Impact of the Modern: Vernacular Modernities in Australia 1870s-1960s

Front Cover
Robert Dixon, Veronica Kelly
Sydney University Press, 2008 - Art - 308 pages

Australian and international modernity from the late 19th to the mid-20th century inspires research in many fields of cultural endeavour: architecture, fine arts, design, cinema, theatre, and music; in urban studies, literary history and Aboriginal studies. Impact of the Modern brings together examples of this new interdisciplinary work on modern Australian culture by 21 leading scholars. Their writings reveal an original account of 'modernising' Australia as dynamic and creative in many art forms, and interactively linked with international processes and ideas.

The essays in Impact of the Modern were presented as papers at the conference, 'Australian Vernacular Modernities', convened by the editors at the University of Queensland in 2006. Plenary papers by Jill Julius Matthews and Angela Woollacott signal the book's focus on the erotic and gendered spaces, and on popular aspects of modernity. They provide the central focus of the material, through such vital and dynamic categories as the 'modern', the 'erotic' and the 'primitive'. As essential components of the historical processes of innovation and modernisation, these central questions of gender and public sociality are taken up in diverse ways in the other chapters, forming a varied and exciting study of a range of creative Australian engagements with modern international life and popular culture.


Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Robert Dixon is professor of Australian literature at the University of Sydney. He is a general editor in Sydney University Press' Sydney Studies in Australian Literature series. Veronica Kelly is professor emerita in the School of Communication and Arts at the University of Queensland.

Bibliographic information