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Keywords: Western Literature

  • AUSTRALIA

    Life in procrastination nation

    • Ellena Savage
    • 22 January 2016
    4 Comments

    Where does this need for punctuality, performance and productivity arise? I don't believe it is rooted so much in 'western culture' as it is in capitalism. There is, after all, time for many kinds of dithering in the literature that charts western society. Socrates could barely tie his own sandals — he'd never make his job network meeting on time. Hamlet is entirely premised on the drama of procrastination: some things, like killing one's paternal uncle who is also the king, seem better fit for tomorrow.

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  • EDUCATION

    Children without a language

    • Sarah Klenbort
    • 20 January 2016
    18 Comments

    Six years ago my daughter, Kaitlyn, was diagnosed with progressive hearing loss. I was told by an early intervention centre not to sign with her. 'It may interfere with her spoken language development,' they said, though there's no research to support this claim. When she was three, I went against that advice and began studying Auslan. I enrolled my daughter in the bilingual preschool and she learned to sign better than me. She may well be part of the last generation of deaf children to sign in Australia.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Consequences loom for global debt binge

    • David James
    • 19 January 2016
    11 Comments

    Low interest rates tend to change the understanding of risk; having high debt seems to be less of a problem because the cost of servicing it is lower. This cavalier attitude has been especially evident in Australian households, which have racked up more debt relative to the size of the economy than any other country in the world. The massive appetite for debt has been replicated across the globe. The world may have survived the era of casino money - just - but it is now facing another crisis.

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  • ECONOMICS

    New world order of gas and finance

    • David James
    • 15 December 2015
    3 Comments

    In the early 1990s, America, Europe and Japan accounted for about 90 per cent of world GDP. Now, they account for less than half. The BRICs and other developing nations have grown steadily (in China's case spectacularly) while Europe has stagnated and America has sputtered at best. Recent developments in the geopolitics of fossil fuels and in finance confirm the perception that the rise of China and the developing world spells the end of US global hegemony. Against this backdrop, the narrative of the West has grown increasingly incoherent.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Pity abandoned on the banks of the Parramatta

    • Sarah Klenbort
    • 21 October 2015
    6 Comments

    A young man introduces himself: Ashley. He has sandy blond hair, a lithe body and an ease and grace with the kids. The lessons are free, but my daughter doesn't wait to for this explanation; she's already picked up a unicycle. 'You need a helmet first,' Ashley explains, and I tap my daughter's arm and sign, 'Helmet'. 'Does she read lips?' he asks. 'If you could just look at her when you're talking,' I say. 'Okay,' he says with the slightest trepidation. 'She's d-d-deaf and I have a stutter.'

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  • ECONOMICS

    Chinese economy a work in progress

    • David James
    • 14 September 2015
    1 Comment

    The recent ructions in the Chinese stock market set off great consternation in global financial markets, but for the most part this was a display of ignorance. One of the reasons China’s influence on global markets has been so beneficial, since at least 2007, is that its economy and financial markets are so different.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Remembering Veronica Brady

    • Morag Fraser
    • 02 September 2015
    8 Comments

    Veronica was one of Phillip Adams' 'favourite Catholics'. He likes larrikins, mavericks, with a mind of their own. Last week I sat in my car and listened to the replay of an interview Phillip did with Veronica some years back. I could not predict what she was going to say next, even as I recognised certain characteristic speech habits. There is the touch of the nun-teacher there, but don't mistake it for complacency.

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  • RELIGION

    Religion in the state school curriculum

    • Kevin Donnelly
    • 31 August 2015
    23 Comments

    Various state based legislation argues that education in government schools should be secular in nature, but it does not rule out a place for religion in the general curriculum. To argue that religions should have a greater place in the school curriculum is not to proselytise. Rather it is to recognise that, while we are a secular society,  students need to encounter a more transcendent sense of life that incorporates a strong moral, spiritual and ethical dimension.

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  • Reclaiming faith from the props of belief

    • David Tacey
    • 05 June 2015
    32 Comments

    'We were told to 'believe' that God could perform miracles, but this was a false lead in terms of what we now know about sacred discourse in the holy lands. This literalism was used against other religions to prove the supremacy of Christianity, but ironically it is what turned the majority of Europeans and Australians off religion as education has swept through Western nations in recent times.' David Tacey reflects on faith and belief. Andrew Hamilton replies.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Ukraine conflict heightens global economic split

    • David James
    • 28 April 2015
    2 Comments

    The conflict in the Ukraine has attracted a great deal of attention for its geo-strategic implications. Less noticed have been the economic implications. The sanctions placed on Russia have forced Russia to become even closer to China, and the alliance between a military superpower and an economic superpower is beginning to split the global economy in two. It may come to represent the biggest geo-economic and geo-political shift of the first half of this century, defining much of the future landscape.

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  • Mindfulness an alternative to fear in face of security threats

    • James O'Brien
    • 02 March 2015
    9 Comments

    With fear mongering talk of a national security emergency from our Prime Minister, perhaps we need practices which help us engage our reality with gratitude rather than panic.  We speak of health of mind and body as we are increasingly conscious of the mental health challenges we face as a community. Amidst the unrelenting busyness and worry of our days, the merits of pausing in silence are becoming clearer. Silence in mindfulness and listening to loud music while exercising are two interesting parallel experiences in our society. There’s a key question here about whether in our moments of silence or music listening we are seeking to forget our day or rest in gratitude for it. Read more  

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  • ECONOMICS

    Oil and gas redraw world strategic alliance map

    • David James
    • 16 February 2015
    3 Comments

    Sanctions against Russia have pushed Russia and China much closer together. Russia is set to provide two fifths of China’s gas needs after the completion of two massive pipelines. This will easily replace what they have lost in supplying Europe and deliver what the Chinese most crave: security of supply. Meanwhile, Russia has cut off 60 per cent of its supplies of gas into Europe, re-routing it to Turkey, and saying that Europe will have to build its own infrastructure to transport it to the Continent.

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