Meanjin was founded in Brisbane by Clem Christesen (the name, pronounced Mee-an-jin, is the word in the Turrbal language for the finger of land on which central Brisbane sits) in 1940. Meanjin moved to Melbourne in 1945 at the invitation of the University of Melbourne. It currently receives funding from the university, and CAL as well as receiving vital support through subscriptions and other sales. At the beginning of 2008 Meanjin became an imprint of Melbourne University Publishing.
Known primarily as a literary magazine, Christesen ensured that Meanjin reflected the breadth of contemporary thinking, be it on literature, other art forms, or the broader issues of the times. This breadth has characterised Meanjin for more than 70 years, continuing under its ten subsequent editors—Jim Davidson, Judith Brett, Jenny Lee, Christina Thompson, Stephanie Holt, Ian Britain, Sophie Cunningham, Sally Heath, Zora Sanders and Jonathan Green.
A list of past contributors to Meanjin includes Australian writers Judith Wright, Kylie Tennant, Manning Clark, Vance & Nettie Palmer, A D Hope, Dymphna Cusack, Martin Boyd, Alan Marshall, Dorothy Hewett, Peter Singer, Vincent Buckley, Donald Horne, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Patrick White, Gwen Harwood, Bruce Dawe, David Malouf, Humphrey McQueen, Jack Hibberd, Bruce Pascoe, Roberta Sykes, Helen Garner, Alex Miller, Frank Moorhouse, John Morrison, Hal Porter, Rodney Hall, A A Phillips, Alexis Wright, Peter Carey, Alice Pung, Michelle de Kretser, J M Coetzee, Carmen Callil and Dorothy Porter. International authors published include Jean-Paul Sartre, and Kurt Vonnegut. Published four times a year and online, Meanjin is one of Australia’s best, and oldest, journals of literature and ideas.
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Meanjin the first ever edition was republished by MUP in 2015.