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Wednesday, 30th 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

'Among Birds and Beasts': Environmental Reform, Racial Preservation and Australian Progressives at the Zoological Gardens

  • Natalie Lloyd
    imageThe investigation of human-animal relations at Australian zoos reveals that constructions of nature alter across time and space. Material, social and symbolic relations are enveloped by historically specific understandings of animals. The importance or legitimacy attached to the conservation of species in association with the power of the elite shifted in the twentieth century from hunting and the frontier (though these continued to be important to the tourism industry) to the moulding of new cities, races and nations. The old associations of animals and natural history with the technology and ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

Levin's God (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Tony Smith in the April 2004 issue.
    Phra Konrad, a German monk in a Thai monastery where Levin Hoffman has fled to escape his demons, grows impatient with the young man's inability to empty his mind. 'Enough,' he says. 'If you cannot let this rubbish go, you should leave. Take your musical god back to Australia and be happy. Maybe you can write a book about it one day and be famous.' Roger Wells has apparently done just that, and the quality of the writing in Levin's God, a novel inspired by personal experience, serves notice that the author deserves some attention. Levin, a young man drifting around Melbourne in the 1970s, ... read more.

The English in Australia (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Tara Brabazon in the July 2004 issue.
    This review of James Jupp's The English in Australia -- quite appropriately -- juts out of the most English city in the country. Perth is the home of more English migrants, as a proportion of population, than any other Australian metropolis. The reviewer of this book shares a surname with the man who founded Empire Day. But these statistics, identities and ancestors only tell part of the story. Englishness moves, morphs and changes. It also re-emerges in unexpected places, particularly in popular culture. While crisp bee-bee-see accents spill from the lips of Austen-inspired heroines and ... read more.

Liberating Tokyo (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Stephen Lawrence in the April 2005 issue.
    The title suggests that Konkoly may be attempting to free us from constrictive urban paradigms -- to depict and reframe the metropolis -- transforming our existence and our sensibilities. The sassy superhero girl on the cover, a liberating force, looks like she is going to enact this for us. However, it is misleading. Like the feline, East Asian eyes that loom behind the young girl, dominating and appropriating her persona, we do not get what we might expect. Hints of city life do adorn the collection, and the 'Tokyo girl' appears in the first poem, but its themes are rooted in a more mature ... read more.

The Nick of Time: Politics, evolution and the untimely (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Angela Mitropoulos in the October 2005 issue.
    Elizabeth Grosz's most recent book, The Nick of Time, sets out to explore the themes of corporeality, time and differentiation, by way of Bergson, Darwin and Nietzsche. Undoubtedly, these are important questions. Yet as much as I tried to read for what I might learn, be prompted to rethink or simply enjoy, I found myself by turns frustrated and disappointed by what seems to me to be a book which grants its own conditions of production, and epoche, an ontological status. In so doing, this time is rendered as homogeneous time, irrespective of and perhaps indifferent to, any differentiation ... read more.

True North (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Helen Bethune Moore in the April 2005 issue.
    Poets use language for its perceived aesthetic qualities as much as for its semantic content. Poetry is quite licentious. Poets have the freedom to use devices such as assonance and repetition to achieve their desired effect. They can play with the accepted forms of grammatical structure almost at will. Poets are at liberty to conjure images using very personal metaphors and word associations or, conversely poets can display an intrinsic understanding of our entire cultural heritage by the phrases that they use. But like visual art, much of the beauty of poetry is in the eye, or in this case, ... read more.

Home (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Jeannie Herbert in the October 2004 issue.
    Home is a work of fiction forged from the reality of Australia's colonial history. Larissa Behrendt usefully contributes an Indigenous perspective. She has drawn on knowledge of her family's history to create a powerful story that will enable readers to develop a greater understanding of the way in which colonial policies and practices impacted on the lives of Aboriginal peoples throughout the country. Fictional accounts of Indigenous Australians written by Indigenous Australians invoke the critical dimension of 'personal experience' and potentially make a valuable contribution to the ... read more.

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