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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

Wog Drama and 'White Multiculturalists': The Role of Non Anglo-Australian Film and Television Drama in Shaping a National Identity

  • Pieter Aquilia
    In the lively theoretical debate about exploitation of ethnic elements in the Australian film and television industry, there is a tendency towards ethno-centric analysis. Often, such debate fails to consider the role of Anglo-Australian filmmakers in encouraging a multicultural presence in commercial film and television drama. Gassan Hage, in White Nation: Fantasies of a White Supremacy in a Multicultural Society, details appropriation of ‘non-white’ commodities by ‘white multiculturalists’ in an increasing number of mainstream Australian movies. Such appropriation, he ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

Richard Spencer: Napoleonic War Naval Hero and Australian Pioneer (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Jamie Agland in the November 2005 issue.
    If Richard Spencer (1779-1839) and his family had not emigrated from England to Western Australia in 1833, Gwen Chessell suggests, his 'name would hardly be known and his story would remain hidden among Admiralty documents and long-forgotten accounts of naval actions written during the first half of the nineteenth century'. (p 1) Spencer and his family are conspicuous figures in the history of colonial Western Australia, but little is known of his career in the Royal Navy during the wars against Revolutionary and Napoleonic France. In Richard Spencer: Napoleonic War Naval Hero and Australian ... read more.

The Scarlet Mile: A Social History of Prostitution in Kalgoorlie, 1894-2004 (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Michelle Kelly in the August 2005 issue.
    'A code of ethics is like a compass'. It is a rare wry madam indeed who could allow such an exhortation to be chalked outside her brothel. But there it is in big bold letters -- on a sign between display stalls from which prostitutes will beckon -- captured by a photograph published in The Scarlet Mile. The maxim conveys a complex message of potential liberalism underscored by prim morality, a sentiment surprisingly in accord with local reception of the sex industry in Kalgoorlie. The city was a place willing to receive the spoils of substantial tourist interest in its Hay Street red-light ... read more.

The Long, Slow Death of White Australia (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Rob Edwards in the July 2005 issue.
    The idea of White Australia has been an enduring one. A new book by Gwenda Tavan, The Long, Slow Death of White Australia sheds new light on the origins and path to dismantling of the White Australia policy. In this balanced, well-written account, Tavan enters a long-standing debate on the racist or racialist origins of the policy, concluding -- unsurprisingly to most -- that the White Australia policy was predominantly about race. Further, she argues that there was no elite conspiracy to eradicate the policy ahead of its time. Tavan's voice is an assured one, passing through and beyond the ... read more.

The Eyes of the Tiger (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Adam Atkinson in the February 2006 issue.
    Manfred Jurgensen's The Eyes of the Tiger deals with the dirty and diseased underbelly of the city of Brisbane. Quoting David Malouf in the epigraph to Part One, 'Queensland Houses' -- 'the underside of things: the great wedge of air on which the house floats' (p 11) -- Jurgensen takes the reader beneath the city's clean fašade and into a damp crawlspace rapidly forming itself into the centre of a Moonlight State. All of the trademarks from the Bjelke-Petersen years are here: corrupt cops moonlighting in drug syndicates, 'long-haired protesters' marching out of the University of Queensland, ... 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.

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.

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