Cultural Studies

Dion Kagan reviews 'Out of Shape'

Dion Kagan
28 August 2013

Much has been said about our tendency to feel bad about our bodies, but not quite in the way Mel Campbell goes about it. The fit of clothes is a more interesting, if more elusive, cultural story than the predictable outrage over fashion’s ever slimmer bodies or recent storms about ‘plus size’ models. Out of Shape addresses these controversi ... More

Robert Reynolds reviews 'The End of the Homosexual?' by Dennis Altman

Robert Reynolds
22 August 2013
Four decades after his seminal book ‘Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation’, Dennis Altman has published a new study of the homosexual in Australian society. Robert Reynolds is our reviewer. More

Milly Main reviews 'Just Between Us'

Milly Main
27 June 2013

Friendship between women is ideal. It is affectionate and nurturing, founded on generosity and mutual love. It is intimate and loyal, because you can tell your best friend anything and she won’t betray you. It lasts a lifetime.

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Paul Morgan reviews 'Fanny and Stella'

Paul Morgan
26 June 2013

The trial of Frederick Park and Ernest Boulton in 1870 might have been designed for the media to whip up public outrage in a familiar mix of moral disapproval and prurient detail. As Neil McKenna’s Fanny and Stella reveals, this was indeed the intention of the British government of the day.

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Gillian Dooley reviews 'The Misogyny Factor'

Gillian Dooley
26 June 2013

Julia Gillard’s magnificent tirade against Tony Abbott in parliament last year has given Anne Summers her title for The Misogyny Factor, a polemic on the landscape of sexism and disadvantage in Australia based on two of her own recent speeches. Hillary Clinton’s distinction between progress (the signs of how far we have come) and success (enduring c ... More

Jane Sullivan on 'The Love-charm of Bombs'

Jane Sullivan
27 May 2013

My mother-in-law often spoke fondly of the Blitz. I had visions of her as a plucky young woman cycling down the bombed streets of London, going to work as a secretary to the stars of show business, enjoying ridiculously cheap hotel meals, and in the evenings going out on the town with an exciting boyfriend – perhaps a Turkish admiral, perhaps the man she later mar ... More

Shannon Burns reviews 'Dark Night: Walking With McCahon'

Shannon Burns
25 October 2012

Colin McCahon was a prominent late-modernist New Zealand painter who temporarily disappeared while visiting the Sydney Botanic Gardens on 11 and 12 April 1984. As Martin Edmond relates, ‘Colin went off to the toilet but didn’t return’, and subsequently ‘spent 28 hours lost on the streets of Sydney’. When discovered, ‘he could not say who he was, carried ... More

Scott McCulloch reviews 'Lost Art'

Scott McCulloch
25 September 2012

Lost Art: Two Essays on Cultural Dysfunction is an absorbing and lyrical journey through the contemporary art world. Combining a sensibility that is both highly critical and deeply personal, Julian Davies and Phil Day analyse what is celebrated and what is forgotten in an increasingly ruthless and commercial industry.

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David Throsby reviews 'Piracy'

David Throsby
04 May 2011

When members of the rock band Men at Work recorded their legendary hit ‘Down Under’ in the early 1980s, they wanted to inject a stronger sense of Australianness into the song, so they included a flute riff of a few bars echoing the classic Australian children’s chorus ‘Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree’, just as one might, in a different geographical con ... More

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