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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

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

Fred Paterson — The People's Champion

  • Ross Fitzgerald
    By now, most students of Australian history know that the ex-divinity student, Rhodes Scholar and radical barrister, Frederick Woolnough Paterson, the MLA for Bowen from 1944-1950, was Australia’s first and only communist member of parliament. They may also know that in Brisbane, on St Patrick’s Day 1948, while observing a march of striking unionists, Paterson was savagely bashed from behind by a plain-clothes policeman and sustained serious head injuries. Few realise, however, that in 1930 there was a two-pronged attempt by governmental and other authorities in Queensland to stop ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

The Ethics of Waste: How we relate to rubbish (2006)

  • imageReviewed by Lisa McDonald in the May 2006 issue.
    I am standing in the local supermarket while renovations are made around me. I scan my list. Things have been moved: shelves, boxes, all kinds of items. Entire walls have disappeared. I stare at grime newly exposed which has set into some type of resin. Its crusty heritage contrasts in silent relief the otherwise polished architecture of supermarket things. A woman walks past and traces the direction of my eye. She winks this at me as I catch hers: 'Tsk'. And all this right here in the aisle of bleach, inside the colony of clean. Waste is nothing if not perverse, I think. I've been reading ... read more.
     

Drawing the Crow (2006)

  • imageReviewed by Eva Chapman in the July 2006 issue.
    This collection of essays is told through a 'set of South Australian eyes', those of Adrian Mitchell who grew up in Adelaide in the 1950s and is now a Professor of English at the University of Sydney. At the outset of this memoir, the author explains that the phrase, 'drawing the crow' can mean 'coming off worst in any allocation'. Having drawn the crow myself when I landed in Adelaide in 1950 as a three-year-old refugee from Eastern Europe, I was curious to read about that era from the point of view of a person born and bred in Adelaide. I was not disappointed. This book is a real treat. I ... read more.

Devotion (2006)

  • imageReviewed by Marion May Campbell in the July 2006 issue.
    For this elegantly constructed and potent first novel Ffion Murphy chooses cyberspace and the hospital corridor for the literally haunting narrative front, off-setting the potential claustrophobia of these spaces by broadly brushed estuary and beach vistas around Perth, Western Australia. The suburban gothic opens in elegiac mode with a backlit idyll underscored by dread -- the family picnic at Mt Eliza is disrupted by a visitation and a portent of loss. The pregnant body of the young mother, Veronica Peterson, is the site of contestation: the baby son will be reluctant to be born; the husband ... read more.

Will Dyson: Australia's Radical Genius (2006)

  • imageReviewed by Bernard Whimpress in the July 2006 issue.
    Following Sir Donald Bradman's death in 2001 Prime Minister John Howard has been slow in pronouncing a new 'greatest living Australian'. Perhaps he might have had Shane Warne in mind but if so he has kept such an idea to himself. Poet Les Murray has been mentioned in the press but the idea seems to have died a natural death. Poets don't score as well as cricketers and in any case it's not something average Australians generally feel the need to talk about. Around ninety years ago cartoonist Will Dyson might have been a candidate for the title, and he was certainly described in London as 'the ... read more.

Terror, Culture, Politics: Rethinking 9/11 (2006)

  • imageReviewed by Adam Atkinson in the July 2006 issue.
    As Sherman and Nardin note in their introduction to Terror, Culture, Politics, of all the rhetorical, jingoistic gestures and formulas to emerge from September 11, the notion most in need of critique is that '9/11 changed everything' (p 4). Implicit, of course, is the question for whom precisely 'everything' has been altered. The United States, certainly, has discovered its vulnerability, and its security fears have impacted on the international community in numerous ways. Further, many of America's allies, including the Howard government, seem determined to follow Bush's lead in justifying a ... read more.

Changing Ways of Death in Twentieth Century Australia: War, Medicine and the Funeral Business (2006)

  • imageReviewed by Stephanie Bishop in the July 2006 issue.
    Amongst my most enduring childhood memories is one in which I have my small seven year old hand pushed deep into the blue china urn that housed my great grandmother's ashes. I was curious as to how her body came to resemble grey dust, leading my father to explain to me the process of cremation whilst I, excitedly, came upon small bits of bone that I pulled out of the urn as though they were minor trophies in a gothic lucky dip. I seem to remember my father and I marvelling at these tiny fragments together, wondering as to what part of the body they once belonged. By the time she died my ... read more.



 
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