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Thursday, 31st 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

Translated Spaces/Translated Identities: The Production of Place, Culture and Memory in an Australian Suburb

  • Fiona Allon
    imageThere is a story that is passed around the many historical societies in the inner south-west region of Sydney. It was recounted for me one evening by a member of the Canterbury Historical Society. The story condenses ideas of memory, place and history into a symbolic image: a currency of ideas whose resonance may serve as one possible explanation for the exuberant embrace of cultural heritage in the recent popularity of historical societies, historical preservation and restoration. The story concerns the activities of a man particularly committed to the idea of local history and heritage, who ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith (2001)

  • imageReviewed by Melissa Bellanta in the April 2003 issue.
    My initial encounter with Peter Carey was decidedly nasty. Some years ago I read The Tax Inspector, and could hardly sleep for days in horror of Benny Catchprice. Carey had drawn Benny with a savage verisimilitude: his pale angel-beauty and violent instability making him almost surreally lifelike, like Martin Bryant walking from a nightmare into Port Arthur's reality. Of course, Benny Catchprice is not Carey's only creation -- nor is nasty his only register. Indeed, now that University of Queensland Press has reissued his back-catalogue (along with a new collection of his stories), one thing ... read more.

Working the Nation: Working Life and Federation (2001)

  • imageReviewed by Shirleene Robinson in the November 2002 issue.
    During the course of the 2001 centennial celebrations in honour of Federation, a number of Australians publicly voiced the opinion that the original event was nothing more than a lacklustre political affair barely worth commemorating. These commentators clearly had not read Working the Nation. This edited collection thoroughly overturns the popular idea that Federation was an event directed by politicians that had little impact on the lives of ordinary Australians. The fourteen essays contained in Working the Nation explore the significance of Federation and the way that Federation impacted ... read more.

Fish Lips (2001)

  • imageReviewed by Zora Simic in the June 2005 issue.
    Carolyn Van Langenberg gives good title and it's only now, having just finished her ambitious trilogy of novels -- Fish Lips (2002), The Teetotaller's Wake (2003) and Blue Moon (2004) -- that I fully appreciate this particular skill. Looking back, they tell me everything and nothing I need to know about what happens between the covers. The titles evoke the author's key preoccupations -- families, dreams, cultural encounters, passion, love, sexuality, grief, nostalgia, location, dislocation -- without giving too much away. Indeed, Van Langenberg is all about the slow unravelling of a story, a ... read more.

Spurboard (2001)

  • imageReviewed by Donald Pulford in the October 2001 issue.
    Theatre, the most ephemeral of the arts, is a multi-mouthed monster which transforms scripts into bodies, sound, forms and light, leaving piles of costumes and sets, and memories. Many of us can nominate magnificent nights in the theatre of which nothing remains but our programmes and fading recollections. A script provides a useful indicator of what has happened and what might still happen in a theatre. But a script, too, may moulder and die unless it maintains currency through publication. Thus, if Currency Press did not exist, it would be necessary to invent it. Currency was founded by ... read more.

Late Victorian Holocausts: El Nino Famines and the Making of the Third World (2001)

  • imageReviewed by Ravi De Costa in the November 2002 issue.
    Those familiar with the work of Mike Davis may be surprised to find that his latest opus does not deal with aspects of the American experience. In Late Victorian Holocausts, Davis has gone global. Here is not one, but multiple, interlocking histories of the late nineteenth century. First, a study of imperial capitalism (particularly of the British) is juxtaposed with a history of the social transformation of famines and ecological change in what is now the 'third' or 'developing' world. The primary focus throughout is on three regions: the Sertão, or high plains of the Brazilian northeast; ... read more.

Conflict, Politics and Crime: Aboriginal Communities and the Police (2001)

  • imageReviewed by Catharine Coleborne in the October 2001 issue.
    In a recent documentary by Dennis O'Rourke, Cunnamulla, a young aboriginal woman weeps over the prospect of her teenaged brother going to prison for a third criminal conviction. The boy himself seems resigned to it: there's nothing much to do in Cunnamulla and it was only when he went to Melville, learning about his culture, that he found life remotely interesting. Chris Cunneen's recent book describes how aboriginal people have been criminalised in Australia and how this criminalisation of Indigenous youth and people is part of, and inextricably linked to, a much wider issue: the denial of ... read more.

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