Going for a Song: The Cultural Politics of ‘Waltzing Matilda’

By Graham Seal.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

An examination of the copyright history of Australia’s unofficial national anthem, ‘Waltzing Matilda', provides an insight into the political, economic and cultural relations between Britain, the United States of America and Australia. In particular, the extent to which Australia’s cultural industries are a surrogate or proxy for the larger interests of global powers is demonstrated. It is argued that this surrogacy has, and continues to have, a potentially constricting effect on the circulation of matters of cultural concern through the Australian national community.

Keywords: Book Publishing History, Copyright, Intellectual Property, Cultural Industries, Surrogacy, Waltzing Matilda, Thomas Wood

The International Journal of the Book, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp.67-72. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 186.543KB).

Prof. Graham Seal

Director Australian Studies Centre, Australia Research Institute, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, WA, Australia

Graham Seal is Professor of Folklore at Curtin University with an interest in the intersections of history and myth. He has published widely in relevant fields and is presently conducting research on the life and times of Thomas Wood, especially in relation to “Waltzing Matilda.” He is also the Publisher of Black Swan Press, an academic publisher at Curtin University, and has a practical interest in the matters discussed in his paper. Graham Seal has a distinguished national profile as a founder of folklore studies in Australia and is also a leading and widely-cited international authority on the cultural traditions of the hero. He has had a substantial career in university teaching, research and management and previously worked in government publishing and the music industry. He holds a personal chair at Curtin University. His contribution to scholarship was acknowledged in 2007 when he was made a Member of the Order of Australia. In 2008 he was joint winner of the National Biography Award for his These Few Lines: The Lost Lives of Myra and William Sykes. Also: Invited “Distinguished International Scholar” American Folklore Society Centennial 1989; “1st Runner Up” Katharine Briggs Folklore Award, (Folklore Society, UK), 1994; American Library Association Award 1994; Naomi and Isi Leibler Award (most outstanding PhD thesis in Social Sciences), Deakin University, 1995; Book of the Year award at Tamworth Country Music Festival 2006; Who’s Who in Australia. Further details at http://research.humanities.curtin.edu.au/centres/aapi/

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