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Wednesday, 23rd April 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

Australia Imagined: Views from the British Periodical Press, 1800-1900 (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Catie Gilchrist in the November 2005 issue.
    Australia Imagined explores the construction of European Australia within the pages of the nineteenth century British periodical press. The articles in this anthology are British talk about the Australian colony. Yet this talk was not confined to Britain alone. Through the imperial networks of communication, Australians and the British shared their stories and debated controversies through the paper trails that moved across the imperial world. How Australia came to be imagined both at 'home' and 'away' in the nineteenth century was a contested site of cultural anxiety. Contemporary debates ... read more.

Postcode: The splintering of a nation (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Ann Jensen in the September 2005 issue.
    Wayne Swan has written a page-turner, which is no small achievement when the topic is social inequities and the content is grounded in statistics. Postcode is a clever title and concept. It describes how geography and economy conspire to isolate some communities from both the real and the iconic prosperity of Australia. This book takes a sobering stare down the prospects for vulnerable groups in an age of rationalised economies and diminishing welfare. In a climate of apparent affluence and increasing apathy over the economic destiny of people who are unable to play the money-making game, ... read more.

The Old Country: Australian Landscapes, Plants and People (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Andrea Gaynor in the January 2006 issue.
    This is the 'last and final' book from one of the most eminent and interdisciplinary scholars in the area of Australian environmental studies. He already has a book called Swan Song, so this one is The Old Country, in an apt inversion of the term for the British Isles that prevailed for generations in Australia. The Old Country is a rangy work, gnarled and unpredictable, like the Melaleuca elliptica featured in one of the book's many fine photographs. It reaches across aeons and continents and is not content with offering insight alone, but contains some non-prescriptive yet practical ... read more.

The Kindly Ones (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Stephen Lawrence in the July 2006 issue.
    'inside life so vastArtful, and fey. The first poem and its opening lines are dutifully poetic, but once she's cleared her throat, she presents a fresh, clear voice:The Bright Road as far as I know is in eastern Victoria, and for some reason the country there is good to look at... The vast erasures of the self contain... -- I hesitate to call it a god -- ('On the Bright Road') Hampton is an open-minded writer, with the uncertainties and hesitations of the true seeker. There are many terrific hits throughout this collection. Her theme is: 'The inner world is all around us'. She explores the ... read more.

The Poverty Wars (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Ann Jensen in the November 2005 issue.
    There are some interesting dilemmas in Peter Saunders' new book Poverty Wars. The first problem he notes, is the credibility gap created by his own secure paid job. The second problem is that he is not writing about a war to end poverty, but about the war of words that surrounds the concept of poverty, particularly in the 'lucky country'. The third tricky glitch is that in his book, Peter Saunders is compelled to refer to The Other Peter Saunders, his nemesis, who is also a professor, also concerned about the concept of poverty, but on the opposite side of the fence, at the Centre for ... read more.

Disarming Proposals: Controlling nuclear, biological and chemical weapons (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Richard Gehrmann in the November 2005 issue.
    When the Berlin Wall came down and thousands of bewildered East Berliners wandered down the streets of their newly reunited capital, it appeared that a new world order might be dawning. After a decade of Reagan, Star Wars and the threat of nuclear annihilation, we in the developed world could all sleep peacefully in our beds at night. As a young university student in the 1980s, my awareness of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) had been conditioned by dramatic films such as The Day After (1983) which seemed to offer nothing but despair. A series of issues such as the Australian government's ... read more.

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