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Date Range of Records: 1959-2010
- Greer, Professor Germaine [29 January 1939-]
The Greer Archive has been made available because of its historical and research importance. Statements which form part of the collection are not made on behalf of the University and do not represent the University's views. It contains material that some researchers might find confronting. This includes: Explicit language and images that reflect either the attitudes of the era in which the material was originally published or the views of the creators of the material but may not be considered appropriate today; Names, images and voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in published and unpublished printed material, audio recordings and photographs; Graphic descriptions of medical conditions and treatment. This series documents Germaine Greer's international career as a print journalist. The 1270 files, housed in 24 boxes, include typescripts, clippings, handwritten notes, correspondence, proofs and ephemera relating to Greer's work as a feature writer, a columnist, theatre and book reviewer, art critic and an essayist as well as her brief stints as a foreign correspondent in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Cuba and Brazil. Greer's work has been published in major newspapers and magazines in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, India and South Africa and has appeared, in translation, in French, Polish, Italian, German, Dutch and Spanish newspapers and magazines. The earliest item is 'Rationalism – An interesting challenge for Christians' a piece the Star of the Sea convent graduate wrote in 1959 for Farrago, the University of Melbourne's student newspaper. The most recent things are in a folder of labelled Print – Refusals that contains print outs of emails from 2010 offering Greer work. On one, Greer has noted: "No fee, no work". Greer has mostly arranged the records chronologically by year of publication but there are some idiosyncrasies, especially in the early material. The archivist has catalogued the series in its received order i.e. the order in which these files were kept at Greer's property. Researchers can search for work using a consistent set up subject headings, including title of publication, column or collection, names of commissioning editors and subject matter. Greer hand-labelled all the folders up to and including 1994 and these titles have been preserved, including her penchant for roman numerals and the question marks that indicate she was unsure about publication details. Some of Greer's titles include a designation of the type of journalism the file contains (For example, Book review: the rule of silence, The Spectator, 11.ix.76.) Records have been re-housed in acid-free folders and Greer's titles have been preserved. After 1994, Greer's various assistants took over the labelling. Some folders had special labels typed up on a computer, printed out and stuck on. Greer has kept a press clipping of the 1959 Farrago essay and two 1963 reviews of student plays staged at Sydney University but many of the other things written for university papers been re-created via print outs from microfilm. Germaine Greer did this work in the mid to late 1990s, when the archive was first being prepared for sale. From 1997 onwards, Greer has purposefully constructed the print series as a group of records. Many files contain requests from Greer's assistant, Carol Horne, to various editors for original copies of articles, as published, for "our archive". Most of the post-2005 items comprise print outs of emails and print outs of columns as they were published online, signalling a determination that this series will be a print one, even if the printed material has to be created at a later date. The print series also includes Greer's introductions for Hesperus Press's translations of out-of-print European classics and there are book reviews and forewords for a wide range of publications, including scholarly journals like William and Mary Quarterly and edited collections and books about artists. Dozens of pieces are notes for opera company programs, most often Glyndebourne. Other records relate to Greer's substantial scholarly essays on early modern writing published in academic anthologies and her writing on feminist studies, notably 'What are we doing and why are we doing it?' Greer's 1980 essay on women's studies courses, published in the inaugural issue of the Tulsa Studies journal. Greer has kept typescripts or print outs of all her unpublished journalism and essays and these records often include the correspondence relating to why a piece was not run. Some pieces were unpublished because Greer decided to criticise, often in rather robust terms, the subject-matter of the collection, event or artist she had been asked to introduce. The earliest collection of records in the series comprises Greer's essays and theatre reviews for student newspapers at universities in Melbourne, Sydney and Cambridge (1959-1967) and her articles for the underground press, most notably OZ Magazine (1967-1970). Typescripts, ephemera and correspondence relating to Greer's work for Suck the first European sexpaper (1970-1973) are in the Early Years Series (2014.0044). The 1971-1975 records document Greer's journalism in the period that immediately followed the publication of The Female Eunuch (1970). Prominent British newspaper editor, Harold Evans, offered her a bi-weekly column in The Sunday Times, a slot she shared with Jilly Cooper. Greer's first Look (The Sunday Times) column was published on 25 July 1971. She wrote about vaginal deodorants. In the next six months, her columns were filed from India, the United States, Germany, Italy, Hanoi, Bangladesh and Australia, a reflection of the frenetic pace of her life at that time. The last Look! column ran on 25 February 1973. Greer has written regular columns for most major British newspapers. In 1978, she wrote for The Spectator and from 1989-1993 she wrote Home Thoughts columns for The Independent Magazine. In 1991, she also wrote columns called Trouble at the Mills for the paper and in 1992 Greer began a new column one for Private Eye co-founder editor Richard Ingrams' magazine The Oldie. Stumpcross Roundabout (1992-1993) was hyper-local journalism about Greer's house, her garden, the wood she planted, her guests, her pets and other doings in the land surrounding The Mills (Stump Cross). Between 1992 and 1994, Greer wrote a gardening column for Architektur & Wohnen, a German-language magazine. Greer first wrote for The Guardian in 1982 (an article on pre-menstrual syndrome) and in 1993 she began writing a regular column. Her longest running column, though, was Country Notebook, written for the Saturday edition of the Daily Telegraph. The first one, on genetic modification of dogs, ran on 1 May 1999. She wrote 304 more, including her final "fond farewell" published on 19 February 2005. As with the Home Thoughts columns in The Independent and her Guardian pieces, these ones leap from tiny domestic details – the habits of her dogs and cats, the taste of pumpkin, inconsiderate houseguests – to epic public events such as the famine in Ethiopia, creating a dazzling sense of connection between the smallest moments in a life and the things that appear on the front page. From mid-2007 Greer began writing the Arts Comment column for The Guardian; she covered visual arts, architecture, sculpture, literature and film. Greer wrote for paper until March 2011. The series demonstrates how much money Greer has earned from journalism, including national and international syndication of key pieces. Her work has commanded handsome fees, even as the internet revolution eroded pay rates and conditions. This series is also a micro-history of print journalism and print journalists. The format of the records is evidence of changes in publishing technologies from hot metal production to photographic and computer typesetting to the online publishing of the 21st century. Carbon copies of typescripts, pasted up pages, galley proofs and copy marked with printer's instructions are important pieces of newspaper material culture. Tussles with reading files on disks, with fax machines on the blink and then with emails that would not transmit, are reminders of how fast technology has changed. Editors and editing is another theme of note. The subject heading Copy editing indicates files that contain discussions about how the words will be on the page. The item-level description lists the names of every journalist Greer has worked with. The series contains evidence of commissioning, editing and sub-editing practices that had all but disappeared by 2016. Many files contain clippings compiled by librarians working in newspaper libraries, another aspect of newspapers that is almost redundant. The print series is a catalyst for many other important records in the Greer Archive, especially the audio series and the correspondence series. Greer interviewed Primo Levi for The Literary Review (1988); Federico Fellini for Arabella (1988); and Luciano Pavarotti for The Evening Standard (1991). In Cuba, she interviewed revolutionary Vilma Espin (Castro) for a piece on Women and Power in Cuba, commissioned for Women: A World Report, published by the United Nations to mark the end of the Decade of Women 1975-1985. Greer made three trips to Ethiopia in 1984-85 to report on the famine for The Observer and the two audio dairies she kept – Ethiopia and Ethiopia resettlement – are a visceral reminder of why Ethiopia is a topic she has returned to, repeatedly, in her journalism. Recordings of these interviews and audio diaries from the Ethiopia trip are in series 2014.0040. Her final trip to Ethiopia was to make a documentary for a series called Diverse Reports. Records relating to this are in the TV series 2017.0002.00060. Most reader responses to Greer's journalism are in the correspondence series (2014.0042) – notably the thousands of letters written by readers of Country Notebook (The Telegraph) – but for several articles Greer has kept the letters with the piece, perhaps pointing to the significance of an individual letter or a collection of responses. When Country Notebook was axed, Greer received hundreds of letters from fans and she has filed these with the final column. A 2006 piece on the death of Australian TV personality Steve Irwin attracted hundreds of response from readers, most of them negative, and Greer has also filed these with the article.
24 units (4.08m)
Collection Category: Culture and the Arts, individuals
Access Conditions: Access: Restricted
Finding Aids: Yes listed ONLINE
Online ListingGREER, Professor Germaine - PRINT JOURNALISM 2014~0046
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