Communications and media studies senior lecturer Dr Tony Moore gave a seminar at the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, Kings College London, on December 4, about his book, Dancing With Empty Pockets: Australia’s Bohemians Since 1860.
In this seminar he discussed the history of Australia’s bohemian artists, their contribution to culture, politics and identity and consider the impact of this larrikin brand of bohemianism in Britain.
Dancing With Empty Pockets: Australia’s Bohemians Since 1860, a who’s who of painters, writers, larrikin journalists, actors, filmmakers, comedians and hackers who have become as famous for their controversial, eccentric lifestyles as for the subversive work they produced.
Dr Moore said the word ‘bohemian’ came from nineteenth-century Europe where it was used to describe the primitive, exotic and mysterious power of gypsies and was soon adopted by renegade writers and artists.
“I’ve always been attracted to free spirits; subversives who buck against conformity and servility and especially champions of the carnivalesque in life, which in Australia is often characterised as larrikinism,” Dr Moore said.
“As an historian I also like to map cultural and political traditions, so we can make sense of what is going on in the present.”
The book gives a vivid account of the various bohemian circles, subcultures, and movements that have flourished across Australian creative arts and media from the nineteenth century right through to the present day.
“Since the nineteenth century many of our maverick artists, such as Norman Lindsay, Kenneth Slessor and Barry Humphries, have happily danced from the avant-garde margins into the mainstream, from fringe to famous, smuggling subversive ideas and aesthetics into Australian popular culture,” Dr Moore said.
“The bohemian tradition has continued to thrive in Australia over the past three decades through a mix of Gen X and Gen Y inner city music scenes and youth subcultures such as ravers, goths, street artists and steam punks, and sexual and other identity movements.
“Bohemians have long formed around do-it-yourself media projects, from little magazines, public radio, indie bands, fanzines, short films and now blogs and social media.”
Cultural specificity in Indonesian film
David Hanan writes of his work on Indonesian film My work on Indonesian cinema has focused…
Arielle’s world-desk post in Jakarta
Monash University journalism student Arielle Milecki won selection to participate in ACICIS’s Journalism Practicum Placement in…
Live the college life without living on campus
By Barbara Legaspi University students who live on campus are more engaged and develop better,…
Hands-on journalism experience the key
Monash University journalism graduate Alexandra Bathman still can’t believe she has landed a job she…
James Campbell awarded the Gold Quill
HERALD SUN state political editor James Campbell has won Victoria’s top journalism award, the Gold…
Sheahan looks to a brave new world in journalism
Leading sports journalist Mike Sheahan, in a lively Q&A session with Monash journalism students, predicts…
Riffing on global music cities at SXSW
By Andrea Baker The world’s largest annual music conference South by South West (SXSW), wrapped…
Pistorius case witnesses silent on the Blade Runner
Outside the courtroom, key witnesses of Paralympian Oscar Pistorius’s murder trial refuse to speak out….
Communications and Media Studies world class
Monash University’s Communications and Media Studies program has been ranked 19th in the QS World University Rankings. Monash rated five-plus stars based on eight categories, including research, employability, teaching, facilities, internationalization, innovation, specialist and access.
The rise of footy datatainment
The AFL season is about to kick off again. Tens of thousands of fans are presently registering for fantasy footy competitions, scoping possible team selections, picking players, and forming leagues with friends and strangers.
I am a Girl: lessons from 1970s feminism
On March 5, ABC2 aired I am a Girl. Rebecca Barry’s documentary introduced us to six young women from around the world. They hail from Cambodia, Cameroon, Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea, the USA and Australia.
B is for Bad Cinema
Monash University’s Film and Screen Studies experts, Dr Claire Perkins and Associate Professor Con Verevis, have co-edited a new book, B is for Bad Cinema: Aesthetics, Politics and Cultural Value.