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y separately published work icon Hecate periodical   peer reviewed assertion
Date: 1985-
Date: 1981-1984
Date: 1978-1980
Date: 1975-1977
Issue Details: First known date: 1975... 1975 Hecate
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Volume 37, Issue 1 (2011) - onwards (Comprehensive)

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

In the early 1970s as feminist movements began to gain momentum there were very few forums to conduct serious debate on issues affecting Australian women. Aiming to address this problem, Carole Ferrier established Hecate in 1975, the International Women's Year. As a title, Hecate (the goddess invoked by women who desired freedom from male tyranny) clearly asserts the aims of the journal. The journal's editorial policy was made clear in the first issue: 'As feminists and socialists, we view this journal as a means of providing a forum for discussing, at a fairly theoretical level, issues relating to the liberation of women.'

Since then, Hecate has played a significant part in the development of feminist criticism in Australia by challenging the 'institution' of criticism and reassessing the historical record from a feminist perspective. Early issues frequently examined canonical texts, but this led to the 'recovery' of forgotten writers like Lesbia Harford and Marie Pitt. Following the publication of New French Feminisms (1980), Hecate published a collection of responses in 1981 that attempted to better define Australian feminism. As more book-length publications on feminist issues appeared in the 1980s, Hecate became a site of significant dialogue with important essays by Sneja Gunew, Louise Adler, Bronwen Levy, Marion Aveling and Susan Sheridan.

Hecate continues to publish articles from a range of disciplines on topics such as race, class, and literary and feminist politics. The selection of poetry and fiction reflects the diversity of female experience in Australia, giving voice to many women, including migrant and Aboriginal writers. Despite a short period in the 1990s when funding from the Literature Board was suspended, Hecate has endured, making it one of the longest running feminist journals in the world.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

First known date: 1975

Works about this Work

Australian Women Writers’ Popular Non-fiction Prose in the Pre-war Period : Exploring Their Motivations Alison Owens , Donna Lee Brien , 2022 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Australasian Journal of Popular Culture , vol. 11 no. 1-2 2022; (p. 63-80)
'Since the 1970s, feminist scholars have undertaken important critical work on Australian women’s writing of earlier eras, profiling and promoting their fiction. Less attention has been afforded to the popular non-fiction produced by Australian women writers and, in particular, to that produced before the Second World War. Yet this writing is important for several reasons. First, the non-fiction writing of Australian women was voluminous and popular with readers. Second, this popular work critically engaged with a tumultuous political, social and moral landscape in which, as women’s rights were increasingly realized through legislation, the subjectivity of women themselves was fluid and contested. Third, as many of these women were also, or principally, fiction writers, their non-fiction can be shown to have informed and influenced many of their fictional interests, themes and characters. Lastly, and critically, popular non-fiction publication helped to financially sustain many of these writers. In proposing a conceptual framework informed by the work of Pierre Bourdieu to analyse examples of this body of work, this article not only suggests that important connections exist between popular and mainstream non-fiction works – newspaper and magazine articles, essays, pamphlets and speeches – and the fictional publications of Australian women writers of the early twentieth century but also suggests that these connections may represent an Australian literary habitus where writing across genre, form and audience was a professional approach that built and sustained literary careers.' (Publication abstract) 
‘Women’s Writing’ and ‘Feminism’ : A History of Intimacy and Estrangement Zora Simic , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Outskirts : Feminisms Along the Edge , May no. 28 2013;
'Women’s Liberation in Australia and elsewhere created feminist readers and writers. Consciousness-raising and reading and writing were intimately linked. Within the women’s movement, journals, magazines and newspapers were launched, small presses inaugurated and writing and reading groups formed. Subscription lists charted the explosion in new titles by, for and about women, and feminist bookshops stocked them. Women’s writers’ festivals, poetry readings and book launches were opportunities to find and promote new work, and to meet other feminists. Some women writers from the past were rediscovered and many contemporary female writers were championed. One of the most successful writers to emerge on the Australian literary scene in the 1970s – Helen Garner, whose debut novel Monkey Grip (1977) won the National Book Council’s Book of the Year award in 1978 – directly linked her ascendency to feminism. A specifically feminist literary criticism began to develop. More generally, feminism also helped to expand the market for women’s writing, so much so that by the 1980s major publishers were developing lists of women’s fiction and/ or subsuming feminist presses into their operations.' (Author's introduction)
Australian Women's History in Australian Feminist Periodicals 1971-1988 Mary Spongberg , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: History Australia , December vol. 5 no. 3 2008; (p. 73.1-73.16)
'This article traces the history of feminist periodical publishing in this country between 1970 and 1988 and its role in the development of Australian women's history. It show that a distinctly Australian feminist historiography developed within the pages of journals such as Refractory Girl, Hecate and Australian Feminist Studies. While most studies of the evolution of Australian women's history since the 1970s signal the importance of such journals, there has to date been no major study of their history or their influence within Australian historiography. Source: Mary Sponberg.
Literary Magazines Face Style Dilemma Katherine Wilson , 1999 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 19 April 1999; (p. 11)
Around 1985 : Australian Feminist Literary Criticism and Its 'Foreign Bodies' Delys Bird , 1999 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literature and the Public Sphere : Refereed Proceedings of the 1998 [ASAL] Conference 1999; (p. 202-209)
Untitled Cheryl Frost , 1976 single work review
— Appears in: LiNQ , vol. 5 no. 2 1976; (p. 81-84)

— Review of Hecate 1975 periodical (79 issues)
Reviews the first two volumes of Hecate , 1975 and 1976.
y separately published work icon Contemporary Feminist Journals in Australia: Negotiating Theory and Practice Amanda Lawrence , Melbourne : 1991 Z1308141 1991 single work thesis This thesis explores the historical development of feminist journals in Australia, their contributions to feminist debate and how they are used as structural sites for feminist polemic. It then examines the practice and politics of three Australian feminist journals: Refractory Girl, Hecate, and Australian Feminist Studies, and contrasts grass roots and socialist feminist publishing politics with the publishing politics of the academy.
Australian Women's History in Australian Feminist Periodicals 1971-1988 Mary Spongberg , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: History Australia , December vol. 5 no. 3 2008; (p. 73.1-73.16)
'This article traces the history of feminist periodical publishing in this country between 1970 and 1988 and its role in the development of Australian women's history. It show that a distinctly Australian feminist historiography developed within the pages of journals such as Refractory Girl, Hecate and Australian Feminist Studies. While most studies of the evolution of Australian women's history since the 1970s signal the importance of such journals, there has to date been no major study of their history or their influence within Australian historiography. Source: Mary Sponberg.
Little Magazines in the 1970s Peter Pierce , 1981 single work criticism
— Appears in: Cross Currents : Magazines and Newspapers in Australian Literature 1981; (p. 219-227)
Literary Magazines Face Style Dilemma Katherine Wilson , 1999 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 19 April 1999; (p. 11)
Editorial [Australian Women's Book Review, Autumn 1997] Barbara Brook , 1997 single work column
— Appears in: Australian Women's Book Review , Autumn vol. 9 no. 1 1997; (p. i)

PeriodicalNewspaper Details

ISSN: 0311-4198
Subtitle:
An Interdisciplinary Journal of Women's Liberation
Frequency:
2 issues per annum
Range:
Vol.1, no1 (1975)-
Size:
22cm
Price:
$1.50 (1975-1978); $2 (1979); $3 (1980-1983); $4 (1984-1986); $5 (1987-1989); $6 (1990-1992); $7.50 (1993-1994); $8 (1995); $10 (1996-2002)
Last amended 6 Jan 2009 14:30:26
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