Published between 1880 and 2008, the Bulletin's crowning years are considered to have been the 1890s, a period also generally regarded as Australia's literary renaissance. During this decade the magazine encouraged a new generation of writers, illustrators, critics and journalists to voice their protest at the dominant literary forms and social attitudes while at the same time promoting strident nationalist sentiments.
The considerable literary reputations established by the Bulletin writers has resulted in the magazine becoming arguably the most commonly cited magazine in the literature pertaining to Australian drama, sociology, politics, journalism and literature between 1880 and the 1920s. However, recent research into pre-1930s Australian popular culture entertainment is beginning to cast much doubt on the methodological approaches taken by historians and social/urban biographers, particularly their reliance on literature as a means of gauging or explaining socio-cultural attitudes.
In this paper Clay Djubal uses the Bulletin as a sample case in order to demonstrate the flaws in a methodology which all too often fails to question the veracity and appropriateness of particular sources in relation to the wider Australian community. The paper further questions the belief that literature and other high art forms of creative expression accurately reflect on or speak for the broader popular culture demographic.