The Allure of the Archives, by Arlett Farge (Yale, 2013) A new translation of a classic. “Originally published in 1989, Farge’s classic work communicates the tactile, interpretive, and emotional experience of archival research while sharing astonishing details about life under the Old Regime in France. At once a practical guide to research methodology and an elegant literary reflection on the challenges of writing history, this uniquely rich volume demonstrates how surrendering to the archive’s allure can forever change how we understand the past.” –publisher’s description
The App Generation: How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World, by Howard Gardner and Katie Davis (Yale, 2013). The authors “approach their subject in a constructive spirit, providing analytical tools to distinguish among apps, the ones that will stifle and the ones that will nurture.” –Sherry Turkle, MIT
Communicating Climate Change and Energy Security: New Methods in Understanding Audiences, by Greg Philo and Catherine Happer (Routledge, 2013). “Examines the contemporary public debate on climate change and the linked issue of energy security…The authors address fundamental questions about how to adequately inform the public and develop policy in areas of great social importance when public distrust of politicians is so widespread. The new methods of attitudinal research pioneered here combined with the attention to climate change have application and resonance beyond the UK. –publisher’s description
Democracy and Political Ignorance: Why Smaller Government is Smarter, by Ilya Somin (Stanford, 2013). “Illuminates both the extent of political ignorance and why maintaining such ignorance is rational for voters who recognize the near-futility of their efforts at political engagement.”—Sanford Levinson, The University of Texas Law School
Digital Politics in Western Democracies: A Comparative Study by Cristian Vaccari (Johns Hopkins, 2013). “Greatly advances our understanding of digital politics while engaging with the wider debates in political science, as well as media and communications studies, through rigorous comparative analysis and engaging writing.” –Bruce Bimber, University of California, Santa Barbara
The Future of Social Movement Research: Dynamics, Mechanisms, and Processes, edited by Jacquelien van Stekelenburg, Conny Roggeband, and Bert Klandermans (University of Minnesota, 2013). “ Major, very important work which brings together the leading lights in the international, interdisciplinary, invisible college of social movement scholars…combines thoughtful essays on the state of the art in the study of contentious politics with grounded speculation on the many still unanswered or incompletely answered questions. The authors do an excellent job of distinguishing what is based on solid empirical research and what would require additional research to answer with confidence.” –William Gamson, Boston College
The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election,by John Sides and Lynn Vavreck (Princeton, 2013). “The 2012 election was when Moneyball defeated Game Change–and Sides and Vavreck explain why political scientists and number-crunchers were able to forecast the results well in advance, while the conventional wisdom was so often wrong…definitive account of what really happened and what really mattered in the campaign.”–Nate Silver, author of The Signal and the Noise
Hatemail, by Salo Aizenberg ( University of Nebraska, 2013). Examines the content and usage of anti-Semitic postcards throughout the world, especially during the pre-Holocaust years.
How Media Inform Democracy: A Comparative Approach, edited by Toril Aalberg and James Curran (Routledge, 2013). Leading researchers consider how media inform democracy in six countries – the United States, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.
How to Watch Television, edited by Ethan Thompson and Jason Mittell (New York University, 2013). “Brings together forty original essays from today’s leading scholars on television culture, writing about the programs they care (and think) the most about. Each essay focuses on a particular television show, demonstrating one way to read the program and, through it, our media culture.” –publisher’s description
Listening Publics: The Politics and Experience of Listening in the Media Age, by Kate Lacy (Polity, 2013). A sparkling synthesis of broadcast history and social theory that is full of original insights and nuggets from primary research…unfolds the neglected politics and ethics of the ear. A marvelously sane plea for listening as a key mode of participation in the public sphere.” –John D. Peters, University of Iowa
Saturday Night Live and American TV, edited by Nick Mar, Matt Sienkiewicz, and Ron Becker (Indiana University Press, 2013). Critical assessment of the show in relation to its media environment.
Serial Fu Manchu: The Chinese Supervillain and the Spread of Yellow Peril Ideology, by Ruth Mayer (Temple University Press, 2013). Chinese characters in books, movies, comic books, and television since 1913.
Social Acceleration: A New Theory of Modernity, by Hartmut Rosa (Columbia, 2013).“…the most developed and most important social theoretical analysis of the acceleration of time from the perspective of critical theory. His theory of social acceleration is of great importance, since it explains how our social lives are speeding up, and extends critical theory into a new and fruitful avenue of inquiry — and maybe even into a new generation of social theorizing and critique.” –Jerald Wallulis, University of South Carolina.
Supercinema: Film-Philosophy for the Digital Age, by William Brown (Berghahn Books, 2013). Drawing on a variety of popular films, including Avatar, Enter the Void, Fight Club, The Matrix, Speed Racer, X-Men and War of the Worlds… studies the ways in which digital special effects and editing techniques require a new theoretical framework in order to be properly understood… proposes that while analogue cinema often tried to hide the technological limitations of its creation through ingenious methods, digital cinema hides its technological omnipotence through the continued use of the conventions of analogue cinema. As such, digital cinema is analogous to Superman hiding his powers behind the persona of Clark Kent – as opposed to most other superheroes who hide their limitation behind their superheroic alter ego. –publisher’s description