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Thursday, 21st 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

Finding a Voice on Indigenous Issues: Midnight Oil's Inappropriate Appropriations

  • Laetitia Vellutini
    Midnight Oil is undoubtedly Australia’s best-known political rock band. For twenty-five years, the group has voiced demands for social justice and publicly criticised aspects of Australian society. It seems inevitable that the band came to be concerned with Indigenous issues and found ways to debate these issues within mainstream discourse. However, while seeking to promote greater understanding of the deleterious effects of ‘white’ Australia on the Indigenous population, the band made choices that some of the people they attempted to represent found offensive and viewed as ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

The Films of Peter Weir (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Andrew Mason in the September 2005 issue.
    Those readers who are expecting a film history or handy taxonomy of Australian director Peter Weir's work will not find it in Jonathan Rayner's The Films of Peter Weir (Second Edition). Rayner teaches Media Studies within the School of English at the University of Sheffield and released the first edition of this book in 1998. Rayner is also the author of Contemporary Australian Cinema. (2000) Whilst overall Rayner's The Films of Peter Weir breaks Weir's body of work into groupings of years, within each discussion of a particular film Rayner is not restricted to a sequential or ... read more.

The Wings of Angels: A Memoir of Madness (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Bianca Ferguson in the March 2005 issue.
    The Wings of Angels is a remarkable collection of poetry, the fifth from award-winning Sandy Jeffs. At once lyrical, satirical, serious and light it encompasses a broad range of themes from madness to materialism to God's body odour. It is remarkable for it functions on many levels, it is deeply profound, wonderfully glib, and hilariously witty all at once without being pretentious or over-written. It is, as a whole, what I can only describe as 'chaste' poetry. It is virginal, real frank. The blurb reads 'Not since Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton has anyone written so candidly about madness'. ... read more.

Griffith Review: Addicted to Celebrity (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Tony Smith in the February 2005 issue.
    On the day this collection arrived on my desk, about a quarter of the features page of one of Australia's broadsheet newspapers was occupied by musings about a tennis player's courtship behaviour. The sportsman was keeping company with an Australian singer, but his attentions had apparently wandered towards an American girl famous mainly for being famous. The meaning(s) of this preoccupation with people who are perennial subjects of media output, and why it matters, are the themes explored in Addicted to Celebrity. The collection, containing critically fearless works by a company of astute ... read more.

Australian Liberals and the Moral Middle Class: From Alfred Deakin to John Howard (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Karen Pickering in the May 2005 issue.
    Judith Brett has produced an expansive and densely empirical account of the ideological formation around which the Liberal Party of today was originally formed. Along the way, she considers the importance of global events, domestic peculiarities and the powerful force of personality that characterised the success of Liberal Prime Ministers, most persuasively Lyons, Menzies, and finally, Howard. This is a work that has been widely praised by commentators on both sides of politics, and received acclaim for its contribution to existing scholarship. It is an impressive document, not merely an ... read more.

Firelick (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Helen Hagemann in the May 2006 issue.
    Poets use metaphor, symbolism, concrete images and the 'non-linear' to enhance the aesthetic quality of their poetry. When the subjectivity of a poetry collection uses all this, together with an extensive use of metaphor or theme, the work is multivalent, dense, and rewarding. Such is the case with Morgan Yasbincek's second collection firelick, published by Fremantle Arts Centre Press, where the element of fire is used in its symbolic richness. Most poems throughout the book concentrate on the fire's variants: its radiant energy, destruction, colour, high spirits, modes of sexual passion, its ... read more.

Split Lives: Croatian Australian Stories (2004)

  • imageReviewed by Sue Summers in the February 2005 issue.
    Split Lives features eight stories from Croatian migrants and refugees, who arrived in Australia between 1949 and 1996. The inspiration for this collection evolved from Colic Peisker's (2000) doctoral research into Croatian migration to Australia, drawing upon material that, at the time, she considered too personal and too rich for academic use. This is an engaging and readable book which provides the reader with an overview of the complicated and turbulent history of Croatia in order to provide a clear and coherent background from which the stories of individuals could emerge. Particularly ... read more.

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