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Monday, 28th 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

Thelonius Monk and Sergeant Pepper

  • Bill Thorpe
    This article puts forward an interpretation of popular music and its impact in Sydney, in the late 1950s through to the mid-to-late 1960s. This period covers what rock critic, Nik Cohn, has called the decline of 'classic rock',1 to the ascendancy of mainly British bands — most spectacularly the Beatles. I chose this title to convey a sense of certain features in the diverse popular cultural history of that time: one which encompassed Australian versions of surf music; the impact of particular, mainly overseas, musicians and singers; and the always ambiguous and tenuous relationship ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

Oscar and Lucinda (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.

Making Stories: How Ten Australian Novels Were Written (2001)

  • imageReviewed by Kate Douglas in the Dec 2001-Jan 2002 issue.
    'The writer' features prominently on the surface of contemporary literary culture, through public readings, book signings, writers festivals, and interviews. Such events commonly celebrate the writer as author: the writer is a creator, an intellectual, and often a celebrity. There is little doubt that in the promotion of culture (whether it be popular or literary), 'the personal' is profitable. It is very common for writers and even critics to be drawn into giving autobiographical accounts of their involvement in particular theoretical or creative pursuits. Interestingly, at a time when two, ... read more.

The Captive White Woman of Gipps Land: In Pursuit of the Legend (2001)

  • imageReviewed by Paul Genoni in the October 2001 issue.
    Interest in the theme of the white person living with Aboriginals has persisted in representations of colonial Australia, and it shows little sign of abating in the third century of European occupation. There has been ongoing scholarly and popular interest in the stories of those settlers who, for whatever reason, lived for extended periods with the indigenous Australians. The best known of these are Eliza Fraser and William Buckley. Eliza Frazer's healthy afterlife is traced in Kay Schaffer's In the Wake of First Contact: the Eliza Fraser Stories (1995), and in Constructions of Colonialism: ... read more.

Nancy Wake: A Biography of Our Greatest War Heroine (2001)

  • imageReviewed by Katherine Gallagher in the November 2001 issue.
    Our greatest war heroine ---- these are words not to be taken lightly in an age that perhaps doesn't expect to find many heroes and heroines. FitzSimons' well-paced and compelling biography of much-decorated Nancy Wake, born 1912 in Wellington, is a poignant reminder of the second world war and of the leadership, courage, camaraderie and resilience which was the other side of the unprecedented killings, betrayals and destruction of that time. The book begins with Wake's early childhood in New Zealand and suburban Sydney following her journalist father's decision to leave Wellington for ... read more.

Refashioning the Rag Trade (2001)

  • imageReviewed by Amanda McLeod in the June 2004 issue.
    Firstly, I have to declare my personal attachment to the 'rag trade'. As a teenager I had dreams of becoming a fashion designer and influencing international fashion trends. I left high school in 1988 to begin a two-year TAFE course in clothing manufacture. The completion of my course, the book reminded me, coincided with the year of the highest retrenchment in the TCF industry. I managed, however, to find work as a sewing machinist, not in the fashion industry, but in a soft-furnishing factory in Richmond in Melbourne's inner east making blinds and curtains. I lasted three months. Low wages, ... read more.

Global Sex (2001)

  • imageReviewed by John Sinclair in the March 2002 issue.
    Since globalisation is a cultural as well as an economic and political phenomenon, and all cultures have their modes of regulating gender and sexuality, a book on globalisation and sexuality seems a useful medium to approach questions of how the global interconnectedness of cultures today is exerting its influence on sexual mores, behaviour and identities everywhere. This is the rationale Altman makes for Global Sex, though he is also explicitly concerned to keep cultural changes firmly within the perspective of a 'political economy' of sex. In particular, he sees the structured inequalities ... read more.

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