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Issue Details: First known date: 2010... vol. 16 no. 2 2010 of Cultural Studies Review est. 2002 Cultural Studies Review
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  • Contents indexed selectively.


* Contents derived from the 2010 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Publishing and Australian Literature : Crisis, Decline or Transformation?, Katherine Bode , single work criticism
Authors abstract: The end of the 'golden age' of Australian literature and publishing has been proclaimed many times, and multiple causes of this situation have been identified, including 'declining editing standards, changes in literary taste, the rise of marketing departments in publishing houses, changing leisure patterns, [and] the advent of Nielson BookScan'. Most often and most convincingly, the end of this 'golden age' is attributed to the globalisation, consolidation and economic rationalisation of book publishing. Nathan Hollier's claim that 'Australian literature is dying, or at least disappearing', because 'the Australian publishing industry and market is dominated by a handful of large corporations, themselves generally parts of massive, multinational conglomerates', captures the general view. This supposed dominance of Australian publishing by multinational conglomerates is described by some commentators, like Michael Wilding and David Myers, as negative for Australian literature as a whole, and by others, like Webby and Mark Davis, as responsible for a specific decline in Australian literary fiction. I explore both positions, first investigating trends in Australian novel publication and comparing these to trends in publication of novels from other countries as well as other forms of Australian-originated literature (specifically, poetry and auto/biography). I then consider the case of Australian literary fiction, before looking in detail at Davis's account of the changing output of large publishers of Australian novels. The results of this study reveal a decline in Australian novel and poetry titles (since 2000 and 1994 respectively), but suggest a more complex picture of this trend than dominant expressions of nostalgia and alarm about the fate of Australian literature and publishing imply.
(p. 24-48)
Note: Also available via ANU Digital Collections.
Dreaming of Others : Carpentaria and Its Critics, Alison Ravenscroft , single work criticism

Ravenscroft argues that 'white critical efforts to make meaning' of Carpentaria have portrayed Wright as indebted to novelists such as Patrick White and Frank Hardy, and have also tended, 'in moves that refuse the text's unfamiliarity' to try to categorise the novel as a work magic realism. Ravenscroft goes on to offer, 'first, a more detailed critique of so‐called postcolonial magic realism in which I point to critics’ refusal to allow markers of difference in texts to be significant; indeed, to signify at all. Instead, there is a habit of skipping over these places where differences are inscribed as if they were not there at all. There are some differences that are just too much, it seems. Second, I propose reading Carpentaria through a different paradigm, and this is the paradigm of radical uncertainty, an impossible dialectic. In this might lie the beginnings of another reading practice, one that allows Carpentaria its difference, its strangeness, and which points to the necessary estrangement of its white readers.’ (Source: essay)

(p. 194-224)
Churned and Spurned in the Flexible World of Work : A Corporate Narrative, Jane Messer , single work criticism
'Accelerated by the new internet technologies, the past two decades have been characterised by a globalisation of trade and communications, along with major shifts in the balance between manufacturing and knowledge driven economies. New organisational cultures have grown out of and have reflexively driven these changes, and these new organisational cultures of work are registered and enacted by employees through a plethora of micro-practices in the workplace. While it is potentially empowering to be aware of the links between one's individual agency and the macro structure surrounding your own particular micro-experience, awareness is particularly hard to come by in the modern flexible workplace. Narrative can address this gap in felt knowledge, because in helping us have an imaginary about our experience as workers, narrative supports thinking more broadly about the contradictions inherent in the current system of globalised profit and productivity through flexible labour paradigm. Sociologist Richard Sennett and psychoanalyst Christophe Dejours's work on character and subjectivity are used here to frame the author's ethnographic research, which has included a series of extended interviews with IT executive salespeople in Sydney and brief workplace immersions, leading to a series of narratives of character; analysis of 'The IBM Global Human Capital Study 2008'; and excerpts from J.M. Coetzee's memoir Youth.' (Author's abstract)
Sacrificing Steve : How I Killed the Crocodile Hunter, Luke Carman , single work criticism
'Bob Hodge and Vijay Mishra argue that the complex issues of illegitimacy at the core of Australian identity are repressed through a continual process of cyclical silencing, where traces of a shameful past are exorcised by a focus on images of a mythologised 'legend', embodied in characters such as 'The Man from Snowy River'. This article explores such a 'schizophrenic' cycle in relation to the life, death and resurrection of Steve 'Crocodile Hunter' Irwin.' (Authors' abstract)
Fragments Shored against Ruins, Paul Gillen , single work criticism
'Denis Byrne's Surface Collection is a finely written philosophical travelogue, taking the reader on an archaeological tour of South Asia that is also a personal quest and a critique of heritage conservation. Its closely organised structure, reminiscent of baroque music, begins with an investigation of the modes of erasure or preservation of the recent past in South East Asia, shifts to an ironic narrative of futile quests for historical traces, and concludes with reflections on the clash of popular Buddhist relic worship with the values of heritage conservation. Byrne stages the latter conflict as between magical and rationalistic worldviews. Mildly dissenting, this essay suggests that although heritage conservation deploys scientific means, it is based on the sacralisation of the past. This motivation brings it closer to magic than to core tenets of Enlightenment, either of the Rational or the Buddhist kind.' (Author's abstract)
Walking to Work : Community and Contact, Jan Idle , single work prose
'The settler community must negotiate the difference of the stranger and the melancholy and violence of a past haunted by colonization and death. Through writing the details of everyday contact in a walk across the city this essay explores notions of community. It owes much to the writing of Linnell Secomb who writes of the haunted nature of the settler community in the Australian context. Secomb writes of community through the ideas of Jean Luc Nancy where community is a process of negotiation of difference, a listening to the unfamiliar other in conflict and acceptance. The work of Alphonso Lingis and Richard Sennett has informed my ideas of the stranger and the city while Kim Scott's Benang has influenced how I think and write about the echo of the past in the present. These theoretical interruptions punctuate this writing of negotiating community.' (Author's abstract)
Diasporic Hybridity on Australian Screens, Olivia Khoo , single work review
— Review of Diasporas of Australian Cinema 2009 anthology criticism ;

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Last amended 22 Feb 2011 16:31:59
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