Graduate Research School Available Projects Colonial Modernity, Interwar Print Cultures, and the Tropics

Colonial Modernity, Interwar Print Cultures, and the Tropics

Title of Project

Colonial Modernity, Interwar Print Cultures, and the Tropics

Name of Advisor/s

Victoria Kuttainen, Susann Liebich, Sarah Galletly, or Claire Brennan


College of Arts, Society & Education

Summary of Project

The period between the wars in Australia used to be thought of as dull.  Yet in America and Europe the Lost Generation embraced jazz, travel, ex-patriotism, politics, and modernism. Emerging research around popular literature, magazine culture, and reading history reveals that Australians engaged with the world in fascinating ways that are under-researched and that tropical North Australia in particular was networked into the world in fascinating ways in which modernity and colonialism were intertwined. Research in this area is vibrant at JCU.

Existing JCU research in these areas includes and is not limited to:

Kuttainen, Liebich and Galletly: The Transported Imagination: Australian Interwar Magazines and Colonial Modernity (see

Liebich: Reading at Sea

Galletly: L.M. Montgomery, Magazines, and Celebrity

Lloyd: European Perspectives of the Great Barrier Reef

Lippmann: Australian Interwar Print Culture and the Modern Girl

Research in this cluster is supported by the monthly JCU Research/Reading Group in History and English TRIP (Tropical Research Interwar Period)

Key Words

literature, popular culture, media, film, radio, colonialism, interwar, history, modernity, modernism, reading, print culture, mobility, travel, celebrity, 1920s, 1930s

Would suit an applicant who

Is interested in any of the following, and possesses a first-class honours degree in History or English:

Print Culture Studies - in particular anything connected to magazines, book history, networks of print in Australia, NZ, Canada and/or Europe; popular or commercial literature; the middlebrow; literary celebrity

Reading History - reading in the tropics, for instance North Queensland newspaper book reviews; reading records held by the School of Arts Collections

North Queensland Writers/Writing Place - for instance drawing on the tropical writing of Jean Devanny, whose personal papers are held at JCU

Intermediality - the relation between Australian (or other) literature(s) and film or radio during the emergence of these new media forms

Mobility, Travel and Transnationalism - representations in literature, of authors etc.; Indian Ocean Travel; Pacific Travel

Colonialism and Modernity--the representation of PNG and Melanesia in popular literature or print culture; the representation of Asia and or Pacific

Developing Australia's North: in literature and/or in magazines and newspapers