Re-thinking nature, fact and fiction: University of Queensland Press' environmental list 1965-1995

Deborah Jordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


In the halcyon days of publishing in Australia, in the 1970s and 1980s, the University of Queensland Press (UQP) established an innovative series on the Australian Environment edited by Alan Gilpin. The series emerged from the flourishing scientific, environmental and conservation discourses. This was not the only way, or even then the central way, UQP addressed environmental issues. On the one hand, the Press actively supported the emergence of an Australian postcolonial canon in fiction and poetry through (re)publishing the works of Steele Rudd, Vance Palmer and Peter Carey. In the need to develop an international market for their books, however, fiction editors could easily and did edit out descriptions of the Australian environments. On the other hand, the Press published technical studies such as a series on Australian Ecology. With the rupture in the management of the Press in 1983, the Australian Environment series was stopped. By the 1990s with the increasing recognition of the Australian Aboriginal way of thinking about country (and the delineation of Australasian territorial copyright) UQP pulled back from developing a global market in order to establish a successful Black Australian Writers series for, primarily, a national readership. The genre of 'bush realism' and other new writing by non-Indigenous Australians that drew on environmental differences of the 'new world' in contrast to the old, as a result, shifted away from central stage in narratives of the nation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-134
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of the Book
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Australian Literature
  • Australian Publishing
  • Culture
  • Environmental Writing
  • Nature
  • University Presses

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