Category Archives: Reviews

Jonathan Franzen at the End of Postmodernism

Burn, Stephen. Jonathan Franzen at the End of Postmodernism. London: Continuum, 2008. Jonathan Franzen’s position in the contemporary American literary landscape is a curious one. His two latest novels – The Corrections (2001) and Freedom (2010) – have been more or less universally lauded by literary critics. Freedom was thus proclaimed a “masterpiece of American […]

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Out of the Blue: September 11 & the Novel

Versluys, Kristiaan. Out of the Blue: September 11 and the Novel. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009. Three months after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Don DeLillo wrote in an essay titled, “In the Ruins of the Future”: “The writer wants to understand what this day has done to us. Is it too soon? […]

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Review: Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything.

Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams. New York: Penguin, 2007. The Amazon Mechanical Turk is an online platform on which employers can post ‘Human Intelligence Tasks’ (HITs) that are searched by prosumers looking for paid employment who select and perform these knowledge tasks with the help of their computers, submit the results, and then get […]

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Review: Screened Out. Playing Gay in Hollywood from Edison to Stonewall.

Richard Barrios London: Routledge, 2003. At the time Richard Barrios published Screened Out in 2003, the cinema going audience had not yet met with Ennis and Jack, the two ‘gay cowboys’ from Brokeback Mountain (2005). At the point of writing this review, we still have to wait for the theatrical release of Milk, Focus Features’ […]

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Review: Better Living through Reality TV

Self-governing through Reality TV. Better Living through Reality TV. Television and Post-Welfare Citizenship. Laurie Ouellette and James Hay. Malden/Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2008. In their book, Laurie Ouellette and James Hay draw on Michel Foucault’s and Nikolas Rose’s writings on liberalism and governmentality to situate the increase of popular non-fiction on television within strategies of liberal […]

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Review: The International Handbook of Children, Media and Culture.

Kirsten Drotner and Sonia Livingstone. London: Sage, 2008. Children’s media culture has been assuming a central position in public debates regarding cultural values, social norms and future expectations, but often these debates are media-oriented and ignore what has been researched on children’s cultures. This handbook, edited by two of the most prominent European researchers on […]

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Review: Magic in the Air. Mobile communication and the transformation of social life

James E. Katz New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2006. Information and communication technologies are becoming more prominent everywhere, especially in their mobile form. The increasing variety of mobile communication devices is affecting people’s lives dramatically, directly and on a vast scale. As for the mobile phone itself, no technology has ever been adopted so quickly […]

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Review: Past for the Eyes: East European Representations of Communism in Cinema and Museums after 1989.

Oksana Sarkisova and Péter Apor (Eds.) Budapest, New York: CEU Press, 2008. In 2009, it will be the 20th anniversary of ‘the fall of the wall’, which triggered the transformation of the sociopolitical systems of the former Soviet bloc and which was – in Claus Offe´s words – ‘an unprecedented, special case of rapid social […]

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Review: Discipline and liberty. Television and governance.

Gareth Palmer Manchester University Press: Manchester/New York, 2003. Gareth Palmer’s main focus is on how television documentary shapes or aims to shape our conduct, lives and identities. Discipline and Liberty is about the processes of governance set in motion through television. Departing from a Foucauldian understanding of governance/government, and the work of governmentality studies scholars […]

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Review: Citizenship and Consumption.

Kate Soper and Frank Trentmann (Eds.) Hampshire, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. ‘Save the Climate! Go Vegan!'[1] One of the questions Citizenship and Consumption addresses is whether this slogan represents a contemporary way to express political engagement and participation. The anthology, edited by Kate Soper and Frank Trentmann, addresses the notion of consumer citizenship from […]

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