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2017.0010 [EPHEMERAL PUBLICATIONS]
Date Range of Records: 1957-1999
Creator(s):
- 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appropriate today; names, images and voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in published and unpublished printed material, audio recordings and photographs; discussion and descriptions of sexual violence, medical conditions and treatment. This series comprises three boxes of 20th century ephemeral print publications that are either marginal or radical (or both) in content, format or production style. The earliest record is Germaine Greer’s copy of the first issue of Libertarian, a 40-page red booklet published by Roelof Smilde for the Libertarian Society at Sydney University (1957) while the most recent item is a the third issue of Medusa, the Journal of the Centre for Women and Socialism (1999). Medusa is edited by Azar Majedi, published in Cologne, Germany and is primarily in Persian (Farsi) with a small English-language section at one end. A small collection of records – a notebook, a script fragment, receipts, a map, a press pass and pamphlets in Portuguese – relate to Greer’s journey to Brazil in 1993 to make a documentary on the Rio Sao Francisco for the British Broadcasting Corporation’s River Journeys documentary series. Related records can be found in the Television and Print Journalism series, 2017.0002.00037 and 2014.0046.00139. Other folders contain ephemera generated by Greer’s print journalism from the early 1970s, including her work on the Bangladesh civil war in 1971. There are clippings of two 1972 articles written by Greer, including one on male pin-ups, that are not in the Print Journalism series. The clippings are part of a cache that includes a copy of Savitir, an Amar Chitra Katha colour comic book, English-language, published in Bombay, a clipping that mentions 'la Femme eunuque', from Claude Bellanger, director general of Le Parisien libre and an undated clipping from The Sunday Times, 'Pockets of resistance' contains Sheila McNeil's operational guide to Women's Lib groups in the British Isles with names, addresses, phone numbers and small biography for each group. Several feature articles, torn from magazines, are about Aboriginal land rights. Aside from these estrays, the series is a record of Greer’s eclectic incidental reading and collecting of feminist, punk and anarchist publications (magazines, journals and fanzines). It contains nine copies of Effe, an Italian-language feminist magazine published from 1973-1982. The first issue includes a bibliography of Italian-language translations of 'Libri Sul Femminismo USA', such as Greer's L'eunnuco femmina, Kate Millet's La politica del sesso and Shulamith Firestone's La dialettica dei sessi. Related records, including correspondence with Effe editor Adele Cambria, can be found in the Early Years series 2014.0044.00218. Two folders Greer labelled British Underground Press hold several pamphlets and a magazine produced by Open Head Press, London. There are five issues of IT, an underground press newspaper, dated from between 1968 and 1970. The chewed corners and missing covers are a reminder of the less than ideal storage conditions in the flats that Greer lived in at this time but also of the immediate cultural relevance of these now fragile records. The papers mattered in the moment and they were meant to be read, seen and left lying around – not filed away safely on a bookshelf. This series is not comprehensive. It contains no complete runs of any publication and the missing objects make a bigger point about production and consumption of material produced on the margins for the margins. Underground papers, feminist newsletters and fanzines were published, distributed and read irregularly. The fanzines of the early to mid-1990s were often made by one or two women. If they got sick or busy or ran out of money, months could go by between issues. This series is a record of low or no-budget publishing and the skill and zeal of feminist volunteer labour. For example, Women Now, was put out by the Nottingham Women's Liberation Group in the mid-1970s but production was sporadic. “Dear Sisters, It's been a year since we last produced Women's Now. This is because we had financial difficulties,” reads the editorial in vol.1, no. 6, an undated newsletter. The series holds 16 editions of Women's Report, a bi-monthly 16 or 20-page newsletter for women, produced by the Women's Lobby and Fawcett Society, Fawcett House, London. The newsletters, printed between 1971 and 1975, offer a snapshot of the diverse political concerns of women’s liberation movement activists. Substantial articles cover abortion rights, contraception, employment agencies, International Women’s Year, test tube babies and women in Tanzania. Several are hand-annotated by Greer. Some are also gnawed in the corners. Volume 1, issue 2 was designed by Anita Schnee, who worked as Greer’s personal assistant from 1972 to 1974. It is unclear whether Greer bought the publications herself or whether they were sent to her by publishers, including self-publishers. A Time magazine (Is feminism dead? 28 June 1998) is accompanied by a letter from the publisher. Likewise, a copy of a new magazine, Sibyl, (June 1998) comes with a letter from editor Lorna Russell inviting Greer to contribute. Along with a magazine subscription sticker (to Jesslyn Medoff) on the cover of an On the Issues magazine and a stamp for Het Fort Van Sjakoo, International Bookshop Amsterdam inside Little Ms Benzine fanzine, these letters offer rare evidence of the how Greer acquired the publications in this series. Greer has not imposed an order on the material although there is an indication of (unrealised) plans to do so. For example, an incomplete run of Broadsheets, the newsletter of Sydney Libertarians (1971-1973) are marked, in Greer’s hand, with instructions to put it in “newspaper file” or “periodicals file”. The material was housed in different parts of Greer’s office. The first two units in the series is material filed in or near ‘Drawer 189’ – a title imposed by the archivist on the first item. Greer kept copies of The Digger, an underground newspaper published in Middle Park, Melbourne between 1972 and 1975, next to Brazil ephemera and Effe magazines but The Diggers were not collected as a set is held at the University of Melbourne Library. The fanzines and magazines that are now in unit 3 were housed elsewhere in Greer’s office. Greer had collected 49 fanzines, written, photocopied, published and distributed by young women in the United Kingdom, the United States and Belgium, between about 1993 and 1998. The archivist has catalogued each one as a separate item and included any available information on the creator, date and place of publication in the metadata as well as any statements of purpose or theme. For example, RAGE (1995) was “a zine produced by Empowerment Through Sisterhood - Rapid City's young feminist group” while Sweet Me (1994) was a zine about veganism and a hardcore punk festival in Belgium. Greer had three issues of Fucktooth, a zine made by Jen Angel in Columbus, Ohio in 1995 and 1996 and this is the most substantial publication here. Fucktooth 19 is 64 pages long. Issues 20 and 21 are of similar size and both are accompanied by supplement issues. Jen Angel’s editorial in Fucktooth 21 states: “The revolution has begun, we will win while you sleep. Zines are a commodity. They are things that we buy and sell and charge a price for. But unlike most commodities, zines don't have to offer mindless entertainment or passive consumerism. Unfortunately, that's what they've become.”
3 units (0.51m)
Collection Category:
Access Conditions: Access: Restricted
Finding Aids: Yes listed ONLINE
Online ListingGREER, Professor Germaine - Ephemeral Publications 2017~0010
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