Colin Steele

Colin Steele

Colin Steele is Emeritus Fellow of the Australian National University. A former University Librarian at ANU (1980–2002), he is the Convenor of the National Scholarly Communications Forum.

Colin Steele reviews 'Where I'm Reading From' by Tim Parks

September 2015, no. 374 26 August 2015
Colin Steele reviews 'Where I'm Reading From' by Tim Parks
British novelist, translator, and critic, Tim Parks, based in Italy since 1981, is well credentialled to examine the changing world of books. Parks says, however, that while he wanted to comment on ‘writing itself, and reading, and books’, he didn’t want to do it ‘in a precious way’. In Where I’m Reading From, Parks is certainly far from precious as he tilts against many literary win ... (read more)

Colin Steele reviews 'A History of the Modern Australian University' by Hannah Forsyth

December 2014, no. 367 01 December 2014
Colin Steele reviews 'A History of the Modern Australian University' by Hannah Forsyth
Hannah Forsyth, a lecturer in history at the Australian Catholic University in Sydney, begins her first chapter with the words: ‘In 1857 all of the Arts students at the University of Sydney could fit into a single photograph.’ Some neo-liberal critics of universities would argue that it has been downhill ever since. By World War II, Forsyth estimates that there were still only about 10,000 uni ... (read more)

Colin Steele reviews 'The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford life in books' by John Carey

June–July 2014, no. 362 01 June 2014
Colin Steele reviews 'The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford life in books' by John Carey
John Carey’s The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books has three intertwined components: autobiographical memories from Carey, a prolific author and book reviewer and former Merton Professor of English Literature at Oxford; his six-decade interaction with that university; and ‘English literature and me, how we met, how we got on, what came of it’. The book is also a microcosm of twen ... (read more)

Colin Steele reviews 'Stylish Academic Writing' by Helen Sword

October 2012, no. 345 25 September 2012
Colin Steele reviews 'Stylish Academic Writing' by Helen Sword
Dr Johnson wrote in his review of Soame Jenyns’s A Free Enquiry into the Nature of the Origin of Good and Evil: ‘The only end of writing is to enable the readers better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.’ One could argue, in the context of contemporary scholarly writing, that increasingly the only end is to satisfy the evaluative demands of research councils and university administrators ... (read more)