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Thursday, 24th 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

Suicide and Gender: Reading Suicide Through Butler's Notion of Performativity

  • Katrina Jaworski
    imageIntroduction Suicide is an issue of immense public concern, as well as private torment, in contemporary Australia. Its prevalence has led to a growth in research and prevention initiatives with a number of social aspects having been identified as important, including age patterns, geographical location, marital status, race and, more recently, sexuality.2 However, despite these efforts, suicide is still curiously and ambivalently positioned in terms of gender. On the one hand, suicide is represented as a gender-neutral tragedy afflicting social groups in a series of cultural conditions. On ...
    Click here to read more.

Network Review of Books

The Pursuit of Wonder: How Australia's landscape was explored, nature discovered and tourism unleashed (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Paul Genoni in the January 2006 issue.
    Recent years have witnessed a growing academic interest in the history of Australian tourism and leisure travel. Significant studies have included Jim Davidson and Peter Spearitt's Holiday Business: Tourism in Australia since 1870 (2000) and Richard White's On Holidays: A History of Getting Away in Australia (2005); while other contributions such as Leone Huntsman's Sand in our Souls: The Beach in Australian History (2001) have examined particular sites of Australian recreation and leisure. The same period has also seen the emergence in Australian universities of departments dedicated to ... read more.

On Holidays: A history of getting away in Australia (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Catie Gilchrist in the October 2005 issue.
    I read On Holidays whilst enjoying a holiday myself in sunny Port Douglas. In the introduction it is suggested that, 'guilt has dogged the holiday throughout its history'. (p xv) There was not much guilt racing through my mind as I sat by the sea, 'warm sand between the toes' (p xvi) reading this lively and engaging history of the Australian holiday. In charting the history of the holiday from its late eighteenth century beginnings and through to today's extensive travel industry, On Holidays documents a fascinating story. What was once a common luxury of the privileged few had become, by the ... read more.

Memoirs of a Rebel Journalist: The Autobiography of Wilfred Burchett (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Ann Jensen in the January 2006 issue.
    The remarkable foreign correspondent Wilfred Burchett was given many labels in the mid-twentieth century -- traitor, spy, communist sympathiser -- but he called himself a heretic. He considered heresy to be a trait inherited from his distinguished ancestors, and his passion for heresy was devoid of prejudice: he could celebrate the Eastern bloc heretic Stefan Heym for 'tilting his very able pen at the bureaucratic stupidities ... of the building of socialism', as easily as he lauded the heresies of his American friends disenfranchised by McCarthy. Burchett was generous to such a degree that ... read more.

Dead Europe (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Geoff Parkes in the August 2005 issue.
    It is hard to believe that over a decade has passed since Christos Tsiolkas launched himself into the Australian literary spotlight with his daring and erotic debut, Loaded. The novel was quickly seized upon as a queer, contemporary narrative that reworked concepts of fixed gender and sexuality, skilfully articulating the tensions of urbanity, ethnicity and the Australian identity. My first encounter with Loaded was in a Gay and Lesbian Cultures class in 1996, his book already accepted into the academy where, as a set text, it aroused and infuriated, and finally glowed with memorable ... read more.

The Old Country: Australian Landscapes, Plants and People (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Andrea Gaynor in the January 2006 issue.
    This is the 'last and final' book from one of the most eminent and interdisciplinary scholars in the area of Australian environmental studies. He already has a book called Swan Song, so this one is The Old Country, in an apt inversion of the term for the British Isles that prevailed for generations in Australia. The Old Country is a rangy work, gnarled and unpredictable, like the Melaleuca elliptica featured in one of the book's many fine photographs. It reaches across aeons and continents and is not content with offering insight alone, but contains some non-prescriptive yet practical ... read more.

On Reflection (2005)

  • imageReviewed by Tim Metcalf in the February 2006 issue.
    Opening the door on David Musgrave's book-as-mentalistic-floor-plan, we are met by the host in his transient flesh and distorted self-image. He shows us smart, sonnet-like poetic pieces juxtaposed with single paragraph prose pieces rather like diary entries. These short texts alternate through the 80 pages like endless reflections in two mirrors facing each other up and down the echoing plaster hallway. One of the subtitles, 'A 20-20 Vision', describes this process. Other infinitely productive oppositions thus created include imaginative freedom versus work; calm and refuge versus angst and ... read more.

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