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Friday, 1st August 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

'Their Ultimate Absorption': Assimilation in 1930s Australia

  • John Chesterman and Heather Douglas
    imageYou’re like the majority of people in Australia. You hide from this very real and terrifically important thing, and hide it, and come to think after a while that it don’t exist. But it does! It does! Why are there twenty thousand half-castes in the country? Why are they never heard of? Oh my God! Do you know that if you dare write a word on the subject to a paper or a magazine you get your work almost chucked back at you? (Xavier Herbert, Capricornia, 1938)1When Xavier Herbert’s Capricornia was finally2 published on Australia Day in 1938 it created instant controversy. It was ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

Mr Ruddock Goes to Geneva (2003)

  • imageReviewed by Sue Bond in the March 2004 issue.
    This book is part of the University of New South Wales Press's Briefings series of inexpensive and accessible works about important issues of our time. Spencer Zifcak ends his short and focused work on Australia's relationship with the United Nations and our government's response to the criticisms of its human rights record with sobering thoughts: 'repudiation of the competence and authority of UN bodies can only be expected to persist and worsen, to the detriment of the international rule of law ---- and ultimately to our common security and our common humanity' (73). The book is impressive ... read more.

Three Weeks in Bali: A Personal Account of the Bali Bombing (2003)

  • imageReviewed by Maria Tumarkin in the July 2003 issue.
    Alan Atkinson, ABC journalist based in Adelaide, was on holiday in Bali with his wife and two teenage kids, when the two explosions in Paddy's Bar and Sari Club in the heart of Bali's most popular tourist district late on Saturday 12 October 2002, claimed the lives of two hundred and two people, eighty-eight of whom were Australian. This book is the diary Alan kept of his three weeks in Bali -- 11 days of bliss and then of waking up very early on Sunday morning to a phone-call from Australia. On the other side of the phone is Alan's brother-in-law in Sydney. There's been an explosion at Kuta. ... read more.

The Hospital for Dolls (2003)

  • imageReviewed by Stephen Lawrence in the April 2004 issue.
    `Death changes everything,' my two great aunts announced, simultaneously lifting the teacups to their lips in such a studied gesture that I was reminded of two five-year olds rehearsing a tea party. ('The Hospice')Melissa Ashley is a serious talent. The hospital for dolls, her first collection, contains vivid language in abundance. Poems such as 'Demeter's Lament,' or the descriptions of her travels in Turkey, are teeming with images around a theme or a location. The seaside and wetlands are favourite settings. In Part 2, for example, she chooses a nature-descriptive discourse and seems to ... read more.

Caldera: Narrative Excursions (2003)

  • imageReviewed by Deborah Jordan in the September 2004 issue.
    Caldera: narrative excursions is a finely produced selection of writings, theoretical and creative, and as the editors hope, with an 'excursive' approach to their subjects, digressing from the paths, ranging widely, inclined to stray and going beyond. Similar to the format of a little magazines and subtitled art culture literary theory fiction history memoir politics, the collection, we can hope, is the first of many such occasional publications. Caldera narrative excursions contains some real gems, intimate, vivid and finely crafted; most include some self-reflective notion of the writer ... read more.

Shadow Selves (2003)

  • imageReviewed by Ali Alizadeh in the September 2004 issue.
    In his 1967 essay 'Words and Experience', English poet Ted Hughes highlights the limitations of language in general, and poetry in particular, in representing the complexities of human experiences. He begins by saying that words are inadequate tools, 'learned late and laboriously and easily forgotten' and, to overcome these shortcomings, he draws on a number of psychoanalytical perspectives -- primarily Jungian -- to conclude that 'occasionally ... just for a brief moment' the poet can, almost accidentally it seems, find the words that actually succeed in capturing and reanimating the 'spirit' ... read more.

Rights for Aborigines (2003)

  • imageReviewed by David Ritter in the October 2003 issue.
    Bain Attwood is a New Zealand born, Monash University-based historian of cross-cultural relations in Australia whose first book, The Making of the Aborigines, was published in 1989. His latest work, Rights for Aborigines, is a 'representative' if 'not comprehensive' series of historical case studies of campaigns for rights for Aborigines, beginning in late nineteenth century Victoria and ending in 1970s Canberra. In Making, Attwood suggested that pan-'Aboriginal' identity had been 'made' in the course of colonisation and in Rights he argues that campaigns for Indigenous emancipation are also ... read more.

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