Essays On Air

17 EpisodesProduced by The ConversationWebsite

Join us as we read aloud fascinating, meticulously researched essays penned by academics who are experts in their fields.

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Nimbin before and after: local voices on how the 1973 Aquarius Festival changed a town forever

May 3rd, 2019

A scene at the Aquarius Festival, Nimbin, 1973. Flickr/Harry Watson Smith, CC BY-SA

In the north-east corner of Australia’s most populous state of …

Essays On Air: the politics of curry

October 2nd, 2018

I had never encountered the word 'curry muncher' until I arrived in Australia 10 years ago. Shutterstock

Opening Night, Melbourne Comedy Festival 2018. Dilruk Jayasinha’s introductory salvo:

This is so exciting. I …

Essays On Air: The female dwarf, disability, and beauty

August 6th, 2018

Detail from Little Big Woman: Condescension, Debra Keenahan, 2017. Designed and made by Debra Keenahan, Photograph by Robert Brindley., Author provided (No reuse), Author provided

For centuries, women with dwarfism were …

Essays On Air: Australia's property boom and bust cycle stretches back to colonial days

May 10th, 2018

In the 1980s, Australian geographer Maurice Daly exposed the urban planning system as a policy toolkit developers could capitalise on to drive …

Essays On Air: how archaeology helped save the Franklin River

May 3rd, 2018

The battle for the Franklin River runs far deeper than simply providing the backdrop for a political tug-of-war. PETER DOMBROVSKIS/ LIZ …

Essays On Air: can art really make a difference?

April 19th, 2018

Ben Quilty, Life vest, Lesbos. 2016, oil on polyester, 60 x 50cm Australian War Memorial

Before the early 19th century, war was commonly depicted as …

Essays On Air: Monsters in my closet – how a geographer began mining myths

March 29th, 2018

The Loch Ness Monster and other folk tales might not be pure fiction, but actually based on memories of events our ancestors once observed. …

Essays On Air: Joan of Arc, our one true superhero

March 8th, 2018

Why did this woman, so devoted to her political cause and to her vision of a united France, chose to be burnt at the stake at the age of 19 instead …

Essays On Air: The personal is now commercial – beauty, fashion and feminism

March 1st, 2018

Eva Blue/Flickr, Southern Cross Austereo, CC BY-SA

Second wave feminists protested against women’s magazines and beauty pageants. Today, however, beauty and fashion editors such as Elaine …

Essays On Air: On the Sydney Mardi Gras march of 1978

February 22nd, 2018

Marchers at the 1978 Mardi Gras parade. Sally Colechin/The Pride History Group, Author provided

On a cold Saturday night in Sydney on June 24, 1978, …

Essays On Air: When did Australia’s human history begin?

February 15th, 2018

In July 2017, new research was published that pushed the opening chapters of Australian history back to 65,000 years ago. Marcella Cheng/The …

Essays On Air: Why grown-ups still need fairy tales

February 8th, 2018

Fairy tales are extremely moral in their demarcation between good and evil, right and wrong. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation NY-BD-CC, CC BY-SA

Essays On Air: Reading Germaine Greer’s mail

February 1st, 2018

From the initial avalanche of mail triggered by Germaine Greer's book The Female Eunuch grew a collection of 50 years of letters, emails, faxes, …

Essays On Air: Why libraries can and must change

January 25th, 2018

The much heralded 'death of the book' has nothing to do with the death of reading or writing. It is about a radical transformation in reading practices. Marcella Cheng/NY-CC-BD, CC BY-NC-ND

In the age of the …

Essays On Air: The cultural meanings of wild horses

January 18th, 2018

Ongoing controversy around wild horses in Australia encompasses debate about their impact and their cultural meaning, argues Michael Adams. Marcella …

Essays On Air: Journeys to the underworld – Greek myth, film and American anxiety

January 12th, 2018

A central convention of Greek mythological narratives called katabasis, the hero’s journey to the underworld or land of the dead. Marcella Cheng/The …

Essays On Air: a new podcast from The Conversation bringing the best writing to you

January 10th, 2018

Our first episode is from Paul Salmond, an expert on the Classics and Ancient History at La Trobe University, reading his essay 'Journeys to the …
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