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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

Playing Fields Through to Battle Fields: The Development of Australian Sporting Manhood in its Imperial Context, c.1850-1918

  • Daryl Adair, John Nauright and Murray Phillips
    Sport was the first form of Australian foreign policy. Until the British got into some wars to which the Australians could send volunteers, it was the only way in which Australians could prove they were best. Donald Horne, The Next Australia1Australian sporting fields were important ‘testing grounds’ not simply of colonial athletic ability, but of manhood. Although women played sport they did so in smaller numbers than men, and they were observers rather than participants in high profile spectator sports of the time — test cricket, the football codes, and horse-racing, which ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

Australian Literature in Contexts (2004)

  • imageReviewed by David Crouch in the October 2005 issue.
    Australian Literature in Contexts by Jaroslav Kušnír, Associate Professor at the University of Prešov, Slovakia, is part of the research project 'Foreign Literatures in the Slovak Context'. The book itself is a curious thing, cheaply printed in Slovakia with a design like an ephemeral travel brochure from the '80s; it is only really interesting as a strange textual object. It does however give a rare look into an outsider's imperfect perspective on aspects of Australian literature. At first glance it seems to be little more than a collection of notes on Australian literature. The final chapter ... read more.

City Bushman: Henry Lawson and the Australian Imagination (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Mads Clausen in the April 2006 issue.
    Manning Clark suggested that 'Australia is Lawson writ large', and while an obvious example of Clark's penchant for hyperbole, his argument is at least partially borne out by the fact that most research institutions with at least a modicum of interest in Australian studies still possess copious amounts of Lawsonia, notwithstanding that academic research has long since moved on to trendier topics, spending little time on the writer whose works first helped spark interest in Australian literature. Precisely because of the way in which Lawson has recently been confined to the dustbin of ... 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.

Chronicle of the Unsung (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Sue Bond in the October 2004 issue.
    The compulsion to shape a child can warp growth: generating hopeful monsters fated never to prevail, pallid clones, the agonies of the self-destructor. (202) Chronicle of the Unsung is threaded through with sadness and loss, both for the author, Martin Edmond, and others. This quotation from the end of the book aptly states his feelings on the struggle he had with his mother, in particular, a struggle mentioned in places through the stories he tells, but summarised poetically in this one sentence. Edmond writes for the screen as well as books of non-fiction, and has won awards for his work. ... read more.

The Spare Room (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Mads Clausen in the February 2005 issue.
    Having been a student in Australia several times, I must admit the premise of Kathryn Lomer's The Spare Room struck a chord. Studying overseas can be immensely rewarding, yet it is also a challenging proposition emotionally, even at the best of times. The Spare Room brings this exciting, but tumultuous state of in-betweenness to life, charting the numerous misunderstandings, setbacks, and incremental successes that are part and parcel of adjusting to a different culture. Sent to Hobart to study English, Japanese student Akira moves in with a homestay family, the Moffats. At home, Akira is ... read more.

Ngara: Living in this place now (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Jo Lampert in the August 2005 issue.
    Studying at Australian schools or examining university curriculum, it could easily seem as though Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians have had separate, unrelated histories. And yet the land we live on is shared, not equally, and not without bloodshed, but in an uneasy relationship not often explored. Ngara: Living in This Place Now is a companion volume to the Balmain component of the Fourth Australian Poetry Festival (September 2004) which invited Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants to consider some difficult questions. Non-Indigenous authors, for instance, were asked to ... read more.

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