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Browse the range of exciting titles ANU Press is currently working on. If you wish to receive an alert when a new title is published, click the ‘Notify me’ button next to the relevant title and register your details.

A Dictionary of Vurës, Vanuatu »

Authored by: Catriona Malau
This is a trilingual dictionary of Vurës, with meanings provided in both English and Bislama, the national language of Vanuatu. Vurës is an Oceanic language spoken on the island of Vanua Lava in Vanuatu. The dictionary is a companion volume to A Grammar of Vurës, Vanuatu (Malau 2016). There is no established tradition of writing in Vurës and most speakers are not literate in their own language. This dictionary is intended to have a dual purpose: to support the learning of literacy skills in the Vurës community, and as a reference work for linguists. There are four parts to the dictionary. The main part is the most comprehensive and provides the English and Bislama definitions of Vurës words, as well as example sentences for many of the entries, additional encyclopaedic information, scientific names for identified species, lexical relations, and etymological information for some entries. The dictionary contains approximately 3,500 headwords and has a strong emphasis on flora and fauna with close to a third of the entries belonging to these semantic domains. The dictionary has benefited from collaboration with a marine biologist and botanists, who have provided scientific identifications for named species. The main dictionary is followed by English–Vurës and Bislama–Vurës finderlists. The final part of the dictionary is a thesaurus, in which Vurës words are grouped according to semantic categories. The thesaurus has been included primarily so that it can be used to support teaching of literacy skills and cultural knowledge within the community.

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Creative Frictions »

Arts Leadership, Policy and Practice in Multicultural Australia

Authored by: Cecelia Cmielewski
Creative Frictions explores the relationship between visionary aspects of practice and policy. Despite over 30 years of arts and cultural policy attention, there remains a widespread view among the general public and artists alike that creative production does not reflect Australia’s culturally diverse population. Australia’s increasingly complex society can no longer be confined to ‘essentialised’ or traditional definitions of ethnic communities. While this diversity and its emerging complexity can be ‘celebrated’ as a source of creativity and innovation, it can also give rise to social, political and creative challenges. A key challenge that remains for the arts sector is its ability to support the creative expression of cultural difference. One measure of inclusive creative production is to look at the participation of artists of non–English speaking backgrounds (NESBs)—a problematic term discussed in the book. There are half as many NESB artists compared to those of other professions participating in the workforce, and while under-representation is an issue for management in the arts sector, the question of representation also benefits from being understood more broadly beyond the narrow sense of multiculturalism as a tool to manage cultural difference. This book explores the crucial role of creative leaders and how they work with the ‘mainstream’ while maintaining their creative integrity and independence to generate a ‘virtuous’ circle of change. Creative Frictions argues that it is the NESB artists who lead change in the arts sector and that creative and organisational leadership working in partnership make creative use of ‘friction’ and develop the necessary ‘trust’ to generate the ‘traction’ for a supportive multicultural arts milieu.

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Rote-Meto Comparative Dictionary »

Authored by: Owen Edwards
This comparative dictionary provides a bottom-up reconstruction of the Rote‑Meto languages of western Timor. Rote-Meto is one low-level Austronesian subgroup of eastern Indonesia/Timor-Leste. It contains 1,174 reconstructions to Proto-Rote-Meto (or a lower node) with supporting evidence from the modern Rote-Meto languages. These reconstructions are accompanied by information on how they relate to forms in other languages including Proto‑Malayo‑Polynesian etyma (where known) and/or out-comparisons to putative cognates in other languages of the region. The dictionary also contains two finder-lists: English to Rote-Meto, and Austronesian reconstructions with Rote-Meto reflexes. The dictionary is preceded by three introductory chapters. The first chapter contains a guide to using the dictionary as well as discussion of the data sources. The second chapter provides a short synchronic overview of the Rote-Meto langauges. The third chapter discusses the historical background of Rote-Meto. This includes sound correspondences, the internal subgrouping of the Rote-Meto family, and the position of Rote-Meto within Malayo-Polynesian more broadly.

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Australian Journal of Biography and History: No. 5, 2021 »

This special issue of the Australian Journal of Biography and History focuses on political biography. The 10 peer-reviewed articles and review essays collectively demonstrate that political biography is growing beyond just ‘one damned life after another’, and that there are new and productive paths open for practitioners, readers and critics of this genre. They offer a critical snapshot of the diverse approaches and attitudes to political biography in contemporary Australia. Forty years after her first critical examination of the state of political biography in Australia, Kate White makes a bold call for academics to ‘rethink their approach’ by considering novel strategies to ‘move beyond the narrative form’. Blair Williams demonstrates that although increasing numbers of women are writing and practising political biography, there remain few good examples of feminist political biography; more can be done to develop a framework for feminist political biography in Australia. Joshua Black examines the political memoir and diary genres in the broader context of the rise of life writing in the twentieth century, adopting former minister Neal Blewett’s A Cabinet Diary (1999) as a case study. In a sweeping examination of prime ministerial portraiture, Sarah Engledow reconsiders the visual performance of leadership for posterity and, ultimately, questions the biographical utility of such performances. Daniel Oakman delineates the links that politics has to mainstream Australian life via that great staple of popular culture, sport. Chris Wallace in her account of a quietly controversial and eventually abandoned biography of Robert Menzies early in his second prime ministership demonstrates that life stories are powerful but risky commodities in the fast-changing political domain. Similarly, in a methodological reflection on his award-winning biography Tiberius with a Telephone, Patrick Mullins critically explores the concerted attempts of the former prime minister to control and manipulate the public and archival record of his life. Robert Tickner, the only contributor who was also an elected political practitioner, uses his very personal article to call on others to write political and policy memoirs as a ‘public good’ that helps to encourage the ‘noble enterprise’ of participation in public life. In his analysis of backbencher memoirs, Stephen Wilks calls for more of the foot soldiers of politics—backbenchers, humble and otherwise—to write memoirs as an insight into the working lives of the typical politician, and to explore what wider significance they have as political players. And Tim Rowse and Murray Goot indicate in a powerful review essay that critically examines Warren Mundine’s political memoir In Black + White, political life narratives are implicated in the difficult postcolonial politics of race, representation and recognition.

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Finding the Enemy Within »

Blasphemy Accusations and Subsequent Violence in Pakistan

Authored by: Sana Ashraf
In the past decade, Pakistan has witnessed incidents such as the public lynching of a student on a university campus, a Christian couple being torched alive, attacks on entire neighbourhoods by angry mobs and the assassination of a provincial governor by his own security guard over allegations of blasphemy. Finding the Enemy Within unpacks the meanings and motivations behind accusations of blasphemy and subsequent violence in Pakistan. This is the first ethnographic study of its kind analysing the perspectives of a range of different actors including accusers, religious scholars and lawyers involved in blasphemy-related incidents in Pakistan. Bringing together anthropological perspectives on religion, violence and law, this book reworks prevalent analytical dichotomies of reason/emotion, culture/religion, traditional/Western, state/nonstate and legal/extralegal to extend our understanding of the upsurge of blasphemy-related violence in Pakistan. Through the case study of blasphemy accusations in Pakistan, this book addresses broader questions of difference, individual and collective identities, social and symbolic boundaries, and conflict and violence in modern nation-states.

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The Absent Presence of the State in Large-Scale Resource Extraction Projects »

Standing on the broken ground of resource extraction settings, the state is sometimes like a chimera: its appearance and intentions are misleading and, for some actors, it is unknowable and incomprehensible. It may be easily mistaken for someone or something else, like a mining company, for example. With rich ethnographic material, this volume tackles critical questions about the nature of contemporary states, studied from the perspective of resource extraction projects in Papua New Guinea, Australia and beyond. It brings together a sustained focus on the unstable and often dialectical relationship between the presence and the absence of the state in the context of resource extraction. Across the chapters, contributors discuss cases of proposed mining ventures, existing large-scale mining operations and the extraction of natural gas. Together, they illustrate how the concept of absent presence can be brought to life and how it can enhance our understanding of the state as well as relations and processes forming in extractive contexts, thus providing a novel contribution to the anthropology of the state and the anthropology of extraction. ‘The Absent Presence fills a major gap in our knowledge about the relationship between states and companies – at a time when resource extraction seems to be more contested than ever. Bainton and Skrzypek have curated an incredibly impressive volume that should be read by all those interested in exploring corporate and state power, and the ever-present impacts of extraction. A highly recommended read.’ — Professor Deanna Kemp, Director of the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, The University of Queensland ‘Countless books have been written on the sovereign state and how it imposes a particular kind of order on economic and social interactions. What is original and compelling about this collection is the portrait of how two very different states converge when it comes to “extractive ventures”. From the presumption of exclusive sovereignty over mineral resources, to the bargains that are struck with major (often global) corporations, and the relative indifference to environmental impacts, there is a remarkable consistency in the patterns that are referred to as “state effects”. These effects are brought from the background to the foreground in this book through the blending of creative and critical thinking with detailed empirical research.’ — Tim Dunne, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Professor of International Relations, The University of Queensland ‘This brilliant and intriguing title provides a timely contribution to understanding the actual functions and strategies of state (and state-like) institutions in resource arenas. The dialectics of presence-absence and its refractions at different levels and scales of government allow the authors to go beyond stereotypes about the (strong, weak, failed or corrupt) state, highlighting more commonalities than expected between Papua New Guinea and Australia, and even New Caledonia.’ — Dr Pierre-Yves Le Meur, Anthropologist, Senior Researcher, French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development, Joint Research Unit SENS (Knowledge Environment Society)

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China’s Challenges in Moving towards a High-income Economy »

Edited by: Ligang Song, Yixiao Zhou
With its per capita income surpassing US$10,000, China has now drawn up ambitious plans to further lift its income to the level of developed countries. Yet various constraints need to be overcome if China is to build on the achievements of the last 40 years and further boost its growth potential. Besides these constraints, the year 2020 saw human societies hit heavily by the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economy caught off guard and dipped into recessions caused by lockdown measures for controlling the spread of the pandemic. Nations around the world have experienced grave loss of human life and lockdown measures have knocked economies from their normal growth trajectories. Even as the pandemic continues to unfold, all signs point to China as being the first major economy to have emerged out of the crisis. But many questions remain. Has the Chinese economy emerged from the pandemic crisis relatively unscathed? What are the long-term prospects for its economy? This year’s Update book, China’s Challenges in Moving towards a High-income Economy, explores the challenges faced by the Chinese economy in the transition towards a high-income economy, including agricultural development, finance and fiscal system reform, RMB internationalisation, trends in urbanisation, as well as topics related to innovation, corporate sector development and market competition. China’s growth experience has been full of exciting changes and important lessons for reform and structural changes, and this year’s China Update is again the way to gain insights into these.

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Linguistic Organisation and Native Title »

The Wik Case, Australia

Classical Aboriginal societies in Australia have commonly been described in terms of social organisation and local organisation. This book presents rich detail on a third and related domain that has not been given the same kind of attention: linguistic organisation. Basing their analyses on fieldwork among the Wik peoples of Cape York Peninsula, north Australia, Peter Sutton and Ken Hale show how cosmology, linguistic variation, language prehistory, clan totemic identities, geopolitics, land use and land ownership created a vibrant linguistic organisation in a classical Aboriginal society. This has been a society long in love with language and languages. Its people have richly imbued the domain of rights and interests in country—the foundations of their native title as recognised in Australian law—with rights and interests in the abundance of languages and dialects given to them at the start of the world.

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Leading from the North »

Rethinking Northern Australia Development

Edited by: Ruth Wallace, Sharon Harwood, Rolf Gerritsen, Bruce Prideaux, Tom Brewer, Linda Rosenman, Allan Dale
Leading from the North aims to improve public dialogue around the future of northern Australia to underpin robust and flexible planning and policy frameworks. A number of areas are addressed including social infrastructure, governance systems, economic, business and regional development, climate and its implications, the roles and trends in demography and migration in the region. This book not only speaks to the issues of development in northern Australia but also other regional areas, and examines opportunities for growth with changing economies and technologies. The authors of this book consist of leading researchers, academics and experts from Charles Darwin University, The Australian National University, James Cook University, the Australian Institute of Marine Science and many other collaborative partners. Many of the authors have first-hand experience of living and working in northern Australia. They understand the real issues and challenges faced by people living in northern Australia and other similar regional areas. Backed by their expertise and experience, the authors present their discussions and findings from a local perspective.

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