Becoming “Pacific-Minded”

Australian Middlebrow Writers in the 1940s and the Mobility of Texts

in Transfers

The travel writer Frank Clune saw World War II as a turning point in Australia’s consciousness, turning its inhabitants’ attention to the Pacific region. Similarly, the writer Ernestine Hill was delighted to find new American markets for her Australian books in wartime as troops were mobilized across the Pacific theater. In America, as Janice Radway has shown, the sentimental mode of “middlebrow personalism” enabled writers to engage their readers in wider geopolitical affairs. Middlebrow intellectuals, texts, and institutions were crucial in educating Americans about their evolving midcentury relationships with Asia, just as writers such as Clune and Hill educated Australians about the Pacific: a coalition of American and Australian mobilities and imaginaries in middlebrow midcentury print culture. This article examines the multiple ways in which these books and their writers “made Australia” in terms of a regional imaginary that extended across the Pacific during this period.

Transfers

Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies

Article Information

Issue Table of Contents

Google Scholar