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In the 1980s, Australian geographer Maurice Daly exposed the urban planning system as a policy toolkit developers could capitalise on to drive subdivision and speculation – an insight that remains true even today. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

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

Essays On Air: Australia’s property boom and bust cycle stretches back to colonial days. The Conversation, CC BY58,7 MB (download)
Australia's property market is slowing and many are contemplating a possible bust. But today's episode of Essays On Air reminds us that since colonial days, Australia's property market has had its ups and downs.
The battle for the Franklin River runs far deeper than simply providing the backdrop for a political tug-of-war. PETER DOMBROVSKIS/ LIZ DOMBROVSKIS/AAP

Essays On Air: how archaeology helped save the Franklin River

Essays on Air: how archaeology helped save the Franklin River. The Conversation23,2 MB (download)
The battle to save the Franklin River - an exhilarating story of politics, cultural heritage and passionate environmentalism - captivated the nation in 1983.
Ben Quilty, Life vest, Lesbos. 2016, oil on polyester, 60 x 50cm. Australian War Memorial

Essays On Air: can art really make a difference?

Essays on Air: can art really make a difference? The Conversation26,8 MB (download)
Art has always depicted the crimes of our times throughout centuries of wars and humanitarian crises. Can we really expect it to truly make a difference in the real world?
The Loch Ness Monster and other folk tales might not be pure fiction, but actually based on memories of events our ancestors once observed. Shutterstock

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

Essays On Air: Monsters in my closet - how a geographer began mining myths.
So you think the Loch Ness Monster never existed? Think again. Traditional myths from our ancestors might actually reveal important clues about the geological history of the world.
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 of acquiescing to her judges’ directives? shutterstock.com

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

Essays On Air: Joan of Arc, our one true superhero. The Conversation22,1 MB (download)
Joan of Arc has been depicted as a national heroine, nationalist symbol, a rebellious heretic and a goodly saint. Forget Wonder Woman and Batman – Jeanne d’Arc may be our one and only true superhero.
Marchers at the 1978 Mardi Gras parade. Sally Colechin/The Pride History Group

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

On the Sydney Mardi Gras march of 1978. The Conversation, CC BY31,7 MB (download)
On a cold Saturday night in Sydney on June 24, 1978, a number of gay men, lesbians and transgender people marched into the pages of Australian social history. I was one of them.
In July 2017, new research was published that pushed the opening chapters of Australian history back to 65,000 years ago. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation

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

When did Australia’s human history begin? The Conversation, CC BY16,6 MB (download)
Today's episode of Essays On Air, the audio version of our Friday essay series, seeks to move beyond the view of ancient Australia as a timeless and traditional foundation story.
Fairy tales are extremely moral in their demarcation between good and evil, right and wrong. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation NY-BD-CC

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

Why grown-ups still need fairy tales. The Conversation, CC BY22,8 MB (download)
We consciously and unconsciously tell fairy tales today, despite advances in logic and science. It’s as if there is something ingrained in us that compels us to see the world through this lens.
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, telegrams and newsletters. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation NY-BD-CC

Essays On Air: Reading Germaine Greer’s mail

Essays On Air: Reading Germaine Greer’s mail. The Conversation24,4 MB (download)
The Germaine Greer Archive offers a powerful, often amusing, sometimes perplexing glimpse into the lives of people affected by her work, as well as the many faces of Greer herself.
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

Essays On Air: Why libraries can and must change

Essays On Air: Why libraries can and must change. The Conversation, CC BY23,3 MB (download)
The much heralded 'death of the book' has nothing to do with the death of reading or writing. It's about a radical transformation in reading practices, as explained in this episode of Essays On Air.
Ongoing controversy around wild horses in Australia encompasses debate about their impact and their cultural meaning, argues Michael Adams. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation NY-BD-CC

Essays On Air: The cultural meanings of wild horses

The cultural meanings of wild horses. The Conversation18,6 MB (download)
Today's episode of Essays On Air explores how humans have related to horses over time and across the world, and asks: is it time to rethink how we 'manage' brumbies in the wild?
A central convention of Greek mythological narratives called katabasis, the hero’s journey to the underworld or land of the dead. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation NY-BD-CC

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

Journeys to the Underworld – Greek myth, film and American anxiety. The Conversation36,9 MB (download)
Our new podcast, Essays On Air, features the most beautiful writing from Australian researchers. Today, classics expert Paul Salmond explores how modern cinema directors borrow from Greek legends.
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 underworld – Greek myth, film and American anxiety’. Wes Mountain CC-BY-ND

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

Essays On Air 01: Introducing Essays On Air.
The Conversation is launching a new podcast, Essays On Air. It's the audio version of our Friday essays, where we bring you the best and most beautiful writing from Australian researchers.

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