The literary and cultural affairs journal Meanjin was founded by C.B. (Clem) Christesen in Brisbane in 1940. In 1943 the University invited him to bring the journal to Melbourne where it has been published under its auspices ever since.
Early editions experimented with covers before reverting to the original footprint design of P. Stanhope Hobday.
For much of that time the magazine led a hand-to-mouth existence on Literature Fund grants and subventions from the Mary Lockie Bequest, left in 1949 ‘for the advancement of Literature within Australia’. During Christesen's 34-year editorship he published the leading figures in Australian letters and introduced Australian audiences to many international writers.
Since Christesen’s retirement in 1974, Meanjin has been edited by Jim Davidson (1974-82), Judith Brett (1982-7), Jenny Lee (1987-94), Christina Thompson (1994-9), Stephanie Holt (1998-2001) and Ian Britain.