Collections of essays and books of multi-authored chapters have fallen out of favour recently in our research assessment-driven age. When I asked a colleague at Sydney University to contribute to one a couple of years ago he told me staff in his department had been advised to focus on articles for top ranked journals and not to spend time and energy on book chapters or collections. Since the advent of the Performance Based Research Fund this shift in publishing patterns has also been evident in New Zealand, which makes the appearance of this book, a collection of papers arising from an international symposium at Sydney University in 2011, all the more welcome, and the book as a whole confirms my view that rich scholarship is produced in focussed multi-authored collections like this one.
Review of Republics of Letters: Literary Communities in Australia, edited by Peter Kirkpatrick and Robert Dixon.
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