journalist, author, cultural critic

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  • History comes calling

    I researched the genteel history of the calling card, an old social technology that’s being revived. This was the A2 section cover story in The Age on 21 February 2009. To those..

  • Mini-break

    This essay on women writers’ relationship to the countryside stems from my own longing for a proper holiday. It appeared in Island 131 (January 2013). Just one day out of..

  • Your list… is on my list

    As each year ends, we pause to take stock… in list form. I pondered this phenomenon (in non-list form) in the A2 section of The Age on 27 December 2008...

  • Sexy Nation

    This essay originally appeared in The Age on 20 December, 2003, and was republished in the Sydney Morning Herald‘s ‘Spectrum’ section. In The Age‘s 150th birthday celebrations in 2004, the..

  • Pretend We’re Dead

    This review of Annalee Newitz’s book Pretend We’re Dead: Capitalist Monsters In American Pop Culture appeared in issue 124 of the academic journal Media International Australia in August 2007. Newitz,..

  • Like The Song? These Guys Wrote It

    In 2004, hip-hop production duo the Neptunes ruled the pop charts, and this feature explores their history and their signature sound. It appeared in The Age on Saturday, 15 May,..

  • My Brilliant Reading Career

    My critical assessment of Miles Franklin’s famous coming-of-age novel My Brilliant Career appeared in Readings Monthly in June 2013. She’s now lent her name to two literary prizes, but until..

  • Behind the Touchline

    This essay on homosexuality in Australian football was first published in the ‘Spectrum’ section of The Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday 3 July, 2004, and later anthologised in Black Inc’s..

  • A Little Bogan In Everyone

    After reading about the emergence of “cashed-up bogans”, I got annoyed and wrote this opinion piece, which appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald on 8 June, 2006. In it I..

  • A leap of faith

    In 2009 I stumbled across the Australian all-star cheerleading scene, and ended up going all the way to nationals! This feature appeared in the A2 section of The Age on Saturday 14 November,..

  • Casting About for Period Pain

    This feature examined what works and what doesn’t when contemporary actresses are cast in period roles. It appeared in the A2 section of The Age on Saturday 3 January, 2009...

  • Smackdown!

    This essay won the special prize for written communication by a scholar aged under 30 in the 2003 Co-Op Bookshop Dialogica Awards. The awards encourage clear and compelling writing about..

  • The Anti-Britney Swindle

    Pop music has always been a spectacle of artifice – from the Monkees to Madonna – but in 2003 it yearned for authenticity. This feature on the ‘Britney backlash’ appeared..

  • You’re Winsome, You Lose Some

    I donned my cranky pants to write this op-ed about the gooey sentimentality of whimsical culture. It appeared in The Age on Monday, 20 April, 2009. I have had just..

  • New York State of Mine

    Fed up with hipsters fawning over New York, I decided to take my own bite out of the Big Apple… without leaving Melbourne. This feature appeared in jmag issue 37,..