Informit Records: Quarterly

Arena Quarterly, ISSN 2652-4775, is available from Informit.

Arena Magazine is currently included in two Informit full text products: Australian Public Affairs collection: Full Text - Issue 1 (1991) onwards, and Humanities & Social Sciences collection: Full Text - Issue 100 (Apr/June 2009) onwards.

Arena Journal (peer reviewed, published by Arena Printing and Publishing Pty Ltd, ISSN: 1320-6567) is included in: Australian Public Affairs collection: Full Text - Issue 1 (1992) onwards, and Literature & Culture collection: Full Text - Issue 21 (2003) onwards.

PDF copies of all individual articles are available for purchase from Informit.

Against resilience

The world faces horrendous challenges over coming generations. We as humans have become witnesses to the upheaval of the planet, very gradually coming to realise that we are the main agents of this convulsion. Life on earth, at least as we have known it, is slowly becoming untenable, with increasingly intense storm surges, inundations, heat-island effects, fires, droughts and floods. While picture postcards from various places around the globe, snapshots taken at the right angle…

Defence after the rise of China

Stop press

In April of this year, Arena said farewell to our most recent city centre, a former warehouse on Kerr Street, Fitzroy. It's the third city centre we've had since we established our first on Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy, in 1983. But the 2020 farewell had far greater significance, since it marked the conclusion of our active involvement with printing, both of our own publications and commercially, through a full-service firm. That would have been the…

Pandemic capitalism: The Great Depression to come?

Vienna's World Fair celebrating the prosperity of Austria's modern empire opened on 1 May 1873. Eight days later the Vienna stock market crashed, precipitating a global depression with consequences that would ramify for a century. The 'Long Depression', known as the 'Great Depression' until the downturn of the 1930s took that title, gripped Europe from 1873 to 1896. It was a deflationary recession. Unemployment persisted for a generation, but not spectacularly, as in the 1930s.…

Chaos-bringing ‘men in time’ [Book Review]

Review(s) of: War for Eternity: The Return of Traditionalism and the Rise of the Populist Right, by Benjamin R. Teitelbaum, (Penguin, 2020).

Films: Oedipal capitalism

Review(s) of: Oedipal capitalism, Greed, directed by Michael Winterbottom (2020).

Unacknowledged legislators

Pestilence, plague, epidemic: outbreaks of contagious disease have punctuated human history for as long as humans have gathered in communities and told one another stories about how they got there. Given how much human labour has been devoted to the matter of simply not dying, spectacles of mass death arrest our attention. Whether its cause be natural disasters such as fires, floods, earthquakes or storms, the human folly of war or the deeper shock of…

Motherhood as misery?

Late in 2019 Michael Leunig penned a cartoon in The Age of a mother pushing a pram while absorbed in her smartphone, apparently neglecting her child, who-without her noticing-had fallen out of the pram onto the ground. A stream of letters to the editor ensued, various interviews confirmed or otherwise the artist's supposed misogyny, and Leunig himself responded in a lengthy article. Leunig has been embroiled in such controversies before, but whatever one thinks of…

Behind glass

'Behind Glass' is a portrait series documenting twenty-five mothers and their children experiencing isolation in their homes during a period of enforced social distancing to control the transmission of COVID-19 in Australia.

American dream

Spies, lies and the caring professions: Countering violent extremism

During a February 2016 episode of ABC TV's Q and A program, then minister for justice and counter-terrorism Michael Keenan said that teachers were being trained to spot extremists because 'ISIL is targeting people younger and younger... They will exhibit certain behaviours if they have made contact with someone in the Middle East'. On the same panel, Labor's shadow minister for foreign affairs Tanya Plibersek said, 'our best ally in keeping Australians safe is making…

Everything is thinkable, so what is to be done?

There is no way to begin this essay, at this time, other than by acknowledging the remarkable, mind-bending moment in which we write these words. It is a time of pandemic, one destined to shape the future of human civilisation for years, if not decades ahead. In Australia, the economy has all but shut down, with little open for business besides medical centres and hospitals, supermarkets and food outlets, and a very select number of…