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New volume co-authored by Susann Liebich

Jul 05, 2018

Dr. Susann Liebich recently co-authored the volume "The Transported Imagination: Australian Interwar Magazines and the Geographical Imaginaries of Colonial Modernity" with Dr. Victoria Kuttainen and Dr. Sarah Galletly. In July, the book will be launched at the Annual Conference of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP). The volume was published with Cambria Press in June 2018.

"The Transported Imagination: Australian Interwar Magazines and the Geographical Imaginaries of Colonial Modernity" offers an analysis of Australian colonial modernity: In the early twentieth century, new technologies of media, communication, and transportation opened up a world of possibilities and led to transformations of the public sphere. Amongst the hundreds of new periodicals flooding the Australian marketplace, quality culture and leisure magazines beckoned to readers with the glamour of modernity and exotic images of pre-modern paradise. Focusing on the Australian interwar periodicals "The Home, The BP Magazine, and MAN, The Transported Imagination" explores the contraction of vast geographical spaces and the construction of cultural hierarchies alongside the advent of new media. It investigates the role tastemaking culture and leisure magazines played in transporting the public imagination beyond the shores of Australia and upward or downward on the rapidly changing scales of cultural value. Through the pages of these three magazines, we observe the collision of colonialism with modernity, particularly in their engagements with the Pacific region. 

This book is based on thorough research into an archive of important yet under-examined modern Australian periodicals, and makes a significant contribution to the scholarly literature on magazines and middlebrow culture in the interwar period. It offers new insights into the formation of the tastes of a rapidly modernising and differentiating reading public, as well as new understandings of the cultures of vernacular modernity and colonialism.

Dr. Liebich is a Postdoctoral Fellow of the Cluster and worked on the project MC 12 "Floating Spaces." During her time at the Cluster, she also collaborated with the co-authors Dr. Victoria Kuttainen and Dr. Sarah Galletly in the scope of a 3-year funded investigation of travel, the Pacific and interwar periodicals.

The new volume reflects this collaborative research project and is one of three books to be launched at the SHARP Annual Conference. The event will take place in Sydney and addresses the theme "From First to Last" – of origins, endings, and renewals – acknowledging book history’s expansion worldwide across disciplines, cultures, and languages.

Dr. Victoria Kuttainen is a Senior Lecturer in English and Writing in the College of Arts, Society and Education at James Cook University. Dr. Sarah Galletly is the Margaret and Colin Roderick Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Comparative Literature.


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