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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

Giving the Indigenous a Voice — further thoughts on the poetry of Eliza Hamilton Dunlop

  • John O'Leary
    imageIn the project of giving Australia’s Indigeous peoples a voice, it is sometimes assumed that only modern writers have a contribution to make. Nineteenthcentury colonial poets, however, often wrote on ‘Aboriginal’ themes, at times portraying Indigenous people sympathetically and, frequently, giving them a voice. An intriguing example of this is offered by the early New South Wales poet Eliza Hamilton Dunlop. While her verse is open to charges of colonialism and cultural appropriation, it nevertheless allowed the Indigenous people of her time to speak, after a fashion, at a ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

Beautiful, Unfinished (2003)

  • imageReviewed by Stephen Lawrence in the March 2004 issue.
    M.T.C. Cronin has the true poetic eye. Her creative confidence does not bully or coerce: it seduces. In a way, this collection is a come-on to the audience: she positions herself visually as a sexy Madonna: Luring, tempting, convincing Desire me after all this is abandoned.The back cover photograph is of an El Greco saint glancing heavenward, her barely containable intellect and poetic soul about to burst forth, like an alien from its ripe, sticky egg. Cronin's collection is subtitled 'PARABLE/SONG/CANTO/POEM.' (Something is going on even before we open the book: Why is the title in ... read more.

Cultural Expressions of Evil and Wickedness: Wrath, Sex, Crime (2003)

  • imageReviewed by Catie Gilchrist in the February 2006 issue.
    At the Interface/Probing the Boundaries publications are designed to be both exploratory examinations of particular areas and issues, and rigorous inquiries into specific subjects. This innovative volume belongs to the research project Perspectives on Evil and Human Wickedness ( and each chapter evolved from papers given at a conference in Prague in 2002. It is a broad and wide-ranging project that is dedicated to the exploration of evil, suffering, pain and the consequences of human actions. Embracing a multi and inter-disciplinary approach, the key themes are both ... read more.

Fighting Films: A History of the Waterside Workers' Federation Film Unit (2003)

  • imageReviewed by Rebecca Johinke in the April 2004 issue.
    Lisa Milner has done an excellent job of transforming her PhD thesis into an entertaining and accessible read for anyone interested in film culture, the history of Sydney's wharf workers, or trade unions in Australia. Fighting Films provides an account of the Waterside Workers' Federation Film Unit (hereafter WWFFU), which operated in Sydney from 1953-1958. It was the first film production unit within a trade union anywhere in the world. The three members of the Unit (Norma Disher, Keith Gow and Jock Levy) made fourteen films before the WWFFU was dismantled. Milner describes the political and ... read more.

Donald Thomson in Arnhem Land (2003)

  • imageReviewed by Christine Cheater in the September 2004 issue.
    The fact must be stressed that the difference between a nomadic race with its peculiar and specialised adaptations and social obligations, and a gardening people, with an established village life, is more than a matter of environment, it depends on deeper factors, and has a definite psychological basis. (p118)These words capture both Donald Thomson's respect for Australia's indigenous people and his commitment to championing a way of life missionaries and government officials were bent on destroying. Donald Thomson, as readers of this handsome book will discover, was a man who was out-of-step ... read more.

A Game of Our Own: the origins of Australian football (2003)

  • imageReviewed by Bernard Whimpress in the Aug/Sep 2003 issue.
    The reissue of this book, thirteen years after the first edition, is welcome not least because two of the origin myths -- that Australian football derived from Gaelic football or the Aboriginal game marn grook -- which then had little evidence to support them, have not only proved remarkably resilient but have grown with the years. Grown, despite the lack of evidence. It is one of the functions of history to debunk myths and in his final chapter Geoffrey Blainey certainly does this and does so gracefully. On Gaelic football he writes:If an historian of football wishes to press the argument ... read more.

A Place to Lay My Head: Immigrant Shelters of Nineteenth Century Victoria (2003)

  • imageReviewed by Jasmina Brankovich in the March 2005 issue.
    This book touches the heart of an important subject in contemporary Australia: the status of migrants, particularly those who arrive here in search of more promising lives for themselves or their families, and the consequences of a national failure to treat these people with deserved respect, and provide for their immediate needs. But, unlike more recent debates, the events described in A Place to Lay My Head took place in the nineteenth-century and concern some of Australia's first 'boat people', the English, Irish and Scottish migrants who arrived to Australia to labour on pastoral fields ... read more.

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