Sinister signs of professionalism? Literary gang warfare in the 1950s and 60s

Lee, Christopher (1999) Sinister signs of professionalism? Literary gang warfare in the 1950s and 60s. In: ASALA 1998: Australian Literature and the Public Sphere , 3-7 Jul 1998, Toowoomba, Australia.

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This essay looks at a specific moment of the culture wars in the 1950s and 60s in which men of letters, creative writers and professional academic critics debate the merits of their different literary practises. It is particular interested in the different forms of authority available to literary intellectuals in and through the public sphere.

Introduction: Turning the Century
This essay surveys Australian writing of the 1890s with a special interest in social and political reference. It discusses writers and their work under the headings of ‘The legend of the Nineties’, ‘The labour movement’, ‘Feminism’, ‘Spirituality’, ‘Imperial Frontiers and the indigene’, ‘A Liberal Nation’, and ‘The Cultural Heritage’. It serves as the introduction to an anthology of writing on the 1890s which is available from UQP as a print on demand text for courses.

Women, Romance and the Nation
This essay looks at the production and reception of Catherine Martin’s An Australian Girl in the 1890s as an exemplary case of the attempt to contain the reformist interests of late nineteenth century women’s writing within prescriptive social ideologies and the established conventions of the romance form. It predates Rosemary Campbell’s work on Catherine Martin and is the only essay omitted from her academy edition of Martin’s work.

Introduction: frank hardy and the Literature of commitment
This essay surveys the life and work of the Australian communist writer and intellectual Frank Hardy and discusses some of the social, cultural and political contexts for his work and that of a number of other cultural workers within the Communist Party of Australia in the second half of the twentieth century.

Introduction: authority and influence
This essay surveys the development of post world war 2 literary criticism in Australia under the influence of imported theory from Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States. Sub-headings include; ‘An Australian literary criticism: the 1950s and 1960s,’ ‘Consolidation and New directions; the 1970s’, ‘asserting the Present; the 1980s’, and ‘Past and Future: the 1990s’. It is particularly interested in recurring themes in Australian criticism around the questions of Nation, Formalism, the Canon, Literary History, Society, identity politics and importation.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: No evidence of copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - Department of Humanities and International Studies
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2010 03:06
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2012 05:21
Uncontrolled Keywords: political writing; literary criticism;1950;1960;literary critics;Australian literary criticism
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2005 Literary Studies > 200502 Australian Literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature)

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