New Books Network

Vorris Nunley, “Keepin’ It Hushed: The Barbershop and African American Hush Harbor Rhetoric” (Wayne State UP, 2011)
Vorris Nunley‘s Keepin it Hushed: The Barbershop and African American Hush Harbor Rhetoric (Wayne State University Press, 2011), uses the black barbershop as a trope to discuss black talk within literary, cultural, and political sites. Nunley’s brilliant analysis of Aaron McGruder’s cartoon Boondocks, the well-known play Ceremonies in Dark Old... Read More
Erica Prussing, “White Man’s Water: The Politics of Sobriety in a Native American Community” (University of Arizona Press, 2011)
For the past half century, Alcoholics Anonymous and its 12-step recovery program has been the dominant method for treating alcohol abuse in the United States. Reservation communities have been no exception. But as Erica Prussing vividly describes in her new book,White Man’s Water: The Politics of Sobriety in a Native... Read More
Jennifer Frost, “Hedda Hopper’s Hollywood: Celebrity Gossip and American Conservatism” (NYU Press, 2011)
Any pop culture scholar worth her salt will tell you that discussion of Beyonce’s baby bump or Charlie Sheen’s unique sex life is far from apolitical, but, at times, gossip columnists have engaged more transparently in political debate. Hedda Hopper, Hollywood insider and conservative hat enthusiast, was one such columnist.... Read More
James Unnever and Shaun L. Gabbidon, “A Theory of African American Offending: Race, Racism, and Crime” (Routledge, 2011)
Is comedian and cultural critic Bill Cosby right–that black youth suffer from a cultural pathology that leads them to commit more crimes than their white counterparts? Is the remedy to the high rate of offending by African American men the “shape up or get shipped out” perspective? Is there more... Read More
Robert Thurston, “Lynching: American Mob Murder in Global Perspective” (Ashgate, 2011)
It takes a brave historian to take on the orthodoxy regarding the rise and fall of lynching in the United States. That orthodoxy holds that lynching in the South was a ‘system of social control’ in which whites used organized terror to oppress blacks. You can find this thesis in... Read More
Robert J. Corber, “Cold War Femme: Lesbianism, National Identity, and Hollywood Cinema” (Duke University Press, 2011)
The study of non-heteronormative sexualities in the academy continues to be remarkably dynamic. Despite the usual attempts to harden the frame around this scholarship, it remains consistently exciting and surprising. Robert J. Corber is one of the reasons why. His books In the Name of National Security: Hitchcock, Homophobia, and... Read More
Antonia Levi, Mark McHarry, and Dru Pagliasotti, “Boy’s Love Manga: Essays on the Sexual Ambiguity and Cross-Cultural Fandom of the Genre” (McFarland, 2010)
Growing up in the suburbs of Indianapolis, Indy-car racing offered my friends and me some very exciting heroes. As children, we played “Indy 500” on our bikes in the cul-de-sac. As we became teenagers, the Indy-car drivers who descended on our city in April and May became some of our... Read More
Robert Lane Greene, “You Are What You Speak: Grammar Grouches, Language Laws and the Politics of Identity” (Delacorte Press, 2011)
Isn’t it odd how the golden age of correct language always seems to be around the time that its speaker was in high school, and that language has been going to the dogs ever since? Such is the anguish of declinists the world over, pushing the commercial success of language-bashing... Read More
Karen Sternheimer, “Celebrity Culture and the American Dream: Stardom and Social Mobility” (Routledge, 2010)
It is hard to dispute that today there’s a heightened fascination with celebrities and their personal lives. Who cheated on whom, who’s getting married and what celebrity checked into to rehab is the stuff of daily headlines that many of us, willingly or not, follow and know about. Moreover, the... Read More