Booknotes

Crowds, edited by Jeffrey T. Schnapp and Matthew Tiews (Stanford, 2007). Essays by literary scholars and historians on crowds and crowd behavior in the modern world. (VP)

Radical Order of Things: Cultural Imaginaries of the Post-soul Era (University of Minnesota Press, 2007). The cultural backlash against affirmative action in popular and legislative texts.

Significant Gestures: A History of American Sign Language, by John Taback (Praeger, 2007). Documents the evolution of ASL beginning in the early 19th century that actually borrowed from sign language in France in the 18th century. (VP)

Killing Women: The Visual Culture of Gender and Violence, edited by Annette Burfoot and Susan Lord (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2007). Analysis of female killers in popular culture. (VP)

Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America’s Media, by Eric Klinenberg (Metropolitan Books, 2007). Opening with the Minot, Nebraska incident of monopoly ownership where residents of Minot could not be warned about an approaching cloud of poisonous gas from a train derailment because officials at Clear Channel Communications, which owned and operated all six local commercial radio stations, could not be reached (resulting in one death and many injuries), Klinenberg sounds the alarm against the corporate takeover of local news. (VP)

The Perils and Promise of Global Transparency: Why the Information Revolution May Not Lead to Security, Democracy, or Peace, by Kristin M. Lord (State University of New York Press, 2007). As the title suggests, the author takes the darker view of the effects of growing transparency of media technology focusing on the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and the government control of information in Singapore. (VP)

Front-Page Girls: Women Journalists in American Culture and Fiction, 1880-1930, by Jean Marie Lutes (Cornell, 2007). Chronicles the exploits of a neglected group of American women writers and uncovers an alternative reporter-novelist tradition that runs counter to the more familiar story of gritty realism generated in male-dominated newsrooms. (VP)

Democratizing Technology: Andrew Feenberg’s Critical Theory of Technology, edited by Tyler J. Veak (State University of New York, 2007). Writings on the famous American philosopher of technology. (VP)

Insane Passions: Lesbianism and Psychosis in Literature and Film, by Christine E. Coffman (Wesleyan University Press, 2007). Explores the origin and meaning of the psychotic lesbian in the film and literature. (VP)

Figuring It Out: Science,, Gender, and Visual Culture, edited by Ann B. Shteir and Bernard Lightman (Dartmouth College Press/University Press of New England, 2007). Contains a wide variety of essays on the role of gender in the imagery of modern Western science, from “Those Who Drew and Those Who Wrote: Women and Victorian Popular Science Illustration” to “Men in White, Women in Aprons: Utopian Iconographies of TV Doctors.” (VP)

The Averaged American: Surveys, Citizens, and the Making of a Mass Public, by Sarah E. Igo (Harvard, 2007) Demonstrates the power of scientific surveys to shape Americans’ sense of themselves as individuals, members of communities, and citizens of a nation. (VP)

The Idea of a Free Press: The Enlightenment and Its Unruly Legacy, by David A. Copeland (Northwestern, 2006). An important addition to the history of freedom of the press with a strong focus on the relationship between the struggle for religious freedom and freedom of the press. (VP)

Women in Print: Essays on the Print Culture of American Women from the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, edited by James P. Danky and Wayne A. Wiegrand (University of Wisconsin, 2006). Showcasing women as authors, publishers, booksellers, journalists, editors, librarians, and readers, the book is divided into Part I: Print for a Purpose: Women as Editors and Publishers, Part II: Women in a World of Books, and Part III: A Centrifugal Force: Gendered Agency Through Print. (VP)

The Postwar Decline of American Newspapers, 1945-1965, by David R. Davies (Praeger, 2006). A good overview of the newspaper industry in the post-war era with particularly strong emphasis on civil rights and business aspects such as production and labor costs, the growth of suburban papers and competition from television news. (VP)

Who Says? Working-Class Rhetoric, Class Consciousness, and Community, edited by William DeGenero (University of Pittsburgh, 2007). In Who Says?, scholars of rhetoric, composition, and communications seek to revise the elitist “rhetorical tradition” by analyzing diverse topics such as settlement house movements and hip-hop culture to uncover how communities use discourse to construct working-class identity. The contributors examine the language of workers at a concrete pour, depictions of long-haul truckers, a comic book series published by the CIO, the transgressive “fat” bodies of Roseanne and Anna Nicole Smith, and even reality television to provide rich insights into working-class rhetorics.—Jennifer Beech, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (VP)

Freedom From Advertising: E.W. Scripp’s Chicago Experiment, by Duane C.S. Stoltzfus (University of Illinois, 2007) History of press baron E. W. Scripp’s 1911 experiment to prove that an ad-free newspaper could be profitable entirely on circulation.. The tabloid-sized newspaper was called the Day Book, and at a penny a copy, it aimed for a working-class market, crusading for higher wages, more unions, safer factories, lower streetcar fares, and women’s right to vote. It also tackled the important stories ignored by most other dailies, like the labor conflicts that shook Chicago in 1912. (VP)

Filming the Modern Middle East: Politics in the Cinemas of Hollywood and the Arab World, by Lina Khatib (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). “Examines the cinematic depictions of major political issues, from the Arab-Israeli conflict to the Gulf War, to Islamic fundamentalism, looking at films made in the US, in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine. She explores cinema’s role as a tool of nationalism in the US and the Arab world, and the challenges the Arab cinemas present to Hollywood’s dominant representations of Middle Eastern politics.” –publisher’s website (VP)

Killing the Indian Maiden: Images of Native American Women on Film, by M Elise Marubbio (University Press, 2007) The pattern of a Native American woman teaming up with a white and subsequently losing her life is traced in 34 films. (VP)

Web Campaigning, by Kirsten A. Foot and Steven M. Schneider (MIT, 2007) “A sophisticated, systematic analysis of campaign Web sites as practices, drawing on theoretical perspectives from political communication, structuration theory, and the social shaping of technology…the best available portrait of changing campaign Web practice over time.” Bruce Bimber, University of California, Santa Barbara (VP)

Cancer Activism: Gender, Media, Public Policy, by Karen M. Kedrowski and Marilyn Stine Sarow (University of Illinois, 2007). Comparison of the breast cancer and prostate cancer movements over a twenty year period (both diseases have almost identical mortality and morbidity rates). The authors demonstrate how the breast cancer movement was more pervasive and more successful in shaping media coverage, public policy and public opinion.

Doing Visual Ethnography: Images, Media, and Representation in Research, by Sarah Pink (Sage, 2007). Revised and updated edition explores the use and potential of photography, video and hypermedia in ethnographic and social research. (ASC)

Listening Beyond the Echoes: Media, Ethics, and Agency in an Uncertain World, by Nick Couldry (Paradigm, 2006). Couldry ponders question of how the media gets away with causing harm by misrepresentation. (VP)

Virtual Thailand: The Media and Cultural Politics in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, by Glen Lewis (Routledge, Oxford, 2006). Globalizing trends and policies, contracts in regional policies which dealt with the 1997 financial crisis, the media’s role in social control, media regulation and reform, tourism and terrorism are all discussed in both Thai and regional contexts. (VP)

The Scripps Newspapers Go to War, 1914-18, by Dale Zacher. (University of Illinois, 2007). The inner workings of one of the nation’s most dominant news outlets during World War I when the pressures of the market, government censorship, and progressivism influenced wartime news coverage.

The System of Comics, by Thierry Groensteen (University Press of Mississippi, 2007). First English translation of the famous 1999 French study of the visual and textual techniques of comics.

The Future of Journalism in the Advanced Democracies, by Peter J. Anderson and Geoff Ward (Ashgate, 2007). Britain is the center of this study as its journalistic practices are compared to those in Germany, Italy, France, Japan, and the United States.

Cyberculture Theorists: Manuel Castells and Donna Haraway, by David Bell (Routledge Critical Thinkers Series, 2007). A great way to bone up on cyber theory. If you’re interested in cyberspace, the Internet, or the information society this books helps you talk the talk. (ASC)

Rhetoric Online: Persuasion and Politics on the World Wide Web, by Barbara Warnick (Peter Lange, 2007). Uses rhetorical theory to analyze political campaign websites and blogs.

Crime and Media in contemporary France, by Deborah Streifford Reisinger (Purdue University, 2007). The focus of this book is on how media coverage of two serial killer cases in France from the 1980s reinforces the culture’s dominant ideologies.

Love and Other Technologies: Retrofitting Eros for the Information Age, by Dominic Pettman (Fordham, 2007). “Can love really be considered another form of technology? …Wresting the idea of love from the arthritic hands of Romanticism, Pettman demonstrates the ways in which this dynamic assemblage—”the stirrings of the soul”—have always been a matter of tools, devices, prosthetics, and media. Love is, after all, something we make. And, love, this book argues, is not eternal, but external.” –publisher’s website (VP)

Advertising on Trial: Consumer Activism and Corporate Public relations in the 1930s, by Inger L. Stole (University of Illinois, 2007). Met with fierce political opposition from organized consumer movements when it emerged, modern advertising was viewed as propaganda that undermined the ability of consumers to live in a healthy civic environment. Stole examines how these consumer activists sought to limit the influence of corporate powers by rallying popular support to moderate and transform advertising. Her account of this contentious struggle also demonstrates how public relations developed as a way to justify laissezfaire corporate advertising in light of a growing consumer rights movement. –publisher’s website (VP)

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