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Thursday, 24th 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

In the Vernacular: On the Architecture of the National Museum of Australia

  • Naomi Stead
    imageThe recently completed National Museum of Australia (NMA) in Canberra, designed by architects Ashton Raggatt McDougall, has polarised the architectural community in Australia. While much of the critical comment centres on its apparent contravention of standards of propriety in civic architecture, this article examines the building’s playful and obtuse character in light of its supposed ‘populism’. The NMA’s avowedly ‘anti-monumental’ building has been widely read as being ‘populist’. In examining the veracity of such claims, this article finds ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

Pacific Prospects: Australia, New Zealand and Future Conflicts (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Eliza Matthews in the January 2003 issue.
    'Military leaders are trained to expect the unexpected' (p i). Thus begins the Preface of Pacific Prospects: Australia, New Zealand and Future Conflicts, a very useful read for anyone from lay historians to academics who are interested in how Australia, New Zealand and their militaries fit into the broader scheme of world conflict and peacekeeping. The book is a compilation of some of the speeches made by high ranking defence diplomats from the United Kingdom (Jonathan S Day), Australia (Gary Waters, Philip Flood, Hugh White), New Zealand (Gerald Hensley) and the United States (James A. ... read more.

Academia Nuts (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Don Graham in the November 2003 issue.
    The classic roman a clef has always been able to count on a certain exotic appeal--The Sun Also Rises, for example, with its bullfighters and artists of the twenties--but academic novels, which have their roots in the same genre, are highly deficient in romantic colouring. Given the donnee of their plot--the lives of professors and researchers--how could it be otherwise? 'Fear death by drowning', wrote Eliot. Had he been an academic, he would have said, 'Fear death by committee'. Academic novels are paint-by-number versions of everybody's English department or university. You ... read more.

The Australian Frontier Wars 1788-1838 (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.

In Transit: Travel, Text, Empire (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Max Quanchi in the March 2003 issue.
    The editors and twelve authors of In Transit attempt to extend analysis of the nexus between travel writing and empire by tackling an assortment of nineteenth and twentieth century fiction, photography, official reports and travel literature. Travel writing from the colonial era is a burgeoning academic field witnessed by several recent anthologies, monographs like Barbara Hodgson's No Place for a Lady and others and the forthcoming Literature of Travel and Exploration; an Encyclopaedia (Routledge) but because In Transit spreads itself across too many continents, eras and discourses it makes ... read more.

Life on the Ice (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Christy Collis in the Aug/Sep 2003 issue.
    Few can have missed the fact that we are in the midst of an Antarctic renaissance: Antarctic books crowd the shelves of bookshops, audiences queue to watch Antarctica on IMAX screens, and many dream of travelling to the Ice. Journalist Roff Smith's Life on the Ice is a part of this renaissance, but it differs from much recent Antarctic material in exciting and important ways. Rather than another book about Scott or Shackleton, Smith's Life on the Ice is a stimulating first-hand account of Antarctica as it is today, and as such it contributes significantly to understandings of the polar ... read more.

Tell 'Em I Died Game: the Legend of Ned Kelly (2002)

  • imageReviewed by Bob Reece in the August 2004 issue.
    Hyland House has performed a useful service in making available this re-vamped version of Graham Seal's Ned Kelly in Popular Tradition (1980). It is still, in my view, the best primer on the history of the Kelly gang for those unacquainted with it, as well as a good introduction to the Kelly theme or legend in Australia popular culture. More importantly, it locates the legend in the context of the Robin Hood and associated traditions in England and Ireland, helping to explain the immediate and now seemingly perennial popular appeal of the Kelly story in Australia. The exploits of Ned and his ... read more.

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