Research Seminar Series: Histories of the Illustrated Magazine in Australia

Presented by Professor Anna Johnston and Dr Paolo Magagnoli


As the Internet does today, the illustrated magazine significantly defined Australian readers’ knowledge of the nation and the world for much of the twentieth century. This talk draws on our just-published themed section for the Journal of Australian Studies that forms part of a research project designed to diversify magazine studies in Australia, to broaden the sources and understanding of their significance in Australian cultural history, and to connect scholarship across disciplines and link it to new international developments. Anna’s presentation will introduce the project, while Paolo’s will focus on the representation of labour in Pix, one of the most popular mid-twentieth-century magazines, which embraced the burgeoning documentary trend in photography, providing a visual representation of the Australian working class in an era of emerging mass democracy and economic crisis.

Date: Friday 21 April 2023

Time: 12–1pm

Venue: The Writers Studio, Level 6 Michie Building, and online via Zoom


Anna Johnston is Professor in English Literature in the School of Communication and Arts, and was Deputy Director of UQ's Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, 2018-20. Anna has published widely in the field of colonial and postcolonial studies, focussing on literary and cultural history: her most recent monograph is The Paper War: Morality, Print Culture, and Power in Colonial New South Wales (UWA Press 2011). An edited collection with Professor Elizabeth Webby (Sydney University) Eliza Hamilton Dunlop: Writing from the Colonial Frontier (Sydney University Press 2021) has been published in the Sydney Studies in Australian Literature series. She has particular interests in settler colonialism, travel writing, and missionary writing and empire.

Paolo Magagnoli is an art historian with expertise in the history of photography, artists’ cinema and video. He has written widely on modern and contemporary art and his articles have appeared in Oxford Art Journal, Third Text, Afterall, Philosophy of PhotographyPhotography and Culture. He is the author of Documents of Utopia: The Politics of Experimental Documentary (2015). Paolo is in favour of a broader approach to image culture, one which crosses traditional boundaries between disciplines such as art history, media studies, sociology, anthropology, and cultural studies. His research interests are contemporary artists’ use of images for the production of history and memory, and the aesthetics and politics of documentary. He is particularly interested in supervising students in the field of photography and its interaction with fine art, film, and the mass media.


Histories of the Illustrated Magazine in Australia

Fri 21 Apr 2023 12:00pm1:00pm