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Vietnam Task »

The 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, 1966–67

Authored by: Robert O’Neill
Publication date: November 2022
On 24 May 1966, eight hundred men of the 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, landed at Nui Dat, in Viet Cong territory. For the next 12 months they were faced with the task of restoring peace, civil law and regular commerce to the Vietnamese of Phuoc Tuy province. This book is a detailed record of those months in the monsoon jungles—of the problems that were faced and the solutions that were found. Captain O’Neill’s position as battalion intelligence officer enabled him to view the war from the standpoint of the battalion as a whole. However, he does not omit description of personal feelings—towards the Viet Cong, the jungle environment and the Vietnamese people, as well as the other Allied forces involved in the war. Most of the book was written on the spot in Vietnam. On operations or at Battalion Headquarters, Captain O’Neill jotted down details of the war against the Viet Cong, putting the events of each day in order, often in the small hours of the following morning. Thus not only is this a factual account of the 5th Battalion’s activities over the year; it is also a vivid and compelling picture of the war in Vietnam from the soldier’s point of view.
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Living Art »

Indonesian Artists Engage Politics, Society and History

Publication date: November 2022
Living Art: Indonesian Artists Engage Politics, Society and History is inspired by the conviction of so many of Indonesia’s Independence-era artists that there is continuing interaction between art and everyday life. In the 1970s, Sanento Yuliman, Indonesia’s foremost art historian of the late twentieth century, further developed that concept, stating: ‘New Indonesian Art cannot wholly be understood without locating it in the context of the larger framework of Indonesian society and culture’ and the ‘whole force of history’. The essays in this book accept Yuliman’s challenge to analyse the intellectual, sociopolitical and historical landscape that Indonesia’s artists inhabited from the 1930s into the first decades of the new millennium, including their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The inclusion of one of Yuliman’s most influential essays, translated into English for the first time, offers those outside Indonesia an insight into a formative period in the generation of new art knowledge in Indonesia. The volume also features essays by T. K. Sabapathy, Jim Supangkat, Alia Swastika, Wulan Dirgantoro and FX Harsono, as well as the three editors (Elly Kent, Virginia Hooker and Caroline Turner). The book’s contributors present recent research on issues rarely addressed in English-language texts on Indonesian art, including the inspirations and achievements of women artists despite social and political barriers; Islam- inspired art; artistic ideologies; the intergenerational effects of trauma; and the impacts of geopolitical change and global art worlds that emerged in the 1990s. The Epilogue introduces speculations from contemporary practitioners on what the future might hold for artists in Indonesia. Extensively illustrated, Living Art contributes to the acknowledgement and analysis of the diversity of Indonesia’s contemporary art and offers new insights into Indonesian art history, as well as the contemporary art histories of Southeast Asia and Asia more generally.
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Lilith: A Feminist History Journal: Number 28 »

Publication date: 2022
New research in this issue of Lilith includes studies of feminist vegetarian activism in Victorian England; the lives of Japanese businesswomen in North Queensland before 1941; negotiations of gender amongst women combatants in Tigray, Ethiopia; and the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on women. Each of the four research articles draws upon new sources and interpretations that shed light on the varied experiences of women within and beyond Australia, often challenging established norms or assumptions about progress. In ‘Vegetarians, Vivisection and Violationism’, Ruby Ekkel explores the centrality of vegetarianism to the activities and lived experience of noted Victorian activist Anna Kingsford. Tianna Killoran’s article ‘Sex, soap and silk’ draws on newly accessible sources in moving beyond traditional narratives that characterise Japanese women in interwar North Queensland as impoverished sex workers. In ‘A Soldier and a Woman’, Francesca Baldwin examines how women combatants in Tigray, Ethiopia, negotiated the connections and collisions between soldiering and womanhood during and after the 1974–91 civil war. Petra Brown and Tamara Kayali Browne’s article ‘Relational Autonomy: Addressing the Vulnerabilities of Women in a Global Pandemic’ explores how the individualistic/atomistic model of autonomy in responses to Covid-19 has disproportionately disadvantaged women. This issue also contains nine short essay responses from experienced gender scholars—including Ann Curthoys, Sharon Crozier-De Rosa, Catherine Kevin, Ann McGrath, Janet Ramsey, Yves Rees, Madeleine C. Seys, Jordana Silverstein, and Zora Simic—to the question ‘What does it mean to do feminism in 2022?’ These essays reveal the political power of feminist history-making, since, as Ann Curthoys argues in her essay, feminist history is itself a form of activism. Taken together, these research articles and essays, along with the editorial, demonstrate the fallibility of the notion of history being a narrative of linear progress without relevance to our current reality. They urge against political complacency about the Covid-19 pandemic, colonialism or women's oppression as existing only in the past.

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Experiments with Marxism-Leninism in Cold War Southeast Asia »

Publication date: September 2022
One of the most contentious theatres of the global conflict between capitalism and communism was Southeast Asia. From the 1920s until the end of the Cold War, the region was racked by international and internal wars that claimed the lives of millions and fundamentally altered societies in the region for generations. Most of the 11 countries that compose Southeast Asia were host to the development of sizable communist parties that actively (and sometimes violently) contested for political power. These parties were the object of fierce repression by European colonial powers, post-independence governments and the United States. Southeast Asia communist parties were also the object of a great deal of analysis both during and after these conflicts. This book brings together a host of expert scholars, many of whom are either Southeast Asia–based or from the countries under analysis, to present the most expansive and comprehensive study to date on ideological and practical experiments with Marxism-Leninism in Southeast Asia. The bulk of this edited volume presents the contents of these revolutionary ideologies on their own terms and their transformations in praxis by using primary source materials that are free of the preconceptions and distortions of counterinsurgent narratives. A unifying strength of this work is its focus on using primary sources in the original languages of the insurgents themselves.
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Rising Power and Changing People »

The Australian High Commission in India

Publication date: September 2022
Beginning in 1943–44, Australia’s relationship with India is its oldest continuous formal diplomatic relationship with any Asian country. The early diplomatic exchanges between Australia and India have teased for their suggestions of potential unrealised, for opportunities missed, especially when compared with the very recent excitement about the future of Australia–India relations. How did Australia’s representatives and their staff in New Delhi negotiate the many dimensions of Australia–India relations? This book brings together expert analyses of the work of the Australian High Commission, its key people and the challenges they faced in New Delhi. The important India Economic Strategy to 2035 report handed to the Australian Government in mid-2018 begins with the comment: ‘Timing has always been a challenge in Australia’s relationship with India.’ As the Australian Government works to implement some of the ambitious recommendations in the report, this book adds to our understanding of why timing has been a challenge, and how those at the coalface of the relationship have grappled with it.
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Suva Stories »

A History of the Capital of Fiji

Edited by: Nicholas Halter
Publication date: September 2022
Suva Stories explores a fascinating tapestry of histories in one of the Pacific’s oldest and most culturally diverse urban centres, the capital of Fiji. Charting the trajectory of Suva from indigenous village to colonial hub to contemporary Pacific metropolis, it draws on a rich colonial archive and moving personal memoirs that bear witness to their time. The diverse contributions in this volume form a complex mosaic of urban lives and histories that contribute fresh insights into historical and ongoing debates about race, place and belonging. Suva Stories is a valuable companion to those seeking to engage with the city’s pasts and present, and will prompt new conversations about history and memory in Fiji.
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Unsung Land, Aspiring Nation »

Journeys in Bougainville

Authored by: Gordon Peake
Publication date: 2022
In 2016, Gordon Peake answers a job advertisement for a role with the government of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, a collection of islands on the eastern fringe of Papua New Guinea looking to strike out as a country of its own. In his day job he sees at first hand the challenges of trying to stand up new government systems. Away from the office he travels with former rebels, follows an anthropologist’s ghost and visits landmarks from the region’s conflict. In 2019, he witnesses joy and euphoria as the people of Bougainville vote in a referendum on their future. Out of these encounters emerges an unforgettable portrait of this potential nation-in-waiting. Blending narrative history, travelogue and personal reminiscences, Unsung Land, Aspiring Nation is an engaging memoir as well as an insightful meditation on the realities of nation-making and international development. ‘Heartfelt and honest. This book is an insightful read and a valuable addition to scholarship on Bougainville’s journey to peace.’ — Joseph Nobetau, former Chief Secretary to the Autonomous Bougainville Government ‘An excellent piece of engaged travel writing. With first-hand observation and curiosity, Gordon has produced a deeply informed, compelling and evocative account of war, survival and nation-building in what may become the world’s newest country.’ — Tom Bamforth, author of The Rising Tide: Among the Islands and Atolls of the Pacific Ocean

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Histories of Australian Rock Art Research »

Publication date: September 2022
Australia has one of the largest inventories of rock art in the world with pictographs and petroglyphs found almost anywhere that has suitable rock surfaces – in rock shelters and caves, on boulders and rock platforms. First Nations people have been marking these places with figurative imagery, abstract designs, stencils and prints for tens of thousands of years, often engaging with earlier rock markings. The art reflects and expresses changing experiences within landscapes over time, spirituality, history, law and lore, as well as relationships between individuals and groups of people, plants, animals, land and Ancestral Beings that are said to have created the world, including some rock art. Since the late 1700s, people arriving in Australia have been fascinated with the rock art they encountered, with detailed studies commencing in the late 1800s. Through the 1900s an impressive body of research on Australian rock art was undertaken, with dedicated academic study using archaeological methods employed since the late 1940s. Since then, Australian rock art has been researched from various perspectives, including that of Traditional Owners, custodians and other community members. Through the 1900s, there was also growing interest in Australian rock art from researchers across the globe, leading many to visit or migrate to Australia to undertake rock art research. In this volume, the varied histories of Australian rock art research from different parts of the country are explored not only in terms of key researchers, developments and changes over time, but also the crucial role of First Nations people themselves in investigations of this key component of their living heritage.
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The Australian Embassy in Tokyo and Australia–Japan Relations »

Publication date: 2022
Australia–Japan relations have undergone both testing and celebrated times since 1952, when Australia’s ambassadorial representation in Tokyo commenced. Over time, interactions have deepened beyond mutual trade objectives to encompass economic, defence and strategic interests within the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. This ‘special relationship’ has been characterised by the high volume of people moving between Australia and Japan for education, tourism, business, science and research. Cultural ties, from creative artists-in-residence to sister-city agreements, have flourished. Australia has supported Japan in times of need, including the aftermath of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake. This book shows how the Australian Embassy in Tokyo, through its programs and people, has been central to these developments. The Embassy’s buildings, its gardens and grounds, and above all its occupants — from senior Australian diplomats to locally-engaged staff — are the focus of this multi-dimensional study by former diplomats and expert observers of Australia’s engagement with Japan. Drawing on oral histories, memoirs, and archives, this volume sheds new light on the complexity of Australia’s diplomatic work in Japan, and the place of the Embassy in driving high level negotiations as well as fostering soft power influences. ‘With a similar vision for the Indo-Pacific region and a like-minded approach to the challenges facing us, Australia and Japan have become more intimate and more strategic as partners. I am very pleased to see this slice of Australian diplomatic history so well accounted for in this book.’ — Jan Adams, AO, PSM, Secretary, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia’s Ambassador to Japan, November 2020–June 2022

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Uncovering Pacific Pasts »

Histories of Archaeology in Oceania

Publication date: June 2022
Objects have many stories to tell. The stories of their makers and their uses. Stories of exchange, acquisition, display and interpretation. This book is a collection of essays highlighting some of the collections, and their object biographies, that were displayed in the Uncovering Pacific Pasts: Histories of Archaeology in Oceania (UPP) exhibition. The exhibition, which opened on 1 March 2020, sought to bring together both notable and relatively unknown Pacific material culture and archival collections from around the globe, displaying them simultaneously in their home institutions and linked online at www.uncoveringpacificpasts.org. Thirty‑eight collecting institutions participated in UPP, including major collecting institutions in the United Kingdom, continental Europe and the Americas, as well as collecting institutions from across the Pacific.
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