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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

Pauline Hanson, Free Speech and Reconciliation

  • Lisa Hill
    Pauline Hanson’s comments in parliament on the so-called ‘race issue’ have been divisive. She has referred to ‘the privileges that Aboriginals enjoy over other Australians’ and has been critical of the so-called ‘guilt’ or ‘Aboriginal Industry’ putatively generated and defended by ‘the fat cats, bureaucrats and do gooders’ who are said to feed off it.1 Ms Hanson has spoken, often inaccurately but with legal impunity, giving rise to a number of questions about the rights, duties and special privileges of parliamentarians ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

First Peoples: Indigenous Cultures and their Futures (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Ravi De Costa in the April 2006 issue.
    Jeffrey Sissons' short but lucid book describes what he sees as a major revival of Indigenous culture in the settler nations of the New World. He argues that this revival, to a significant degree, is relational: bound up the processes by which settler societies are seeking to restore their legitimacy. Indigenous revivals and New World societies' search for post-colonial status are two sides of the same historical coin. Sissons simplifies the potentially unwieldy topic of global indigeneity by making a firm distinction at the start of the book between Indigenous cultures of the New World (the ... read more.

Strata: Deserts Past, Present and Future. An Environmental Art Project about a Significant Cultural Place (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Lynne Barwick in the October 2005 issue.
    Strata was a project that consisted of an expedition, an art exhibition and a resulting publication that outlines its rationale, methodology and practice. The environmental artist Mandy Martin collaborated with archaeologist Mike Smith and environmental historian Libby Robin, along with pastoralist Guy Fitzhardinge and ecologist Jake Gillen. The group travelled to the Cleland Hills in the Northern Territory and were based at a rock shelter, Puritjarra, where Smith made significant archaeological finds in the 1980s proving 35,000 years of continuous desert dwelling. The publication documents ... read more.

The Garden Book (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Mads Clausen in the July 2006 issue.
    Brian Castro's The Garden Book opens with rare books librarian Norman Shih walking in the Dandenong Ranges, 'a blue wall against the creeping city ... from which a spaghetti of freeways slurps through an expanse of flat industrial sites, quarries, sewage treatment damns, roads that run nowhere'. Unlike Castro's earlier works, where cosmopolitan, disasporic or exilic perspectives have predominated, this novel issues from one geographical setting, from the very landscape that Shih calls 'my place' -- the Dandenong Ranges. So, whereas novels like After China, Stepper and Shanghai Dancing were ... read more.

Selling the Australian Government: Politics and propaganda from Whitlam to Howard (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Nick Richardson in the January 2006 issue.
    The premise of this little book is simple: successive Australian governments have been using taxpayers' money for years to run a sustained campaign of media manipulation. Those of us with a keen eye on the political system will be nodding in agreement. But then, somewhere further down the journey, many will part company with Greg Barns. He proceeds on to a path that seems strangely uninformed and overshadowed by innuendo and spectres of sinister manipulation. Eventually, Barns emerges from this diversion with a sensible and compelling conclusion, but his digression does little to amplify ... read more.

Textual Spaces (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Rhian Healy in the October 2005 issue.
    How does one talk about Aboriginality? Is it best talked 'about' by academics? Or talked 'through' by Aboriginal people? In the end, does academic discourse represent Aboriginality, negotiate it, or perhaps, somehow, own it? Must it be discussed in English, or by using individual aboriginal languages or Aboriginal English? Through written languages, spoken languages, through physical depictions? Textual Spaces: Aboriginality and Cultural Studies discusses the implications of the use of language, especially in the politically loaded relationships between the speakers and those spoken ... read more.

Crude: The Story of Oil (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Eve Vincent in the May 2005 issue.
    It begins as slimy dregs at the bottom sea. It oozes and burns. It powers Western economies. Suburbia depends on it. It has been denounced as the root cause of wars and human rights abuses. It's not going to last forever. This is the dramatic story of oil. 'By the 1850s', writes Sonia Shah as the story of modern oil dependence starts to unfold, 'people in Pennsylvania had noticed black grease floating on top of their creeks and springs.' After experimenting with its use, oil's potential as an energy source was quickly realised. As they had done for water and salt, people sunk wells to ... read more.

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