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Thirsty for a nerdy discussion of science, technology, ethics, and popular fiction? Dr. Jennifer Terrell and Iris Bull (Ph.D. student) talk each week about their ongoing college course designed and organized around these topics. We start by asking, “What is the role of popular culture texts in the construction of sociotechnical ethics?” We then spend 15 weeks answering that question together using frameworks unique to the field of science and technology studies, conceived of by historians, s ...
 
What does ‘2001: a Space Odyssey’ have to do with Odysseus? How does Brad Pitt's Achilles in 'Troy' match up to Homer's original hero? And is Arnold Schwarzenegger the new Heracles? This collection of video animations and audio discussions examines how the heroes of Greek mythology have been represented in popular culture, from ancient times to the modern day. Odysseus is the archetypal questing hero - a blank canvas on which every era has projected its own values. Heracles is the original s ...
 
What does ‘2001: a Space Odyssey’ have to do with Odysseus? How does Brad Pitt's Achilles in 'Troy' match up to Homer's original hero? And is Arnold Schwarzenegger the new Heracles? This collection of video animations and audio discussions examines how the heroes of Greek mythology have been represented in popular culture, from ancient times to the modern day. Odysseus is the archetypal questing hero - a blank canvas on which every era has projected its own values. Heracles is the original s ...
 
NEON is a different way of sharing historical knowledge. NEON takes a pop culture phenomenon and turns it on its head by revealing lesser known facts, real-life events and history behind your favourite Netflix shows, movies or video games.From how the A-Team took inspiration from Vietnamese history and resistance leaders, to the Aryan purity and Harem breeding programs behind the Handmaid’s Tale. Even some of the most successful video games – Assassins Creed, God of War, and Fortnite – are s ...
 
The aim of this series is to offer insights into key moments in the story of Irish popular culture since the publication of Thomas Moore's Irish Melodies in the early nineteenth century. If the story of transnational Irish popular culture begins with Thomas Moore in the early nineteenth century, it wasn't until the end of the 1800s that writers and intellectuals began to theorize the impact of mass cultural production on the Irish psyche during the industrial century. In 1892 Douglas Hyde, s ...
 
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Download a full audiobook of your choice free at http://hotaudiobook.com/free Just start a 30-day Free Trial and pick any one audiobook free from 100,000+ best sellers, new releases sci-fi, romances, mysteries, classics, and more. Sign up, select your favorite audiobook, free, with a 30-day trial, stream or download your audiobook instantly on your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop. It's that easy!
 
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show series
 
Through his blog K-Punk, Mark Fisher become one of the cult figures of cultural theory after the economic crash of 2008. One of Fisher’s insights, widely taken up by the online memesphere, was that capitalism breeds depression. Mike Watson picks up Fisher’s prognosis when the locked-down pandemic world is mired in a depression that is economic and …
 
Why has "car society" proven so durable, even in the face of mounting environmental and economic crises? In Globalizing Automobilism: Exuberance and the Emergence of Layered Mobility, 1900–1980 (Berghahn Books, 2020), Gijs Mom traces the global spread of the automobile in the postwar era and investigates why adopting more sustainable forms of mobil…
 
When looking at historic records of all kinds—from prehistoric cave drawings and ancient rock art in Africa and India, from poetic narrations of travelers to hunter memoirs and press stories about zoos, from reports of mystical graveyards to museum warehouses collecting bones—notions about elephants in the West have come a long way. These ideas (th…
 
In Black Dragon: Afro Asian Performance and the Martial Arts Imagination (Ohio State UP, 2022), Zachary F. Price illuminates martial arts as a site of knowledge exchange between Black, Asian, and Asian American people and cultures to offer new insights into the relationships among these historically marginalized groups. Drawing on case studies that…
 
Sports fandom isn't what it used to be. Owners and executives increasingly count on the blind loyalty of their fans and too often act against the team's best interest. Intentionally tanking a season to get a high draft pick, scamming local governments to build cushy new stadiums, and actively subverting the players have become business as usual in …
 
What are the rights and wrongs of toppling statues? Sometimes everyone agrees it’s a good idea. After the second world war, for example, the defeat of fascism meant that all over Europe Hitler statues were toppled and destroyed. After the collapse of communism some statues of Stalin actually survived. Just a couple of years ago Black Lives Matter p…
 
Nancy Barile shares her love of hardcore punk in her new memoir, I'm Not Holding Your Coat: My Bruises and All Memoir of Punk Rock Rebellion (Bazillion Points, 2022). From disaffected Catholic schoolgirl and glam maniac to instigator on the 1980s hardcore punk scene, Barile discovered freedom at a time when punk music was new and dangerous. She mad…
 
Sissy Insurgencies: A Racial Anatomy of Unfit Manliness (Duke University Press, 2022) by Marlon B. Ross focuses on the figure of the sissy in order to rethink how Americans have imagined, articulated, and negotiated manhood and boyhood from the 1880s to the present. Rather than collapsing sissiness into homosexuality, Ross shows how it constitutes …
 
From its early days as a sport to build “muscular Christianity” among young men flooding nineteenth-century cities to its position today as a global symbol of American culture, basketball has been a force in American society. It grew through high school gymnasiums, college pep rallies, and the fits and starts of professionalization. It was a playgr…
 
Demons! Nightmares with the Bible: The Good Book and Cinematic Demons (2021) published by Fortress Academic views demons through two lenses: that of western religion and that of cinema. Sketching out the long fear of demons in western history, including the Bible, Steve A. Wiggins moves on to analyze how popular movies inform our beliefs about demo…
 
The first in a new LSU Press series exploring facets of Louisiana’s iconic culture, Mardi Gras Beads (2022) delves into the history of this celebrated New Orleans artifact, explaining how Mardi Gras beads came to be in the first place and how they grew to have such an outsize presence in New Orleans celebrations. It explores their origins before Wo…
 
Dr. Sam Lebovic’s A Righteous Smokescreen: Postwar America and the Politics of Cultural Globalization (University of Chicago Press, 2022) is an examination of how the postwar United States twisted its ideal of “the free flow of information” into a one-sided export of values and a tool with global consequences. When the dust settled after World War …
 
Angelina Eimannsberger talks to Saronik about cultural phenomenon Jonathan Van Ness, and movements in queer femininity that they represent. They touch briefly on Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth, Jean Genet’s Notre Dame des Fleurs, Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider, Janet Mock’s Redefining Realness, and the hashtag #transisbeautiful inaugurated by La…
 
Spanning the decades from the rise of photography to the age of the selfie, The Culture of Male Beauty in Britain: From the First Photographs to David Beckham (University of Chicago Press, 2021) traces the complex visual and consumer cultures that shaped masculine beauty in Britain, examining the realms of advertising, health, pornography, psycholo…
 
Why do corporations fund cultural organisations and events? In Black Culture, Inc: How ethnic community support pays for corporate America Patricia Banks, Professor of Sociology at Mount Holyoke College, explores the role of corporate funding in shaping cultural life, from historical examples of tobacco advertising and media, through to contemporar…
 
Stand-up comedians have a long history of walking a careful line between serious and playful engagement with social issues: Lenny Bruce questioned the symbolic valence of racial slurs, Dick Gregory took time away from the stage to speak alongside Martin Luther King Jr., and—more recently—Tig Notaro challenged popular notions of damaged or abject bo…
 
Today I talked to Corey Landon Wozniak about his Revealer article (2022) "The Buddha at the Bellagio: (Teaching) Religion in Sin City." As Wozniak points out, Las Vegas (for all that it's sin city) is full of religion, all kinds of it. He talks about how religion is done in America's Sodom and Gomorrah rolled into one. Learn more about your ad choi…
 
Written in straightforward, jargon-free language, Nancy Pedri's A Concise Dictionary of Comics (University Press of Mississippi, 2022) guides students, researchers, readers, and educators of all ages and at all levels of comics expertise. It provides them with a dictionary that doubles as a compendium of comics scholarship. A Concise Dictionary of …
 
In the late ’90s, third-wave ska broke across the American alternative music scene like a tsunami. In sweaty clubs across the nation, kids danced themselves dehydrated to the peppy rhythms and punchy horns of bands like The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Reel Big Fish. As ska caught fire, a swing revival brought even more sharp-dressed, brass-packing …
 
American comics from the start have reflected the white supremacist culture out of which they arose. Superheroes and comic books in general are products of whiteness, and both signal and hide its presence. Even when comics creators and publishers sought to advance an antiracist agenda, their attempts were often undermined by a lack of awareness of …
 
In this episode, Dr. Brandon J. Manning talks about his most recent book, Played Out: The Race Man in 21st Century Satire (Rutgers UP, 2022). Here's a short description: through contemporary examples, including the work of Kendrick Lamar, Key and Peele and the presidency of Barack Obama and many others, Played Out: The Race Man in 21st Century Sati…
 
Elizabeth and John talk about fantasy's power of world-making with Edinburgh professor Anna Vaninskaya, author of William Morris and the Idea of Community: Romance, History and Propaganda, 1880-1914 ( 2010) and Fantasies of Time and Death: Dunsany, Eddison, Tolkien ( 2020). Anna uncovers the melancholy sense of displacement and loss running through…
 
Too often, vaudeville is seen from the perspective of its decline: it is the corny, messy art form that predated the book musical, or that gave us Chaplin, Keaton, and the Marx Brothers. Rarely is it seen as the populist avant-garde form it was at its height. David Hajdu and John Carey's graphic history, A Revolution in Three Acts: The Radical Vaud…
 
Privilege at Play: Class, Race, Gender, and Golf in Mexico (Oxford University Press, 2019) is a book about inequalities, social hierarchies, and privilege in contemporary Mexico. Based on ethnographic research conducted in exclusive golf clubs and in-depth interviews with upper-middle-class and upper-class golfers, as well as working-class employee…
 
Steven Spielberg's extraordinary career redefined Hollywood, but his achievement goes far beyond shattered box office records. Rejecting the view of Spielberg as a Barnumesque purveyor of spectacle, Lester D. Friedman presents the filmmaker as a major artist who pairs an ongoing willingness to challenge himself with a widely recognized technical ma…
 
How did people exist and resist in their daily lives under Soviet control in the Cold War period? Rebellious Cooks and Recipe Writing in Communist Bulgaria (Bloomsbury, 2021) shows how in communist Bulgaria many women passionately exchanged recipes with friends and strangers, to build substantial and impressive private collections of recipes. This …
 
In In Praise of Good Bookstores (Princeton University Press, 2022), Jeff Deutsch, the director of the Seminary Co-op Bookstores in Chicago, aims to make the case for the value of spaces devoted to books and the value of the time spent browsing their stacks. It is a defense of serious bookstores, but more importantly, it is a paean to the spaces tha…
 
The world today seems to be slipping into a science fiction future. We have phones that speak to us, cars that drive themselves, and connected devices that communicate with each other in languages we don't understand. Depending the news of the day, we inhabit either a technological utopia or Brave New World nightmare. This volume in the MIT Press E…
 
The All About Birds Regional Field-Guide Series brings birding enthusiasts the best information from the renowned Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s website, AllAboutBirds.org, used by more than 21 million people each year. These definitive books provide the most up-to-date resources and expert coverage on bird species throughout North America. Learn mor…
 
Growing Out of Communism: Russian Literature for Children and Teens, 1991-2017 (Brill, 2021) explores the rise of a new body of literature for children and teens following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the subsequent transformation of the publishing industry. Lanoux, Herold, and Bukhina first consider the Soviet foundations of the ne…
 
In The Business of Beauty: Gender and the Body in Modern London (Bloomsbury, 2020), historian Jessica Clark takes the reader on a tour through the shifting commercial and cultural landscape of London in the second half of the 19th Century and the early decades of the 20th. The business of beatification––aimed at both men and women, and conducted by…
 
“Sketch comedy – more than any other television genre – lays bare the process of identity formation, pokes fun at its contradictions, and invites us to debate its terms.” In Sketch Comedy: Identity, Reflexivity, and American Television (Indiana University Press, 2019), author Nick Marx makes this argument and goes on to systematically prove it thro…
 
In the United States, the national debate over public monuments often frames the removal of statutes as a revision of history. But Dr. Thompson suggests that we need to interrogate both the creation and removal of monuments to understand the essential role they play in creating national narratives and determining who is seen as an American. Using a…
 
From the BBC Proms to Bernstein's Young People's Concerts, initiatives to promote classical music have been a pervasive feature of twentieth-century musical life. The goal of these initiatives was rarely just to reach a larger and more diverse audience but to teach a particular way of listening that would help the public "appreciate" music. In The …
 
The long 1950s, which extend back to the early postwar period and forward into the early 1960s, were a period of “containment culture” in America, as the media worked to reinforce traditional family values and suspected communist sympathizers were blacklisted from the entertainment industry. Yet some brave filmmakers and actors still challenged the…
 
In A Nation of Descendants: Politics and the Practice of Genealogy in U.S. History (University of North Carolina Press, 2021), historian Francesca Morgan tracks Americans’ obsession with tracing family ancestry. Morgan sheds light on the evolution of genealogical knowledge from the early republic to the present day. Although our New Books Network c…
 
During the 1910s, films about war often featured a female protagonist. The films portrayed women as spies, cross-dressing soldiers, and athletic defenders of their homes--roles typically reserved for men and that contradicted gendered-expectations of home-front women waiting for their husbands, sons, and brothers to return from battle. The represen…
 
West Coast hip hop means much more than LA, argues Dr. Daudi Abe, a professor of humanities at Seattle Central College. In Emerald Street: A History of Hip Hop in Seattle (University of Washington Press, 2020), Abe argues that Seattle deserves an honored spot in the cultural geography of hip hop in the United States. Although less well known than L…
 
Funny music is often dismissed as light and irrelevant, but Weird Al Yankovic’s fourteen successful studio albums prove there is more going on than comedic music's reputation suggests. In this book, for the first time, the parodies, original compositions, and polka medleys of the Weird Al universe finally receive their due respect. In Weird Al, Ser…
 
Ebony Magazine and Lerone Bennett Jr.: Popular Black History in Postwar America (University of Illinois Press, 2020) reveals the previously hidden impact of Ebony magazine as a major producer and disseminator of popular black history during the second half of the twentieth century. Far from dismissing Ebony as a consumer magazine with limited polit…
 
In Speaking Truths: Young Adults, Identity, and Spoken Word Activism (Rutgers UP, 2022), sociologist Valerie Chepp goes behind-the-scenes to uncover how spoken word poetry--and young people's participation in it--contributes to a broader understanding of contemporary social justice activism, including this generation's attention to the political im…
 
The superhero of comic books and blockbuster movies may be a quintessentially American invention, forever saving the world in skin-tight spandex. But the cultural DNA of the superhero can arguably be traced to a much older, more progressive, British tradition: the larger-than-life folk heroes of historical protests – General Ludd, Captain Swing, La…
 
What is the hidden history of women in the television industry? In Their Own Best Creations: Women Writers in Postwar Television (U California Press, 2022), Annie Berke, film editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books and host of the Film channel of the New Books Network podcast, explores the history of women writers through key case studies, indust…
 
Mike McCartney's Early Liverpool (Genesis Publications, 2021), brings together all of his finest work including a wealth of previously unseen photographs and treasured drawings. McCartney takes us from his very first photograph, taken with the family Kodak Brownie box camera, to experimenting with his Rollei Magic camera and finding a love in surre…
 
Movie-Made Jews: An American Tradition (Rutgers University Press, 2021) focuses on a rich, usable American Jewish cinematic tradition. This tradition includes fiction and documentary films that make Jews through antisemitism, Holocaust indirection, and discontent with assimilation. It prominently features the unapologetic assertion of Jewishness, q…
 
During the Cold War, over 500 songs were written about nuclear weapons, fear of the Soviet Union, civil defense, bomb shelters, McCarthyism, uranium mining, the space race, espionage, the Berlin Wall, and glasnost. This music uncovers aspects of these world-changing events that documentaries and history books cannot. In Atomic Tunes: The Cold War i…
 
In her new book, Haunted Homes (Rutgers University Press, 2022), Dahlia Schweitzer explores the ways in which the trope of the haunted house in horror signifies the anxieties, traumas, and terrors of suburban American life. Comprehensive and readable, this slim volume establishes beyond a doubt that in movies and television series from The Conjurin…
 
Uwe Schütte's Kraftwerk: Future Music from Germany (Penguin, 2021) is not your typical rock star biography. Eschewing gossipy interpersonal details, Schütte instead contextualizes Kraftwerk within contemporaneous debates about German cultural identity in the wake of Nazi atrocities. Kraftwerk's intellectual and artistic debts to Weimar era movement…
 
Today we are joined by Dr. Samir Chopra, Professor of Philosophy at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and author of The Evolution of a Cricket Fan: My Shapeshifting Journey (Temple University Press, 2021). In our conversation, we discussed how Chopra became an Indian cricket fan, the unique role that cricke…
 
“Not a whisper. / Never laughter. / Buster, thank you / for disaster.” So wrote graduate student Dana Stevens, who would go on to become Slate’s resident film critic and podcaster. Her love affair with Buster Keaton – strictly platonic, as their “first sustained encounter” was decades after the actor’s passing in 1966 – began at a cinematheque in A…
 
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