Meanjin

in Archives and Special Collections

Elements of this exhibition include language or imagery that, though indicative of the period in which they were created, would today be considered culturally insensitive. These are a reflection of past practices, and do not reflect the attitudes or understanding of the University of Melbourne. We acknowledge the historical context in which they were produced, and in consultation with academics and representatives of First Nations peoples around the University, present them in the hope they encourage open discourse.

The University of Melbourne acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands on which of our campuses are situated. We pay our respects to their Elders both past and present, and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. We recognise their continuing contributions to the academic and cultural life of the University.

Public Programs

80 Years of Meanjin is a collaboration between Archives and Special Collections and Meanjin, using our collection of Meanjin material to celebrate the literary magazine's 80th year. Our program of events will contain four panel discussions or online events throughout the year covering great cover art, letters to the editor, Australian cultural identity as pursued through the pages of Meanjin, and poetry.

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Clem Chritesen 1946 smoking a pipe
Clem Christesen 1946 UMA 2005.0004.00167

Introduction

Meanjin emerged in a time of war. It started small, hailing from Brisbane, promoting Queensland writers, but its first editor, Clem Christesen always had bolder plans. Within a few years, the content had broadened to include writers from all over Australia, and by 1945 the journal had moved headquarters to Melbourne. Under the somewhat strained auspices of Melbourne University, Meanjin flourished. A quarterly journal that leaned to the left, it would attract an equal quotient of high level of intellectual input and establishment crack-down.

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Cover Art

Meanjin has engaged many interesting artists to do covers throughout it's history. Starting from the simple beginnings of a set of footprints by Percy Stanhope Hobday, it has moved through many phases and design styles.

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