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Tuesday, May 14 2013

In Defense Of… The Greatness of the Gatsby

Kathryn Schulz’s failure to appreciate F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterwork, as professed on Vulture.com, is a contemporary case study for how not to assess literature.


Thursday, May 9 2013

Democracy of Sound: Music Piracy and the Remaking of American Copyright in the Twentieth Century

This insightful and entertaining look at the history of music piracy offers invaluable background to the hot-button issue of creativity and the law.


Thursday, May 2 2013

Should Hollywood Lie Low or Sound the Alarm? ‘Hollywood and Hitler, 1933-1939’

Between 1933 and 1939, representations of the Nazis and the full meaning of Nazism came slowly to Hollywood, growing more distinct and ominous only as the decade wore on.


Thursday, April 25 2013

Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty’s Trek Across the Pacific

Hello Kitty is one aspect of "pink globalization"—the spread of goods and images labeled cute (kawaii) from Japan to other parts of the industrial world.


Tuesday, April 23 2013

An Awesome Guy!: An Interview with Dallas Clayton

Dallas Clayton once made a small little homemade book for his son. Then he put it online. Then, it became a worldwide smash. Heralded by celebrities, subject of a Google ad, and inspried by his son, PopMatters speaks to author Robert Alford about modern-day publishing, maintaining your center, and the importance of keeping your family close at all times.


20 Questions: Ben Greenman

Have you ever seen a juggler on a moving sidewalk? Ben Greenman, whose latest, The Slippage (released today), ponders this and other wonders of life in his response to PopMatters 20 Questions.


Thursday, April 18 2013

The People’s Car: A Global History of the Volkswagen Beetle

Bernhard Rieger examines culture and technology, politics and economics, and industrial design and advertising genius to reveal how a car commissioned by Hitler and designed by Ferdinand Porsche became an exceptional global commodity on a par with Coca-Cola.


Thursday, April 11 2013

eGods: Faith Versus Fantasy in Computer Gaming

"If humans are by nature lovers of fantasy, then little may be lost if they consider all their gods to be fantasies."


Thursday, April 4 2013

Sharing the Prize: The Economics of the Civil Rights Revolution in the American South

Gavin Wright's work makes clear that the material benefits of the civil rights acts of the '60s are as significant as the moral ones—an especially timely achievement as these monumental pieces of legislation, and the efficacy of governmental intervention more broadly, face new challenges.


Monday, April 1 2013

The Stone Roses: War and Peace

Going beyond the myths to depict a band that defined Britpop, Simon Spence illustrates the Stone Roses’ incandescent talent and jaw-dropping success while contextualizing them in the ‘90s music scene.


Thursday, March 28 2013

‘Mad Men’, Mad World: Sex, Politics, Style, and the 1960s

Scholars across the humanities consider Mad Men from a fascinating array of perspectives, including fashion, history, civil rights, feminism, consumerism, and art, as well as through theoretical frames such as critical race theory, gender, queer theory, and psychoanalysis.


Thursday, March 21 2013

New Queer Cinema: The Director’s Cut

As a critic, curator, journalist, and scholar, B. Ruby Rich has been inextricably linked to the New Queer Cinema from its inception. Her book follows this cinematic movement from its origins in the mid-‘80s to the present.


Monday, March 18 2013

“Just Walk Into That Cloud”: Finding Bhutan in Books and Film

"Happy peasants in bountiful fields. A King who's too good to be true.... I'm making photos, shooting video and collecting stories. Everybody in Bhutan's got a story -- some of them might even be true."


Thursday, March 14 2013

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think

Which paint color is most likely to tell you that a used car is in good shape? How can officials identify the most dangerous New York City manholes before they explode? How did Google searches predict the spread of the H1N1 flu outbreak?


Thursday, March 7 2013

River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom

This bold reaccounting dramatically alters our understanding of American slavery and its role in U.S. expansionism, global capitalism, and the upcoming Civil War.


Thursday, February 28 2013

A Great and Monstrous Thing: London in the Eighteenth Century

White introduces us to shopkeepers and prostitutes, men and women of fashion and genius, street-robbers and thief-takers, as they play out the astonishing drama of life in 18th century London.


Sunday, February 24 2013

The Pop Culture Death Trap Part 2: The Death of Beauty

Despite having seen it all before – the rock star and the blonde actress – we look on each such instance of celebrity death with the same mixture of surprise, curiosity, horror, and glee. Pop culture reflects our capacity to simultaneously ignore death and make of it an obsession.


Thursday, February 21 2013

Abandoned ‘Star Wars’ Plot Points Episode II: The Force Behind the Scenes

With Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm already changing Star Wars, let's look at the prior behind the scene changes in the saga.


Thursday, February 14 2013

Jelly Roll, Bix, and Hoagy: Gennett Records and the Rise of America’s Musical Grassroots

Gennett Records produced thousands of records and debuted such stars as Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Bix Biederbecke, Jelly Roll Morton, Hoagy Carmichael, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charley Patton, and Gene Autry.


Wednesday, January 30 2013

The Beatification of Philip K. Dick

Fueled by his science fiction work, by his mystical aura and his growing legend, the cult of Philip K. Dick continues to expand.


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