The Print Cultures Network brings together researchers from a range of disciplinary/professional backgrounds plus specialists in the deployment of frontier technologies in information management. As a research field, 'print cultures' draws on scholarship in a wide range of areas, some traditional, such as literary and historical studies, bibliography and textual studies, and some newer cross-disciplinary fields such as the history of the book and aspects of cultural studies. These emerging disciplines, in turn, encompass a wide range of fields: the history of reading, publishing studies, printing history, editing studies, orality and literacy, the history of ideas, library studies, and legal history. In order to focus and structure this wide array of knowledges (and individual expertise), the Network will be focused primarily upon cultural history; 'modern print cultures', interpreted here to cover the period of Australia's European settlement from the late-eighteenth century to the present; and the relations between Australian and international print cultures. Its connective thematic will be the dynamics between print culture/the print economy, national cultures and global structures of production and consumption.

Its second focus is on the use of digital technologies for research in bibliographical, textual and editing studies, information storage and delivery, and scholarly communication. Print culture scholars in Australia and internationally have been at the forefront of such developments. The Network will establish collaborations between researchers in the emerging interdisciplinary fields of book history, print culture and publishing studies and experts in new generation information management, research libraries and the application of digital technologies. At the centre of the Network will be its interactive relationship with the multi-institutional collaboration already existing through the AustLit Gateway (  

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The aims of The Print Cultures Network are:

  1. To enhance interdisciplinary exchange between researchers in book history, editing/textual studies, publishing studies, cultural history and literary studies and industry and policy professionals.

  2. To build relationships between researchers in these areas and experts in the application of digital technologies to humanities research across the field of studies in print culture.

  3. To generate new collaborative research on print cultures and globalisation in Australia through enhanced national and international networks.

  4. To create a critical mass of researchers currently lacking infrastructure and cohesion in comparison to international networks and to foster digital resource-building to enhance research in Australian print culture.

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The Print Cultures Network will be a 'node' within the Australian e-Humanities Research Network. It will work collaboratively with other nodes of the Australian e-Humanities Research Network in order to foster digital resource-building, thereby enhancing capacity in both directions, and also develop its own program of activities focused on building collaborative research and information-sharing in the field of print culture studies. It will be administered from the Australian Studies Centre at The University of Queensland and convened by its Director, Associate Professor David Carter, in collaboration with the AustLit Gateway (management of which is also located at The University of Queensland) and will establish explicit relationships with relevant research projects and individual researchers and experts in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth plus key regional universities.

The Network presently comprises leading researchers in literary studies, Australian Studies and cultural history (Carter, Bennett, Buckridge, Tasker, Meehan, Ommundsen, McCann, Webby, Dixon, Haskell, Worby, Nile, Dolin, Whitlock, Bird, McCredden); journalism, media and communications studies (Murray, Cryle, Galligan, Griffen-Foley); bibliographical and textual studies (Eggert, Arnold, Webby); and library and digital information management professionals (Burrows, Kilner, Schmidt, Coleman, Burn).

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The research portfolio of The Print Cultures Network will be organised around the following themes:

  1. Histories of production: comprising histories of publishing and the book trade; the book as material object; the technologies of print and production; copyright and IP law; government policy. Histories of cognate forms - especially periodicals and newspapers - will also be included in order to locate books in the context of print culture.
  2. Histories of reading and consumption: comprising histories of the 'reading public'; histories of consumption; the book as commodity; histories of criticism and taste; cultural institutions (libraries, schools, festivals etc); reading/consumption in the digital environment.
  3. Digital resources: comprising the application of digital technologies to bibliographical research and textual editing; electronic editions; new e-print technologies; database and research infrastructure; libraries and information management; e-print archives.
  4. The cultural politics of print: comprising studies of print's enmeshment within the structures of media production; cultural power and its circulation; print and issues of race, gender, class, sexuality, regionalism.

In all themes the focus will be on print cultures in Australia but with this focus understood to include the dynamics of international (colonial, imperial, global, regional) cultural trade. Significant existing projects associated with the Network are described below in the Audit of Australian Research Capacity.

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Survey of

History of the book / print culture studies

The history of the book (the more familiar term is useful for the purposes of this survey) is a relatively recent but rapidly emerging international field of scholarship. Many of its component parts have much longer histories— bibliographical studies, studies of printing, journalism studies etc; and book history disciplines can be traced back to the 1950s in Germany and France. But their reconceptualisation under the heading of 'the history of the book' dates, in the English-speaking world, only from the late-1980s. Darnton (1982/1990) provided an early attempt to explain the emerging field and provide it with a conceptual grounding through his model of the 'communications circuit'. An agenda-setting conference in the North American context was held in 1984 with the papers published in Hall and Hench (1987).

Over the last decade and a half, however, the history of the book has become an area of international research activity. Centres for book history research, publishing studies and related fields have been established in North America, the UK, and Europe (see below). Research and graduate programs are also becoming widely dispersed, although the first 'reader' in the field appeared only in 2002 (Finkelstein and McCleery). The leading scholarly association in the field, the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP), 'was created in 1991 to provide a global network for book historians, who until then had usually worked in isolation. SHARP now has over 1000 members in over 20 countries, including professors of literature, historians, librarians, publishing professionals, sociologists, bibliophiles, classicists, booksellers, art historians, reading instructors, and independent scholars' (

Perhaps most significantly, multi-volume national history of the book projects have been commenced in a significant number of countries - and completed in the case of the French Histoire de l'edition francaise (1986). For example: one volume of the History of the Book in America has appeared (2000), one volume of the History of the Book in Australia (2001), and two volumes of the Cambridge History of the Book in Britain (1998, 2002). Four volumes are in preparation for the History of the Book in Scotland, and similar histories are in preparation for Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, India and a range of other countries. Although Europe and North America have figured prominently, studies of colonial and post-colonial relationships through trade in print, including the relationships between Britain and Australia, have become an important defining feature of the field. Australian scholarship is recognised in the international field, for example through publication in the journal Book History.                                                       

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Research across book history is so widely dispersed that it is near impossible to present a comprehensive survey of international research. As the SHARP website puts it, 'the history of the book is not only about books per se: broadly speaking, it concerns the creation, dissemination, and reception of script and print, including newspapers, periodicals, and ephemera. Book historians study the social, cultural, and economic history of authorship; the history of the book trade, copyright, censorship, and underground publishing; the publishing histories of particular literary works, authors, editors, imprints, and literary agents; the spread of literacy and book distribution; canon formation and the politics of literary criticism; libraries, reading habits, and reader response.'

Nonetheless it is possible to discern emerging trends in the study of print cultures. For present purposes the focus will be on work in the area of modern print cultures rather than across the entire field, and on locating Australian research within the international context.

Many of the 'older' traditions of bibliographical studies, textual studies, biographies, and historical accounts of publishers, printers etc. have continued into the present, contributing to the new cross-disciplinary field but without necessarily being substantially revised by its distinctive conceptual developments. The first emphasis of book history has often been on the book as material object—on the book not the text. This would include work on printing technologies, paper, bindings, editions etc. The meaning of the 'text', it has been shown, can alter dramatically as the form of the 'book' changes, even when the textual contents remain identical-for example when expensive and cheaper editions of the same work are produced for different audiences (Erikson).

Foundational to the history of the book has also been a concern with the dissemination and circulation of print in all its forms. This has involved work on commercial and public libraries, booksellers, the marketplace, religious and political networks, educational institutions, legal and governmental regulation, and, more recently, electronic means of dissemination. The next step is the focus on histories of reading and reception—criticism might be part of that but the emphasis is sociological and cultural rather than textual, a concern with historically specific, mutable, sometimes ephemeral, modes of reading determined by class, gender, religion, ethnicity, political circumstance etc.

The conceptualisation of the field through the notion of print cultures emphasises the need to bring historical research on the material circumstances of production, dissemination and consumption into productive relationship with critical cultural theory and its engagement with the cultural politics of these processes. Bibliographical work can then be linked to and reinterpreted through major theoretical fields in the contemporary humanities such as cultural history or post-colonial studies.

These concerns involve book history with social, cultural and economic histories. The premise of book history might then be stated as the understanding that these histories are not merely the 'background' to the creation of books or print texts; the changing forms of print materials and the means of their dissemination and consumption have in their own right had profound effects in the processes of social change. Similarly, print forms cannot simply be taken as the 'product' of social, cultural or economic structures; it might be better to say that they are 'in themselves' social, cultural and economic structures. In the words of Joan Shelley Rubin (2003), what distinguishes the newly defined fields of book history or studies in print culture is 'the principle ... that the history of the book is more than the sum of separate "social, cultural, and economic" histories; rather , it integrates the lessons of all three. As many of its practitioners insist, their enterprise requires discerning relationships between material conditions, social structures, and cultural values—relationships that establish the meanings print forms carry as they pass from author to reader'. Elizabeth Eisenstein's work (1979, 1983) on the spread of print culture 'as an agent of social change' still stands as an exemplary study of the social effects of print as a 'cultural technology,' although it has subsequently been challenged through arguments about the unevenness of the spread of print and its co-existence with oral forms (Johns, 1998).

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Thus book history and studies in print culture have emerged alongside developments in social and cultural history. It might seem odd that there has been less commerce with the field of cultural and media or communications studies. This can be explained through disciplinary and institutional histories. Book history largely developed from or through historical disciplines or through areas of literary studies which were relatively unaffected by (and in some instances actively resistant to) the influence of post-structuralist theories which led, among other developments, to the emergence of cultural studies as a major force in the humanities institution. However, many of these disciplinary and theoretical divides have begun to dissolve. Within cultural studies, 'cultural industry' and 'cultural policy' approaches have shifted the focus away from 'textual politics' or 'high theory'; audience studies and studies of consumption have led in a similar direction. There has been a major shift in literary studies towards cultural history. The potential for productive links between the more traditional forms of book history and these emerging modes of 'cultural studies' has thus become influential for many researchers. The increasing presence of digital modes of production, dissemination and consumption have further encouraged these links which have already had profound effects on scholarly communication and publication.

There has been some debate around the alternative terms 'the history of the book' or 'the history of print cultures', although the former term has, in any case, always been used in an inclusive manner: 'book' has been 'shorthand for the full range of written communication' (Rubin). The latter term is generally preferred here in order to emphasise:

  • That the materials for study are not restricted to the form of the book;
  • That the objective of the study is not the nature of books or print for their own sake but for the ways in which they 'illuminate the nature of culture' (Rubin) and to locate print within 'the field of cultural production' (Bourdieu);
  • That there are productive relationships to be made with other work on culture, cultural politics and the media emerging from cultural studies.

'Print cultures' is also taken to include electronic forms of publication and, in particular, to address the issue of the complex relations between printed and electronic forms and the cultural institutions which govern their production and consumption. The term signals a need, addressed by the proposed Network, to point the mainly historical work of book history towards issues of contemporary print culture and its digital manifestations, otherwise left to the vocationally-oriented programmes in Publishing or Editing studies.

A number of significant trends in modern print culture studies can thus be discerned:

  • An emphasis on histories of reading, 'reading formations', reading habits, reading publics.
  • An emphasis on the book/print as a commodity; studies of consumption.
  • A reconceptualisation of the publishing industry as a 'cultural industry' (encompassing issues of policy and law).
  • A reconceptualisation of the relations between print culture and the 'public sphere.
  • An urgent interest in electronic/digital forms of production and dissemination and their impact upon print culture.
  • An emerging alliance between print culture studies and studies of (post)colonial cultures and globalisation.

This final point enables us to locate Australian research in the field of print cultures within the international context. A description of this research is included below as part of the Audit of Australian Research Capacity.

Print cultures and digital technologies

Immediacy, searchability, interoperability and flexibility are the benchmarks of the new modes of communication within the digital knowledge economy. Government and private support is being provided for the development of digital resources such as e-print archives, the conversion of print to electronic resources, the exploration of new methods of scholarly communication and publishing in the education and research sectors, Gateways and Portal developments. A database is no longer simply a searchable table of data, but can provide the foundation for a complex landscape of knowledge in a wide range of linked areas of expertise. Data models that have interoperability as a core principle are increasingly common and it is becoming easier to have seamless integration between related resources in the knowledge environment.A number of leading Australian projects in this field are directly related to the field of print cultures research and are linked to the Print Cultures Network: Scholarly Electronic Text and Image Service (SETIS); Classic Australian Works series (CAW); the Academy Electronic Editions; the Authenticated Electronic Editions Project; and the AustLit Gateway, an international best-practice gateway project.

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Audit of


There is a growing interest in the study of print cultures in Australia and the formulation of research projects in these terms, as registered in recently-funded nationally-competitive projects (see below). With the digital projects listed above, there is also a developing infrastructure of digital resources to undergird this research. Nevertheless, despite these advances, existing networks and collaborations are surprisingly underdeveloped. The History of the Book in Australia (HOBA) remains a project rather than a professional association although it has organised a number of conferences. The Association for the Study of Australian Literature is primarily focused on literary texts and authors although it has convened conferences and issued publications with a broader remit (Bartlett, Dixon & Lee). The journal Publishing Studies has ceased publication since the death of its founder, John Curtain. Newspaper history and journalism studies, media studies, and book history remain largely isolated fields with only occasional connections. There are a significant number of research projects but these remain largely individual projects (see below); the Deakin University project, 'The Role of Public Culture in the Construction of Contemporary Australian Literature', HOBA, and the AustLit Gateway are exceptional as collaborative projects.

Although studies of Australian publishing have emerged as an important field for postgraduate research, most analysis remains in industry or government commissioned reports and trade journals rather than academic publications. The Bulletin of the Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand publishes articles of significance to book history and print culture studies, as on occasion do Australian Literary Studies, the cultural studies journals Continuum and Media International Australia, and cultural quarterlies such as Meanjin or Overland.

Some earlier published works on Australian literature are useful for the study of print culture and, despite various shortcomings, can be considered book history avant la lettre: for example, Frank Greenop's History of Magazine Publishing in Australia (1947), H. M. Green's two-volume History of Australian Literature (1962), or John Tregenza's Australian Little Magazines 1923-1954 (1964). So too publishing memoirs (e.g., Dutton, Horne, McPhee). Newspaper history has been better served than other areas (Cryle, Griffen-Foley, Walker) but remains under-researched. Studies of colonial culture have provided useful material for studies of print culture (Lawson, Nadel, Webby).

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The first book to show the overt influence of the history of the book was The Book in Australia (Borchardt & Kirsop 1988). Subsequent works which can be recruited into the field include Bird, Dixon & Lee (2001); Buckridge, Murray & Macleod (1995); Carter & Ferres (2001); Cryle (1989, 1997); Curthoys & Schultz (1999); Lyons & Taksa (1992); McLaren (1996); McLeod & Buckridge (1992); (Nile (2002); Walker, Horne & Lyons (1992); and of course the one volume of HOBA published to date (Lyons & Arnold 2001). Certain chapters in recent general histories of Australian literature have also contributed to print culture studies (Buckridge; Carter, Nile & Walker).

An audit of ARC funded research reveals that while grants for Literature Studies research fell by 26.8 per cent over the period 1996-2003, research in the Cultural Studies and Journalism, Media and Communications areas have increased, dramatically in the case of the former and substantially in the latter case. This suggests the significance of 'new generation' interdisciplinary research and of reconceptualising literary and related studies through the frameworks of cultural history and, in particular, studies in print culture. Successful print culture projects have crossed the categories from Literature Studies to Journalism, Media and Communications and Cultural Studies (Cryle & Kaul, 'Empire and Antipodes: Australia-New Zealand involvement in the Empire/Commonwealth Press Union'; Gelder, 'Global Popular Fictions'). Within the area of Australian Literary Studies, grant success has been strong for projects with a direct relation to studies in print culture especially in the last four years, including:

  • Buckridge, 'Australia Reads the Classics';
  • Carter, 'The Making of the Australian Middlebrow';
  • Dolin, Buckridge and Reid, 'Mass Market Fiction and the Shaping of Cultural Identity';
  • Galligan, 'Reformulating an Australian Cultural Infrastructure';
  • Ommundsen, Meehan and McCooey, 'The Role of Public Culture in the Construction of Contemporary Australian Literature'.

Despite these established strengths and emerging patterns of research concentration, however, the sum of research capacity in the field of print culture studies remains largely driven by individual research projects. It thus remains less than the sum of its parts in the absence of a research infrastructure/network that would sustain a higher level of collaborative and interdisciplinary research and of interaction between individual researchers and information infrastructure, for example in the e-humanities and library sectors. These are the networking arrangements that The Print Cultures Network will develop through collaborations in the immediate field of print cultures studies and in cognate areas including information management, cultural policy, copyright and IP law, and digital rights management.

Although still an emerging domain in Australia, book history/print culture scholars have been at the forefront of projects deploying digital technologies. These constitute an important area of research development and infrastructure building, in the application of digital technologies to a series of problems related to print cultures: bibliographical research and textual editing; digitisation of rare or 'classic' Australian texts; digitisation of out-of-print Australian works; the building of a sophisticated research database for print cultures research. Scholars working in print cultures research have been at the forefront of digital developments. Projects include:

  • Scholarly Electronic Text and Image Service (SETIS);
  • Classic Australian Works series (CAW);
  • the Academy Electronic Editions;
  • the Authenticated Electronic Editions Project;
  • and the AustLit Gateway.

Another important recent development is the C-2-C: Creator to Consumer in a Digital Age project, a collaboration between Common Ground Publishing, RMIT University in Melbourne since 2001, with funding from the Infrastructure and Industry growth Fund (IIGF) and the Book Production Enhanced Printing Industry Competitiveness Scheme (EPICS) Grants, Commonwealth Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources. The focus of the project is on 'the future of the book in the context of radical changes in the publishing supply chain'. The project has focused on three major areas: technology, markets and skills. The project has seen the publication of ten books to date (see e.g. Cope & Mason, Cope & Ziguras) on the publishing industry, new technologies and markets. A conference was held in Cairns in 2003 and another is planned for Beijing in 2004 (

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The AustLit Gateway

The AustLit Gateway is an example of the way new methods of dissemination, publication and access to information within a particular area of print culture can have important influences on research, acting not only as a database, but also generating new research collaborations. AustLit is a non-profit collaboration between eight Australian Universities and the National Library of Australia providing authoritative information on hundreds of thousands of creative and critical Australian works relating to more than 67,000 Australian authors and organisations. Its coverage spans 1780 to the present day. AustLit indexes and describes Australian literature published in a range of print and electronic sources. Researchers, bibliographers and librarians, working around the country, gather information about Australian writers and writing, providing authoritative information on and facilitating access to Australian print culture sources. The majority of AustLit records provide citation and library holdings information for printed works, rather than access to full text. However, in conjunction with the National Library of Australia's PANDORA archive and the SETIS project of the University of Sydney, a range of selected full text creative and critical works have been progressively added to AustLit. There are now 7119 full text works available on AustLit.

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Research Projects

This listing includes ARC and other competitively funded research projects with a significant focus on Australian print cultures and/or by Network members over the last 5 years.

'The Making of the Australian Middlebrow: Nationalism,
Modernity and Middlebrow Culture in Australia'
A/Prof DJ Carter The University of Queensland
This project aims to investigate the history of middlebrow cultural values and institutions in 20th-century Australia. It will be the first such study, and will build on recent major international work on the middlebrow. Reading Australian cultural history through the concept of the middlebrow will revise familiar assumptions about literature, nationalism and modernity in Australia. The study will examine the rich archive of Australian magazines, newspaper review pages, writer and reader associations and publishing records. It will engage theoretically with contemporary theories of popular culture and modernity. The outcome will be a monograph on middlebrow culture in Australia.

'Empire and Antipodes: Australian-New Zealand involvement in the Empire/Commonwealth Press Union (1909-1970)'
A/Prof D Cryle Dr C Kaul Central Queensland University
This project will investigate the role and changing significance of the Empire/Commonwealth Press Union (1909-1970) focussing on its regular international conferences and the communication issues raised by the Australian-New Zealand delegations which attended. Drawing on the work of Harold Innis on the history of communication across empires and using the E./C.P.U as a case study, the project seeks to investigate the ascendancy and decline of British imperial communications in terms of old/new media and British/antipodean communications. Key debates and concerns of the A/NZ press delegations, including press freedom, cable technology and the advent of broadcast media, will be examined within the shifting contexts of private/public monopoly and imperial/national loyalty with reference to parallel developments in India.                                                

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'Mass-Market Fiction and the Shaping of Cultural Identities
in Eleven Australian Communities, 1880-1950'
Dr TP Dolin A/Prof PJ Buckridge Prof IW Reid Curtin University of Technology
This project analyses the circulation of commercial mass-market novels and stories in eleven non-metropolitan towns and cities between 1888 and 1950, in order to determine the role of mass culture in the shaping of cultural identities in Australia during a crucial period of its history. Developing innovative research methods based in book history and bibliography, literary studies, and cultural history, the project will re-evaluate received explanations of Australia's cultural past, challenge assumptions about mass culture and its impact on local cultures, and advance research methods in book history and literary studies.

'Authenticated Electronic Editions Project'
Prof. Paul Eggert, ADFA, UNSW
The project will develop a system for archiving electronic texts, allowing for the addition of mark-up after publication by any number of hands simultaneously and remotely, without compromising the integrity of the original text. Using ISO standard coding systems, the documents will be transferable across the widest range of computer platforms and yet able to be encoded in the most specialist ways, without becoming either corrupted or opaque to the human reader. The software will be tested in the creation of an enriched version of a classic literary document of a kind impossible in physical book-format.

'Building Australian Literary Knowledge Infrastructure'
Prof Bruce Bennett, Prof Paul Eggert, Prof John Hay, Mrs Janine Schmidt, A/Prof David Carter, Mr John Arnold, Prof Elizabeth Webby, Mr Ross Coleman, Prof Guthrie Worby, Dr Wenche Ommundsen, Prof Dennis Haskell, Dr Toby Burrows, Prof Belle Alderman The University of New South Wales
The primary goal of AustLit: the Australian Literature Gateway is to facilitate and encourage research in, and teaching of, the nation's creative and critical literature. AustLit's innovative world class resource discovery service utilises best practice techniques in information management and knowledge sharing. In 2003, AustLit will develop new technical services and important new content to meet the defined needs of a wide range of education and information consumers in the area. AustLit provides the foundation for a subject specific digital library that will retain and expand its usefulness.

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'Reformulating an Australian Cultural Infrastructure: Strategic Intersections Between the Publishing Industry, Libraries and Cultural Policy'
Dr A Galligan University of Queensland
This project will clarify the national understanding of the Australian literary cultural infrastructure by examining the intersection of the publishing industry, the national library network and cultural policy. While these elements separately and collectively generate and promote Australian literary culture and books, governments and the cultural sector have mostly treated these as separate, isolated units. This study will identify the connections and clarify the disconnections among these domains. It will seek to formulate an appropriate framework for describing the workings of the literary cultural infrastructure which will assist in the development of policy and professional strategy.

'Australian Literature and the Sacred:
Contesting the Myth of Australian Secularism'
Dr LM McCredden Dr FM Devlin-Glass A/Prof BD Ashcroft Deakin University
The dominant myth of Australian culture has stressed its modern, post-religious secularism. This project, focussing on Australian literature since 1940, challenges this most tenacious myth, current in the wider culture and in Australian literary scholarship. It will investigate how the contemporary sacred is transforming in the context of urgent recent claims to the sacred by indigenous peoples, migrants and women. This project will redefine and systematize what sacredness might mean in a supposedly secular Australian culture. It will produce a new model of the sacred in Australian literary history and make significant interventions in post-colonial debates.

'Becoming Australians, or Unbecoming Colonials?
Australians in British Journalism, 1892-1902'
Dr M. Tasker University of Ballarat
This project will analyse the influence of Australian writers in British journalistic representations/discussions of Australia in the years which produced a federated Australia, and the British Commonwealth. Through detailed study of several 'Australian' journalists working in London, and their social and institutional contexts, it will trace some of the forces at work to define and represent relations between Britain and Australia.

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'The Role of Public Culture in the Construction of
Contemporary Australian Literature'
Dr W Ommundsen Prof MF Meehan Dr DW McCooey Deakin University
Literature is not simply a body of texts; it is a cultural technology, affected by changing patterns of production and consumption. Witness the 'cult of celebrity', the phenomenal recent growth of literary festivals, literary internet sites, reading groups, changing patterns of literary marketing, education, employment and leisure. Academic scholarship, largely text-based, fails to engage with these public and popular phenomena. Our project develops methods for describing and evaluating how these practices construct literary value and cultural identity, in ways that will bring academic literary analysis into a more informed, more creative engagement with public and popular culture in Australia.

'Frank Hurley: The Making of a Modern Cultural Icon'
Prof R Dixon University of Queensland
I propose to write a book about Frank Hurley (1885-1962) dealing comprehensively for the first time with his photography, cinematography and writing from the perspective of the new humanities disciplines, and to make an original argument about the significance of his career for modern Australian culture in its international contexts. The book will exemplify a new theory and practice of interdisciplinary research. A second objective is to publish an edition of Hurley's diaries. Melbourne University Press have formally expressed interest in both books. The text of the diaries will also be made available on the internet by the Mitchell Library and National Library of Australia.

'Disposing of the Tabloid? A Critical Analysis of Contemporary
Developments in the Print Media'
A/Prof David Rowe The University of Newcastle
By critically analysing the concept of newspaper tabloidisation, this Project aims to: test its empirical validity and theoretical integrity; compare and contrast changes in both broadsheet and tabloid newspapers; and understand the management of the tabloid stigma by media institutions and professionals. This task is especially significant because 'tabloid' is the most used but least precise typification of current media. Outcomes include: clarification of the existence and extent of tabloidisation; greater understanding of the forces influencing the production and consumption of contemporary media; stimulation of informed public debate; and international publications and conceptual advances in sociology, media and cultural studies.

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'Australia Reads the Classics: A History of Serious Reading in Australia
Associate Professor P Buckridge Griffith University
The project is a history of 'serious reading' in Australia from the dawn of nationalism in the late nineteenth century to the dawn of globalisation in the late twentieth. It aims to document and interpret the forms in which Australians gained access to the 'great books' of the world during this period, the circumstances in which they read them, the values they invested in them, and the uses they made of them. It will be the first comprehensive account of a reading culture that flourished for some six generations after European settlement. The outcome will be a 400-page monograph

'The Intersections Between Australian Media Companies,
Their Proprietors, and Politicians and Political Parties
Between 1945 and 1975'
Dr Bridget Griffen-Foley The University of Sydney
This project explored the nature of the relationship between Australia's four major media companies - John Fairfax & Sons, Australian Consolidated Press, the Herald & Weekly Times, and News Limited - and parliamentarians and party officials between 1945 and 1975. It was the first major consideration of the evolution of the relationship between the news media and the political arena in Australia.

'Argus On-Line: A Nineteenth Century Australian
Newspaper Digital Index'
Dr John Hirst, Prof John Fitzgerald, Prof Stuart Macintyre, Prof Graeme Davison, Asst Prof Patrick Buckridge, Prof Richard A Nile, Prof Ann Curthoys, Mr George Gow, Prof Tim Murray, Asst Prof Alan Mayne, A/Prof Judith Brett La Trobe University

'Cross-media Content Streaming: Rationale and
Reality in Converged Media Environments'
Dr Simone Murray, The University of Queensland

'Indigenous Creative Writers and Writing in Australia:
Protocols and Critical Cultural Resources'
Prof. Gus Worby with Simone Ulalka Tur Flinders University

'Critical Edition of Robbery Under Arms'
Prof E Webby, University of Sydney, Prof P Eggert, ADFA, UNSW
The project restored the text read by its first Australian audience in a full-scale critical edition, with historical and textual apparatus. Robbery Under Arms has long been recognised as one of the three classics of 19th century Australian literature. Yet relatively little was known of how it was written, revised, serialised and produced as a novel, and then how it achieved world-wide distribution. This knowledge was essential if a scholarly edition of the novel was to become possible. When the edition is published in the Academy Editions of Australian Literature series, readers will be able to understand both the novel's achievement and its expression of the ideological cross-currents of its period, by virtue of the apparatus of textual and contextual information. This will have been provided for the first time.

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'Past Tense: "acts of memory" in contemporary Australian memoir'
Prof Gillian Whitlock The University of Queensland
This project examines the turn to autobiographic expression - particularly fragmentary forms of memoir - by the intelligentsia in Australia in the fin de siecle of the twentieth century. Why and how did these styles of writing proliferate? How did they shape ideas and express uncertainties about national identity and citizenship during a phase of national commemoration, self-consciousness, jubilation and unease? In a monograph, 'Past Tense', and a series of articles and conference presentations these questions will be considered using a comparative, cross cultural approach which will make a contribution to understanding identity debates in contemporary Australian society.

'Marcus Clarke's Bohemia: Literature, Popular Culture and
Urban Experience in Colonial Melbourne'
Dr Andrew McCann The University of Melbourne
This study will contextualise Marcus Clarke's career in terms of the material culture of nineteenth-century Melbourne, producing the first complete and theoretically informed monograph on Australia's most important colonial prose writer. Clarke's self-conscious bohemianism highlighted the increasingly commercialised nature of nineteenth-century writing, the centrality of mass entertainment to urban life, the circulation of cultural capital between Europe and Australia, and the emergence of Australian literary nationalism in a larger imperial context. His career is thus uniquely positioned to elucidate the hitherto under-explored but pivotal relationship between literature and commodified popular culture in the specific context of an Australian settler-colony.

'The External Eye: Production and Reception of Some British and American Representations of Australia, 1850-70 and 1940-60'
Prof EA Webby The University of Sydney
Increased globalisation of media and publishing has led to concerns that Australian cultural products will lose their local distinctiveness. This project aims to interrogate the local / non-local binary by studying popular representations of Australia produced by a British author in the mid nineteenth century and by British and American film makers in the mid twentieth century. It will compare the reception of these novels, plays and films in Australia, Britain and USA and also focus on how cultural assumptions affect adaptation from one genre to another. This will result in greater understanding of cross-cultural and cross-generic representation and reception.

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'Global Popular Fiction: Contemporary Modes of Production, Distribution, Evaluation and Identification in a Transnational Literary Field'
A/Prof K Gelder The University of Melbourne
This project will analyse contemporary popular fiction, a massive, complex and under-researched field of literary production. It will examine the main venues for processing and evaluating popular fiction as it moves from author to reader: namely, publishers and bookshop chains; specialist bookshops; mass- and micro-media and web site information transmission; author profiles; genre; and narrative relations to place. The project will situate contemporary popular fiction in its transnational distributive networks, while also analysing the means by which it gains its internal distinctions and dynamics. It will thus substantially increase our knowledge of the way this flourishing literary field actually works.

'Australian Literary Manuscripts:
A National Repository of Electronic Finding Aids'
Dr Toby Burrows, D Haskell, D Bird, P Eggert, M Burn
University of Western Australia
This project resulted in the establishment of a national web service giving detailed listings of the contents of nearly 100 collections of Australian literary manuscripts held in six major libraries. The Guide to Australian Literary Manuscripts is linked to the AustLit Gateway database, enabling researchers to find manuscript collections for authors listed in AustLit.

'All that Glisters ... A History of Literary Culture in Melbourne
from the Gold Rushes to Federation'
Prof K Stewart University of Western Sydney
The study will provide for the first time a considered examination and interpretative overview of the nature, significance and workings of literary culture in colonial Melbourne. Major key events, publications, debates, controversies, ideological contests, personal conflicts, cultural axioms and pertinent discourses will be investigated and popular as well as literary and intellectual manifestations will be considered. This neglected culture will be recognised and advertised through the publication of a monograph.

'Full-Scale Critical Edition of Under Western Eyes by Joseph Conrad'
Prof P Eggert The University of New South Wales
Joseph Conrad's place in twentieth-century literature is now firmly established. His novels, stories and other writings have become integral to modern thought and culture. Yet the need for an accurate and authoritative edition of these works remains. The project will analyse the extant manuscript and typescript materials and early printed editions.

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'A Comparative History of Twentieth-Century Women's
Romance Writing in the UK, USA and Australia'
Dr H Teo The University of Sydney
During the twentieth century the output and consumption of romance novels has increased until romances currently comprise over 50% of the international fiction market. Women's romances provide a way of analysing how a century of feminism and changes in women's socio-economic and political positions have affected women's ideals of gender, romance, sexuality, and the family. While a number of studies have compared British and American romances, Australian romances have not received much attention. This study examines what is common to Western romances, while analysing the differences that arise from their specific cultural histories.

'The Intimate Empire: Autobiography After Colonialism'
Prof Gillian Whitlock, Griffith University
A comparative, cross-national study of autobiographical writing in the post-colonial cultures of the British empire which focuses on the role of autobiography - from slave narratives and settler writings of the nineteenth century to contemporary late imperial autobiographics. This study will produce a monograph which will: i) bring together a cluster of excellent autobiographies which have hitherto been read only in terms of national traditions or in terms of sub-genres such as the slave narrative; ii) develop a methodology for reading these autobiographies based on the particular dynamics of identity formation in the cultures of colonialism; iii) place Australian autobiography in a comparative international perspective.

'The Politics of Representing Feminism for Popular Consumption
in the Australian Print Media, 1970-1995'
A/Prof S Sheridan A/Prof S Magarey Flinders University

'The Institutionalisation of Australian Literature and
Literary Culture since the Second World War'
Dr SA Mycak The University of Sydney
The aim of the project is to study the specific ways in which Australian literature and literary culture has been institutionalised since the second world war. The two expected outcomes are a new model theorising Australian literature and literary culture, and a systematic empirical account of aspects of Australia's national literature and literary culture. The findings will add new knowledge - both theoretical and empirical - to the current field of Australian literary studies. The findings will also situate Australia within a recognised international scholarly field.

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Graduate Research, Australia

Diane Brown:
'Publishing Culture: Commissioning Books in Australia, 1970-2000', PhD thesis, Department of Communication, Language and Cultural Studies, Victoria University, 2002: 283 pp.

This thesis measures how the individuals who constitute independent publishing culture reflect or construct wider cultural trends through the books they commission. The commissioning role is explored through identity narratives of editors and publishers discussing their experiences in book publishing. This thesis argues that approaches to commissioning are critical to an understanding of the cultural forces at work in Australian book publishing.

*Available on request as pdf from Diane at

Lara Cain:
'Reading Culture: The Translation and Transfer of Australianness in Contemporary Fiction', PhD thesis, School of Humanities and Human Services, Queensland University of Technology, 2001: 369 pp.
The dual usage of 'reading' in the title evokes the nature of this study, which analyses the ways in which people 'read' (make sense of /produce) images of culture as they approach translated novels. Part of this analysis is the examination of what informs the 'reading culture' of a given community; that is, the conditions in which readers and texts exist, or the ways in which readers are able to access texts. Understanding of the depictions of culture found in a novel is influenced by publicity and promotion, funding bodies, and other links between the reading public and the production and sale of books. All of these parties act as 'translators' of the text. A set of contemporary Australian novels provides case studies to show that the influence of the press and other 'translators' is significant to the ways in which texts, and cultures, are read.

*Available online via Australian Digital Thesis (ADT) Database.

Anne Galligan:
'The Textual Condition: Negotiating Change in the Australian Literary Field', PhD thesis, Department of Humanities and International Studies, University of Southern Queensland, 2001: 379 pp.
This thesis examines the networks of interaction and systems of exchange, both within the cultural field and across broader national and international fields of power, that are involved in the production and circulation of the Australian literary estate. It covers aspects of globalisation and national identity, cultural policy and an extensive discussion of the publishing industry since 1960. It includes a case study of the National Library of Australia and, as a conflation of all sections of the thesis, an analysis of the intersections across intellectual, social, political and legal environments that surround the work of the historian, Henry Reynolds.

*Available on request as pdf from Anne at

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Anne Galligan:
'The Australian Author in a Web of Change: Authorship and Publishing
1972-1997', M.Phil. thesis, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Southern Queensland, 1997: 241 pp.
This thesis is an examination of contemporary authorship and publishing in Australia, concentrating on the experience of both the freelance and the academic author. Specific areas include Commonwealth government policy and funding through the Literature Fund and the system of awards that operates in the public arena. The author/publisher relationship is a major focus, plus a study of the literary marketplace, developments in electronic publishing and a case study of University of Queensland Press. A thirty-five semi-structured interviews provided a direct source of information drawn from the personal experience of selected authors, publishers and editors.
*Available on request from Anne at

Anita Heiss:
'Dhuuluu-Yala (To Talk Straight): Publishing Aboriginal Writing in Australia', PhD thesis, Department of Communication and Media, University of Western Sydney, Nepean, 2000: 294 pp.
This doctoral thesis documents the history of Indigenous publishing in Australia, and highlights the impacts of Aboriginality on writing. It presents an analysis of the issues around Aboriginal identity in writing, the history of Aboriginal publishing, Indigenous editorial processes, issues of intellectual property, and marketing and distribution of Aboriginal literature, and compares these with Maori writing in New Zealand and Native American writing in Canada. The thesis also provides a comprehensive catalogue of Aboriginal publications.

[Published as Dhuuluu-Yala (To Talk Straight): Publishing Aboriginal Literature in Australia, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 2003.].

Brigid Magner:
'Trans-Tasman: Modes of Proximity and Detachment in New Zealand/Australian Literary Culture', PhD thesis, Department of English, School of Literary, Visual and Performance Studies, Monash University, 2003.
This thesis explores the ambivalent relationship between the literary communities of Australia and New Zealand. Since the breakdown of imperial ties with Britain, Australia and New Zealand have each become increasingly preoccupied with national identity, stressing the links between culture and nationalism. Due to the strength of these oppositional nationalisms, interstitial figures have been effectively exiled from their literary origins in the process of moving across the Tasman. Arguing that this form of displacement can function as a reading strategy, the thesis explores the intricate connections between nation, identity and location; one chapter, in particular, explores these issues in relation to publishing.

*Available on request as pdf from Brigid at

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Louise Poland:
'Out of Type: Women in Publishing in Australia 1931-1973', M.A. thesis, National Centre for Australian Studies, School of Social and Political Inquiry, Monash University, 2002: 229 pp.
This thesis represents an attempt to re-evaluate women's significance within Australian book publishing, especially during its formative years. It identifies over three hundred women who were active in publishing and the book trade in Australia pre-1974. Of these, ten publishers and editors, eight of whom have not previously been the subject of any known academic scrutiny, are selected for case study: Winifred West, Joan Phipson, Rosemary Dobson, Bessie Mitchell (Guthrie), Marjorie Pizer, Mary Quick, Beatrice Davis, Barbara Ramsden, Enid Moon, and Nan McDonald. The thesis argues that mainstream histories of the book have consistently marginalised women and calls for a re-reading of book culture in Australia.

*Available on request as pdf from Louise at

Louise Poland:
'Fire in Your Belly: Independent Publishers and the Acquisition of Books', Grad. Dip. Arts (Ed. Pub.) thesis, National Centre for Australian Studies, School of Social and Political Inquiry, Monash University, 1997.
This thesis examines contemporary commissioning and other book acquisition processes within the context of independent Australian publishing. It highlights a number of central concerns: the ever present tensions between creative and commercial publishing imperatives, as well as the courageous and risk-taking elements of publishing within a vibrant, dynamic and, at times, struggling sector of the book industry in Australia.

[Articles published in Publishing Studies, no. 7, 1999, 17-30, and Journal of Australian Studies, no. 63, 2000, 110-117.]

*Available on request as pdf from Louise at

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Helen Anderson,
'The Sydney Gazette under Robert Howe' (MPhil in History)
Currently enrolled The University of Sydney.

Leanne Day,
'Literary Societies in Brisbane, 1880-1910', PhD,
Griffith University, submission 2004.

Robin Freeman (MA)
'Second generation Holocaust writing and the Australian publishing industry', Deakin University.

Nathan Garvey,
'Spurious Publications relating to early Australia', PhD in English,
The University of Sydney.
Currently enrolled.

Ian Henderson,
'A reading of
Paul and Virginia and its influence in Australia',
PhD in English, The University of Sydney.

Neil James,
'A History of Angus and Robertson Publishers, 1940-1960',
PhD in English, The University of Sydney.

Caroline Jones,
'George Robertson and Australian publishing'
PhD in History, The University of Sydney.
Currently enrolled.

Kath McLean,
'Culture, Commerce and Ambivalence: A Study of Australian Federal Government Intervention in Book Publishing', PhD, Monash University.

Rachael Weaver,
'The Criminal of the Century: Frederick Deeming and Popular Print Culture in late Nineteenth-Century Melbourne.' (2003), The University of Melbourne

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Bartlett et al, eds, 1999 Australian Literature and the Public Sphere, ASAL.

Bennett, B. & Strauss, eds, 1998 The Oxford Literary History of Australia, OUP.

Bennett, T. & Carter, eds, 2001 Culture in Australia: Policies, Programs and Publics, CUP.

Bird, Dixon & Lee, eds, 2001 Authority and Influence: Australian Literary Criticism 1950-2000, UQP.

Borchardt & Kirsop 1988 The Book In Australia: Essays Towards A Cultural & Social History, Monash.

Bourdieu 1993 The Field of Cultural Production, Polity.

Buckridge 1998 'Clearing a Space for Australian Literature 1940-1965', in Bennett & Strauss, eds.

Buckridge, Murray & Macleod, 1995, Reading Professional Identities: The Boomers and their Books.

Carter 2000 'Critics, Writers, Intellectuals: Australian Literature and its Criticism' in Webby, ed.

Carter & Ferres 2001 'The Public Life of Literature' in Bennett & Carter, eds.

Cope & Mason, eds, 2001 Creator to Consumer in a Digital Age, Common Ground

Cope & Mason, eds, 2002 New Markets for Printed Books, Common Ground.

Cope & Ziguras, eds, 2002 The International Publishing Services Market, Common Ground.

Cryle 1989 The Press in Colonial Queensland: A Social and Political History, 1845-1875, UQP.

Cryle 1997 Disreputable Profession : Journalists and Journalism in Colonial Australia, CQU Press.

Curthoys & Schultz 1999 Journalism: Print, Politics and Popular Culture, UQP.

Darnton 1982 'What is the History of Books? In The Kiss of Lamourette: Reflections in Cultural History, Norton (1990).

Dutton 1985 Snow on the Saltbush, Penguin.

Dutton 1996 A Rare Bird: Penguin Books in Australia 1946-96, Penguin.

Eisenstein 1979; 1983 The Printing Press as an Agent of Social Change, CUP.

Erikson 'Help or Hindrance? The History of the Book and Electronic Media'

Finkelstein & McCleery 2002 The Book History Reader, Routledge.

Griffen-Foley 1999 The House of Packer: The Making of a Media Empire, Allen & Unwin.

Lawson 1983 The Archibald Paradox, Allen Lane.

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Hall & Hench, eds, 1987 Needs and Opportunities in the History of the Book in America 1639-1876, AAS.

Horne 2000 Into the Open, HarperCollins.

Johns 1998 The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making U Chicago P.

Lyons & Arnold 2001 A History of the Book in Australia: A National Culture in a Colonised Market, UQP.

Lyons & Taksa 1992 Australian Readers Remember: An Oral History of Australian Reading, OUP.

McLaren 1996 Writing in Hope and Fear: Literature as Politics in Postwar Australia, CUP.

McLeod, Jock and Pat Buckridge, eds, 1992 Books and Reading in Australian Society, Institute for Cultural Policy Studies.

McPhee 2001 Other People's Words, Picador.

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Nile 2002 The Making of the Australian Literary Imagination, UQP.

Nile & Walker 2001 'The "Paternoster Row Machine" and the Australian Book Trade' in Lyons & Arnold.

Rubin 2003 'What is the History of the History of Books?' Journal of American History Vol. 90, no. 2, September.

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Webby, ed., 2000 The Cambridge Companion to Australian Literature, CUP.

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