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David Banash

David Banash is a Professor of English at Western Illinois University, where he teaches courses in contemporary literature, film, and popular culture. He is the author of Collage Culture: Readymades, Meaning, and the Age of Consumption (Rodopi) and co-editor of Contemporary Collecting: Objects, Practices, and the Fate of Things (Scarecrow).


Features

Thursday, September 5 2013

Every Era Gets the Monster It Needs, and Ours Is the Era of the Zombie

The images of humans imprisoning themselves in The Walking Dead speak poignantly about a world in which walls seem like an answer to the threat of those masses of bodies on the other side.


Tuesday, June 14 2011

In Search of the Endless Summer: Surf Films

Surfing is a spectacle of sheer uselessness and excessive pleasure that most of us can only dream about. It provides an ideal image of how we desire to live -- devoted solely to a thrilling and utterly innocent pleasure.


Wednesday, July 29 2009

It’s All Too Beautiful

A suspicion of beauty is vital if one hopes to have any relation to it that isn't completely compromised; as Walter Benjamin said, beauty is the other side of the coin of injustice.


Thursday, August 14 2008

Collection Obsession: William Davies King's "Collections of Nothing"

Wrestling with objects, saving and ordering them, is a way to cope with flux, doubt, and the twin gods of sex and death. Banash deconstructs the human urge to collect all manner of stuff.


Wednesday, February 6 2008

The Teenage Prayers [New York]

Bucking the "nostalgia band" trend by being authentically nostalgic, the Teenage Prayers cause you to give blessings to that raw, purely enthusiastic adolescent music fan in all of us.


Columns

Sunday, April 28 2013

Join the Underground: Loren Glass' History of the Famous / Infamous Grove Press

Grove was the hippest and most important publisher of books that broke sexual taboos, plotted revolution, and kept millions of young intellectuals across the US in touch with the avant-garde and revolutionary politics throughout the world.


Thursday, January 12 2012

If at First You Don't Succeed, Failure May Be Your Style: 'The Queer Art of Failure'

Rather than searching for ways around death and disappointment, the queer art of failure involves the acceptance of the finite, the embrace of the absurd, the silly, and the hopelessly goofy.


Thursday, August 4 2011

'Shock Value': What Men (and Boys) Really Fear

Jason Zinoman argues that the fantastic, Gothic monsters of the first half of the 20th century were replaced by a New Horror -- the monster right in front of your face.


Wednesday, July 28 2010

Future Shock, Postmodern Nostalgia, and Uncanny Technologies

The speed of technological change is unprecedented. Author Anna Jane Grossman finds that it has imbued her "with a kind of odd nostalgia for right now.”


Reviews

Sunday, June 24 2012

Untimely Cinema: '“Our Kind of Movie” The Films of Andy Warhol'

“We didn't think of our movies as underground or commercial or art or porn; they were a little of all of those, but ultimately they were just 'our kind of movie.'” —Andy Warhol


Thursday, March 22 2012

'Low Budget Hell': From John Waters' 'Female Trouble' to 'Cry Baby'

A cautionary tale for those who dream of making it big, the title says it all. Low Budget Hell undoes the myths of filmmaking and reminds readers that not everyone makes it big in Hollywood, and that not making it is alright, too.


Sunday, August 16 2009

Ferus by Roberta Bernstein & Kirk Varnedoe

Instead of the kind of comprehensive curatorial essay contextualizing and explaining the work it reproduces, this assumes a list of unadorned, unexplained names tells a story.


Thursday, April 16 2009

The Grid Book by Hannah G. Higgins

This is a meditation on media, representation and technology, and makes for a deeply textured and luxurious reading experience.


Sunday, February 15 2009

Ryan Seacrest Is Famous by Dave Housley

Housely uses Kerouac to describe what has happened to America with the rise of ubiquitous media that endlessly praises the corporate injunction to masturbatory self-improvement as consumption.


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