New Books Network

Sara K. Eskridge, “Rube Tube: CBS and Rural Comedy in the Sixties” (U Missouri Press, 2019)
The television comedies of the 1960s set in the American South epitomize American innocence. But in their original historical, social, and commercial context, their portrayals of southern life and their omissions of political events and people of color raise questions about how these television programs have been embraced, then and... Read More
Brian Cremins, “Captain Marvel and the Art of Nostalgia” (UP of Mississippi, 2017)
Brian Cremins‘ book Captain Marvel and the Art of Nostalgia (University Press of Mississippi, 2017) explores the history of Billy Batson, a boy who met a wizard that allowed him to transform into a superhero. When Billy says, “Shazam!” he becomes Captain Marvel. Cremins’ explores the history of artist C.C.... Read More
Annie McClanahan, “Dead Pledges: Debt, Crisis, and Twenty-First Century Culture” (Stanford UP, 2018)
When teaching a public course called “The Age of Debt” this winter break, I had the strange realization that one of the the most successful readings in that course, the one which most clearly explained the 2008 crisis and the financialized economy, was written by an English professor. It was... Read More
Jinhua Dai (ed. Lisa Rofel), “After the Post-Cold War: The Future of Chinese History” (Duke UP, 2018)
Although not all that well known to English-speaking audiences, cultural critic and Peking University professor Jinhua Dai’s incisive commentaries and critiques of contemporary Chinese life have elevated her to something akin to ‘rock star’ status in China itself. As Lisa Rofel discusses in this podcast, and in her introduction to... Read More
Dan Golding, “Star Wars after Lucas: A Critical Guide to the Future of the Galaxy” (U Minnesota Press, 2019)
In 2012 George Lucas shocked the entertainment world by selling the Star Wars franchise, along with Lucasfilm, to Disney. This is the story of how, over the next five years, Star Wars went from near-certain extinction to the release of a new movie trilogy, two stand-alone films, and two animated series.... Read More
Nicholas Baer et al. “Unwatchable” (Rutgers UP, 2019)
We all have images that we find unwatchable, whether for ethical, political, or sensory and affective reasons. Yet what does it mean to proclaim something “unwatchable”: disturbing, revolting, poor, tedious, or literally inaccessible? With over 50 original essays by leading scholars, artists, critics, and curators, this is the first book to... Read More
Eric T. Kasper and Quentin D. Vieregge, “The United States Constitution in Film: Part of Our National Culture” (Lexington Books, 2018)
The U.S. Constitution is often depicted in popular films, teaching lessons about what this founding document means and what it requires. The United States Constitution in Film: Part of Our National Culture (Lexington Books, 2018) examines several different areas of the Constitution to illuminate how films in each area have... Read More