The Virtual Republic

The Virtual Republic : Australia'S Culture Wars of the 1990s

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Shortlisted, Individual Category, Centre for Australian Cultural Studies National Awards 1997

'McKenzie Wark has emerged as one of the significant new thinkers in Australian intellectual life. He draws well on many intellectual traditions including Sydney Libertarianism, but he speaks in a fresh voice with fresh things to say about matters central to our times.' Frank Moorhouse

'Ken Wark makes postmodernism sexy.' Linda Jaivin

Culture has become a contested zone. McKenzie Wark, one of Australia's most exciting cultural commentators, takes a fresh look at recent debates about gender, race, culture and the media and suggests that our sense of national identity no longer resides in our past but is continually being reinvented.

Media attention has thrust into the limelight a host of cultural issues, ranging from political correctness to multiculturalism, postmodernism, as well as Australian writers, such as David Williamson, Helen Garner, Helen Demidenko/Darville, Les Murray and Manning Clark. In this wide ranging survey of Australian cultural life in the 90s, Wark asks if these various fronts of the 'culture wars', in literature, higher education and the media, might be connected to each other, and connected also to a wider question of what it means to talk about a possible Australian republic.

'Well on his way to becoming the Ned Kelly of pop-cultural critical theory.' Ade Peace, Australian Book Review

'The author's. ability to provide insights into a world where unbounded information is circling the earth with the speed of light is startling.' R. Cathcart, Choice
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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 140 x 215 x 25.4mm | 385.55g
  • Sydney, Australia
  • English
  • 1864485205
  • 9781864485202

Table of contents

Introducing the virtual republic


1 When I hear the word 'culture', I reach for the remote control

2 Mapping the Antipodes

3 The Libertarian line

4 A secret history of Sydney postmodernism


5 The Demidenko effect

6 Political correctness and the perils of the pale penis people

7 Postmodernism meets the attack of the killer Darwinists!

8 The fall of the magic kingdom

9 Fair go, Pauline

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About McKenzie Wark

McKenzie Wark lectures in media studies at Macquarie University and is a columnist for The Australian. His essays on media and culture have appeared in The Age, New Statesman, 21C, Meanjin and other journals.
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