Popular Music and Australian Culture: Across the Grain
This volume explores aspects of popular music and culture from the twentieth century to the present day. It brings together contributions challenging or reassessing assumptions about how individual, subjective experience comes to terms with modernity. While the emphasis is on Australian case studies, the essays here raise larger questions, ranging from our disempowerment as consumers demanding instant gratification to our ambiguous status as observers of and participants in historical change. They examine the complex relationship between sound and visual media in the formation of various communities, and how this relates to daily lived experience.
Formerly Professor of English at the University of New South Wales, Australia, Bruce Johnson holds Honorary Professorships at the Universities of Glasgow and Turku, Finland, the University of Technology Sydney and the University of New South Wales. He has long been active as a jazz musician, award-winning broadcaster and record producer. As government advisor on music policy, his work included the legislation-changing report Vanishing Acts on live music, co-authored with Shane Homan, while he was also the prime mover in establishing the government-funded Australian Jazz Archive. His academic publications number several hundred, including over a dozen books, among the most recent of which is the award-winning Jazz Diaspora: Music and Globalisation.
“The scope of the essays here—from jazz through the Beatles to the politics of knowledge and much else besides—is a testament to a profound interest in why popular culture matters in so many different ways. If you care about popular music and want to think about it differently, read this book. You will not be disappointed.”
Director of the Turku Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Turku, Finland
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