pop culture

Examining Kracauer, The Nation reviews ‘Culture in the Anteroom’

by Shaun Manning December 21, 2012

In a review essay celebrating Siegfried Kracauer’s foundational thinking on the sociology of cinema, The Nation cites Gerd Gemünden and Johannes von Moltke’s edited volume Culture in the Anteroom: The Legacies of Siegfried Kracauer, published earlier this year. Sixty-five years after the publication of From Caligari to Hitler, J. Hoberman writes, “the ideas advanced by Kracauer … permeate the popular analysis of popular culture.” The writer cites Culture in the Anteroom in his discussion of Kracauer, before concluding that “His work is essentially journalistic—best appreciated as a succession of often brilliant insights rather than a somewhat plodding system, and no less impressive for […]

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LA Weekly Spotlights ‘International Relations of Middle-earth’

by Shaun Manning December 11, 2012

With The Hobbit hitting theatres this week, LA Weekly, part of the Village Voice family of free papers, interviewed International Relations of Middle-earth co-author Patrick James about the book’s origins and using Tolkien to teach real-world multinational conflict. In the interview, James credited Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy with creating a “pop culture touchstone,” making the situations and themes that pervade Frodo and Sam’s journey relateable and therefor even more useful in the classroom.

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Guest blog: Daniel Stein on Louis Armstrong earning a place on Time Magazine’s list of the 20 most influential Americans

by Emily July 30, 2012

Daniel Stein, author of Music Is My Life: Louis Armstrong, Autobiography, and American Jazz, guest blogs about Time Magazine’s selection of Louis Armstrong as one of the twenty most influential Americans of all time and about an upcoming talk on Armstrong’s 1965 tour to East Germany. A few days ago (July 24), Time Magazine announced its selection of the twenty most influential Americans of all time. Among Time’s “trailblazers, visionaries and cultural ambassadors who defined a nation” are U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, inventors and scientists like Alexander G. Bell, Thomas Edison, the […]

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Guest blog: Press author Daniel Stein on Armstrong, autobiographics, and a Disney alligator

by Emily May 22, 2012

Daniel Stein, author of Music Is My Life: Louis Armstrong, Autobiography, and American Jazz, guest blogs about a little known aspect of Louis Armstrong’s long career: his autobiographical writings and their lasting impact on American culture. The millions of people who went to the movie theaters to watch Disney’s animated film The Princess and the Frog (dir. Ron Clemens and John Musker, 2009) encountered a singing and trumpeting alligator named Louis. Set in a mythologized New Orleans of the 1920s, the movie cooks up a gumbo of popular ingredients ranging from the city’s famous street parades and Mississippi entertainment ships […]

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Q&A with Theo Cateforis, author of Are We Not New Wave?

by University of Michigan Press May 4, 2011

New wave emerged at the turn of the 1980s as a pop music movement cast in the image of punk rock’s sneering demeanor, yet rendered more accessible and sophisticated. Artists such as the Cars, Devo, the Talking Heads, and the Human League leapt into the Top 40 with a novel sound that broke with the staid rock clichés of the 1970s and pointed the way to a more modern pop style. In Are We Not New Wave? Theo Cateforis provides the first musical and cultural history of the new wave movement, charting its rise out of mid-1970s punk to its […]

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