New Literatures: Australia
This year saw a consolidation of interest in the commercial aspects of Australian publication (labelled 'cultural materialism') including enthusiastic calls for the application of statistical analysis to publishing history. The Mark Davis debate on the recent decline of Australian literary publishing spluttered to life again in articles that were mostly written in the final year of the Howard conservative government, although it is by no means clear that the advent of a Labor government will have much effect on those publishing conditions. Poetry again shows itself as a vital if uneconomic force, with many articles and three full-length books of criticism appearing, the best of which was Philip Mead's Networked Language: Culture and History in Australian Poetry. Eco-poetics continues to define itself, sometimes by claiming resonance with Aboriginal writing and sensibility. A useful article that attempts to lay out the field is that by Libby Robin discussed below. The year also saw Australian criticism looking outwards to other cultures and literature,with books and articles concerned with Australia's representation of and relationships with China, Japan, Italy, Britain and Russia.