300 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Popular Culture about their New Books

New Books in Popular Culture New Books Network

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.0, 5 Ratings

Interviews with Scholars of Popular Culture about their New Books

    M. Hennefeld and N. Sammond, "Abjection Incorporated: Mediating the Politics of Pleasure and Violence" (Duke UP, 2020)

    M. Hennefeld and N. Sammond, "Abjection Incorporated: Mediating the Politics of Pleasure and Violence" (Duke UP, 2020)

    From the films of Larry Clark to the feminist comedy of Amy Schumer to the fall of Louis C. K., comedic, graphic, and violent moments of abjection have permeated twentieth- and twenty-first-century social and political discourse.
    The contributors to Abjection Incorporated: Mediating the Politics of Pleasure and Violence (Duke University Press, 2020) move beyond simple critiques of abjection as a punitive form of social death, illustrating how it has become a contested mode of political and cultural capital—empowering for some but oppressive for others.
    Escaping abjection's usual confines of psychoanalysis and aesthetic modernism, core to theories of abjection by thinkers such as Kristeva and Bataille, the contributors examine a range of media, including literature, photography, film, television, talking dolls, comics, and manga.
    Whether analyzing how comedic abjection can help mobilize feminist politics or how expressions of abjection inflect class, race, and gender hierarchies, the contributors demonstrate the importance of competing uses of abjection to contemporary society and politics. They emphasize abjection's role in circumscribing the boundaries of the human and how the threats abjection poses to the self and other, far from simply negative, open up possibilities for radically new politics.
    Maggie Hennefeld is Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her Twitter handle is @magshenny.
    Nicholas Sammond is Associate Professor of Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto.
    Joel Tscherne is an adjunct history general studies professor at Southern New Hampshire University. His Twitter handle is @JoelTscherne.
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    • 1 hr 12 min
    Natalia Milanesio, "¡Destape! Sex, Democracy, and Freedom in Postdictatorial Argentina" (U Pittsburgh Press, 2019)

    Natalia Milanesio, "¡Destape! Sex, Democracy, and Freedom in Postdictatorial Argentina" (U Pittsburgh Press, 2019)

    Under dictatorship in Argentina, sex and sexuality were regulated to the point where sex education, explicit images, and even suggestive material were prohibited. With the return to democracy in 1983, Argentines experienced new freedoms, including sexual freedoms. The explosion of the availability and ubiquity of sexual material became known as the destape, and it uncovered sexuality in provocative ways. This was a mass-media phenomenon, but it went beyond this. In ¡Destape! Sex, Democracy, and Freedom in Postdictatorial Argentina (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019), Natalia Milanesio shows that the destape was a profound transformation of the way Argentines talked, understood, and experienced sexuality, a change in manners, morals, and personal freedoms.
    Candela Marini is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies and Spanish at MSOE University. You can tweet her and suggest books at @MariniCandela
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    • 1 hr 4 min
    Caridad Svich, "Mitchell and Trask’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch" (Routledge, 2019

    Caridad Svich, "Mitchell and Trask’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch" (Routledge, 2019

    Mitchell and Trask’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Routledge, 2019) is Caridad Svich’s love letter to the 1998 musical that introduced the world to its favorite East German ex-pat genderqueer rock star, Hedwig. A tribute both to the New York that spawned the musical and the glam rock that inspired it, this book contextualizes the show in a way that allows the reader to appreciate both its “ahead of its time” daring and its retro cool. This is a book for long-term “Hedheads” and new converts alike.
    Andy Boyd is a playwright based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of the playwriting MFA program at Columbia University, Harvard University, and the Arizona School for the Arts. His plays have been produced, developed, or presented at IRT, Pipeline Theatre Company, The Gingold Group, Dixon Place, Roundabout Theatre, Epic Theatre Company, Out Loud Theatre, Naked Theatre Company, Contemporary Theatre of Rhode Island, and The Trunk Space. He is currently working on a series of 50 plays about the 50 U.S. states. His website is AndyJBoyd.com, and he can be reached at andyjamesboyd@gmail.com.
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    • 51 min
    Martin James, "State of Base: The Origins of Jungle/Drum and Bass" (Velocity Press, 2020)

    Martin James, "State of Base: The Origins of Jungle/Drum and Bass" (Velocity Press, 2020)

    The reissue and revision of Martin James’ State of Bass: The Origins of Jungle/Drum & Bass (Velocity Press, 2020) examines the origins and progression of British Junglism in the 1990s.
    Rave culture’s clashes with UK government and police drove the scene into a dark space, but jungle/drum & bass emerged to capture a new audience of youth, creating what James labels as the first truly Black British music scene. James draws on interviews with key participants in the early junglism scene, examining social, cultural, and musical roots of the scene that became a global phenomenon.
    Originally published in 1997, State of Bass: The Origins of Jungle/Drum & Bass extends the original text to include the award of the Mercury Prize to Reprazent and brings new perspectives to the story of the UK’s most crucial subterranean scene.
    Martin James is an internationally published music critic who has contributed to some of the UK’s leading music magazines.
    Rebekah Buchanan is an Assistant Professor of English at Western Illinois University. Her work examines the role of narrative–both analog and digital–in people’s lives. She is interested in how personal narratives produced in alternative spaces create sites that challenge traditionally accepted public narratives. She researches zines, zine writers and the influence of music subcultures and fandom on writers and narratives. You can find more about her on her website, follow her on Twitter @rj_buchanan or email her at rj-buchanan@wiu.edu.
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    • 48 min
    Brett Dakin, "American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and The Battles of Lev Gleason" (Chapterhouse Publishing, 2020)

    Brett Dakin, "American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and The Battles of Lev Gleason" (Chapterhouse Publishing, 2020)

    In American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and The Battles of Lev Gleason (Chapterhouse Publishing, 2020), Brett Dakin, Gleason’s great-nephew delves into the life of his famous relative.
    Gleason rose to the top of the comic publishing world during its Golden Age, publishing Daredevil and Crime Does Not Pay among other titles. Dakin explores the family archives and FBI files to give readers a comprehensive look into the life of Gleason and his Progressive activism.
    Gleason’s experiences with the House Un-American Activities Committee and Dr. Frederic Wertham and other Anti-Comic activists give a glimpse into important political and social activism of the 1940s and 50s in American history. Dakin not only presents the story of Great-Uncle Lev, but he also gives readers insight into his research into Gleason’s life, career, and disappearance from public.
    Rebekah Buchanan is an Associate Professor of English at Western Illinois University. She researches zines, zine writers and the influence of music subcultures and fandom on writers and narratives. She is the author of Writing a Riot: Riot Grrrl Zines and Feminist Rhetorics (Peter Lang, 2018). You can find more about her on her website, follow her on Twitter @rj_buchanan or email her at rj-buchanan@wiu.edu.
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    • 48 min
    Kevin J. Bryne, "Minstrel Traditions: Mediated Blackface in the Jazz Age" (Routledge, 2020)

    Kevin J. Bryne, "Minstrel Traditions: Mediated Blackface in the Jazz Age" (Routledge, 2020)

    The Blackface minstrel show is typically thought of a form tied to the 19th century. While the style was indeed developed during the Antebellum period, its history stretches well into 20th- and even 21st-century America. Far from being the endpoint posited by much of the existing literature on the topic, the Jazz age of the 1920s actually saw a flourishing of Minstrel activity, as new forms of media allowed the circulation of Blackface images in ever greater profusion. This circulation, these images, and the performances that lay behind them make up the focus of Dr. Kevin James Byrne’s Minstrel Traditions: Mediated Blackface in the Jazz Age (Routledge, 2020).
    Minstrel Traditions examines the technologically-mediated interactions that developed between live performances and their circulating images during this fraught period. It does so through a set of case studies: the last musical of Bert Williams, the live career of (now-former) pancake brand/performer Aunt Jemima, amateur minstrel shows and the companies that provided them with material, Black vaudeville performers, and Black Broadway. By examining how Blackface transitioned from live performance to images circulating through the mass media, Dr. Byrne provides an insightful account that deepens our understanding of the enormous, baleful influence the form exerted on 20th century culture.
     
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    • 1 hr 7 min

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