Articles on Friday essay

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Ishtar (on right) comes to Sargon, who would later become one of the great kings of Mesopotamia. Edwin J. Prittie, The story of the greatest nations, 1913

Friday essay: the legend of Ishtar, first goddess of love and war

Love, it is said, is a battlefield, and it was no more so than for the first goddess of love and war, Ishtar. Her legend has influenced cultural archetypes from Aphrodite to Wonder Woman.
A parade in St Petersburg last year celebrating Bloomsday, the day on which Ulysses is set. Shutterstock

Friday essay: the wonder of Joyce’s Ulysses

Around the world today, fans of James Joyce's Ulysses will celebrate Bloomsday. This experimental novel can be bewildering to read, but for those who persist, it is a 'feast' of a book.
90s sister Sophie Lee in Patricia Piccinini’s Psychogeography 1996, printed 1998. from the Psycho series 1996. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased through The Art Foundation of Victoria with the assistance of Optus Communications Pty Limited, Member, 1998 (1998.252) © Patricia Piccinini

Friday essay: the 90s – why you had to be there

The 1990s was once the forgotten decade of the 20th century but no longer.
Sarah and Olive Kanake read one of the new breed of girl-power picture books. Miriam Ackroyd from Life is Beautiful Photography

Friday essay: the feminist picture book revolution

The lack of strong female characters in children's picture books is oft-lamented. But a new crop of books invites girls to write themselves into history.
Queen Elizabeth II meets with Australian Defence Force personnel and veterans at the Australian War Memorial in 2011. Graham Tidy/AAP

Friday essay: King, Queen and country – will Anzac thwart republicanism?

As Australians once found spiritual communion through allegiance to the British monarch, they find similar virtues in Anzac today. Can the republican movement connect with a large enough number of people in a similar way?
Augustin Burdet (engraver) French active (19th century) Victor Marie Picot (after) Cupid and Psyche (c. 1817) engraving. 39.9 x 49.2 cm (image), 49.4 x 57.5 cm (sheet) National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Felton Bequest, 1927 (3506-3)

Friday essay: finding spaces for love

In early modern times, wooing happened at balls and markets and in churches; while sex was obtained in bathhouses, inns, brothels and alleyways. Art tells the story.
Penny Gulliver wrote to Germaine Greer several times over two decades. University of Melbourne Archives, Germaine Greer Archive, 2014.0042.00350, Correspondence with Penny Gulliver

Friday essay: reading Germaine Greer’s mail

Fifty years of correspondence is stored at the Germaine Greer archive. It ranges across topics as diverse as US politics, grassroots feminism, gardening and Queen Victoria's underpants.
Jazmina Cininas, Christina sleeps on both sides of Grandma’s bed, 2010. Reduction linocut 52.8 x 71.8cm.

Friday essay: the female werewolf and her shaggy suffragette sisters

From witch-hunts to the suffragettes, belief in womanly werewolfs has flourished at times when the female gender was under threat. But in contemporary fiction, film and art, werewolf lore is evolving in surprising ways.
Marcoo was a 1.4 kilotonne ground-level nuclear test carried out at Maralinga in 1956. The contaminated debris was buried at this site in the 1967 clean-up known as Operation Brumby. Author provided

Friday essay: trace fossils – the silence of Ediacara, the shadow of uranium

History is writ large in the remote areas around Woomera and the Nullarbor: from the fossils of microscopic, cell-like creatures to ancient stone tools to the deitrus of rocket tests and the painful legacy of the Maralinga atomic blasts.
Poets are drawn to the time between seasons and to the time when both death and life, endings and beginnings, merge into each other and confuse us. Annie Spratt/Unsplash

Friday essay: Christmas poetry – a reflection

The beauty and delicacy of the Christmas story become in our consumerist hands a recipe for crassness and sentimentality. No surprise then, that poets are drawn to try to rescue it.
We need women to participate equally in science fiction’s conversations about humanity’s future. MsSaraKelly

Friday essay: science fiction’s women problem

Science fiction is a popular and lucrative genre – but most authors are men and relatable female characters are sadly lacking. Given this entrenched sexism, it's time for publishers to take affirmative action.
A doll lies in the ghost town of Pripyat, abandoned since the nearby Chernobyl power plant suffered a catastrophic meltdown in 1986. Henrik Ismarker/Flickr

Friday essay: Svetlana Alexeviech didn’t make it to the Royal Commission

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse has documented heart-rending testimonies and elicited shattering revelations. But how does a society witness itself failing at its most fundamental duty?
Gurindji ranger Ursula Chubb pays her respects to ancestors killed in the early 1900s at Blackfella Creek, where children were tied with wire and dragged by horses, and adults were shot as they fled. They were buried under rocks where they fell. Brenda L Croft, from Yijarni

Friday essay: the untold story behind the 1966 Wave Hill Walk-Off

The Gurindji people of the Northern Territory made history 50 years ago by standing up for their rights to land and better pay. But a new book reveals the deeper story behind the Wave Hill Walk-Off.
Aboriginal elder Max Eulo holds a baby in front of a sea of 70,000 multi-coloured paper hands at the Sydney Opera House in December 2000. David Gray/Reuters

Friday essay: reflections on the idea of a common humanity

Racism is again on the rise in many parts of the world. So is the dehumanisation of our enemies. What hope is there, then, for notions of a common humanity?

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