Monash University Publishing: Advancing knowledge

Small Screens: Essays on Contemporary Australian Television

Edited by Michelle Arrow, Jeannine Baker and Clare Monagle

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There has been a lot happening on Australia’s small screens. Neighbours turned 30. Struggle Street was accused of poverty porn. Pete evangelised Paleo. Gina got litigious. Netflix muscled in. The Bachelor spawned The Bachelorette. Peter Allen’s maraccas were exhumed. The Labor Party ate itself. Anzac was an anti-climax. And so much more...

Join us as we survey the Australian televisual landscape, and try to make sense of the myriad changes transforming what and how we watch. We’ve come a long way since Bruce Gyngell welcomed us to television in 1956. We now watch on demand and wherever we want, in our lounge rooms and on our devices.

But some things stay the same. The small screen is still a place for imagining Australia, for better or for worse. Small Screens challenges and celebrates our contemporary TV worlds.


Michelle Arrow, Jeannine Baker and Clare Monagle
1.    The Televisual Landscape Today  
Nick Herd
2.    A Bitter Pill to Swallow: Food on Australian TV    
Clare Monagle
3.    Broadcasting Disruption    
Mark Hearn
4.    Anzac on TV   
Carolyn Holbrook
5.    Take One Sip When Someone Says ‘Connection’: 
Passion versus Intimacy in The Bachelor/ette Australia   
Jodi McAlister
6.    ‘Gaps in the National Family Album’: Australian Documentaries on the ABC and SBS    
Jeannine Baker
7.    Neighbours, the Soap that Whitens: 30 Years of 
Ramsay Street  
David Nichols
8.    Not the Boy Next Door: Reconsidering Television 
in the Musical Miniseries    
Liz Giuffre
9.    I Am Woman, Redux: Feminism on Television in 2015    
Michelle Arrow
10.    Mining for Drama: House of Hancock, Gina Rinehart 
and the Law   
David Rolph
11.    Dramatising Australia’s Colonisation: White Men’s Stories 
in Banished (Foxtel) and The Secret River (ABC TV)  
Sarah Pinto
12.    Struggle Street … Poverty Porn?    
Zora Simic

About the Editors

Michelle Arrow is an Associate Professor in Modern History at Macquarie University. Her most recent book is Friday on Our Minds: Popular Culture in Australia since 1945 (2009). In 2014 Michelle, Catherine Freyne and Timothy Nicastri won the NSW Premier’s Multimedia History Prize for the radio documentary Public Intimacies: The 1974 Royal Commission on Human Relationships.

Jeannine Baker is a historian and documentary maker in the Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University. She is the author of Australian Women War Reporters: Boer War to Vietnam (NewSouth, 2015). Her most recent radio documentary is Holding a Tiger by the Tail: Jessie Litchfield (2015).

Clare Monagle is a historian of ideas, concentrating primarily on theology in the Middle Ages and medievalism in the twentieth century. She is a Senior Lecturer in Modern History at Macquarie University. She is currently working on a feminist history of scholastic theology, on the history of emotions, and on the theology of women’s liberation.

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