Summer Booknotes

Calling for Help: Language and Social Interaction in Telephone Helplines, edited by Carolyn D. Baker, Michael Emmison, and Alan Firth (John Benjamins, 2005). A collection of original, systematic studies, using methods of Conversation Analysis, on help-giving and help-seeking behavior that occurs along telephone helplines. (VP)

New Philosophy for New Media, by B.N. Hansen (MIT Press, 2006). The book is divided into three sections: Part I, From Image to Body: Between Body and Image: On the “Newness” of New Media Art; Framing the Digital Image: Jeffrey Shaw and the Embodied Aesthetics of New Media; The Automation of Sight and the Bodily Basis of Vision. Part II, The Affect-Body: Affect as Interface: Confronting the “Digital Facial Image”; What’s Virtual about VR? Reality as Body-Brain Achievement; The Affective Topology of New Media Art. Part III, Time, Space, and Body: Body Times. (VP)

Radical Mass Media Criticism: A Cultural genealogy, edited by David Berry and John Theobald (AKPress, 2006). One of a kind historical survey of radical mass media criticism and its relevance to issues of media power and ethics today. Put together by a team of leading international media experts, this 400+ page volume includes thinkers such as Karl Kraus, Ferdinand Tonnies, Max Horkeimer, Theodor Adorno, Noam Chomsky, Edward Herman, Marshall McLuhan, Upton Sinclair, W.E.B. DuBois, C. Wright Mills, Gloria Steinem, Ben Bagdikian, George Seldes, John Dewey, Robert McChesney, Robert Jensen, Harrold Innis, Northrop Frye, David Suzuki, Maude Barlow, bell hooks, Jesus Martin-Barbero and Nestor Garcia Canclini. (VP)

Rhetorics of Display, edited by Lawrence J. Prelli (University of South Carolina Press, 2006). Grounded in philosophy and the historical relationship between rhetoric and display this book is comprised of seventeen diverse case studies of the process of selecting what to display or not (reveal or conceal). Includes: Displaying the Body Politic: Televisual Exposures and Concealments (Joshua Meyrowitz); Colin Powell’s Life Story and the Display of a ‘Good’ Black Persona; Tatoo and Piercing: reflections on Mortification; Envisioning Postcommunism: Budapest’s Stalin Monument; Visualizing a Bounded Sea: a Case Study in Rhetorical Taxis; National Park Landscapes and the Rhetorical Display of Civic Religion; and It’s Showtime!: Staging Public Demonstrations.

First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game, edited by Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Pat Harrigan (MIT Press, 2006). A landmark reader in the field of Game Studies that positions digital games as the new storytelling medium. Media theorist and practitioners explore the e-literary dynamics of computer gaming which interactively employs the conventions of narrative, character, plot and theme. “Some are arguing that digital games (as the heirs of the novel and of film) constitute the next great arena for storytelling; others respond that games are not narratives at all and require a different theoretical framework and a new discipline,” observes Jay David Bolter, Professor of New Media at Georgia Institute of Technology. (VP)

Global War–Local Views: Media Images of the Iraq War, edited by Sig A. Nohrstedt and Rune Ottosen (Nordicom, 2006). Media scholars present views on the 2003 Iraq War from around the world. This collection looks at print and broadcast media from Uganda, Turkey, Germany, Greece, Slovenia, Scandinavia, Austria, and New Zealand, as well as the Pan-Arab press. Preceding these more specific case studies is an Introduction by the editors, followed by an opening chapter titled: The War Against Iraq in Transnational Broadcasting. (VP)

The Internet and Health Care: Theory, Research, and Practice, edited by Monica Murero and Ronald E. Rice (LEA, 2006). International and interdisciplinary perspectives on the key research in e-health including new theories and trends in online health communication; finding, using and evaluating online health information; virtual support groups and communities, and implementation issues health information systems on the internet. (ASC Ref).

Images at War: Illustrated Periodicals and Constructed Nations by Michele Martin (University of Toronto Press, ) A study of 19th-century periodicals and their reflections of national identity; focuses on coverage of the Franco-Prussian war in publications from France, Germany, England, and Canada. (VP)

Insurgency Online: Web Activism and Global Conflict by Michael Darnell (University of Toronto Press, 2006). “The Internet,” Dartnell argues, “is affecting extensive changes to the way politics are carried out, by inserting a range of non-state actors onto the global political stage. [Darnell] demonstrates that Web activism raises issues about the organization of societies and the distribution of power and contends that the development of online activism has far-reaching social and political implications, with parallels to the influence of the invention of the printing press, the telegraph, and the radio” (University of Toronto Press’ website). The author concentrates on Web activists who use the medium as a media tool, focusing on three groups to make his points: the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), which opposed the Taliban; the Peruvian Movimento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru (MRTA) and its campaign against the Fujimori government; and the Irish Republican Socialist Movement (IRSM). (VP)

Contentious Journalism and the Internet: Towards Democratic Discourse in Malaysia and Singapore, by Cherian George. (University of Washington Press, 2006)
Table of Contents: 1. Bringing Cyberspace Down to Earth 2. State and Media in Malaysia and Singapore 3. “Narrow Tailoring” and the Internet Dilemma 4. Contentious Media in Theory and Practice 5. Sintercom: Harnessing of Virtual Community 6. Think Centre: Activism Through Journalism 7. Harakah: The Power of Partisanship 8. Malaysiakini: Independence at a Price 9. Contentious Media in Comparative Perspective 10. A Democratic Case for Media Diversity (VP)

Copyright and Other Fairy Tales: Hans Christian Andersen and the Commodification of Creativity, Ed. by Helle Porsdam (Edward Elgar Publishing 2006). ‘This is not a lighthearted book, but rather an inspiring tale that challenges the development of copyright. A detailed historical analysis of copyright leads to fundamental questions about the role of copyright in society. From a historical perspective a tale of failure blamed on commodification surfaces, but the book also offers perspectives on the future, i.e. a future with or without copyright as we know it. Maybe after all there will be a fairy tale ending for the reader.’ – Paul Torremans, University of Nottingham, UK (VP)

National Police Gazette and the Making of the Modern American Man, 1879-1906, by Guy Reel (Palgrave, 2006) “The late 19th and early 20th centuries have been described as the beginning of a cult of masculinity, but relatively little has been written on how men actually learned new codes of sexuality, competitive sports, and what it meant to be a man, at least in the ideal sense. Guy Reel tells here the compelling story of the weekly paper that taught generations of men to sexually objectify women and worship muscular and/or competitive men, no matter what sport they won at (oyster eating contests?)…An eye opening look at the roots of how today’s men came to their beliefs and values. The National Police Gazette played an important role at the saloons and barber shops of America, with its celebration of aggressive crime, cheesecake, and barefist boxing, and Reel lays out its key place in the development of an American hegemonic masculinity.”–Martin D. Schwartz, Professor of Sociology and Research Scholar at Ohio University (VP)

Execution and invention: Death Penalty Discourse in Early Rabbinic and Christian Cultures by Beth A. Berkowitz Oxford University Press, 2006). “Berkowitz looks at the discourse of the death penalty as a discourse of power, as a way of asserting rabbinic authority, or even of constructing rabbinism itself, over/against its rivals. She goes on to integrate, apply, and interrogate the latest theoretical perspectives on culture and power, from Foucault through postcolonial theory and to ritual theory.” –Daniel Boyarin

Markets and the Media:Businesss News and Stock Market Movements by Thomas Shuster (Lexington Books, 2006). Shuster writes on the limits of economic communication and how more may not always be better. (VP)

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