though Jordan's ... read more.

Affluenza: When too much is never enough (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Dean Durber in the October 2005 issue.
    Undoubtedly, there is a growing desire among many in the community to consider and to discover alternative ways of living. I regularly hear people -- including myself -- express a wish to be able to live differently. In this sense, Affluenza is a timely addition to the debate. It is well placed within a culture that is boiling over with boredom of the excess. Perhaps this book will offer some people the changes they crave. Perhaps it will help lead to the creation of more fulfilling lives. Yet, there is something awkwardly utopian about the kind of world the authors of this book envision. ... read more.

Uncommon Ground: White women in Aboriginal history (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Bill Thorpe in the July 2006 issue.
    What has been missing for so long has been the essentially domestic relationships between White and Aboriginal women in Australian history. When attention is actually paid to this aspect, and the political dimensions arising from it, the oversight in historiography seems starker than ever. Indeed much of Aboriginal history fails to account for the often close and binding connections between Aboriginal and white women. A sophisticated preface raises key theoretical questions which are carried through into the chapters particularly those of the editors. If nothing else the editors and the ... read more.

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