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y separately published work icon Australian Journal of Biography and History periodical issue   peer reviewed assertion
Issue Details: First known date: 2024... no. 8 2024 of Australian Journal of Biography and History est. 2018 Australian Journal of Biography and History
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'The Australian Journal of Biography and History (AJBH) was established in 2018
with the principal aim of promoting the study of historical biography. In her
2023 book Biography: An Historiography, Melanie Nolan, currently director of
the National Centre of Biography, situates biography as integral to the practice
of history, a discipline that stresses the role of the individual rather than focusing
solely on the structures constraining human agency.1 Consistent with this objective,
the AJBH publishes lively, appealing and provocative articles that ‘engage critically
with issues and problems in historiography and life writing’ as well as illuminating
themes in Australian history.2 Since 2018, the journal has fulfilled its charter with
three general numbers emanating from a call for papers and four special themed
issues: Number 2, 2019, Canberra Lives (edited by Malcolm Allbrook); Number 5,
2021, Political Biography (edited by Stephen Wilks and Joshua Black); Number 6,
2022, Writing Slavery into Biography (edited by Georgina Arnott, Zoë Laidlaw and
Jane Lydon), and Number 7, 2023, Convict Lives (edited by Matthew Cunneen and
Malcolm Allbrook).' (Malcolm Allbrook: Introduction)


  • Contents indexed selectively.


* Contents derived from the 2024 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Beyond the Red Shoe: Searching for Mrs Petrov, Phillip Deery , Julie Kimber , single work biography

'A fictionalised account of the Petrov Affair begins with its most famous incident.
This occurred on the tarmac of Sydney’s Mascot airport on 19 April 1954:

Evdokia knew this crowd was here for her. They were hunting her. They were here to prevent her escaping through the terminal, onto the plane ... Her escorts had revolvers in their jackets. If it was Moscow’s instruction, they’d do away with her here ... She could not believe it, the number of people, the lights, the shadows ... Evdokia wanted to stop. She wanted to stop and turn and run. Zharkov at her elbow, insisting otherwise ... The crowd thought the men were dragging her, pushing her, physically compelling her to move. They swept towards them, shouting, appealing.

'This retelling barely approximates what happened on that dramatic evening. Certainly,
the iconic photograph (see Figure 1) capturing a vulnerable and anguished woman,
missing one shoe, being escorted by burly Soviet couriers towards the Moscow-
bound plane, has entered our historical memory. But, as to be expected, there is
a disjuncture between historical imagination and the archival record. The drama
of this event overshadows the complexity of negotiations and tactics used when the
plane reached Darwin. The truth of what happened then, behind the scenes, is still
opaque. A similar issue lies at the heart of our search for the truth about Evdokia
Petrov. We began with the intention of a conventional biographical portrait—one that
extended, but was still consistent with, previous studies. Instead, what we discovered
was that, in investigating the dialogue between truth and illusion, we entered a world
of deception and dissembling from which we emerged more uncertain than ever. This
article, then, is an exercise in biography as frustration. In part it is an exploration of
what is known about Evdokia. In tracing her history through her own words, through
Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), government and newspaper
reports, through oral history and through secondary studies, we highlight the ways
in which elements of her story unravel. We argue that there can be no certainty in its
retelling. Evdokia Petrov’s words and her portrayal by contemporaries demonstrate
that any attempt at biography is plagued by ambiguity.' 


Patrick White and the Path to Sarsaparilla : How a Great Novelist Became a Great Unread, Martin Thomas , single work biography
'‘Your sense of permanence is perverted’, wrote Patrick White in The Aunt’s Story.
‘True permanence is a state of multiplication and division’. The words are prescient,
for White himself has done rather well at dissolving into the impermanence of post-
mortem obscurity. Perhaps unsurprisingly in view of the pandemic, the thirtieth
anniversary of his death in 2020 left little imprint. No literary festival honoured the
occasion, and no journal did a special issue. If White is looking down at us from some
gumtree in the sky, he will be bathing in the lack of glory. He despised the hacks of
the ‘Oz lit’ industry as much as he loathed the ‘academic turds from Canberra’.' 


How Does One Choose Narrative Strategy? One Biographer’s Experience, Gabriella Kelly-Davies , single work autobiography
Jennifer Bird Review of Joel Stephen Birnie, My People’s Songs : How an Indigenous Family Survived Colonial Tasmania, Jennifer Bird , single work review
— Review of My People's Songs : How an Indigenous Family Survived Colonial Tasmania Joel Stephen Birnie , 2022 single work biography ;
'Colonisation has disrupted Indigenous communities’ traditional cultural practices across the globe. It has changed how Indigenous peoples have engaged with the world and imposed Western ideals upon them. Their languages were restricted or banned, and many were physically removed from their culture and all it represented. Contemplating the process of colonisation over hundreds of years in Australia and systematic government-enforced child removal practices brings into question what constitutes family for Indigenous communities. Why are the genealogies of Australia’s Indigenous peoples expected to be proved by linear bloodline? This proof seeks to legitimise or delegitimise individuals’ links to their birthright, culture and Country. There is no scope for understanding how these practices may contest Indigenous community cultural beliefs, nor to believe colonial documents may record information in error.' 


A Few Good Men? Moderate Reflections from a Martyr, an Insider and a Cigar Smoker: Joshua Black Review of Malcolm Turnbull, A Bigger Picture: With New Foreword; Christopher Pyne, The Insider: The Scoops, the Scandals and the Serious Business within the Canberra Bubble; Joe Hockey with Leo Shanahan, Diplomatic: A Washington Memoir, Joshua Black , single work review
— Review of A Bigger Picture : An Autobiography Malcolm Turnbull , 2020 single work autobiography ; Diplomatic Joe Hockey , Leo Shanahan , 2022 single work autobiography ;
Catherine Fisher Review of Kylie Andrews, Trailblazing Women of Australian Public Broadcasting, 1945–1975, Catherine Fisher , single work review
— Review of Trailblazing Women of Australian Public Broadcasting, 1945-1975 Kylie Andrews , 2022 multi chapter work criticism ;
'An exciting development for both feminist and media history is the current boom in studies of women’s contributions to broadcasting. Over the past decade, a growing number of scholars have uncovered previously ignored experiences and achievements of women in the industry. They have also revealed how broadcasting contributed to achieving women’s equality more broadly. Key scholarship includes the work of Kate Murphy on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Christine Ehrick on Argentina and Uruguay, and work on Australian broadcasting by Jeannine Baker, Justine Lloyd, Yves Rees and myself.1 Kylie Andrews provides a rich addition to this growing literature with her study of four postwar women producers at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).' (Introduction)
Nicole T. McLennan Review of Richard Turner, Made in Lancashire : A Collective Biography of Assisted Migrants from Lancashire to Victoria, 1852–1853, Nicole McLennan , single work review
— Review of Made in Lancashire Richard Turner , 2021 single work biography ;
'Too many examinations of migration fail to look meaningfully backwards, their focus
firmly fixed on the journey itself and the road beyond. As the title of Richard Turner’s
book Made in Lancashire suggests, his account begins well before departure, and he
continues to keep one eye on the rear-view mirror as his migrants find their way and
settle in the colony of Victoria.' (Introduction)
Colin Milner Review of Mark Hearn, The Fin de Siècle Imagination in Australia, 1890–1914, Colin Milner , single work review
— Review of The Fin de Siècle Imagination in Australia, 1890-1914 Mark Hearn , 2022 multi chapter work criticism ;
'‘Fin de siècle’ is a French language phrase that has gone international, far beyond
francophone countries. It has certainly been adopted by English speakers. Denoting the
end of a century, its literal meaning was utilised in Fins de Siècle: How Centuries End,
edited by Asa Briggs and Daniel Snowman, which explored the influence
of time consciousness since the end of the fourteenth century of the Common Era.
But the phrase especially refers to the end of the nineteenth century, sometimes with
a connotation of decadence. It is true that other phrases, such as ‘La Belle Époque’, the
‘Gay Nineties’ and the ‘Gilded Age’, refer to the closing years of that century too. They
tend to be associated with a specific time frame, country or style. Together, they point
to what was an important and interesting historical epoch.' (Introduction)
Sam Ryan Review of Jim Davidson, Emperors in Lilliput: Clem Christesen of Meanjin and Stephen Murray-Smith of Overland, Sam Ryan , single work review
— Review of Emperors in Lilliput : Clem Christesen of Meanjin and Stephen Murray-Smith of Overland Jim Davidson , 2022 single work biography ;
'Jim Davidson, the second editor of Meanjin, introduces his book Emperors in Lilliput
by noting that, while ‘there’s nothing so dead as last week’s newspapers’, literary
journals are different. You ‘may have picked up an old one, lying in a corner, and
been surprised by its quality’ (p. vii). The contents of a newspaper last a week at most,
but the contents of a literary journal can be timeless.' 


Christina Spittel Review of Nathan Hobby, The Red Witch : A Biography of Katharine Susannah Prichard, Christina Spittel , single work review
— Review of The Red Witch : A Biography of Katharine Susannah Prichard Nathan Hobby , 2022 single work biography ;
'‘So there’s a new book about me coming out next year’, tweeted Katharine Susannah
Prichard on 27 April 2020. ‘I wouldn’t believe everything it says.’ A photo shows
her biographer, Nathan Hobby, signing a contract with Melbourne University Press
(MUP) in an Officeworks carpark. He looks content, if a little daunted. Only slightly
delayed by the pandemic, the book, a richly illustrated, handsome volume with
generous endnotes and an extensive bibliography, produced in MUP’s Miegunyah
imprint, appeared last year. Published fifty years after her death, it is the first full
biography of Prichard.' 


Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 2 Apr 2024 12:00:34
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